SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The American Hockey League announced that former Florida Everblades and current Hershey center Keith Aucoin has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 12.
The 29 year old had seven points (2g-5a) in three games, including five points (1g-4a) in an 8-4 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Oct. 8, as the Bears began the season 3-0-0.
The ECHL has had affiliations with 20 or more teams in the AHL the last eight years and in the past seven seasons there have been more ECHL players called up to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined.
For the 19th year in a row the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League was represented on the AHL champion as the Chicago Wolves have a record 14 former ECHL players on their roster.
Seven times in the last eight years the winner of the AHL Coach of the Year award has been a former ECHL coach including the last three selections with Scott Gordon, Mike Haviland and Kevin Dineen. Former ECHL coaches won the award four consecutive years from 2001-04 with Don Granato, Bruce Cassidy, Geoff Ward and Claude Noel. The first former ECHL coach to win the award was current Carolina Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette in 1999.
Former ECHL players won the AHL weekly award 10 times in 2007-08 while being selected to receive the Rbk X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month four times, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month award three times and the Rbk Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month two times. The ECHL was represented by three players on both the First Team All-AHL and the Second Team All-AHL while goaltender John Curry was named to the All-Rookie Team and Andrew Hutchinson was named Defenseman of the Year.
Barry Brust and Nolan Schaefer won the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, presented each season to the goaltender(s) appearing in at least 25 games for the team allowing the fewest goals, for 2007-08. It is the seventh season in a row and the 12th time in the last 15 years that the award has been won or shared by a former ECHL goaltender.
Watch games live on B2 Networks, the “Official Broadband Broadcast Provider” of the ECHL.
The ECHL celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 23 teams playing 828 games in 16 states and British Columbia in 2008-09.
The Reading Royals, the City of Reading and the Sovereign Center will host the 17th Annual ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 21, 2009 and the 12th Annual All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 20, 2009.
The league officially changed its name to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the NHL, marking the 12th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
There have been 358 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including a record 47 in 2005-06 and 26 in 2006-07 and 2007-08.
Former ECHL coaches working as head coaches in the NHL are Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals, Scott Gordon of the New York Islanders and Peter Laviolette of the Carolina Hurricanes. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award. Laviolette, who began his coaching career with the Wheeling Nailers, led Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in 2006. There are 15 assistant coaches in the NHL who were players or coaches in the ECHL.
The ECHL is represented for the eighth consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team in 2008 by Aaron Downey of the Detroit Red Wings.
Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.