PRINCETON, N.J. – Goaltenders Andy Chiodo and Dan Ellis, who both played in the ECHL in 2003-04, made their National Hockey League debuts on Wednesday. Ellis started for Dallas and made 25 saves in the Stars 4-3 win at Los Angeles while Chiodo started for Pittsburgh and had 30 saves in a 4-3 road loss to the New York Islanders. Chiodo and Ellis bring to number of ECHL players that have advanced to the NHL to 241, including 26 in 2003-04.
Selected in the second round (60th overall) by Dallas in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and under NHL contract with the Stars, Ellis was 13-8-1 with a 2.56 goals against average and a .909 save percentage in 23 games with Idaho before being recalled to Utah of the American Hockey League on January 13. The 23-year-old Ellis, who played in the 2004 Par-A-Dice ECHL All-Star Game in January, was 2-5-0 with a shutout, a 2.17 goals against average and a .940 save percentage in eight games with Utah before being called up to Dallas.
Selected in the seventh round (199th overall) by Pittsburgh in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Chiodo started two games for Wheeling in November before being recalled to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where he was 12-13-2 with two shutouts, a 2.35 goals against average and a .910 save percentage in 31 games before being called up to Pittsburgh.
There have been 26 players in 2003-04 that have made their first NHL appearance since playing in the ECHL. Chiodo and Ellis becomes the 24th and 25th ECHL players to make their NHL debut in 2003-04 joining Johnathan Aitken (Chicago on November 26), Ryan Barnes (Detroit on December 15), Mike Bishai (Edmonton on January 29), Darryl Bootland (Detroit on November 8), Garrett Burnett (Anaheim on October 8), Carl Corazzini (Boston on January 15), Mike Green (Florida on February 3), Andrew Hutchinson (Nashville on October 18), Boyd Kane (Philadelphia on October 16), Patrick Leahy (Boston on December 6), Steve McLaren (St. Louis on December 16), Jason MacDonald (New York Rangers on December 12), Graham Mink (Washington on February 3), Lawrence Nycholat (New York Rangers on January 20), Pat Rissmiller (San Jose on November 13), Nathan Robinson (Detroit on November 28), Michael Ryder (Montreal on October 9), Dany Sabourin (Calgary on October 29), Rob Skrlac (New Jersey on December 13), Rastislav Stana (Washington on November 14), Mike Stuart (St. Louis on October 24), Darcy Verot (Washington on January 1), and Jeremy Yablonski (St. Louis on December 30). Travis Brigley, who played for Macon of the ECHL in 2001-02, played for Colorado on October 26.