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ECHL has 34 former players, 19 coaches on Stanley Cup rosters

Monday, April 17th
ECHL has 34 former players, 19 coaches on Stanley Cup rosters

The ECHL is represented by 34 former players and 19 coaches on the National Hockey League’s 2023 Stanley Cup rosters, marking the 18th year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players competing in the NHL postseason.

The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League, the ECHL has a player or coach on 14 of the 16 teams and has affiliations with 28 of the 32 teams in the NHL in 2022-23, marking the 26th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.

Among the 19 coaches in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy and Colorado Avalanche head coach, and 2020 ECHL Hall of Fame inductee Jared Bednar.

Former ECHL coaches and players on NHL Return to Play Rosters (ECHL affiliate listed in parentheses):

Colorado Avalanche (Utah Grizzlies) – Head Coach Jared Bednar (Huntington, 1993-96 and South Carolina, 1996-09) and Assistant Coach Nolan Pratt (Richmond, 1995-96)

Dallas Stars (Idaho Steelheads) – Assistant Coach Steve Spott (Richmond, 1990-91); Luke Glendening (Toledo, 2012-13); Jani Hakanpaa (Quad City, 2014-15); Joel Hanley (Gwinnett, 2014-15);Mason Marchment (Orlando, 2016-17) and Scott Wedgewood (Trenton, 2012-13 and Adirondack, 2015-16)

Edmonton Oilers (Fort Wayne Komets) – Head Coach Jay Woodcroft (Jackson, 1999-2000); Assistant Coach Glen Gulutzan (Las Vegas, 2003-09); Jack Campbell (Idaho, 2014-16); Vincent Desharnais (Wichita, 2019-21); Brett Kulak (Colorado, 2014-15) and Stuart Skinner (Wichita, 2018-20)

Florida Panthers (Florida Everblades) – Assistant Coach Jamie Kompon (Hampton Roads, 1989-90; Cincinnati, 1990-91 and Winston-Salem, 1990-91); Goaltending Coach Rob Tallas (Charlotte, 1994-95); Ryan Lomberg (Adirondack, 2016-17) and Carter Verhaeghe (Missouri, 2015-17)

Los Angeles Kings (Greenville Swamp Rabbits) – Pheonix Copley (South Carolina, 2013-14)

Minnesota Wild (Iowa Heartlanders) – Assistant Coach Bob Woods (Johnstown, 1990-94; Hampton Roads, 1995-96; Mobile, 1996-97; Tallahassee, 1997-98 and Mississippi, 1998-05); Assistant Coach Brett McLean (Johnstown, 1999-00); Goaltending Coach Frederic Chabot (Winston-Salem, 1991-92); Frederick Gaudreau (Cincinnati, 2014-15); Filip Gustavsson (Brampton, 2018-19); Jake Middleton (Manchester, 2015-16) and Ryan Reaves (Alaska, 2007-08 and Orlando, 2012-13)

New Jersey Devils (Adirondack Thunder) – Associate Coach Andrew Brunette (Hampton Roads, 1993-94); Mackenzie Blackwood (Adirondack, 2017-18) and Vitek Vanecek (South Carolina, 2015-16 and 2017-18)

New York Islanders (Worcester Railers) – Ross Johnston (Missouri, 2015-16)

New York Rangers (Jacksonville Icemen) – Jaroslav Halak (Long Beach, 2005-06) and Ben Harpur (Evansville, 2015-16)

Seattle Kraken (Kansas City Mavericks) – Assistant Coach Jay Leach (Mississippi, 2001-02; Augusta, 2002-03; Long Beach, 2003-04 and Trenton, 2003-05); Goaltending Coach Steve Briere (Mississippi, 2000-01; Cincinnati, 2001-02 and Toledo, 2001-02); Yanni Gourde (San Francisco, 2012-13 and Kalamazoo, 2013-14); Philipp Grubauer (South Carolina, 2011-12 and Reading, 2012-13) and Martin Jones (Ontario, 2010-11)

Tampa Bay Lightning (Orlando Solar Bears) – Tanner Jeannot (Florida, 2019-21)

Toronto Maple Leafs (Newfoundland Growlers) – Assistant Coach Spencer Carbery (Bakersfield, 2007-08; Stockton, 2007-08; Fresno, 2007-08; South Carolina, 2008-16); Goaltending Coach Curtis Sanford (Peoria, 2000-02); Michael Bunting (Rapid City, 2015-16); Justin Holl (Indy, 2014-15); Timothy Liljegren (Newfoundland, 2018-19) and Bobby McMann (Wichita, 2020-21)

Vegas Golden Knights (Savannah Ghost Pirates) – Head Coach Bruce Cassidy (Jacksonville, 1996-98 and Trenton, 1999-00); Assistant Coach Ryan Craig (Pensacola, 2003-04); Laurent Brossoit (Alaska, 2013-14 and Bakersfield, 2013-14); Adin Hill (Rapid City, 2016-17); Keegan Kolesar (Quad City, 2017-18); Jonathan Quick (Reading, 2002-03) and Logan Thompson (Adirondack, 2018-19 and South Carolina, 2019-20)

Winnipeg Jets – Assistant Coach Marty Johnston (Florida, 2002-03; Trenton, 2003-04; Long Beach, 2003-04 and Peoria, 2003-04); Goaltending Coach Wade Flaherty (Greensboro, 1989-90)

There are 41 former ECHL officials who are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2022-23 with referees Reid Anderson, Jake Brenk, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Mitch Dunning, Trevor Hanson, Beau Halkidis, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Pierre Lambert, T.J. Luxmore, Peter MacDougall, Morgan MacPhee, Michael Markovic, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Carter Sandlak, Graham Skilliter, Furman South, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh and linesmen Steve Barton, Ryan Daisy, Julien Fournier, Brandon Gawryletz, Mitchell Hunt, Trent Knorr, Matt MacPherson, Jesse Marquis, Kilian McNamara, Bevin Mills, C.J. Murray, Kory Nagy, Ben O’Quinn and Bryan Pancich.

There have been 740 players who have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 13 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2022-23 season. The ECHL has had 548 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years. There have been 484 ECHL players have played their first game in the last 18 seasons for an average of more than 26 per year.

The first ECHL player to play in the NHL was Johnstown Chiefs goaltender Scott Gordon, who played his first game with the Quebec Nordiques against Buffalo on Jan. 30, 1990. The 100th player honor is shared by Jean Sebastien Aubin and Manny Legace, who both made their debut on Oct. 21, 1998 with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. The 200th player was Brett McLean with the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 10, 2002 while the 300th was David Liffiton with the New York Rangers on April 11, 2006. The 400th was Phil Oreskovic on March 9, 2009 with the Toronto Maple Leafs while the 500th player honor is shared by Anthony Peluso and Darcy Kuemper, who both made their debut on Feb. 12, 2013 with the Winnipeg Jets and the Minnesota Wild, respectively. The 600th former ECHL player to reach the NHL was Florida Panthers forward Shane Harper on Oct. 13, 2016. The 700th former ECHL player to reach the NHL was New Jersey Devils defenseman Mason Gertseen on Oct. 19, 2021.

Former ECHL broadcasters working in the National Hockey League include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Bob McElligott of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Josh Bogorad of the Dallas Stars, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Doug Plagens of the Florida Panthers, Brendan Burke of the New York Islanders, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dave Goucher and Dan D’Uva of the Vegas Golden Knights and Everett Fitzhugh of the Seattle Kraken. Former ECHL player Tyson Nash is an analyst with the Arizona Coyotes, former ECHL player Jody Shelley is an analyst with the Blue Jackets, former ECHL player Tripp Tracy is an analyst with the Carolina Hurricanes and former ECHL player Shane Hnidy is an analyst with the Golden Knights.About the ECHL

Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 20 states and two Canadian provinces for its 35th season in 2022-23. There have been 740 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 13 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2022-23 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 28 of the 32 NHL teams in 2022-23, marking the 26th consecutive season that the league has affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

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