PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL on Wednesday announced the starting lineup for the ECHL All-Stars for the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game presented by University of Colorado Health. The remainder of the ECHL All-Star Team will be announced tomorrow.
The 2013 ECHL All-Star Week, presented by CCM, begins on Tuesday, Jan. 22 with the ECHL All-Star Skills Competition, presented by OtterBox, and continues with the ECHL All-Star Game on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Both events begin at 7:05 p.m. MT at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo.
More than 50 players from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 39 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
ECHL All-Star Starters
G – Philipp Grubauer, Reading (24 gp, 18-4-1, 2.28 GAA, .915 save pct.)
D – Denny Urban, Reading (31 gp, 13g, 13a, 26 pts.)
D – Nathan Deck, Stockton (19 gp, 5g, 12a, 17 pts.)
F – Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Gwinnett (34 gp, 9g, 28a, 37 pts.)
F – Justin Dowling, Idaho (31 gp, 11g, 31a, 42 pts.)
F – C.J. Stretch, Ontario (31 gp, 18g, 16a, 34 pts.)
The starting lineup is determined in voting by ECHL coaches, team captains, media directors, broadcasters and media members.
Philipp Grubauer of the Reading Royals leads the ECHL with 18 wins, is third with 1,424 minutes played, fourth with a 2.28 goals-against average and fifth with 561 saves. Under contract to the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League, Grubauer is 18-1-1 in his last 20 decisions and has allowed two goals or less in 12 of those 20 games. He was ECHL Goaltender of the Month for November after posting a 10-1-0 record with a 2.13 goals-against average and a save percentage of .913 in 12 appearances during the month.
Denny Urban joins his Royals’ teammate Grubauer in the starting line-up. The second-year pro leads all ECHL defensemen with 13 goals and 26 points and is tied for first among blue-liners with five power-play goals while ranking second with 91 shots on goal. He also has appeared in two games with Worcester of the American Hockey League, registering two assists.
Nathan Deck of Stockton, who is currently recalled to Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League, has posted 17 points (5g-12a) in 19 games with the Thunder this season, while adding four points (0g-4a) in 12 games with Oklahoma City.
Gwinnett’s Casey Pierro-Zabotel is tied for fourth in the ECHL with 28 assists and is tied for sixth with 37 points. He has notched multiple points in 13 games this season and is second on the Gladiators in plus-minus with a +14 rating.
Justin Dowling of Idaho is tied for second in the league with 42 points (11g-31a) and his 31 assists are second overall. Dowling is third with 15 power-play assists and fourth with 19 power-play points. He has at least one point in 11 of his last 13 games.
Rounding out the starting line-up is Ontario’s C.J. Stretch, who has 34 points (18g-16a) in 31 games this season. His +17 leads the Reign, and is third overall in the league. Stretch ranks fourth in the league with a 25.4 percent shooting percentage (18-for-71).
The sixth class will be inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame on Jan. 23, 2013 during a luncheon ceremony presented by BFL Canada at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, the official host hotel of the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game. Click here to download the ticket order form.
The past nine 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 on the NHL Network the last nine 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.
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Watch games live on America One Sports, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” of the ECHL.
• The ECHL celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2012-13 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 23 teams in 16 states in 2012-13.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 490 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 23 in 2011-12.
• The ECHL has had 298 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.
• 234 ECHL players have played their first game in the last seven seasons for an average of more than 33 per year.
• ECHL had a record 81 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2011-12, surpassing the 79 from 2010-11 and marking the ninth year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 NHL teams in 2012-13, marking the 16th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 31 coaches with an ECHL background are working behind the benches of teams in the NHL including Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and 2011 Jack Adams Award winner Dan Bylsma, New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. It is the seventh 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.
• 26 former ECHL officials are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2012-13 with referees Darcy Burchell, Francis Charron, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Mike Leggo, Dave Lewis, T.J. Luxmore, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the 12th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion in 2012 with Los Angeles Kings assistant coach Jamie Kompon, players Dwight King, Jordan Nolan and Jonathan Quick, manager of communications/broadcasting Jeremy Zager and scouts Steve Greeley, Mark Mullen and Mark Yannetti. Quick was named the recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the second consecutive year a former ECHL player won the award.. There were 43 former players and 13 coaches on the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the seventh year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the ninth consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.
• ECHL was represented in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game by Dan Girardi of the New York Rangers, Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.
• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the NHL 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, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bob McElligott of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• 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 works in the communications department for the Philadelphia Flyers.
• In the last seven seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 3,500 call-ups involving more than 1,800 players and in 2011-12 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• The ECHL averaged 4,281 fans per game in 2011-12, marking the eighth consecutive season and the 20th time in the last 22 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans.