PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL has 57 players on National Hockey League opening-day rosters surpassing the record 54 players a year ago and marking the fourth consecutive season that there have been more than 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
The total does not include Bates Battaglia, Curtis Brown, Scott Gomez and Mark Smith, who all played in the ECHL for the first time during the NHL lockout in 2004-05.
The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League, the ECHL has a former player on 29 of the 30 teams and has affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the NHL.
There were a record 47 former ECHL players who made their NHL debut last season, including five goaltenders who played in both leagues. As the NHL season opens, there have been 303 players who have played in the NHL after the ECHL, including 158 in the last five seasons. Last season there were 112 former ECHL players who played in the NHL and all 30 teams had a former ECHL player take the ice for at least one game.
The ECHL was represented for the sixth consecutive year on the Stanley Cup champion by Carolina head coach Peter Laviolette, who is the first ECHL coach to hoist the coveted trophy, Chad LaRose, Andrew Hutchinson and assistant athletic trainer Chris Stewart.
Former ECHL Coaches and Players On NHL Opening Day Rosters:
Anaheim (Augusta Lynx) – Assistant coach Dave Farrish (Louisiana, 2000-04 and Pensacola, 2004-05), Francois Beauchemin (Mississippi, 2001-02) and Todd Fedoruk (Trenton, 1999-2000).
Atlanta (Gwinnett Gladiators) – Eric Boulton (Charlotte, 1996-98; Florida, 1998-99 and Columbia, 2004-05), Shane Hnidy (Baton Rouge, 1996-97 and Florida, 2004-05) and Glen Metropolit (Nashville, 1995-96 and Pensacola, 1996-97).
Boston – Assistant coach Wayne Cashman (Pensacola, 1999-2000) and Tim Thomas (Birmingham, 1997-98).
Buffalo – Associate coach Brian McCutcheon (Columbus, 1996-97) and Martin Biron (South Carolina, 1997-98).
Calgary (Las Vegas Wranglers) – Head coach Jim Playfair (Dayton, 1994-95) and Jamie McLennan (Richmond, 1991-92).
Carolina (Florida Everblades) – Head coach Peter Laviolette (Wheeling, 1997-98), Andrew Hutchinson (Toledo, 2002-03) and Chad LaRose (Florida, 2003-04).
Chicago (Toledo Storm) – Video coach Ryan Stewart (Greenville, 1998-2002 and 2003-04 and Florida, 2002-03) and Reed Low (Baton Rouge, 1997-98).
Colorado – Andrew Brunette (Hampton Roads, 1993-94), Antti Laaksonen (Charlotte, 1997-98), Brett McLean (Johnstown, 1999-2000) and George Parros (Reading, 2003-04).
Columbus (Dayton Bombers) – Geoff Platt (Atlantic City, 2004-05), Jody Shelley (Johnstown, 1998-2000) and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Dayton, 2004-05).
Dallas (Idaho Steelheads) – Mike Smith (Lexington, 2002-03).
Detroit (Toledo Storm) – Joey MacDonald (Toledo, 2001-02 and 2005-06).
Edmonton (Stockton Thunder) – Assistant coach Charlie Huddy (Huntington, 1996-97) and development coach Geoff Ward (Arkansas, 1999-2000).
Florida (Florida Everblades) – Alex Auld (Columbia, 2001-02).
Los Angeles (Reading Royals) – Assistant coach Jamie Kompon (Hampton Roads, 1989-90; Cincinnati, 1990-91 and Winston-Salem, 1990-91), Jeff Cowan (Roanoke, 1996-97) and Raitis Ivanans (Pensacola, 1999-2000 and Toledo and Baton Rouge, 2001-02).
Minnesota – Derek Boogaard (Louisiana, 2002-03).
Montreal (Cincinnati Cyclones) – David Aebischer (Chesapeake and Wheeling, 1997-98), Francis Bouillon (Wheeling, 1996-97), Aaron Downey (Hampton Roads, 1995-97), Michael Ryder (Tallahassee, 2000-01 and Mississippi, 2001-02) and Mark Streit (Tallahassee, 1999-2000).
Nashville – Assistant coach Peter Horachek (Louisville, 1990-91 and Trenton, 2001-02), Vernon Fiddler (Arkansas, 2000-01 and Roanoke, 2001-02), Jerred Smithson (Trenton, 2000-01) and Tomas Vokoun (Wheeling, 1995-96).
New Jersey (Trenton Titans) – Scott Gomez (Alaska, 2004-05).
New York Islanders (Pensacola Ice Pilots) – Assistant coach Daniel Lacroix (Atlantic City, 2001-02).
New York Rangers (Charlotte Checkers) – Thomas Pock (Charlotte, 2004-05).
Ottawa – Joe Corvo (Hampton Roads, 1998-99) and Chris Neil (Mobile, 1999-2000).
Philadelphia (Trenton Titans) – Boyd Kane (Charlotte, 1998-2001) and Riley Cote (Dayton, 2003-04).
Phoenix (Phoenix RoadRunners) – Josh Gratton (San Diego, 2003-04 and Trenton Titans, 2004-05), Mike Morrison (Columbus, 2002-03 and Greenville, 2004-06) and Joel Perrault (Augusta, 2005-06).
Pittsburgh (Wheeling Nailers) – Eric Cairns (Birmingham, 1994-95 and Charlotte, 1995-96), Michel Ouellet (Wheeling, 2002-03) and Andre Roy (Charlotte, 1997-98).
St. Louis (Alaska Aces) – Mike Glumac (Pee Dee, 2002-03), Manny Legace (Richmond, 1996-97), Curtis Sanford (Peoria, 2000-02), Matt Walker (Peoria, 2000-01) and Trent Whitfield (Hampton Roads, 1998-99).
San Jose (Fresno Falcons) – Curtis Brown (San Diego, 2004-05), Patrick Rissmiller (Cincinnati, 2002-03), Nolan Schaefer (Fresno, 2003-04) and Mark Smith (Victoria, 2004-05).
Tampa Bay (Johnstown Chiefs) – Ryan Craig (Pensacola, 2003-04), Ruslan Fedotenko (Trenton, 1999-2000), Johan Holmqvist (Charlotte, 2002-03) and Nolan Pratt (Richmond, 1995-96).
Toronto (Columbia Inferno) – Jean-Sebastien Aubin (Dayton, 1997-98) and Bates Battaglia (Mississippi, 2004-05).
Vancouver (Victoria Salmon Kings) – Assistant coach Barry Smith (Erie, 1992-96 and Baton Rouge, 1997-2000), Alexandre Burrows (Greenville, 2002-03; Baton Rouge, 2002-03 and Columbia, 2003-05) and Wade Flaherty (Greensboro, 1989-90).
Washington (South Carolina Stingrays) – Olaf Kolzig (Hampton Roads, 1990-92).