Record 28 Players Appear In NHL In 2003-04
PRINCETON, N.J. – Former Jackson left wing Quintin Laing, who made his National Hockey League debut on Sunday, brings the total number of ECHL players to advance to the NHL to 243. Laing scored his first point in the NHL on Monday, assisting on the game-tying third-period goal by Matt Keith in Chicago’s 2-2 tie at Nashville.
Prior to being called up to Chicago on Sunday, Laing had scored three game-winning goals and 19 points (10g-9a) in 62 games with Norfolk of the American Hockey League.
There have been 28 ECHL players that have advanced to the NHL in 2003-04 surpassing the single-season high set in 1999-2000 and equaled in 2000-01. There have been 90 ECHL players that have played in the NHL in 2003-04, a total that has 26 goaltenders including NHL All-Star Tomas Vokoun of Nashville. There were 53 former ECHL players on NHL opening-day rosters surpassing the record of 50 players set in 2002-03. There are nine ECHL coaches in the NHL including Carolina Hurricanes Head Coach Peter Laviolette and Florida Panthers Interim Head Coach John Torchetti. The ECHL has affiliations with 21 of the 30 teams in the NHL in 2003-04 and there has been an ECHL player on each of the 30 NHL teams in 2003-04.
Selected in the fourth round (102nd overall) by Detroit in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Laing began his professional career in 2000-01 scoring 37 points (13g-24a) in 60 regular season games while also appearing in five Kelly Cup Playoff games with Jackson of the ECHL. The 6-2 and 200-pound Laing also played in the AHL scoring one point (0g-1a) in 10 games with Norfolk. He returned to Jackson in 2001-02 and scored 10 points (4g-6a) in 16 games before returning to the AHL where he scored 21 points (6g-15a) in 61 regular season games and also appeared in four playoff games with Norfolk. In 2002-03, he scored 17 points (5g-12a) in 69 regular season games and four points (2g-2a) in eight playoff games with Norfolk.
There have been 28 players in 2003-04 that have made their first NHL appearance since playing in the ECHL. Laing is the 27th ECHL player to make his NHL debut in 2003-04 joining Johnathan Aitken (Chicago on November 26), Ryan Barnes (Detroit on December 15), Mike Bishai (Edmonton on January 29), Darryl Bootland (Detroit on November 8), Garrett Burnett (Anaheim on October 8), Andy Chiodo (Pittsburgh on February 18), Carl Corazzini (Boston on January 15), Dan Ellis (Dallas on February 18), Mike Green (Florida on February 3), Andrew Hutchinson (Nashville on October 18), Boyd Kane (Philadelphia on October 16), Patrick Leahy (Boston on December 6), Steve McLaren (St. Louis on December 16), Jason MacDonald (New York Rangers on December 12), Graham Mink (Washington on February 3), Adam Munro (Chicago on March 1), Lawrence Nycholat (New York Rangers on January 20), Pat Rissmiller (San Jose on November 13), Nathan Robinson (Detroit on November 28), Michael Ryder (Montreal on October 9), Dany Sabourin (Calgary on October 29), Rob Skrlac (New Jersey on December 13), Rastislav Stana (Washington on November 14), Mike Stuart (St. Louis on October 24), Darcy Verot (Washington on January 1), and Jeremy Yablonski (St. Louis on December 30). Travis Brigley, who played for Macon of the ECHL in 2001-02, played for Colorado on October 26.