SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The American Hockey League announced that former ECHL All-Star right wing Matt Beaudoin has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Dec. 6 after scoring five goals in three games for the Texas Stars.
The Idaho Steelheads are the ECHL affiliate of the Stars of the AHL and the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League.
The 25 year old had 69 points (38g-31a) and 44 penalty minutes in 62 games with Las Vegas and Dayton as a rookie in 2007-08 while collecting two penalty minutes in 11 games in the AHL for Iowa, Rochester and Hershey.
The ECHL has had affiliations with 20 or more teams in the AHL the last nine seasons and in the past eight years there have been more ECHL players called up to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined.
Seven times in the last nine years the winner of the AHL Coach of the Year award has been a former ECHL coach including 2006-08 with Scott Gordon, Mike Haviland and Kevin Dineen. Former ECHL coaches won the award four consecutive years from 2001-04 with Don Granato, Bruce Cassidy, Geoff Ward and Claude Noel. The first former ECHL coach to win the award was Peter Laviolette in 1999.
Nine former ECHL players were named Reebok/AHL Player of the Week in 2008-09 and 10 received the honor in 2007-08.
The ECHL has been represented on the last 20 AHL champions including 2009 when 15 of the 26 players who played for Hershey played in the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League. It is the most former ECHL players on an AHL champion surpassing the 14 players for Chicago in 2008. There have been 41 former ECHL players on the last three AHL winners and 59 former ECHL players on the last five champions. The head coach of the Bears, who won their league-record 10th title, was former ECHL player and coach Bob Woods, who is now an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals of the NHL, and the assistant coach was former ECHL assistant Mark French, who is now the head coach of Hershey.