ECHL Still Well Represented
In Stanley Cup Playoffs

Eleven former East Coast Hockey League players are on the rosters of teams still playing in the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and each of the four remaining teams has an ECHL representative. A former ECHL player has been part of the Stanley Cup Championship team in each of the past three years.

Anaheim has four former ECHL players on its roster with Dan Bylsma, Todd Reirden, Cam Severson and Lance Ward although only Bylsma and Severson have played. Bylsma played two seasons with the Greensboro Monarchs, scoring 60 points (25g-35a) in 60 games in 1992-93 and 30 points (14g-16a) in 25 games in 1993-94. Reirden played for the Raleigh IceCaps, the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks and the Jacksonville Lizard Kings in the ECHL. In 1994-95, Reirden scored 15 points (2g-13a) in 26 regular season games with Raleigh and 30 points (5g-25a) in 43 regular season games and seven points (2g-5a) in seven postseason games with Tallahassee. In 1995-96, Reirden scored four points (1g-3a) in seven regular season games with Tallahassee and 11 points (1g-10a) in 15 regular season games with Jacksonville. Severson played in the ECHL in 1999-2000 scoring two points (0g-2a) in seven regular season games with Louisiana and 27 points (19g-8a) in 56 regular season games and seven points (3g-4a) in 18 postseason games while helping Peoria win the ECHL title. Ward scored one goal and had 12 PIMs in six regular season games with the Miami Matadors in 1998-99.

Minnesota, whose ECHL affiliate is the Louisiana IceGators, has three former ECHL players with Andrew Brunette, Antti Laaksonen and Jeremy Stevenson. Brunette has 12 points (6g-6a) in 17 games while Stevenson has five points (0g-5a) in 13 games and Laaksonen has four points (1g-3a) in 15 games. Brunette began his professional career in 1993-94 with Hampton Roads in the ECHL scorings 30 points (12g-18a) in 20 regular season games and 13 points (7g-6a) in seven postseason games. Laaksonen scored seven points (4g-3a) in 15 regular season games and three points (0g-3a) in six postseason games with Charlotte in 1997-98. Stevenson scored 27 points (14g-13a) in 43 regular season games and 17 points (6g-11a) in 17 postseason games with the Greensboro Monarchs.

Ottawa also has three former ECHL players with Patrick Lalime, Chris Neil and Shane Hnidy. Lalime is 9-4-0 with a 1.71 goals against average and a .929 save percentage while Neil has scored one point (1g-0a) in 13 games and Hnidy has played one game for the Senators. Lalime played his first professional season in the ECHL and was 15-7-3 with a 3.35 goals against average and a .894 save percentage in 26 regular season games for Hampton Roads in 1994-95. Hnidy scored 13 points (3g-10a) in 21 regular season games with Baton Rouge in 1996-97 while Neil scored two points (0g-2a) in four regular season games with Mobile in 1999-2000.

New Jersey has former ECHL player Corey Schwab, who was 6-0-1 with a 4.13 goals against average and a .873 save percentage in eight games with Cincinnati in 1991-92.

There were 36 former ECHL players on the rosters and five former coaches behind the benches when the Stanley Cup Playoffs began, and 15 of the 16 teams had an ECHL representative.

There have been 215 former ECHL players that have advanced to the NHL and 24 of the 30 teams in the NHL had affiliations with teams in the ECHL in 2002-03. There were 90 former ECHL players who played in the NHL in 2002-03 and 20 former ECHL players made their NHL debuts in 2002-03.