ECHL: Prospect Update

By Parker Neale
Currently, 17 of the ECHL’s 25 teams have affiliations with NHL franchises. This article focuses on these organizations and a few of their key prospects that may someday have an opportunity to move up in the ranks.

In Charlotte, goaltender Vitali Yeremeyev struggled in the 5 games he played with the Checkers this year. However, after being recalled to Hartford, he has sparkled with a 1.55 GAA and 0.953 save percentage in 9 games. Wes Jarvis has had an impact physically as the defenceman has tallied 92 penalty minutes to go along with his single goal.

The Dayton Bombers sent Adam DeLeeuw back to St. Mike’s of the OHL early in the season. However, both Jonathan Schill and Kent McDonell have been productive up front with the latter notching 6 goals and 9 points in 12 games. They have both been assessed 35 minutes in penalties.

In Florida, AHL veteran defenceman Shane Belter has been productive with 15 points in 22 games while forward Brent McDonald has gotten a call up to Cincinnati despite marking only 6 points in 21 games.

Vladimir Sicak has struggled offensively with Greenville, notching only 7 points in 23 games. The towering Eric Van Acker definitely knows his role as the defenceman has 68 penalty minutes and no points.

In Jackson, goaltender Derek Gustafson and forward Cory Larose have received call-ups to the Lumberjacks. Gustafson has struggled with the Bandits while Larose has been efficient, recording 9 points in 14 games.

In Johnstown, mammoth defenceman Mark Thompson has served up 31 penalty minutes to go along with his 3 points while blueliner Mike Vellinga has an impressive 13 points in 22 games.

Brent Gauvreau has been solid for the Mississippi SeaWolves, recording 14 points in 22 games. Mike Martone is a stay-home defenceman and has 3 points and 35 penalty minutes in 22 games.

Physical defenceman Jason Metcalfe has registered 2 points and 58 penalty minutes in 24 games for the Mobile Mysticks.

In New Orleans, defenceman Kent Sauer has notched 3 points and 37 penalty minutes in only 11 games while forward Alexandre Krevsun has impressively marked 8 points in 11 games.

Vince Malts has spent a whooping 53 minutes in the sin bin so far this season in only 10 games for the Pee Dee Pride. Forward Wes Goldie has impressed with 18 points in 23 games.

The defending Kelly Cup Champion Peoria Rivermen have benefitted this year from the services of Didier Tremblay and Dustin Kuk. Tremblay’s 8 points and 36 penalty minutes in 19 games earned him a recent trip up to Worcester while Kuk has 19 points in 21 games.

In Richmond, forward Mike Siklenka has registered 7 points and 54 penalty minutes in 20 games for the Renegades and has received a one-game call-up to Portland. Ratislav Stana has been solid between the pipes with 7 wins and a 2.59 GAA in 14 games.

The sparkplug for the South Carolina Stingrays, Jason Sessa has definitely earned his call-up to the St. John’s Maple Leafs as he has notched 24 points and 39 penalty minutes in 22 games.

In Tallahassee, Montreal prospect Ben Guite has struggled with 7 points in 20 games. However, Evan Lindsay has been solid in net, recording 6 wins and a 2.76 GAA in 12 games.

Tim Verbeek has shone for the Toledo Storm, notching 18 points and 73 penalty minutes in 21 games. You should see him in a Red Wings uniform some time in the near future.

The story of the Trenton Titans and Philadelphia Phantoms so far this season has been the play of netminder Brian Regan. The youngster had 8 wins and a 1.86 GAA in 8 games in the ECHL before moving up to the AHL where he has recorded 5 wins and a 1.67 GAA in 6 games.

The struggles of defenceman Mark Moore and forward Alexei Kolkunov have been reflective of their team, the Wheeling Nailers as a whole. These two players have 5 points between them in 28 games played.

Keep an eye out for these players as they continue to earn their stripes in the East Coast Hockey League this season.