DENVER, Colo. – The Colorado Avalanche have signed former Johnstown forward Brett McLean, who became the 200th ECHL player to advance to the National Hockey League when he took the ice for Chicago on December 10, 2002.
Selected in the ninth round (242nd overall) by Dallas in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, the 5-10 and 185-pound McLean scored 11 points (4g-7a) in eight regular season games with the Chiefs in 1999-2000. He played the remainder of 1999-2000 with Saint-John in the AHL, scoring 38 points (15g-23a) in 72 regular season games and one assist in three postseason games.
The 25-year-old McLean played his first full NHL season in 2003-04 scoring 31 points (11g-20a) in 76 games with Chicago. He had a team-leading two shorthand points (1g-1a) while ranking second on the team in face-off winning percentage (51.1) and third on the team with five power-play goals. In two NHL seasons, both with the Blackhawks, the 5-11 and 185-pound McLean has scored 31 points (11g-20a) in 78 games.
The Premier “AA” Hockey League, the ECHL had affiliations with 21 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League in 2003-04 and every NHL team had an ECHL player play for it in 2003-04. In 2003-04 there were 40 players that played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, surpassing the high of 27 players in 1999-2000 and 2000-01. Eleven players, including eight goaltenders, appeared in both the ECHL and the NHL in 2003-04, breaking the high of five players in 2001-02, and a total of 116 ECHL players played in the NHL in 2003-04. There have been 255 players that have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL.
For the fifth consecutive year the ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup Champion with Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy as well as radio play-by-play announcer Dave Mishkin and assistant equipment manager Dana Heinze.