The ECHL on Wednesday announced the starting lineup for the ECHL All-Stars for the 2015 CCM / ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Visit Orlando. The remainder of the ECHL All-Star Team will be announced tomorrow.
More than 60 players from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 46 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
The starting lineup is determined in voting by ECHL coaches, team captains, media relations directors, broadcasters and media members.
ECHL All-Star Starters
G – Joe Cannata, Ontario (12 gp, 7-3-2, 1.98 GAA, .926 save pct.)
D – Collin Bowman, Colorado (32 gp, 8g, 15a, 23 pts.)
D – James Martin, Fort Wayne (32 gp, 6g, 21a, 27 pts.)
F – Tyler Barnes, Toledo (31 gp, 13g, 23a, 36 pts.)
F – Riley Brace, Wheeling (22 gp, 9g, 19a, 28 pts.)
F – Jack Combs, Allen (30 gp, 21g, 31a, 52 pts.)
Joe Cannata of the Ontario Reign is second in the ECHL with a .926 save percentage and ranks third with a 1.98 goals-against average. Under contract to the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League, Cannata has allowed two goals or less in seven of his 12 appearances with Ontario this season. He has also appeared in one game with Utica of the American Hockey League.
Collin Bowman of the Colorado Eagles makes his second consecutive appearance in the ECHL All-Star Game. Among defensemen, Bowman leads the league with eight goals, is tied for first with three game-winning goals and is fourth with 23 points.
James Martin of the Fort Wayne Komets leads all ECHL defensemen with 21 assists and 27 points in 32 games. His 10 power-play assists are also tops among defensemen and he is tied for second with 11 power-play points while his six goals are tied for fifth among league blue liners.
Tyler Barnes of Toledo is the lone rookie in the starting line. The ECHL Rookie of the Month for December, Barnes leads first-year players with 23 assists and 36 points. Under contract with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, Barnes’ 36 points has him tied for sixth overall in the league.
Wheeling’s Riley Brace has posted 28 points (9g-19a) in 22 games with the Nailers this season. He has scored six of his nine goals on special teams, scoring four times on the power play and adding a pair of shorthanded goals. Currently loaned to Worcester of the American Hockey League, Brace has added two points (1g-2a) in four games with the Sharks.
Rounding out the starting line-up is Allen’s Jack Combs who is tied for the ECHL lead with 21 goals and leads the league with 52 points and 14 power-play points. He is tied for second with 129 shots on goal and 10 power-play assists and is fifth with a +21 rating. Combs has recorded at least one point in 26 of his 30 games this season.
The eighth class will be inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Jan. 21, during a luncheon ceremony presented by BFL CANADA at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown, the official host hotel of the 2015 ECHL All-Star Classic.
Ten coaches from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to coach in the National Hockey League while 62 players from the contest have gone on to play in the NHL, including 46 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
The ECHL All-Star Fan Fest, presented by Walgreen’s, with player appearances, interactive game, prizes, giveaways, auctions, memorabilia, and a special Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit, will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 20. On Wednesday, Jan. 21, the day’s events include the ECHL Hall of Fame Luncheon and the 2015 CCM / ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Visit Orlando. Select ECHL Skills competitions will be held the same night and will be incorporated into the evening’s events.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 21 teams in 14 states for its 27th season in 2014-15. There have been 553 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 12 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2014-15 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 29 of the 30 NHL teams in 2014-15, marking the 18th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.