ALLEN, Texas – The Allen Americans made two roster changes yesterday releasing forward Corey Durocher and signing rookie center Jake Gricius. There are always many factors when making changes like this, but the primary one was coach Steve Martinson’s desire to add a big center to the lineup after reviewing video of the opening game in Tulsa. Gricius was in training camp with the Americans and almost made the opening day roster out of camp. He will be wearing jersey #28.
Gricius Player Profile
JAKE GRICIUS – Jake is 21 (October 13, 1999), 6’3″ and 200 pounds. He is from Colorado Springs, Colorado but opted to play his junior hockey in Canada with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. Jake makes a total of ten players on the Allen roster who played in the WHL.
Jake wore an “A” his last two seasons in Portland and totaled 122 points (48G, 74A) in 131 games, and also had 93 PIMS. He was also the faceoff guy for his team. In 2019-20, he took 1465 draws for his team, 829 more than his next closest teammate, with a winning percentage of 55.5%.
Gricius can best be described as a consistent difference-maker. He is not a flashy player but a hard worker at both ends of the ice. He is willing to go in the dirty areas in front of the goalie and he was part of one of the best penalty-killing units in the WHL.
Jake was selected for the WHL Western Conference Humanitarian of the Year this past season. Here is a link to a story about the award which was in part for work Jake did with a group of personal trainers that work with individuals with special needs. https://winterhawks.com/article/jake-gricius-announced-as-whl-western-conference-humanitarian-of-the-year.
Here is his highlight reel:
Other Allen News and Notes
– One benefit of Allen’s schedule is a lot of practice time early in the season which isn’t usually the case. Martinson will have plenty of time to work on all of the systems he uses. With four practice days this week, Martinson will either give the guys a day off or have some light days. It was clear from the drills yesterday there was a lot of work on breakouts. Breakout and forecheck drills will be areas of emphasis.
– Have had several questions asking if Dyson Stevenson will go on IR which would mean he would be out a minimum of 14 days. With so many contracted guys assigned to Allen and so many rookies, the salary cap is not a problem. I would expect Stevenson will go on the reserve list rather than IR. It doesn’t necessarily mean he will be back soon but being on the reserve list provides more flexibility.
Next ECHL Schedule Chunk Released
– The ECHL announced yesterday the schedule for games running from January 15-February 11, 2021. The schedule calls for a lot of three games in three days or three games in four days against the same team in an effort to reduce travel and cost.
The Americans now have 23 games scheduled, all with Mountain Division teams. Get ready for a lot of games with Wichita as 40% of all Allen games through February 9th will be against the Thunder. Here is the breakdown of Allen’s 23 scheduled games:
Wichita – 9 games (6 home, 3 away)
Rapid City – 5 games (2 home, 3 away)
Tulsa – 4 games (2 home, 2 away)
Utah – 4 games (1 home, 3 away)
Kansas City – 1 game (0 home, 1 away)
In an effort to reduce travel and save cost there are a lot of three-game series on the schedule. Another scheduling oddity, Allen plays six home games between December 31 and February 5 and they are all against the Wichita Thunder.
– Here is an article that provides the latest on the various aspects of the NHL starting the 2020-21 season. Some NHL teams will start training camp as early as January 3. https://www.secondcityhockey.com/2020/12/14/22173378/chicago-blackhawks-2020-21-nhl-season-start-date-schedule-division-realignment-reports-updates
Did You Know?
If there is any good news in the fact Allen will play Wichita 40% of the time, based on the current schedule, it is the Americans’ record against the Thunder. Since both teams joined the ECHL in 2014, Allen’s record against Wichita is 55-15-7-5.
Here is a breakdown by season:
For all things Allen Americans, follow Barry Janssen on Twitter @AllenAmericans1. For the latest stats and trends in the ECHL, follow @ECHLStats. And for the latest news on your favorite AHL & ECHL team, “Like” The Sin Bin on Facebook!