Category: ECHL

Yann Sauve (4)

Yann-Sauve

7th year defenseman Yann Sauve(4) played most of his games in 2014/2015 season in the AHL (17 with Springfield Falcons, 5 St. John’s IceCaps and 4 for Providence Bruins) and spent only 13 games with contract squad Orlando Solar Bears.

He followed that up run agreeing to another ECHL deal this time with Manchester Monarchs and a pair of short stints lacing up for Portland Pirates and Stockton Heat.

The decently sized blue liner didn’t seem to mind his time in New Hampshire as he exploded offensively with a career high 7 goals and 22 assists.

That display definitely helped him grab a deal with Medvescak Zagreb of the KHL for 2016/2017.

He played 25 games scoring a goal and 2 assists and when that calendar was waning without a playoff berth, re-signed and returned to the Monarchs.

After only a pair of games with a 2 assists, the 27-year old heads back overseas signing with EHC Munchen of the DEL for some postseason hockey.

He could re-appear again.

Gabriel-Verplaest3

Undrafted 3rd year defenseman Gabriel Verplaest(27) had his most productive offensive season with Norfolk Admirals‘ in 2015/2016.

Through 57 ECHL games he scored a career high 6 goals and 28 big assists for 34 points, tripling his stats from his rookie campaign with Bakersfield Condors.

The 6’1″ 195 lbs. blue liner never showed the kind of production he’s had since turning pro in four years in the QMJHL with Baie-Comeau Drakkar, where his best showing was 19 assists in his final run.

He was loaned to Stockton Heat late-ish into his sophomore season but failed to register a point in 8 AHL appearances.

He did get into one scrap, which mirrors the aggressive playing style he played in juniors and in the lower league, which was good for 15 fights in each of his first two years.

The still super-young 22-year old re-signs to stay put in Virginia for 2016/2o17, but should gain a training camp invite and could raise his game.

Tyler Randell (64)

Tyler-Randell

Boston Bruins‘ 6th round pick in the 2009 draft (#176 overall) fourth year right wing Tyler Randell(64) scored his first NHL goal in his debut, a 6-2 win over Colorado Avalanche for the team’s first win of the 2015/2016 season. His tally turned out to be the game-winner.

He had a great training camp and was on the opening night roster, despite being a healthy scratch for three games to start.

Last season with affiliate Providence Bruins he posted career highs in virtually every category: 74 AHL games, 11 goals, 9 assists, 20 points, a +4 rating, 107 shots on net and 120 penalty minutes with 14 fights.

He even dropped the mitts in three preseason games with the big club, which may have helped solidify his spot.

The 6’1″ 198 lbs. tough skating forward had a bit of a roundabout path to get to where he is.

Signed to his three-year entry level deal at the conclusion of his fourth OHL season mostly with Kitchener Rangers he was returned for an overage fifth campaign after starting 2011/2012 in the minors.

He would start his official rookie year 2012/2013 on reassignment to South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL but was called up and sent back on a couple of occasions.

The 24-year played his first full year with the farm team in 2013/2014 but only skated 43 games and was a healthy scratch more often that he would have liked.

With lots of hard work and perseverance he’s put himself into a good position with the parent club and they are seeing the results.

Will Weber(4)

Will-Weber2

4th year defenseman Will Weber(4) was left unqualified by the only team he’s known for the past three season, Columbus Blue Jackets.

Signed to a one-year extension after his entry level deal was up, he suffered greatly in 2014/2015 with a hip injury that required surgery playing in a career low 30 AHL games with farm team Springfield Falcons.

Never one to put up numbers on the score sheet, he’s definitely considered a bruising stay-at-home style d-man.

He was known to drop the gloves when necessary but for a player with his size should have been tougher to play against.

Now approaching 27-years old, the former Miami University (Ohio) RedHawks’ 2011 NCAA (CCHA) Champion was in San Antonio Rampage training camp on a try-out but has been reassigned to start 2015/2016 in the ECHL with affiliate Fort Wayne Komets.

He could easily play his way back up the ladder but will need to work hard on his game to gain notice.

David Ling(71)

David-Ling2

Heading into his 21st season, the mini might that is David Ling(71) has a back-up supply of Energizer batteries in his body as he’s returning to Nottingham Panthers for 2015/2016.

He was last with them a few years ago and put up a league leading and career high 95 points in the EIHL.

It was the second time he earned 60 assists in a campaign (last time was 2004/2005 with St. John’s Maple Leafs) and his 35 goals set a new best mark.

Unsure what made him decide to return to North American hockey least season under contract with the lowly Brampton Beast.

He had a decent 9 goals and 32 assists in 46 ECHL games but was a woeful -33. Despite that figure he still grab a recall for three more AHL games with Oklahoma City Barons, where he got an assist.

Set to turn 41-years old by mid-season, he would love to win another Championship with the team like they did in 2013 and pick up more player and forward of the year accolades.

Matt Register(22)

Matt-Register

Undrafted 4th year defenseman Matt Register(22) has easily worked for every inch he’s gained in pro hockey.

Starting a little late as an 18-year old in the AJHL (Alberta Junior Hockey League), which is a rung lower than say the WHL, then transferring out after three years to the local senior ice hockey Chinook HL before half way through what could be looked at as his really strange rookie season signed a deal with Allen Americans of the old Central Hockey League.

The decently-sized 6’2″ 205 lbs. blue liner must have been comfortable, because quickly in the off-season he signed his first deal with Tulsa Oilers.

He spent 2 months with them, then left for Arizona Sundogs. He lasted another two months there then we’re going to need someone to explain this one to us, as he was signed to an AHL deal with Manchester Monarchs and reassigned to affiliate Ontario Reign for the remainder of 2012/2013.

In 17 ECHL games his offensive completely sprung to life scoring 4 goals and 9 assists with a +6 rating. He also appeared in all 10 playoff games putting up three assists with a +5 plus/minus.

It’s almost like he was waiting for his chance and someone had it under their radar.

For 2013/2014 he signed a one-year contract to return to Ontario Reign.

It was his third season and his game seemed to be stepping up to the challenges and was named CCM Defenseman Of The Year.

He skated 67 contests putting up a career high 14 goals and 30 assists with a +21 rating, which is crazy for a kid that literally popped out of nowhere.

Last year he had probably his best showing yet, tying his goal mark at 14, adding 36 assists for 50 points in his third year skating for Ontario Reign.

He was even loaned up to Chicago Wolves for a couple of weeks and played his first 6 AHL games and even throwing out 4 helpers.

The 26-year old recently signed on for 2015/2016 with Atlanta Gladiators but has been given a try-out with new affiliate Providence Bruins.

In preseason action he may have been on the 4-2 losing end of a preseason game but he certainly didn’t seem out of place out there.

On 10/5 he was reassigned to start the season with his team of contract, Atlanta Gladiators.

vladimir-nikiforov1

It’s a bit of a thinker why 4th year pro Vladimir Nikiforov(9) decided to sign to play with Brooklyn Aviators of the 2nd year Federal Hockey League (FHL) for the 2011/2012 season.

In 10 games, he’s put up a mighty 9 goals and 11 assists; not bad for a pint-sized 5’8″ 170 lbs forward.

Last season he had a pretty ragtag year playing with three different ECHL teams but never able to getting into a scoring groove. In two previous seasons, he posted some impressive numbers with Utah Grizzlies.

He was recently recalled to help Central Hockey League‘s last place Bloomington Blaze and did just that. In his first game with the team, they won against the league’s best team, Allen Americans and he put up an assist.

It’s quite possible that he may have just found his new team for this season.

12/1: Nikiforov scores a natural hat-trick for the Blaze in the last place team’s beating of first place in the Central Hockey League, Evansville IceMen.  In two games, he has 5 points. There was just no way he is going back to the single A level.

12/5: Nikiforov is named Central Hockey League’s Oakley Player of the Week with his 5 goals and 1 assist in his league debut.

Original story: 11/29-11

He would finish the season with Bloomington Blaze scoring 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points in 51 games.

For 2012/2013 he moved on to join the Russian KHL development sort of league VHL signing with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl-2.

He played a full 45 game season along with 5 games in the postseason but only connected for 10 goals and 6 assists.

Maybe his experience overseas led him back or whatever but for 2013/2014 he decided to return to the former Central Hockey League to skate with Quad City Mallards.

He skated 63 games and managed to regain his scoring mojo setting a new assist mark at 31.

To follow up another good season in North America he decided it was once again time to split for a different shore and he inked a term in Germany’s DEL3 with Blue Devils Wieden but blew up the score sheet with 6 goals and 11 assists in 10 games and he sacked that deal and was off to Poland suiting up for Orlik Opole.

He lasted there 13 games, two months and left netting 8 goals and 7 helpers.

Next it was off to England’s EIHL to play out the season with Coventry Blaze and his 1 goal and 3 assists in 7 games was like the wind had been taken out of his sails from all the traveling.

Going into his 8th pro season, the soon-to-be 28-year old returns to Quad City Mallards but moves up a level of hockey to the ECHL, where he last played games in 2011.

Our money’s on him producing big.

Columbus Blue Jackets‘ 7th round pick in the 2007 draft (#211 overall), rookie right wing Trent Vogelhuber(38) has been mentioned as one of those later selection diamond in the rough, potential power forwards.

He was not signed to an NHL contract by the parent club (although he has a player page with a photo no less) but affiliate Springfield Falcons stepped in to offer him a one-year AHL deal. No doubt there was some kind of coordinated effort at work with the early free agency inking. He did appear in a couple of games with the team at the end of last season on an ato.

The 6’2″ 195 lbs. forward participated in exhibition play with the Falcons but with the lockout, their opening roster was deep and tough to crack. He was reassigned to ECHL Evansville IceMen, where in 34 games he posted 6 goals and 10 assists with a +3 rating on a team that has struggled mightily to win.

In his 4th game on recall, he put his first in the net to break the ice as he hopes to stay in the lineup as the push towards an imminent first playoff berth in 10 seasons awaits the Cinderella squad. The 24-year old will have to put all of himself into every shift to make it happen but no doubt it is possible for the first year pro.

He also has the distinction of being the first player to be selected by the Ohio team that was born and played his college hockey in the state.

Original story: 3/5-13

He would split time almost evenly between the AHL and ECHL in his first season, doing decently in both leagues.

For his sophomore campaign, he re-signed with the Falcons but was all too often a healthy scratch and skated only 30 games with a goal and 8 assists.

In his third year, he would achieve career high totals for games played (64), goals (8) and points (16). His 8 assists tied the mark from the previous season.

The 27-year has decided to stay in Columbus Blue Jackets‘ system for his 4th pro year.

He once again started in the parent’s club training camp but signed a one-year deal over the summer with new affiliate Lake Erie Monsters and will continue to develop his game.

We do expect the tenacious checking style skater to increase his scoring output.

trent-vogelhuber

Adam-Brace

Florida Everblades‘ 2nd year, undrafted right wing Adam Brace(28) is definitely a situation of what’s missing or wrong with this picture?

He’s a solid point-per-game guy on the very good ECHL squad with 33 goals and 35 assists in 68 games with a +27 rating.

This is his second tour with the southern team. He joined them out of 3 years at Robert Morris University, where he basically detonated the score sheet.

In 5 games before the postseason he put up three assists but when the playoffs hit he exploded for a team best 6 goals and 9 assists as a kid fresh out of college signed to an ato.

The small-ish 5’10” 186 lbs. forward signed a one year minor league deal with Charlotte Checkers for his rookie campaign and played 10 AHL games registering 2 goals and 4 assists before being traded to San Antonio Rampage, who sent him straight to Cincinnati Cyclones.

Once again though, he was dished to Bridgeport Sound Tigers, where he played a couple of games scoring a goal and an assist before being sent to Stockton Thunder to finish out his first year.

So in his first year, he was signed, traded twice and skated for 5 teams in two leagues.

The now 26-year old has spent the entire 2014/2015 season in Florida with one team.

It’s a bit of a head scratcher as to why he hasn’t got a call up.

Original story: 4/5-15

For his sophomore campaign he would play a season high 71 ECHL games scoring 35 goals and 37 assists for 72 points with a crazy +28 rating.

Having pretty much accomplished everything he could ask for in the league, he decided to jump to Germany’s second tier DEL2 signing for a year with Heilbronn Falken.

The now 27-year jumped out of the gate quickly with his new team in a new land scoring 4 goals and 4 assists in just 6 games.

Not sure what the regulations are overseas but if he stays this hot, he would definitely be a candidate to move up a step in the country.

Zack Torquato

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4th year center Zack Torquato(15) re-signed for 2013/2014 with Wheeling Nailers for another chance to propel the ECHL club into the postseason after missing half of last season on the injured reserved list.

Originally a Detroit Red Wings‘ 6th round pick in the 2007 draft (#178 overall) he was never signed and became an unrestricted free agent but did play games in two seasons with minor league affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins.

He would later sign an AHL contract with Rockford IceHogs but spent most of his rookie season with their affiliate Toledo Walleye, where he put up some pretty good numbers scoring 11 goals and 33 assists in 54 games.

The 6′ 195 lbs. forward is no stranger to posting record marks, as he did with 62 assists in his over-age junior hockey season with Erie Otters.

He got off to a super-hot start with the Nailers posting 9 goals and 22 assists and a crazy 100 shots on net in 25 games and was loaned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins just before Christmas.

In 7 games already chipping away at the score sheet with a pair of goals and assists.

The 24-year old could net a contract in the higher league or if he’s sent back down, it’s not likely to be for a long time.

Original story: 1/5-14

He would stay up with the Penguins for another month skating 18 games with 2 goals, 5 assists and a +1 rating before being returned.

For 2013/2014 he finished up his 4th season in the ECHL setting new scoring highs (14-38-52) and putting in another point-per-game in 6 playoff match-ups.

Just prior to 2014/2015 starting he re-signed for another year with Wheeling Nailers.

Once again he netted a couple of recalls to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton but evened out a bit with only a goal and an assists in 12 games.

In the lower league though, he once again struck for career bests of 19 goals, 40 assists and 59 points, then equal his postseason totals from a year ago.

The 26-year old has decided to stay put for a 5th campaign with the Nailers.

If he strikes on the score sheet quickly he will probably find himself recalled but could possibly go to a different AHL team to try his luck.