Sabres Sign 2007 Rookie Of The Year Fretter

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League announced that they have signed 2007 CCM Tacks ECHL Rookie of the Year Colton Fretter.

Despite missing 21 games due to injury in 2006-07, the 26 year old led ECHL rookies and tied for fifth among all players with a team record 36 goals while leading league rookies with 68 points in 51 games. ECHL coaches selected him as a member of the ECHL All-Rookie Team and as a participant in the ECHL All-Star Game where he scored the game-winning goal for the American Conference in a 6-3 victory.

Fretter had two goals and four penalty minutes in two games with Gwinnett in 2007-08. He also played in the American Hockey League where he had four points (1g-3a) and two penalty minutes in eight games with Chicago and 11 points (9g-2a) and 14 penalty minutes in 14 games for Bridgeport which acquired him on Feb. 28 from the Wolves.

The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League had affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the NHL in 2007-08, marking the 11th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams.

There have been 355 players who have played in the NHL after the ECHL and 210 who have made their debut in the last seven seasons.

Twenty-six former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2007-08 including six who played in both the ECHL and NHL: Chris Beckford-Tseu (Alaska and St. Louis), Adam Berti (Pensacola and Chicago), Joe Jensen (Wheeling and Carolina), Dan LaCosta (Elmira and Columbus), Jonathan Quick (Reading and Los Angeles) and Danny Taylor (Reading and Los Angeles).

Former Mississippi Sea Wolves and current Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau was selected as the NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08. He is one of 14 coaches with an ECHL background working behind an NHL bench including former Wheeling coach Peter Laviolette, who is head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.

The ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup for the eighth consecutive year with Aaron Downey, who played his first two professional seasons with Hampton Roads, becomes the 14th former player to be a part of a NHL championship team.