PRINCETON, N.J. – Greenville goaltender Mike Morrison made his National Hockey League debut on Monday with the Edmonton Oilers. Morrison, who was recalled to Edmonton on October 24, played the final 18:12 of the Oilers’ 4-0 loss at Dallas and made three saves.
Morrison is the fifth former ECHL player in the last four days to make his NHL debut and the 18th former ECHL player that has played his first NHL game in 2005-06, bringing the total number of players who have played in the NHL after the ECHL to 274.
Selected in the seventh round (186th overall) by Edmonton in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Morrison served as the backup goaltender for the Oilers during the first week of the NHL season before returning to Greenville where he is 1-1-0 with a goals-against average of 3.01 and a save percentage of .895 in two games.
The 6-foot-3 and 203-pound Morrison began his professional career in the ECHL in 2002-03 with Columbus where he was 9-18-6 with a goals-against average of 3.48 and a save percentage of .892 in 38 games.
In 2004-05, the 26-year-old was 13-10-2 with a shutout, a goals-against average of 2.74 and a save percentage of .924 in 26 games with Greenville and 2-5-5 with two shutouts, a goals-against average of 1.73 and a save percentage of .939 in 14 games with Edmonton of the American Hockey League.
Morrison was 12-8-2 with three shutouts and a team-leading goals-against average of 2.52 and a save percentage of .913 in 27 games with Toronto of the AHL in 2003-04. Recalled to Edmonton in February 2004, Morrison dressed as a backup for two games, but did not play.
The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League, the ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the NHL and there is one head coach, 12 assistant coaches, 12 referees and five linesmen working in the NHL in 2005-06 who have ECHL experience.
There have been 18 players in 2005-06 that have made their first NHL appearance since playing in the ECHL: Evgeny Artukhin (Tampa Bay on October 20), Adam Berkhoel (Atlanta on October 15), Derek Boogaard (Minnesota on October 5), Kevin Colley (New York Islanders on October 27), Michael Garnett (Atlanta on October 12), Trevor Gillies (Anaheim on November 6), Steven Goertzen (Columbus on October 21), Jeff Giuliano (Los Angeles on November 5), Timo Helbling (Tampa Bay on October 5), Colin Hemingway (St. Louis on October 19), Raitis Ivanans (Montreal on October 8), Zenon Konopka (Anaheim on October 30), Jay Leach (Boston on November 5), Mike Morrison (Edmonton on November 7), George Parros (Los Angeles on October 5), Nolan Schaefer (San Jose on October 26), Martin St. Pierre (Chicago on November 4), and Mark Streit (Montreal on October 8).