Photo: Former New York Rangers draftee and UMass-Amherst grad Danny Hobbs (#23) is looking to catch on with the hometown Ottawa Senators organization after spending a season playing in the ECHL (Justine Hunt/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Rookie tournaments are generally a place for firsts, from first-rounders to a variety of young players getting their initial taste of professional-level competition. But for some, including 24-year-old Danny Hobbs, they can also represent second chances.
Photo: Colorado Eagles goaltender Adam Brown turned in a mostly solid junior career with the WHL's Kelowna Rockets before turning pro in 2012-13 (courtesy of Terry Sanford/Pro Hockey News)
When he was 12 years old, Adam Brown would constantly pick the brain of former Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Ron Tugnutt. The aspiring goalie and son of then-Blue Jackets assistant coach Newell Brown would mimic how to strap on his pads the same way the 1986 fourth round draft pick of the Quebec Nordiques did.
Photo: South Carolina Stingrays' goaltender Ryan Zapolski played shutout hockey during his ECHL All-Star Game stint, helping to lead the ECHL All-Stars to a victory over the Colorado Eagles and earning himself the MVP award (courtesy of Hector Acevedo)
The ECHL All-Stars showed off their talent Wednesday night, tying an ECHL All-Star Game record by scoring five unanswered second period goals to defeat the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game host Colorado Eagles 7-3 at the Budweiser Events Center In Loveland, CO.
Photo: Toledo Walleye forward Willie Coetzee, shown here playing in a preseason game for the Detroit Red Wings, is trying to climb back up the ladder in that NHL team's organization (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)
Willie Coetzee refuses to use this year’s earlier NHL lockout as an excuse for currently playing for the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. There is a reason why the Detroit Red Wings decided to keep the 5'10”, 180-pound forward in the ECHL instead of letting him build off of his 2010 campaign (11 goals, 11 assists) with the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids, MI.
Photo: Idaho Steelheads forward Austin Fyten is getting his first taste of the pro game after a productive career in the WHL (courtesy of Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
Take a scan through the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game roster and there me be some odd selections or missing names.
However, the ECHL has purposely made its All-Star Game a showcase of the league’s young and upcoming prospects instead of a game featuring its top performers. By doing so, the ECHL is able to display some of its best talent that may one day crack an NHL roster or play in the American Hockey League.