ALLEN, Texas – The ECHL recruiting process is in full swing with player signing announcements becoming more frequent day-by-day. There is, however, a long way to go before training camps open the end of September. Thus far around the ECHL 86 player signings have been announced ranging from 10 by Maine, six by South Carolina and Worcester to four teams that have not announced any player signings (Brampton, Jacksonville, Kalamazoo, Tulsa). The majority of teams have announced between two and five players.
– On opening night, there will be around 575 players on ECHL rosters so with 86 signed thus far that represents just 15% of opening night rosters. There has been a recent trend of more NHL/AHL contracted players being assigned to ECHL teams and that will impact how many players ECHL teams will sign. In my opinion, you will see 8-10 contracted players on most ECHL teams (including Allen) when the season starts. Some of this can be attributed to the new rule adopted by the ECHL Board of Governors (BOG) about the number of games contracted players must play in the AHL to qualify for the ECHL playoffs. Here is that new rule:
The BOG reduced from 10 to five the number of games a veteran player on an NHL or AHL one-way or two-way contract must play in the AHL during the regular season to be eligible to play in the ECHL playoffs. This may give more opportunity for ECHL veterans to be signed to AHL deals and play the five games in the AHL to qualify for the ECHL playoffs.
For players that are not veterans who are on AHL deals, there is no longer a minimum number of AHL games they need to play to be eligible for the ECHL playoffs. The old rules required five games in the AHL. This rule change should mean more depth players signed to AHL deals that may not play in any AHL games but will still be eligible for ECHL playoffs.
– The Allen Americans announced on Saturday that forward Jake Doty will be returning for the 2019-20 season. Doty led the Americans with 13 fighting majors last season and he didn’t play his first game until November 21.
– The Americans official roster now stands at four players:
– The Iowa Wild announced last week that they had signed four players. Three of them were defensemen that spent time in Allen last season. Alex Breton led all Allen defensemen in goals and assists despite being loaned to the AHL at the end of February for the remainder of the season. Jack Sadek and Nick Boka played briefly in Allen after completing their college careers. While any of these players could make the Iowa roster in training camp, it is likely they will spend significant time in Allen this season. A fourth defenseman, Stepan Falkovsky, is also under contract with the Wild and spent the majority of last season in the ECHL (Allen & Manchester). He could also see time with Allen next season. Here is the Iowa press release. https://www.iowawild.com/news/detail/iowa-wild-signs-four-players-to-spc-contracts
– It is getting to the time of the offseason when players looking for AHL deals or opportunities in Europe will start making decisions about where they will play next season. Some great players still in the mix for all ECHL teams.
– Happy birthday to Dyson Stevenson who turns 26 today. Congrats to Joel and Alexandra Rumpel who got married this weekend. Congrats to Trevor Hendrikx and his wife Laura who just announced they are expecting their first child in January.
Odds ‘n’ Ends
– The 2019 World Roller Games were just completed in Barcelona, Spain. More than 4000 athletes competed in events including alpine, roller freestyle, downhill, dance, roller derby, rink hockey, and speed just to name a few. Former Allen Americans forward Jack Combs was a member of the USA rink hockey team that won the World Championship beating the Czech Republic 3-0 in the championship game.
– Check out this story from the Hockey News, “There’s a New Hockey Factory in Minnesota – And It’s a Middle School” https://thehockeynews.com/news/article/theres-a-new-hockey-factory-in-minnesota-and-its-a-middle-school
– Idaho head coach Neil Graham has been appointed assistant coach of the AHL Texas Stars. Idaho then promoted assistant coach, Everett Sheen to head coach of the Steelheads. Here are the details.
Neil Graham promoted to Texas Stars: https://fieldpasshockey.com/steelheads-bench-boss-gets-call-up-to-ahl/
Everett Sheen promoted to Idaho’s head coach: https://fieldpasshockey.com/breaking-sheen-takes-over-behind-the-bench-for-idaho/
Did You Know?
In Allen’s first championship in 2013, a dramatic overtime goal in game seven by Todd Robinson is etched in everyone’s mind but just as important was the game-tying goal by defenseman Trevor Hendrikx with 2:19 left in regulation. It was Trevor’s only shot of the game.
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