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ECHL represented by 47 players, 22 coaches in 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs

2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs logo

The ECHL is represented by 47 former players and 22 coaches on the National Hockey League’s 2022 Stanley Cup rosters, marking the 17th year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players competing in the NHL postseason.
The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League, the ECHL has a player or coach on each of the 16 teams and has affiliations with 27 of the 32 teams in the NHL in 2021-22, marking the 25th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
Among the 22 coaches in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, Colorado Avalanche head coach, and 2020 ECHL Hall of Fame inductee Jared Bednar, and Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette.
Former ECHL coaches and players on NHL Return to Play Rosters (ECHL affiliate listed in parentheses):
Boston Bruins (Maine Mariners) – Head Coach Bruce Cassidy (Jacksonville, 1996-98 and Trenton, 1999-00), Assistant Coach Kevin Dean (Cincinnati, 1991-92 and Trenton, 2010-11) and Kyle Keyser (Atlanta, 2019-20; Jacksonville, 2020-21 and Maine, 2021-22)
Calgary Flames (Kansas City Mavericks) –Assistant Coach Cail MacLean (Jacksonville, 1997-99; Trenton, 1999-02; Reading, 2004-05; South Carolina, 2005-11 and Adirondack, 2015-17); Goaltending Coach Jason LaBarbera (Charlotte, 2000-02) and Development Goaltending Coach Thomas Speer (Idaho, 2011-12 and Las Vegas, 2011-12); Trevor Lewis (Utah, 2012-13) and Dan Vladar (Atlanta, 2016-18 and 2019-20)
Carolina Hurricanes – Steven Lorentz (Florida, 2017-19)
Colorado Avalanche (Utah Grizzlies) – Head Coach Jared Bednar (Huntington, 1993-96 and South Carolina, 1996-09); Assistant Coach Nolan Pratt (Richmond, 1995-96) and Darcy Kuemper (Ontario, 2011-12 and Orlando, 2012-13)
Dallas Stars (Idaho Steelheads) – Assistant Coach Derek Laxdal (Roanoke, 1994-95 and Idaho, 2005-10); Luke Glendening (Toledo, 2012-13); Jani Hakanpaa (Quad City, 2014-15); Joel Hanley (Gwinnett, 2014-15); Braden Holtby (South Carolina, 2009-10); Adam Scheel (Idaho, 2021-22) and Scott Wedgewood (Trenton, 2012-13 and Adirondack, 2015-16)
Edmonton Oilers (Wichita Thunder) – Interim Head Coach Jay Woodcroft (Jackson, 1999-2000); Assistant Coach Glen Gulutzan (Las Vegas, 2003-09); Josh Archibald (Wheeling, 2014-15); Mikko Koskinen (Utah, 2009-10); Olivier Rodrigue (Wichita, 2021-22) and Mike Smith (Lexington, 2002-03)
Florida Panthers (Greenville Swamp Rabbits) – Interim Head Coach Andrew Brunette (Hampton Roads, 1993-94); Goaltending Coach Rob Tallas (Charlotte, 1994-95); Ben Chiarot (Colorado, 2011-12); Jonas Johansson (Cincinnati, 2017-19); Ryan Lomberg (Adirondack, 2016-17); Mason Marchment (Orlando, 2016-17); Carter Verhaeghe (Missouri, 2015-17) and Mackenzie Weegar (Cincinnati, 2014-15)
Los Angeles Kings – Jonathan Quick (Reading, 2007-08) and Austin Strand (Manchester, 2018-19)
Minnesota Wild (Iowa Heartlanders) – Assistant Coach Bob Woods (Johnstown, 1990-94; Hampton Roads, 1995-96; Mobile, 1996-97; Tallahassee, 1997-98 and Mississippi, 1998-05); Assistant Coach Brett McLean (Johnstown, 1999-00); Goaltending Coach Frederic Chabot (Winston-Salem, 1991-92); Jordie Benn (Victoria, 2008-09); Joseph Cramarossa (Utah, 2013-14); Frederick Gaudreau (Cincinnati, 2014-15); Zane McIntyre (Atlanta, 2016-17); Dakota Mermis (Rapid City, 2015-16); Jacob Middleton (Manchester, 2015-16) and Cam Talbot (Greenville, 2010-11)
Nashville Predators (Florida Everblades) Ben Harpur (Evansville, 2015-16); Connor Ingram (Adirondack, 2017-18 and Orlando, 2018-19) and Tanner Jeannot (Florida, 2019-21)
New York Rangers (Jacksonville Icemen) – Dryden Hunt (Manchester, 2016-17) and Ryan Reaves (Alaska, 2007-08 and Orlando, 2012-13)
Pittsburgh Penguins (Wheeling Nailers) – Assistant Coach Todd Reirden (Raleigh, 1994-95; Tallahassee, 1994-96 and Jacksonville, 1995-96); Assistant Coach Mike Vellucci (Erie, 1989-90 and Winston-Salem, 1989-90); Goaltending Coach Andy Chiodo (Wheeling, 2003-06; Elmira, 2009-10 and Bakersfield, 2013-14); Casey Desmith (Wheeling, 2015-16) and Louis Domingue (Gwinnett, 2012-15)
St. Louis Blues – Jordan Binnington (Kalamazoo, 2013-14); Ville Husso (Missouri, 2016-17); Dakota Joshua (Tulsa, 2019-20) and Nathan Walker (South Carolina, 2014-15)
Tampa Bay Lightning (Orlando Solar Bears) – Assistant Coach Derek Lalonde (Toledo, 2014-16)
Toronto Maple Leafs (Newfoundland Growlers) – Assistant Coach Spencer Carbery (Bakersfield, 2007-08; Stockton, 2007-08; Fresno, 2007-08; South Carolina, 2008-16); Goaltending Coach Steve Briere (Mississippi, 2000-01; Cincinnati, 2001-02 and Toledo, 2001-02); Michael Bunting (Rapid City, 2015-16); Jack Campbell (Idaho, 2014-16); Kyle Clifford (Ontario, 2012-13); Justin Holl (Indy, 2014-15); Mac Hollowell (Newfoundland, 2019-20); Michael Hutchinson (Reading, 2010-12 and Ontario, 2013-14); Erik Kallgren (Rapid City, 2019-20); Timothy Liljegren (Newfoundland, 2018-19); Petr Mrazek (Toledo, 2012-13) and Kristians Rubins (Newfoundland, 2018-19)
Washington Capitals (South Carolina Stingrays) – Head Coach Peter Laviolette (Wheeling, 1997-98); Zach Fucale (Brampton, 2016-18; Fort Wayne, 2018-19; Orlando, 2019-20 and South Carolina, 2020-21); Nick Jensen (Toledo, 2013-14) and Vitek Vanecek (South Carolina, 2015-16 and 2017-18)
There are 41 former ECHL officials who worked as part of the NHL officiating team in 2021-22 with referees Reid Anderson, Jake Brenk, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Mitch Dunning, Trevor Hanson, Beau Halkidis, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Pierre Lambert, T.J. Luxmore, Peter MacDougall, Michael Markovic, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Carter Sandlak, Graham Skilliter, Furman South, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh and linesmen Steve Barton, Ryan Daisy, Julien Fournier, Brandon Gawryletz, Mitchell Hunt, Trent Knorr, Matt MacPherson, Jesse Marquis, Kilian McNamara, Bevin Mills, C.J. Murray, Kory Nagy, Ben O’Quinn and Bryan Pancich.
There have been 727 players who have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 29 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2021-22 season. The ECHL has had 535 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years. There have been 471 ECHL players have played their first game in the last 17 seasons for an average of 27 per year.
The first ECHL player to play in the NHL was Johnstown Chiefs goaltender Scott Gordon, who played his first game with the Quebec Nordiques against Buffalo on Jan. 30, 1990. The 100th player honor is shared by Jean Sebastien Aubin and Manny Legace, who both made their debut on Oct. 21, 1998 with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. The 200th player was Brett McLean with the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 10, 2002 while the 300th was David Liffiton with the New York Rangers on April 11, 2006. The 400th was Phil Oreskovic on March 9, 2009 with the Toronto Maple Leafs while the 500th player honor is shared by Anthony Peluso and Darcy Kuemper, who both made their debut on Feb. 12, 2013 with the Winnipeg Jets and the Minnesota Wild, respectively. The 600th former ECHL player to reach the NHL was Florida Panthers forward Shane Harper on Oct. 13, 2016. The 700th former ECHL player to reach the NHL was New Jersey Devils defenseman Mason Gertseen on Oct. 19, 2021.
Former ECHL broadcasters working in the National Hockey League include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Bob McElligott of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Josh Bogorad of the Dallas Stars, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Doug Plagens of the Florida Panthers, Brendan Burke of the New York Islanders, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dave Goucher and Dan D’Uva of the Vegas Golden Knights and Everett Fitzhugh of the Seattle Kraken. Former ECHL player Tyson Nash is an analyst with the Arizona Coyotes, former ECHL player Jody Shelley is an analyst with the Blue Jackets and former ECHL player Shane Hnidy is an analyst with the Golden Knights.

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 20 states and two Canadian provinces for its 34th season in 2021-22. There have been 727 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 29 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2021-22 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 27 of the 32 NHL teams in 2021-22, marking the 25th consecutive season that the league has affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at as well as on Twitter and Facebook.