2004-05: Eckford wrapped up his BCHL career in style. He displayed excellent offensive potential for a blueliner as he recorded 22 goals and 43 assists in helping the South Surrey Eagles to a BCHL championship.
2005-06: After a fantastic offensive season in the BCHL, the challenge for Eckford going into his first NCAA season at Alaska-Fairbanks was to see how he would react to playing at a higher level of hockey. Eckford did not disappoint as a freshman, scoring three goals and 15 assists for 18 points in 28 games, good enough for to lead the Nanooks’ defensemen in scoring.
2006-07: Coming off of a very solid sophomore campaign, Eckford finished with 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) playing in 39 games for the Nanooks this season. His most memorable outing of the season came in the weekend series at Nebraska-Omaha on Nov. 3 and 4. In that series, Eckford posted five points that included scoring the game-winner on Friday. The performance also earned Eckford his first and only CCHA Defensive Player of the Week honor on the season.
2007-08: Eckford was one of the nation’s most consistent defensemen this season, particularly offensively. One of the most impressive aspects of Eckford’s production this season was his consistency as he rarely went more than one game with out recording a point. He led the nation in scoring among defensemen with eight goals and 23 assists in 35 games. The junior defenseman led Alaska in several categories including assists, PIM’s and power play goals by defensemen. He was particularly dangerous this season with the man advantage. He was named to the First Team All CCHA, and put and end to his collegiate career by signing with the Devils in March.
2008-09: Eckford’s season was a little rocky at times, but by all accounts, he still had a solid rookie season in the AHL after a spectacular finish to his collegiate career at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Despite a team-worst -16 rating, Eckford took a regular shift on the Lowell blueline, suiting up in 72 games, recording two goals and 25 assists, to go along with 59 PIM’s. He also established himself as one of Lowell’s most reliable shoot-out specialists.
2009-10: Eckford continued his strong play with Lowell, scoring 31 points with the AHL team. He would also dress in three games with New Jersey, registering one assist.
The most noticeable improvement about Eckford this season was his added size and strength. His added strength on his skates made him more powerful, yet allowed him to maintain his speed and mobility. It has also allowed him to be more effective in his one-on-one play in addition to being more physically aggressive.
Eckford, a converted forward-to-defenseman, possesses great puck skills. His superb ability to distribute the puck smartly and effectively has made him a mainstay on the Nanooks power play. Eckford has great on-ice vision and awareness. He has little trouble finding and getting passes to open teammates. He can make some really nice tape-to-tape passes and sets up his teammates remarkably well. He loves to join the play and this season also saw some marked improvement in his transition game.
Eckford has progressed exponentially since being drafted way back in 2004. He's become stronger, and has the offensive upside to contribute at the next level. Should b e ready to challenge for a spot full time in 2010-11.