PRINCETON, N.J. – Former Florida center Brett Lysak became the 249th ECHL player to advance to the National Hockey League when he made his debut with Carolina on Friday. Lysak had two penalty minutes in Carolina’s 4-3 overtime loss at Pittsburgh.
Selected in the second round (49th overall) by Carolina in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, the 23-year-old Lysak was recalled from Lowell of the American Hockey League on Thursday. Prior to his recall, the 6-0 and 190-pound Lysak ranked second on the team with 17 goals and fifth on the team with 31 points in 62 games.
In his first professional season in 2001-02, Lysak scored nine points (2g-7a) in 16 regular season games and four points (3g-1a) in six Kelly Cup Playoff games with Florida. He also played with Lowell in 2001-02 scoring 14 points (6g-8a) in 53 regular season games while also appearing in three playoff games. In 2002-03 with Lowell he scored 15 points (6g-9a) in 49 regular season games.
Lysak becomes the 33rd ECHL player to make his NHL debut in 2003-04 and there have been 34 players in 2003-04 that have made their first NHL appearance since playing in the ECHL. The previous season high for ECHL players making their first NHL appearance was 27 players in 1999-2000 and 2000-01.
There have been 102 ECHL players that have played in the NHL in 2003-04 including 30 goaltenders. There have been 10 players, including eight goaltenders, who have played in both the ECHL and the NHL in 2003-04, doubling the high of five players in 2001-02. 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, and there are 13 referees and three linesmen with ECHL experience on the 2003-04 NHL officiating staff. 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.
There have been 34 players in 2003-04 that have made their first NHL appearance since playing in the ECHL. Lysak becomes the 33rd 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), Benoit Dusablon (New York Rangers on March 4), 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), Cory Larose (New York Rangers on February 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), Josh Olson (Florida on March 11), 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), Matt Underhill (Chicago on March 7), 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.