Category: ECHL

raymond-sawada

5th year right wing Raymond Sawada(27) signs an AHL contract to join St. John’s IceCaps for the 2012/2013. He was reassigned from Texas Stars to the team near the end of last year appearing in 17 regular season and 15 Calder Cup games.

Originally a 2nd round pick of Dallas Stars in the 2004 draft (#52 overall), he has skated in 11 NHL games over three seasons with one goal to his credit. He scored it on his birthday.

In the AHL, the power forward has played in 289 regular and postseason contests for 45 goals and 80 assists, which are somewhat surprisingly low scoring totals for the 6’2″ 205 lbs. high draft pick.

At 27-years old, he’s seemingly still waiting for his breakout campaign but has to be running low on time in North American pro hockey to prove his abilities.

Original story 8/10-12

He would tie his best offensive output in his first full season with St. John’s scoring a new high 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points but was a dismal -24 in 65 games.

Going into 2013/2014 he signed a deal at the start of the ECHL season with Colorado Eagles, his first venture playing in the lower league.

His numbers were that of a point-per-game player (7-8-15 in 18 contests with a +7 plus/minus) but he must have gotten a bit stir crazy as he up and left for SM-liiga of Finland, joining Tappara but his numbers were similar to what he’d put up in the AHL.

He left there for a year in the EIHL with Belfast Giants and fully exploded with 22 goals and 41 assists in 58 games and added another 2 tallies and 2 helpers in 4 postseason match-ups.

For his 8th pro season, the former Cornell University captain has made a somewhat surprising decision to play 2015/2016 in the Asia League with Oji Eagles, where he should once again dominate on the score sheet.

The 30-year was likely offered a lot of money he couldn’t turn down.

Chris-McKelvie

Albany Devils‘ assistant captain, undrafted 4th year left wing Chris McKelvie(16) looks very likely to set career highs in his second season under contract with the team.

In 31 AHL games he already has a new best 6 goals to go along with 6 helpers, which is only 4 off the mark and only two points away from tying the 14 he put up in 2012/2013.

This will be his first full season in the top development league after stint reassignments to Greenville Road Warriors in his rookie and sophomore campaigns and a pair of ECHL contests last year with Trenton Titans.

The 6’1″ 190 lbs. forward has also been invited to NHL training camps three of his four pro seasons. He was in two with New York Rangers before being sent back to Connecticut Whale and started his second run with Albany after an invite to join New Jersey Devils in their camp.

At 28-years old he may just starting to find his game late.

Original story: 1/3-14

He would go on to elevate his game across the board in 2013/2014, skating 57 AHL games scoring 9 goals, 12 assists and 21 points with a +6 rating, all as projected.

The final season of his 2-year contract extension wouldn’t be quite as good for the winger as he struggled to get only 3 tallies and 5 helpers in a similar amount of games as the previous campaign.

All-in-all it was still good enough to keep him around for another run as the 30-year old has signed for 2015/2016 to stay in the Albany system.

chris-mckelvie-1

Andrew-Cherniwchan

Undrafted 3rd year center/wing Andrew Cherniwchan(28) is putting up points in the ECHL with his team of every season he’s been a pro, South Carolina Stingrays.

He rejoined them this year after starting 2014/2015 on a pto first with Providence Bruins, although he appeared in no regular season games with the team.

Last year the sort of small-ish 5’11” 180 lbs. forward spent 30 games with the Baby B’s scoring 4 goals and 5 assists with a +3 rating and appeared in all 12 Calder Cup Playoff games adding another goal and 2 assists with a +5 plus/minus.

Unfortunately there was just no room for him on the team up front and he was released.

The next day Springfield Falcons jumped in a handed him another pto.

His stay lasted 12 AHL games scoring 2 goals and 1 assists in a mostly energy line type role. He was also a -4.

Returning to his home away from home in South Carolina, the former Northern Michigan University assistant captain from Alberta, Canada opened up the point production and currently sits at 2 tallies and 6 helpers in 9 games with a +1 rating.

If he stays where he is he’ll probably see new highs for point totals and could see and go deep in the postseason.

He probably won’t stay put is what we’re guessing.

Original story: 12/20-14

He stayed with the Stingrays for only another two games totaling 11 (4 goals, 7 assists with a +4 rating) before being called back up to Providence, where he played the remainder of the regular season schedule and 3 games in the playoffs.

For 2014/2015, he skated a new high 49 AHL games with career best marks of 9 goals, 10 assists for 19 points and a +6 plus/minus.

The 26-year old will start his 4th campaign signed to his first official contract with Providence Bruins for 2015/2016 and should continue to excel.

Andrew-Cherniwchan-1

Adam-Payerl

Pittsburgh Penguins‘ undrafted rookie center Adam Payerl(28) had himself a pretty successful first year with AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins playing mostly a fourth line role of limited minutes, designed to consistently infuse energy into a game when it’s your call to hit the ice.

The 6’3″ 219 lbs. big frame forward successfully achieved that each and every time he jumped over those boards and managed to get even better with his first taste of postseason hockey as a pro.

In 44 games he scored 3 goals and 7 assists, then in 15 Calder Cup Playoff contests got another tally and a pair of helpers but mostly seemed to be that guy to turn the momentum of a game when it was necessary.

He was never a real prolific on the score sheet through 5 years of juniors, but in his last season with Belleville Bulls he did put up some decent numbers with career highs for goals, points and penalty minutes.

The 22-year old is signed through 2014/2015 on a three-year entry level deal that could heed a call-up to the show if they are in need of a big body to help create space for the parent club (and it’s looking like they could use that sort of player).

Original story: 6/8-13

In his sophomore season he once again found himself in and out of the farm club’s lineup playing 43 AHL contests but managed to score a career high 5 goals and 11 points with 5 fighting majors.

His hard-nosed play was enough to earn him a first NHL recall and in 2 games with the parent club he managed to skate an average of 14 shifts for 9 or so minutes of ice and had 4 shots on net, six hits, 2 penalty minutes and a -1 rating in two team wins.

That would be his only appearance in the show and he was an early training camp cut sending him back down to the minors for his contract year.

In 2014/2015 he doubled his fisticuffs total to 10 but played in less games and was absent from the roster in the playoffs for the first time.

He actually didn’t do half bad in the postseason with 3 goals, 2 assists in 28 games and an even plus/minus.

With no takers heading into his fourth season, the big 24-year old signed a one-year deal with Cincinnati Cyclones to continue his game in the ECHL, where he played only four games for Wheeling Nailers (1 goal, 1 fight) as a first year player.

If he can play with a take-no-prisoners type attitude, he easily could find his way back up the ladder with a recall.

adam-payerl-1

Collin Bowman

Undrafted 2nd year defenseman Collin Bowman(20) had a strong rookie season with home state team Colorado Eagles.

In 69 ECHL games he scored 11 goals and 23 assists (tied for first in points), while adding another pair of tallies and 3 helpers in 6 Kelly Cup Playoff contests. He also had over 100 penalty minutes in his first year.

Traded in the off-season to San Francisco Bulls, the 6’3″ 215 lbs. blue liner quickly signed a 2-way AHL contract with Worcester Sharks and appeared in their training camp before being reassigned back down to start his sophomore campaign.

He didn’t exactly put up the same kind of numbers with his offensively challenged new squad and recently had his playing rights swapped (with the blessing from the parent club) to Bakersfield Condors.

The younger brother of Carolina Hurricanes’ Drayson Bowman has skated 3 times with his new team and although he’s only bolstered his 2nd year totals by an assist, he has been a part of a pair of victories and one shootout loss on their current 4-game unbeaten streak.

Given the opportunity in the higher league, the 22-year old has all the qualities of becoming an impact player as he continues to develop.

He was a member of the 2009 WHL Championship Kelowna Rockets.

Original story: 1/20-14

His sophomore season with Bakersfield would end with point totals slightly under his first campaign but in extended postseason play he scored a pair of goals and added 5 assists in 16 games through to the Western Conference Finals before an exit.

For 2014/2015, he decided to go back to a familiar place, returning to Colorado.

In 20 less regular season games (48) than his initial two seasons he achieved new high marks for goals with 15 goals and 38 points and for a blue liner had a monstrous +28 rating. He would also raise his fight total to 6 after no battles the previous year and 5 in 2012/2013.

The low game total was only because he was loaned to Iowa Wild for the last two months and would appear in 21 AHL games getting 2 tallies, 6 helpers and remarkably kept his game at a 0 plus/minus on the last place squad.

As the 24-year old enters his 4th season he’ll keep it close to home and skate his third year with Colorado Eagles.

It would be a surprise to see the All-Star d-man play the full tilt in the ECHL without another extended call-up.

andy-bohmbach

Undrafted 3rd year left wing Andy Bohmback(39) has been a natural goal scorer in the ECHL registering above a point per game. In 159 contests, he’s tallied 172 points.

In his 2nd season with Trenton Titans he’s appeared in 37 games with 18 goals and 18 assists, good enough to lead the team in scoring. He lead the team in the category in his rookie season as well.

The 6’2″ 198 lbs. forward has received AHL call-ups in each of his pro campaigns but has only managed 3 assists in 17 contests.

His most recent recall had him sign a pto for one appearance with Worcester Sharks. He was only utilized in a limited fourth line role before being released.

In his first game back with the Titans he made a statement scoring once in the third and then sinking the overtime game-winner.

The 25-year old will likely either continue to be a sniper in the ECHL and maybe get lucky with signing a tryout contract that sticks or will split for Europe’s tax free pastures.

Original story: 1/18-13

A month after being returned he would be called up for a second time, joining Abbotsford Heat for 4 games and putting in his first AHL goal.

He would finish 2013/2014 skating 50 games for Trenton with 21 goals and 27 assists.

As theorized the winger decided to try his game overseas signing for his next year with SC Riessersee of DEL2.

He would see similar success in his new environment as he did in the ECHL with 24 goals and 36 assists in 54 contests, then adding 3 more helpers in 5 playoff match-ups.

For his next campaign though he decided for another change of scenery inking for a year with EC Dornbirner Bulldogs of Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga.

He would have a bit less success in this new territory but still did ok with 12 goals and 22 assists appearing in as many games as the prior season.

Going into his 6th pro year he’s decided to pick up his skates and plant them on new ice. This time he’s chosen the EIHL to dominate securing a deal with Nottingham Panthers for 2015/2016.

The now 28-year old should be able to explode on the score sheet as he’s done for most of his career, even through four years of college at University Of Wisconsin.

Tyler-Gron2

Undrafted center Tyler Gron(37) signs his first pro hockey contract to skate with Reading Royals of the ECHL for his rookie season, 2012/2013.

He was signed late last season to an ato by Bridgeport Sound Tigers after his college playing career concluded. In three AHL games he had no goals and one helper with a -2 plus/minus.

If he can mark up the scoring sheet as consistently as he did in college, look for the 5’11” 201 lbs., almost 23-year old to receive a call up sooner than later.

Original story: 8/16-12

He would be ready to start his first year with Reading but was released from his contract at the start of the season.

One week later he signed with Bloomington Thunder of the now defunct Central Hockey League and after striking for 21 goals and 14 assists in 31 games was spotted by Idaho Steelheads, who got him under contract for the remainder of his initial pro campaign.

He basically went on to match his early season numbers scoring another 21 tallies with 11 assists in 34 ECHL games and a +8 rating.

Come 2013 Kelly Cup Playoff time he really popped as he struck for 8 goals and 5 assists in 17 contests.

It would take him a little bit to decide to head back to the great Pacific Northwest for continued time with the Steelheads but that’s where he started his sophomore year.

After 13 games with low scoring totals, he was traded to San Francisco Bulls, where once again he exploded on the score sheet with 14 goals and 10 assists with a +7 plus/minus in 18 games on a terrible team.

Just after the new year, he would get his first AHL recall and sign a contract on the next day with Worcester Sharks.

That marriage would last a little over a month for 14 games, hitting the back of the net twice and tossing in one helper.

On his whirlwind second season he found his way to a fourth squad being sent to new affiliate Ontario Reign to finish 2013/2014.

For 2014/2015 he decided to pick up his game and take it elsewhere signing with Milano Rossoblu of Italy’s top league, where he put in 24 goals and 21 assists in 32 games, easily outmatching opponents.

The 25-year old heads to Germany’s DEL2 and should be better challenged skating for Ravensburg Towerstars.

tyler-gron

philippe-paradis

Syracuse Crunch center Philippe Paradis(63) was held pointless in 12 Calder Cup Playoff games until he finally erupted with a hat trick in the team’s Eastern Conference Finals‘ clinching 7-0 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Originally a Carolina Hurricanes‘ 1st round pick in the 2009 draft (#29 overall) he was traded to Toronto Maple Leafs before he could ever take the ice for the team as a prospect.

He lasted only four games with Toronto Marlies, scoring a pair of assists before he changed hands quickly a second time, becoming property of Chicago Blackhawks.

He started with their minor league affiliate Rockford IceHogs much like he did the previous season on an ato after finishing up his last junior campaign in the QMJHL with PEI Rocket.

The 6’2″ 209 lbs. forward was signed to a three-year entry level contract and spent his rookie season in the AHL.

He continued to ply his trade in the league to start his sophomore run but when he was either playing too diminished a role or failing to put up the numbers found himself reassigned to Toledo Walleye of the ECHL for a short, five-game run tallying no points before being returned.

Once again trade bait and shuffled off to Tampa Bay Lightning‘s organization just before the deadline, he started up right away with their minor league affiliate and in 8 games leading up to the postseason contributed only an assist.

He’s still not seeing a lot of minutes on the ice but has been pretty much consistently in the lineup. Nothing like answering the bell at the right time to keep the parent club interested.

The 22-year year old has one year left on his deal after which he becomes an restricted free agent at the end of next season.

Original story: 6/2-13

He would post AHL career 6 goals and 9 assists for 15 points in 56 games but that’s still far short of the marks he put up in his last three years of juniors.

Although maybe still short of what is expected it was enough to earn him another one-year look.

For 2014/2015 he increased goals scored to a still modest 8 and tied those 15 points from the previous campaign but was also a surprising nice +10 rating in just 34 games due to a late season injury that shortened his progress.

Entering his second restricted free agency, Tampa Bay has decided to continue watching the 24-year old possibly thinking he’s late to develop.

andrew-carroll2

3rd year undrafted Hershey Bears‘ center Andrew Carroll(13) might consider changing his number next season.

He’s yet to blossom into a goal scorer in a couple of AHL seasons (3 goals in 52 games) but it took him until the final game of the 2011/2012 season to net his first, which may get him to think about a switch.

He did establish career highs this year with 68 games played, 5 assists, 6 points, 138 pims, and an ouch -5.

In 79 games in the ECHL he has 40 goals and 22 assists.

We think he’ll re-sign with the Bears for next season.

Original story: 4/17-12

Late, almost at the start of 2012/2013 he signed with Idaho Steelheads.

Halfway through the season he was loaned to Hartford Wolf Pack and even signed a deal before being returned for the 2013 Kelly Cup Playoffs, where he connected for 3 goals and 5 assists in 15 games.

He had basically similar totals from the previous season in half the games in the AHL but was almost a point-per-game producer in the ECHL with 12-19-31 in 36 totals.

Heading into 2013/2014 he didn’t have to wait long for a contract signing an extension to stay in Connecticut.

Almost ironically he would be a late cut from training camp reassigned to affiliate Greenville Road Warriors but after a couple months of unproductive skating with a horrid -20 rating he was moved along to Bakersfield Condors.

In 50 games, he didn’t completely restore himself but he got at least 8 goals and 8 assist before taking it up a notch in the postseason.

Post that performance, he fully disappeared. There’s very little as to why or where he went last season.

For his 6th pro season though, the just turned 30-year old is back and signed on to rejoin Idaho Steelheads for 2015/2016. He had his best offensive campaign with them and the chemistry may still be there.

Joel-Broda

4th year center Joel Broda(6) is playing his first season as an unrestricted free agent after his 3-year entry level contract with Minnesota Wild was not qualified.

He signed a one-year minor league deal with Bakersfield Condors for 2013/2014, returning to the team he skated with on reassignment from Houston Aeros during his rookie season.

He played 124 AHL games through three seasons with the Aeros scoring 21 goals and 17 assists.

The 6′ 203 lbs. forward was an Oklahoma City Barons‘ training camp invite and impressed enough to score a call-up for 8 games near the start of the season, potting a goal and an assist quickly but then cooled off before being returned a month later.

He would get right to it in the ECHL, where he struck for 19 goals and 16 assists in 35 games.

His explosion on the score sheet gained him notice from Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who signed him to a pto and out of the gate he’s fitting right in with team chemistry.

Again, he scored early in his recall netting a pair of tallies and a helper in his first three contests.

Originally a Washington Capitals‘ 5th round pick in the 2008 draft (#144 overall), he had a notable junior hockey career scoring a league leading 53 goals in 2008/2009 and winning the WHL Championship with Calgary Hitmen in the following campaign.

The 24-year plays a speedy skating style, knows how to get himself into the open spaces on the ice for scoring chances and generally unloads a ton of shots on net.

Original story: 2/26-14

His time with Bridgeport Sound Tigers would finish with the 2 goals and 4 assists in 17 games.

Released from his pto near the end of the regular season, he rejoined Bakersfield Condors as team captain for their playoff run, which last 16 games through the Kelly Cup Western Conference Finals.

Once again, he exploded on the score sheet potting 8 goals and 4 assists with a +5 rating in 16 playoff games.

His 2013/2014 performance was enough to put him on the radar of Hershey Bears, who signed him to an AHL contract roughly a month before training camps started.

Through 53 contests, he would have a somewhat rough campaign in Chocolatetown falling out of favor as he was mostly a healthy scratch down the stretch and throughout the Calder Cup Playoffs. It was obvious his 7 goals and 3 assists fell far short of the mark.

For his 6th pro season he’s decided to take his game elsewhere, signing a one-year deal with HC Bolzano Foxes of Erte Banke Eishockey Liga.

The now 25-year old that will turn 26 a month into the new season should easily be able to duplicate the kind of numbers he put in the ECHL overseas.

joel-broda-1