Former Florida Everblades’ goaltender Rob Zepp is The MeiGray Group ECHL Alumnus of the Month for December.
The leading distributor of game- worn hockey jerseys and “Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL,” MeiGray has sold more than 6,900 jerseys since it became “The Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL” in 2002-03.
The 33-year-old made his NHL debut for the Phiadelphia Flyers on Dec. 21 at Winnipeg and stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced in the Flyers’ 4-3 overtime win. In the process, he became the oldest goaltender to win his NHL debut since Hugh Lehman in 1926.
Zepp made his professional debut with the Everblades in 2001-02, and appeared in 115 career games with Florida from 2001-05 posting an overall record of 51-41-18 with five shutouts, a 2.89 goals-against average and a save percentage of .913. He also appeared in the 2003 ECHL All-Star Game, and helped lead the Everblades to the 2004 Kelly Cup Finals.
A native of Newmarket, Ontario, Zepp spent the previous nine seasons in Switzerland and Germany before returning to North America this season. He has appeared in 18 games with Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League this season going 8-5-4 with a 2.69 goals-against average and a save percentage of .917.
There have been 553 players who have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 12 who have made their debut in 2014-15. The ECHL has had 408 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. There have been 297 ECHL players who have played their first game in the last 10 seasons for an average of more than 29 per year.