Record 30 Players Appear In NHL In 2003-04
PRINCETON, N.J. – Former Jackson center Cory Larose, who made his National Hockey League debut with the New York Rangers on February 16, brings the total number of ECHL players to advance to the NHL to 245. Larose, who was reassigned to Hartford of the American Hockey League on February 17, played 15 shifts, had one shot and won two faceoffs in the Rangers 4-1 loss to Ottawa.
Reassigned to Hartford of the American Hockey League on February 17, Larose has a team-leading 28 assists and is tied for the team lead with 39 points in 55 games.
Signed as a free agent by Minnesota on May 10, 2000, the 6-0 and 191-pound Larose began his professional career in 2000-01 scoring 53 points (21g-32a) in 63 regular season games and four points (2g-2a) in five Kelly Cup Playoff games with Jackson of the ECHL. He also appeared in four games with Cleveland of the International Hockey League scoring two points (2g-2a).
He played two seasons with Houston in the American Hockey League scoring 64 points (32g-32a) in 78 regular season games and 14 points (6g-8a) in 14 playoff games in 2001-02 and 56 points (18g-38a) in 58 regular season games. Acquired by the Rangers on February 20, 2003, Larose also played with Hartford of the AHL in 2002-03 scoring 19 points (9g-10a) in 24 regular season games and one point (0g-1a) in two playoff games.
There have been 30 players in 2003-04 that have made their first NHL appearance since playing in the ECHL. Larose becomes the 29th 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), Mathieu Chouinard (Los Angeles on February 29), 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), Quintin Laing (Chicago on February 29), 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.
There have been 95 ECHL players that have played in the NHL in 2003-04, a total that has 28 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.