The ECHL on Wednesday announced its All-Rookie Team for 2016-17 as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media, who were asked to select a goaltender, two defensemen and three forwards.
A rookie is defined as a player who has played in less than 25 professional games prior to the start of the current season.
2016-17 ECHL All-Rookie Team G – Landon Bow, Idaho Steelheads (26 gp, 18-6-2, 2.17 GAA, .931 save pct.) D – Kevin Schulze, Wheeling Nailers (65 gp, 12g, 45a, 57 pts., +5) D – Nolan Zajac, Toledo Walleye (58 gp, 10g, 37a, 47 pts., +26) F – Mike Cazzola, Fort Wayne Komets (64 gp, 27g, 45a, 72 pts., +28) F – Tylor Spink, Toledo Walleye (63 gp, 27g, 45a, 72 pts., +21) F – Tyson Spink, Toledo Walleye (66 gp, 33g, 39a, 72 pts., +16)
Since the ECHL began naming the All-Rookie Team in 2000-01, 18 players selected have gone on to play in the National Hockey League: Simon Gamache (2001-02); Mike Glumac, Vern Fiddler, Adam Hauser, Jason Jaffray and Zenon Konopka (2002-03); Kevin Doell and Brian Fahey (2003-04); Joey Tenute (2004-05); Cedrick Desjardins (2006-07); David Desharnais and Anton Khudobin (2007-08); Richard Bachman (2009-10); Kael Mouillierat and Ben Street (2010-11); Philipp Grubauer (2011-12); Laurent Brossoit (2013-14) and Roman Will (2014-15).
The ECHL will announce its First-Team All-ECHL and Second-Team All-ECHL teams on Thursday.
Landon Bow of the Idaho Steelheads is 18-6-2 with two shutouts in 26 appearances this season. He leads all ECHL goaltenders with a 2.17 goals-against average and is second with a .931 save percentage. Under contract to the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League, Bow has also seen action in 17 games this season with Texas of the American Hockey League.
Kevin Schulze of the Wheeling Nailers leads rookie defensemen, and is second overall among blueliners, with 57 points in 65 games. His 45 assists are third overall among league defensemen and he is fifth with 18 power-play assists.
Nolan Zajac of the Toledo Walleye ranks fourth among rookie defensemen, and seventh overall, with 47 points (10g-37a) in 58 games while his four game-winning goals are tied for third among blueliners. Toledo’s representative in the 2017 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, Zajac has also seen action in 11 AHL games with Hershey, Manitoba and Iowa.
Mike Cazzola of the Fort Wayne Komets is part of a three-way for the ECHL scoring lead among rookies with 72 points while his 27 goals are tied for third among first-year players. Cazzola’s 10 power-play goals are tied for third among rookies and his 21 power-play points are second.
Tylor Spink of the Toledo Walleye is tied for first among rookies with 45 assists and 72 points while his 27 goals are tied for third. Spink is tied for eighth among first-year players in plus-minus with a +21 rating.
Tyson Spink of the Toledo Walleye leads rookies with 33 goals and is tied for the rookie lead with 72 points. His nine power-play goals are fifth among rookies and he is fifth with 186 shots on goal.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 27 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 27th season in 2016-17. There have been who have started their career in the ECHL who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 21 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2016-17 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2016-17, marking the 20th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.