Roster Includes 11 Rookies, 18 First-Time Selections
PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL on Wednesday announced the starting lineup and roster of the National Conference team for the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game presented by Reebok Hockey and brought to you by Toyota and the City of Ontario.
The 2010 ECHL All-Star Game presented by Reebok Hockey and brought to you by Toyota and the City of Ontario will be hosted by the Ontario Reign at Citizens Business Bank Arena and played on Jan. 20, 2010 while the 2010 ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will be held on Jan. 19, 2010.
There are 11 rookies on the National Conference and 18 of the 21 players are making their first appearance in an ECHL All-Star Game.
There have been 58 players from the All-Star Game who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 33 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
National Conference Starters
G – David Shantz, Victoria (14 gp, 8-2-3, 2 shutouts, 2.35 GAA, .927 save pct.)
D – Robbie Bina, Las Vegas (21 gp, 4g, 14a, 18 pts)
D – David Walker, Ontario (30 gp, 2g, 19a, 21 pts)
F – Greg Hogeboom, Ontario (31 gp, 17g, 11a, 28 pts)
F – Ryan Kinasewich, Utah (22 gp, 20g, 20a, 40 pts)
F – John Lammers, Alaska (17 gp, 15g, 13a, 28 pts)
The starting lineups are determined in voting by National Conference coaches, team captains, media directors, broadcasters and media members. Coaches also submitted the top prospects from within their conference to determine the final roster with each of the nine teams having a representative.The third class will be inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame on Jan. 20, 2010 during a luncheon ceremony at the Hilton Ontario Airport, the official host hotel of the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game presented by Reebok Hockey and brought to you by Toyota and the City of Ontario. The featured speaker at the ECHL Hall of Fame luncheon will be Hockey Hall of Fame member and Los Angeles Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille.
Tickets for the luncheon are $40 each or a table with seven tickets can be purchased for $250. The Ontario Reign is offering a special ticket package that includes a tickets to the ECHL Hall of Fame luncheon, the All-Star Skills Competition, the Fan Fest at Dave & Busters and the ECHL All-Star Game for only $75. To purchase tickets visit OntarioReign.com/team/allstar/ or telephone the Ontario Reign at (909) 941-7825.
The host Ontario Reign have two starters with defenseman David Walker and forward Greg Hogeboom as well as rookie forward Peter Lenes and forward Jon Rheault. Walker leads ECHL defensemen with 19 assists and 11 power-play assists is tied for second with 21 points and 11 power-play points in 30 games. It is the second All-Star selection for Hogeboom, who had an assist for the American Conference in its 6-3 win in the 2007 ECHL All-Star Game in Boise, Idaho. Hogeboom leads Ontario with 17 goals and 28 points in 31 games. Lenes is tied for the ECHL rookie lead with two shorthand goals and is tied for second with two shorthand points while he is second on the team with 11 goals and fifth with 18 points in 31 games. Rheault, who is currently on loan to Manchester of the American Hockey League, is third on the team with 10 goals and sixth with 16 points in 15 games.
David Shantz of Victoria is making his first start and second All-Star appearance, having played for the American Conference in the 2007 ECHL All-Star Game. Shantz, who is under contract to Abbotsford of the AHL, is 8-2-3 and leads the ECHL with a save percentage of .927 while his two shutouts are tied for the league lead and his goals-against average of 2.35 is second. Also representing the Salmon Kings will be rookie defenseman Taylor Ellington, who is under contract to the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL. Ellington has 11 points (2g-9a) in 22 games.
Ryan Kinasewich of Utah is making his first start and second All-Star appearance, having scored a goal and assisted on the game-winning goal for the National Conference in its 6-2 win in 2005 at Reading, Pa. He leads the ECHL with 20 goals and 20 power-play points while his five game-winning goals and seven power-play goals tie him for the league lead and his 13 power-play assists and 40 points in 22 games are tied for second. Also representing Utah will be rookie defenseman Vic Bartley, who is under contract to and currently called up to Bridgeport of the AHL, and forward AJ Perry. Perry is tied for 11th in the league with 30 points (12g-18a) in 27 games while Bartley has 13 points (2g-11a) in 21 games.
Alaska will be represented by starting forward John Lammers and rookie forward Nick Mazzolini. Lammers is tied for the league lead with seven power-play goals and has 28 points (15g-13a) in 17 games. Mazzolini is tied for fifth among ECHL rookies with 13 goals and is tied for 14th with 21 points in 20 games.
Representing Las Vegas will be starter Robbie Bina, who is tied for fifth among league defensemen with 14 assists and tied for eighth with 18 points in 21 games.
Bakersfield has four selections with rookie goaltender Timo Pielmeier, defenseman Eric Regan and rookie forwards Dan Sexton and MacGregor Sharp, who are all under contract to Anaheim of the National Hockey League. Pielmeier is 12-7-2 with a goals-against average of 2.86 and a save percentage of .890 in 22 games. He is tied for second in wins while ranking third with 1,257 minutes and on Dec. 19, 2009 at Utah became the 10th goaltender in ECHL history to score a goal. Sexton, who is currently playing in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks, is tied for the league rookie lead with two shorthand goals and tied for second with two shorthand points. He is tied for fifth among league rookies with 13 goals and is tied for seventh with 26 points despite not playing in the ECHL since Nov. 22. Sharp, who became the first skater to go directly to the NHL from the ECHL when Anaheim called him up on Nov. 19, has 14 points (4g-10a) in 15 games for Bakersfield. He is currently playing in the AHL for San Antonio where he has six points (3g-3a) in nine games. Regan is tied for the lead among ECHL defensemen with five power-play goals while his four game-winning goals are second among defenseman and tied for fifth overall. He is tied for second among league defensemen with nine goals and tied for fifth with 19 points in 30 games.
Idaho has four rookies on the team with goaltender Richard Bachman, defenseman Brendan Milnamow and forwards Evan Barlow and John Swanson. Bachman, who is under contract to the Dallas Stars of the NHL, is 9-3-1 with a shutout and leads the league with a goals-against average of 2.12 while ranking third in save percentage with .917. Barlow is tied for the league rookie lead with seven power-play goals while his 12 power-play points tie him for fourth and his 27 points (12g-15a) in 28 games are tied for fifth. Swanson is tied for 12th among rookies with 22 points (9g-13a) while Milnamow, who is under contract to the Texas Stars of the AHL, has 14 points (2g-12a) in 31 games.
Stockton will be represented by forward Judd Blackwater, who is tied for the league lead with seven power-play goals. He leads the Thunder with 13 goals and is tied for the team lead with 27 points in 29 games.
The past seven ECHL All-Star Games have generated more than $1 million each for the local economy as guests, players, coaches and fans occupy hundreds of hotel rooms and spend three days in the host city.
The game has been available live on the NHL Network the last seven years as well as being broadcast on multiple regional networks. The audio broadcast has been carried on XM Satellite Radio as well as being available in all ECHL markets.
The Stanley Cup and the Patrick J. Kelly Cup will both be on display throughout the event, marking the 10th time in the last 11 years that the NHL championship trophy and the ECHL championship trophy have been displayed together at the All-Star Game.
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• The ECHL celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
• ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 20 teams in 15 states and British Columbia in 2009-10.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 428 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including a record 52 in 2008-09.
• 21 ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season: former Charlotte Checkers and Reading Royals defenseman Dean Arsene (Edmonton on Nov. 16), former Augusta, Greenville, Pensacola and Toledo goaltender Mike Brodeur (Ottawa on Dec. 19), former Gwinnett Gladiators and 2006 ECHL All-Star right wing Guillaume Desbiens (Vancouver on Oct. 11), former Cincinnati Cyclones center and 2008 ECHL Most Valuable Player David Desharnais (Montreal on Nov. 25), former Stockton Thunder and 2007 ECHL All-Star goaltender Devin Dubnyk (Edmonton on Nov. 28), former Las Vegas Wranglers, Reading Royals and South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Deryk Engelland (Pittsburgh on Nov. 10), former Louisiana IceGators defenseman Maxime Fortunus (Dallas on Dec. 19), former Idaho Steelheads center Aaron Gagnon (Dallas on Oct. 16), former Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman Shaun Heshka (Phoenix on Nov. 7), former Wheeling Nailers right wing David Laliberte (Philadelphia on Oct. 31), former Wheeling Nailers center Mark Letestu (Pittsburgh on Nov. 14), former Stockton Thunder right wing Colin McDonald (Edmonton on Nov. 27), former Stockton Thunder center Ryan O’Marra (Edmonton on Nov. 10), former Reading Royals right wing Scott Parse (Los Angeles on Oct. 24), former Charlotte Checkers center Tom Pyatt (Montreal on Nov. 5), former Johnstown Chiefs defenseman Jay Rosehill (Toronto on Oct. 1), former Bakersfield Condors right wing Dan Sexton (Anaheim on Dec. 5), former Bakersfield Condors center MacGregor Sharp (Anaheim on Nov. 19), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Francis Wathier (Dallas on Oct. 21), former South Carolina Stingrays center Kyle Wilson (Washington on Dec. 15) and former Cincinnati Cyclones right wing J.T. Wyman (Montreal on Nov. 24).
• 3 players have played in the ECHL and the NHL this season: Kyle Calder with Bakersfield and Anaheim, Dan Sexton with Bakersfield and Anaheim and MacGregor Sharp with Bakersfield and Anaheim.
• The ECHL has had 234 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years.
• 170 ECHL players have played their first game in the last five seasons for an average of 34 per year.
• ECHL had a record 78 players on NHL opening-day rosters, surpassing the 71 from a year ago and marking the seventh year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• Every ECHL team has an affiliation with an NHL team and the league has affiliations with 28 of the 30 NHL teams, marking the 13th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 27 coaches with an ECHL background are working behind the benches of teams in the NHL including Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau, New York Islanders head coach Scott Gordon and Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette while former ECHL player Dan Bylsma is head coach of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. It is the fifth consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award.
• 20 former ECHL officials are working as part of the NHL officiating team in 2009-10 with referees David Banfield, Francis Charron, Chris Ciamaga, Ghislain Herbert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Bryan Pancich, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the ninth year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion with Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, player Ruslan Fedotenko, equipment managers Dana Heinze and Dave Zeigler, athletic trainers Chris Stewart and Scott Adams and scout Derek Clancey. There were 43 former players and 14 former coaches on 15 of the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the fourth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the sixth consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.
• Former ECHL and current Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was the recipient of the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the NHL and was also presented the William Jennings Trophy with teammate Manny Fernandez as the goaltenders finishing the season having surrendered the fewest goals. Thomas was also named First Team All-NHL after registering a career-high 36 wins while leading the NHL with a goals-against average of 2.10 and a save percentage of .933 to help the Bruins finish with the most wins (53) and points (116) since 1971-72.
• ECHL was represented in the 2009 NHL All-Star Game by Mark Streit of the New York Islanders and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins while former ECHL players Dan Ellis, Jonathan Quick and Tomas Vokoun were all selected as recipients of the NHL’s “Three Stars” award in 2008-09.
• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the National Hockey League include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Tom Callahan of the Nashville Predators, Dave Goucher of the Boston Bruins, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Bob McElligott and John Michael of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Rob Simpson, who is a producer/host for The NHL Network.
• Ryan Stanzel and Jeremy Zager, who were both recipients of the ECHL Media Relations Director of the Year award, are working in the communications department for the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. Former ECHL assistant director of communications Joe Siville and Kelly Murray are now with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, respectively, while former ECHL director of communications Jason Rothwell is the creative director for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 20 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.
• In the last six seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,500 call-ups involving more than 1,300 players and in 2008-09 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• The ECHL averaged 4,258 fans per game in 2008-09 and is the only minor professional hockey league to increase average attendance each of the last two seasons. It is the fifth consecutive season and the 17th time in the last 19 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans and the league drew over 3 million fans for the 16th year in a row and reached the 3 million mark in the fewest number of games since 2005-06.
• There have been more than 75 million fans who have attended over 17,000 games since the ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states.
• The Ontario Reign, the City of Ontario and Citizens Business Bank Arena will host the 18th Annual ECHL All-Star Game presented by Reebok Hockey on Jan. 20, 2010 and the 13th Annual All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 19, 2010.
• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.