Dear ECHL Fans,
Welcome to the 2023-24 Season as we mark the 36th year of ECHL Hockey. This year we look to continue to build on our storied history and heritage that has made the ECHL the development league to the National Hockey League and American Hockey League, with over 740 players having graduated to the NHL, and bringing affordable entertainment to millions of fans in our markets.
Last season, the ECHL welcomed an average of 4,639 fans per game, marking the League’s highest per-game average in nine years. Additionally, between the regular season and Kelly Cup Playoffs, an all-time record of 5,044,458 fans attended ECHL games!
We continue to pride ourselves on offering affordable entertainment to the communities we serve, welcoming sport fans, families, businesses, and groups of all sizes to enjoy an outing together and take in the exciting ECHL action and atmosphere for a combined first-class experience.
The ECHL would also like to congratulate the Florida Everblades who captured their second consecutive Kelly Cup title in 2023 in four games over the Idaho Steelheads with standing-room only crowds in both cities and the energy and the atmosphere was absolutely electric in these venues.
Our Teams continue to make an impact off the ice in their local communities as well, donating on ECHL record of over $4 million last Season. This is on top of the countless hours our Players and front office staff dedicate to local schools, hospitals, and charities to become an integral part of the community. In addition, the ECHL will once again partner with the National Hockey League in support of their Hockey Fights Cancer and Hockey is For Everyone initiatives to bring our communities together for a great cause and growing the game further throughout the continent.
The past 35 years have also allowed the ECHL to unquestionably become an integral part of the professional hockey player development process, as not only have the 740 players gone on to play in the NHL after their time in the ECHL (including 13 who made their NHL debut in 2022-23), but also countless officials, coaches and front office staff have moved on to the AHL and NHL as they have used the ECHL to develop their career. Notably from this past season, former Jacksonville and Trenton head coach Bruce Cassidy became the second consecutive former ECHL coach to lead his team to the Stanley Cup title as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Florida Panthers in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final.
The ECHL has been represented on the last 23 Stanley Cup champions including in 2023 with 16 individuals on the Vegas Golden Knights, including Assistant Coach Ryan Craig, players Laurent Brossoit, Adin Hill, Keegan Kolesar, Brayden Pachal, Jonathan Quick and Logan Thompson; Television Play-by-Play Announcer Dave Goucher; Television Analyst Shane Hnidy and Radio Play-by-Play Announcer Dan D’Uva. Overall, 16 individuals with ECHL ties were a part of the Golden Knights’ organization, the most ECHL alums to ever included as part of the Stanley Cup champions.
Thank you on behalf of the ECHL and all of our Teams for your continued support and we hope that you and those you attend with enjoy following your favorite club and making lasting memories around the ECHL experience.