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.
Photo: Colorado Eagles' Dylan Hood (L), Issac Smeltzer (C), and Adam Brown (R), and the Wheeling Nailers' Andrew Hotham were the winners at the 2013 ECHL Skills Competition (courtesy of Corinne Ferdinand/The Colorado Eagles)
Dylan Hood and Isaac Smeltzer went into Tuesday night’s ECHL All-Star Skills Competition hoping simply to not fall down on the ice in front of their hometown crowd.
Photo: Washington Capitals prospect Philipp Grubauer, shown here playing for the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs, has performed impressively so far in the ECHL (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The ECHL and the ECHL All-Star Game has quietly become one of the top showcases and grooming grounds for upcoming National Hockey League goaltenders.
Just ask the Washington Capitals.
Photo: Former UMass goaltender Kevin Moore is taking a stab at the pro game after completing his college career last spring (courtesy of Dennis Pause via Kevin Moore)
Former University of Massachusetts’ goaltender Kevin Moore overcame a lot of adversity to remain a member of the Massachusetts hockey team, and he earned the title “Rudy of hockey” after an inspirational appearance in the Senior Night finale for the Minutemen. Moore will also have an opportunity that Rudy didn’t, which is making the professional level of his sport.
Photo: Buffalo Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko might be on the cusp of a NHL career, but he and other young players may find themselves back in the development leagues if the NHL lockout proceeds (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Lockout. It's on the tip of the tongue of every person involved with hockey right now.
As the Collective Bargaining Agreement's expiration date of September 15th approaches, a work stoppage between the NHL and the NHL Player's Association (the third such interruption over the last 18 years) is seemingly inevitable at this point. Not only will a lockout affect the individual teams and their staff and personnel, as well as the players, but a work stoppage in hockey's top league will have a trickle down effect for many prospects at various levels around the world.