PRINCETON, N.J. – Former ECHL All-Star David Gove made his National Hockey League debut with Carolina on Tuesday and assisted on a second-period goal by Eric Staal in the Hurricanes’ 8-2 win at Montreal.
The former Johnstown center is the third former ECHL player and the second Johnstown player in the last three days to play his first NHL game and the second former ECHL player in the last 10 days to make his NHL debut with Carolina. Gove is the 40th former ECHL player to play his first NHL game in 2005-06 tying the league record for most players in a season to make their NHL debut set in 2003-04. There have been 296 players who have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL with 151 players making their NHL debut since 2000-01.
In his first full professional season in 2001-02, Gove was selected to the ECHL All-Star Game and scored 49 points (17g-32a) in 54 regular season games and four points (1g-3a) in eight Kelly Cup Playoff games with Johnstown and six points (2g-4a) in 17 regular season games with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League.
Signed by the Hurricanes on Aug. 4, 2005, the 27-year-old was recalled from the AHL on Jan. 30 where he has 27 points (12g-15a) in 43 games with Lowell.
The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the NHL and there are over 100 players on ECHL rosters under contract to an NHL team. In addition to United States Olympic team and Carolina Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette, there are 12 assistant coaches, 13 referees and five linesmen currently in the NHL who have ECHL experience.
Former ECHL goaltenders have won the NHL Defensive Player of the Week award five times this season with David Aebischer, Chesapeake/Wheeling and Colorado (Jan. 9), Tomas Vokoun, Wheeling and Nashville (Dec. 5), Mike Morrison, Greenville and Edmonton (Nov. 28), Curtis Sanford, Peoria and St. Louis (Nov. 21) and Manny Legace, Richmond and Detroit (Nov. 1).
Chris Holt (Charlotte and New York Rangers), Mike Morrison (Greenville and Edmonton) and Adam Berkhoel (Gwinnett and Atlanta) have all played in both the ECHL and the NHL this season. Chris Beckford-Tseu of Alaska has served as the backup goaltender for St. Louis while Maxime Daigneault of South Carolina was the backup goaltender for Washington and Frederic Cloutier of Pensacola has been the backup goaltender for the New York Islanders.
There have been 40 players in 2005-06 that have made their first NHL appearance since playing in the ECHL:
Evgeny Artyukhin (Tampa Bay on Oct. 20)
Keith Aucoin (Carolina on Jan. 23)
Adam Berkhoel (Atlanta on Oct. 15)
Derek Boogaard (Minnesota on Oct. 5)
Alexandre Burrows (Vancouver on Jan. 2)
Kevin Colley (New York Islanders on Oct. 27)
Ryan Craig (Tampa Bay on Dec. 17)
Brian Eklund (Tampa Bay on Nov. 8)
Michael Garnett (Atlanta on Oct. 12)
Trevor Gillies (Anaheim on Nov. 6)
Jeff Giuliano (Los Angeles on Nov. 5)
Rob Globke (Florida on Dec. 28)
Mike Glumac (St. Louis on Jan. 30)
Steven Goertzen (Columbus on Oct. 21)
David Gove (Carolina on Jan. 31)
Josh Gratton (Philadelphia on Dec. 15)
Adam Hauser (Los Angeles on Jan. 14)
Eric Healey (Boston on Nov. 25)
Timo Helbling (Tampa Bay on Oct. 5)
Colin Hemingway (St. Louis on Oct. 19)
Chris Holt (New York Rangers on Dec. 3)
Raitis Ivanans (Montreal on Oct. 8)
Greg Jacina (Florida on Nov. 12)
Connor James (Los Angeles on Jan. 7)
Zenon Konopka (Anaheim on Oct. 30)
Chad LaRose (Carolina on Dec. 6)
Jay Leach (Boston on Nov. 5)
Rob McVicar (Vancouver on Dec. 1)
Mike Morrison (Edmonton on Nov. 7)
Doug O’Brien (Tampa Bay on Jan. 29)
Michel Ouellet (Pittsburgh on Nov. 22)
George Parros (Los Angeles on Oct. 5)
Geoff Platt (Columbus on Dec. 2)
Thomas Pock (New York Rangers on Jan. 16)
Nolan Schaefer (San Jose on Oct. 26)
Martin St. Pierre (Chicago on Nov. 4)
David Steckel (Washington on Dec. 31)
Grant Stevenson (San Jose on Nov. 23)
Mark Streit (Montreal on Oct. 8)
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Columbus on Nov. 23)