WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed center Trent Whitfield to a one-year contract.
In his first professional season in 1998-99, Whitfield scored 25 points (13g-12a) in 19 regular season games and two points (2g-0a) in 12 postseason games with Hampton Roads of the ECHL while also scoring 18 points (10g-8a) in 50 regular season games with Portland in the American Hockey League.
The 27-year-old Whitfield scored 11 points (6g-5a) in 44 regular season games for the Capitals in 2003-04 while also scoring 15 points (8g-7a) in 24 regular season games with Portland of the AHL.
Selected in the fourth round (100th overall) by Boston in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, the 5-11 and 205-pound Whitfield first became a member of the Capitals on September 1, 1998, signing as a free agent. After playing parts of three seasons with Washington, he was claimed off waivers by the New York Rangers on January 16, 2002, playing one game for the Rangers before being claimed off waivers by the Capitals on February 1, 2002. In 143 career games with Washington from 1999-2004, Whitfield has scored 20 points (9g-11a).
The Premier “AA” Hockey League, the ECHL had affiliations with 21 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League in 2003-04 and every NHL team had an ECHL player play for it in 2003-04. In 2003-04 there were 40 players that played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, surpassing the high of 27 players in 1999-2000 and 2000-01. Eleven players, including eight goaltenders, appeared in both the ECHL and the NHL in 2003-04, breaking the high of five players in 2001-02, and a total of 116 ECHL players played in the NHL in 2003-04. There have been 255 players that have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL.
For the fifth consecutive year the ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup Champion with Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy as well as radio play-by-play announcer Dave Mishkin and assistant equipment manager Dana Heinze. On his day with the Stanley Cup, Heinze took hockey’s most treasured trophy to visit his hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, home of the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL.
There were former ECHL coaches behind the benches of 14 of the 28 teams in the American Hockey League and all 28 teams in the AHL had an ECHL player take the ice for them in 2003-04. The ECHL had affiliation agreements with 21 of the 28 teams in the AHL and there were over 90 players on AHL contracts in the ECHL in 2003-04. There were more than 220 players that played in both the ECHL and the AHL in 2003-04 and the ECHL had 425 call-ups, involving 234 players, to the AHL during the regular season.
For the 15th consecutive season, an ECHL player is a member of the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Champion. In addition to Claude Noel, who is in his first season as head coach, Milwaukee had eight players and radio announcer Kyle Schultz, who are all alumni of the ECHL.