PRINCETON, N.J.- Former ECHL and current St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak is The MeiGray Group ECHL Alumnus of the Month for January.
The leading distributor of game- worn hockey jerseys and “Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL,” MeiGray sold more than 700 game-worn jerseys in 2010-11 and has sold more than 6,000 since it became “The Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL” in 2002-03.
The 26-year-old was 7-1-0 with three shutouts, a 1.36 goals-against average and a save percentage of .946 in eight appearances for the Blues in January. Halak opened the month with seven consecutive wins, including a season-high 34 saves in a 4-1 win against Phoenix on Jan. 3. He posted his three shutouts in a span of four starts, making 19 saves in a 3-0 win at Montreal on Jan. 10, stopping 22 shots in a 1-0 win against Dallas on Jan. 16 and turning aside all 15 shots in a 1-0 victory against Edmonton on Jan. 19.
Halak has appeared in 27 games for St Louis this season, posting a record of 14-8-5 with four shutouts, a 2.04 goals-against average, which ranks sixth in the league, and a save percentage of .918.
The Bratislava, Slovakia native made his professional debut in the ECHL with Long Beach in 2005-06, appearing in 20 games with a record of 11-4-2 with two shutouts, a 2.05 goals-against average and a save percentage of .932.
A ninth-round selection (217st overall) by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Halak has appeared in 185 career NHL games with Montreal and St. Louis going 97-63-19 with 20 shutouts, a 2.48 goals-against average and a save percentage of .916. During the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he helped lead the Canadiens to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1993 when he went 9-9 in 18 postseason appearances with a 2.55 goals-against average and a save percentage of .923.
There have been 483 players who have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 16 who have made their debut this season and 23 in 2010-11. The ECHL has had 291 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 227 ECHL players who have played their first game in the last seven seasons for an average of 32 per year.