ALLEN, Texas – As I was watching practice yesterday with the five players that just came from the Iowa Wild training camp added to the mix it was obvious to me that there was more speed on the ice than I have ever seen at an Allen practice. You often hear how ECHL hockey is moving to a faster game each season and the style of play is shifting and the Allen training camp would attest to that fact.
– I am probably overstating the case but this team has the look of a different style of play than in the past. Could it be a sign of the times that a Steve Martinson team could still be tough and finish checks but also have smaller quicker forwards than in the past. As the roster stands today there are eight forwards listed (per eliteprospects.com) that weigh under 180 pounds.
– Another change from past teams is the role rookies will play this season. As of this morning there are nine rookies in camp and while they won’t all make the team this will be the most rookie laden roster in the seven seasons Martinson has been at the helm.
– There were two transactions yesterday. The team suspended forward Danny Moynihan who was recently claimed off waivers. He has a medical condition and the suspension is a way to remove him from the roster and still maintain his rights if his medical condition changes later in the season.
– The other transaction was the signing of rookie forward Jordy Stallard. His given name is Jordan but he goes by Jordy. Stallard is a 6’2″ 190 pound, 21 year old, left shot who played center during his junior career. He was a fifth round draft choice of the Winnipeg Jets in the 2016 NHL draft. Last season, playing for the Prince Albert Raiders in the Western Hockey League, he led his team in scoring, played in all 72 games and had 91 points (44G, 47A). In his draft year, Stallard was described as having a great shot and good hands to go along with decent speed. Take a look at his highlight video from last season and it shows you all you need to know. Be forewarned this is a 14 minute video but when you score 47 goals (regular season and playoffs) there are plenty of highlights.
– The offensive firepower Allen has added to this team is unquestioned. Five players led their junior team in scoring their last season as a junior player. These five players (two rookies and three second year players) could have a big impact this season.
Chad Butcher – 103 points (27G, 76A)
Ben Duffy – 110 points (39G, 71A)
Dante Salituro – 83 points (38G, 45A)
Braylon Shmyr – 88 points (37G, 51A)
Jordy Stallard – 91 points (44G, 47A)
You add all this scoring together and you get 475 points, 185 goals, and 290 assists. Yes, it was all in junior hockey and how much it will transfer to this season in Allen is yet to be determined but very impressive all the same. Plus these guys are going to be fun to watch for Allen fans.
– Fascinating article issued by the ECHL yesterday sharing the number of players on opening day NHL rosters (66), coaches on the opening day NHL rosters (42) and officials in the NHL (33) that spent time in the ECHL. A good read. https://www.echl.com/echl-has-66-former-players-42-coaches-on-nhl-opening-day-rosters
– There are over 125 million people that play the video game Fortnite around the world and it has gotten plenty of attention in hockey. Teams are starting to question the negative impact of players spending too much time playing Fortnite. Junior players are being encouraged to scrub references to Fortnite from their social media accounts because some NHL teams see it as a negative. Here is a story about the NHL Vancouver Canucks banning Fortnite and other video games on road trips with background and details on the Fortnite phenomenon. https://www.ctvnews.ca/sports/canucks-ban-video-games-fortnite-from-nhl-road-trips-1.4119958
DID YOU KNOW: Here are the top five active Allen players in games played for the Americans. The number in parentheses is their all-time ranking. FYI the all-time leader in games played is Tyler Ludwig (247) followed by Jarret Lukin (238).
230 – Spencer Asuchak (#3)
165 – Mike Gunn (#13)
162 – Eric Roy (#14)
154 – David Makowski (#16)
144 – Joel Chouinard (#17)
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