Jakaitis named CCM Hockey ECHL Most Valuable Player

The ECHL on Friday announced that Jeff Jakaitis of the South Carolina Stingrays has been selected as the CCM Hockey ECHL Most Valuable Player for 2014-15. Jakaitis is just the fourth goaltender to receive the Most Valuable Player award in the ECHL’s 27-year history.

The CCM Hockey Most Valuable Player award is presented annually to the player selected to be the most valuable to his team as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members.

Chad Costello of Allen finished second, followed by Idaho’s Wade MacLeod, Andrew Rowe of South Carolina and Fort Wayne’s Shawn Szydlowski.

Jakaitis, who was named to the All-ECHL First Team last week and yesterday received the ECHL Goaltender of the Year award for the third time in his career, rewrote the ECHL record book during the 2014-15 season. During the course of South Carolina’s ECHL-record 23-game winning streak from Feb. 7-March 27, Jakaitis went 15-0-0 with four shutouts, a 1.67 goals-against average and a save percentage of .937.

He set a league record with four consecutive shutouts from March 7-20, and his 321:46 shutout streak set both an ECHL and a minor-league professional hockey record, and fell just 10:16 shy of the modern-era pro hockey record set by Brian Boucher of the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2003-04 season. Jakaitis also established an ECHL record with a 16-game personal winning streak from Feb. 15-April 2. He posted a record of 17-1-0 in his final 18 decisions this season. He was part of a Stingrays’ goaltending group which posted 12 shutouts this season, setting a new ECHL record.

Jakaitis led the ECHL with a 1.96 goals-against average and seven shutouts, which is tied for the second most in a single-season in ECHL history. His 23 career shutouts are just two behind Marc Magliarditi for the all-time league record. Jakaitis finished the season second in the league with a .924 save percentage and was sixth with 26 wins.

CCM Hockey ECHL Most Valuable Player Award Winners

2015 Jeff JakaitisSouth Carolina Stingrays
2014 Mickey LangOrlando Solar Bears
2013 Ryan ZapolskiSouth Carolina Stingrays
2012 Chad CostelloColorado Eagles
2011 Wes GoldieAlaska Aces
2010 Tyler DonatiElmira Jackals
2009 Kevin BakerFlorida Everblades
2008 David DesharnaisCincinnati Cyclones
2007 Brad SchellGwinnett Gladiators
2006 Jeff CampbellGwinnett Gladiators
2005 Scott GomezAlaska Aces
2004 Scott StirlingAtlantic City Boardwalk Bullies
2003 Buddy SmithArkansas RiverBlades
2002 Frederic CloutierLouisiana IceGators
2001 Scott KingCharlotte Checkers
2000 Andrew WilliamsonToledo Storm
1999 Chris ValicevicLouisiana IceGators
1998 Jamey HicksBirmingham Bulls
1997 Mike RossSouth Carolina Stingrays
1996 Hugo P. BelangerNashville Knights
1995 Vadim SlivchenkoWheeling Thunderbirds
1994 Joe FlanaganBirmingham Bulls
1993 Trevor JobeNashville Knights
1992 Phil BergerGreensboro Monarchs
1991 Stan DruliaKnoxville Cherokees
1990 Bill McDougallErie Panthers
1989 Daryl HarpeErie Panthers