WICHITA, Kan. – The day is finally here! Beginning tonight, 26 teams across the ECHL landscape will begin a collective 936 game, 179-day long march through the regular season to have a chance to play for a championship starting in mid-April. If a team is lucky enough to play into June, they will have played a maximum of 101 (exhibition, regular-season and playoffs) games and only one champion will be crowned.

But for just a minute, let’s fast-forward (as if time isn’t moving quick enough already) to six months from now when the dust from the regular-season has settled.

Here’s The Sin Bin’s 2019-20 “Way Too Early” ECHL Individual Awards and Playoff-Bound Staff Picks!

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

Most Valuable Player Most Outstanding Goalie Most Outstanding Defenseman Rookie of the Year Coach of the Year
Matthew Harding Dan DeSalvo, South Carolina Pat Nagle, Toledo Kyle Rhodes, Cincinnati Justin Brazeau, Newfoundland Kevin Kerr, Greenville
C.C. Hawkley Josh Kestner, Toledo Tomas Sholl, Idaho Alex Breton, Allen Karl El-Mir, Indy John Snowden, Newfoundland
Dylan Schofield Jesse Schultz, Cincinnati Tomas Sholl, Idaho Matt Register, Allen Brandon Hawkins, Wheeling Doug Christiansen, Indy
Chad Boerth Adam Pleskach, Tulsa Sean Bonar, Atlanta Cody Donaghey, Orlando Alex Tonge, Florida John Snowden, Newfoundland
Rachel Gillett Adam Pleskach, Tulsa Tomas Sholl, Idaho Keoni Texeira, Indy Brandon Hawkins, Wheeling Rob Murray, Tulsa
Travis Rogers David Pacan, Brampton Tomas Sholl, Idaho Tom Parisi, South Carolina Logan Thompson, South Carolina Jeff Pyle, Atlanta
Evan Miller Jesse Schultz, Cincinnati Tomas Sholl, Idaho Logan Roe, Florida Brandon Hawkins, Wheeling Brad Ralph, Florida

NORTH DIVISION PLAYOFF TEAMS

Harding Hawkley Schofield Boerth Gillett Rogers Miller
Adirondack Adirondack Adirondack Adirondack Adirondack Brampton Adirondack
Brampton Brampton Maine Brampton Maine Maine Newfoundland
Newfoundland Maine Newfoundland Newfoundland Newfoundland Newfoundland Reading
Reading Newfoundland Worcester Reading Reading Worcester

SOUTH DIVISION PLAYOFF TEAMS

Harding Hawkley Schofield Boerth Gillett Rogers Miller
Florida Florida Florida Florida Atlanta Atlanta Florida
Greenville Greenville Norfolk Jacksonville Florida Florida Greenville
Orlando Jacksonville Orlando Orlando Jacksonville Orlando Orlando
South Carolina Orlando South Carolina South Carolina South Carolina South Carolina South Carolina

CENTRAL DIVISION PLAYOFF TEAMS

Harding Hawkley Schofield Boerth Gillett Rogers Miller
Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati
Ft. Wayne Ft. Wayne Ft. Wayne Ft. Wayne Indy Ft. Wayne Ft. Wayne
Indy Kalamazoo Indy Toledo Kalamazoo Indy Indy
Toledo Toledo Toledo Wheeling Toledo Toledo Toledo

MOUNTAIN DIVISION PLAYOFF TEAMS

Harding Hawkley Schofield Boerth Gillett Rogers Miller
Allen Allen Idaho Allen Allen Idaho Idaho
Idaho Idaho Kansas City Idaho Idaho Tulsa Kansas City
Kansas City Rapid City Tulsa Kansas City Tulsa Utah Tulsa
Tulsa Tulsa Wichita Tulsa Utah Wichita Utah

KELLY CUP FINALISTS & CHAMPION

Kelly Cup Finalists Kelly Cup Champion
Matthew Harding South Carolina vs. Tulsa Tulsa Oilers
C.C. Hawkley Newfoundland vs. Ft. Wayne Newfoundland Growlers
Dylan Schofield Indy vs. Orlando Indy Fuel
Chad Boerth Newfoundland vs. Ft. Wayne Newfoundland Growlers
Rachel Gillett Newfoundland vs. Tulsa Tulsa Oilers
Travis Rogers Newfoundland vs. Idaho Idaho Steelheads
Evan Miller Florida vs. Idaho Idaho Steelheads

SEASON STORYLINES

Here are some of the storylines our team will be following as the season goes along:

  1. The Response to Instant Replay: Glitches, Hiccups, and Successes with the Implementation
  2. How will new fighting rules impact the role of fighting in the ECHL?
  3. Can Newfoundland win back-to-back Kelly Cup Championships?
  4. The parity across the ECHL
  5. Does the Toronto model of flooding the ECHL affiliate work a second time and do more teams follow suit?
  6. Does the shift of so many Manchester players and coach to Indy take them to the next level?
  7. How will Greenville and Rapid City benefit from having affiliations this year?
  8. How does Allen bounce back after a poor 2018-19 season?
  9. Is this the year Toledo finally gets over the hump and wins a Kelly Cup title?
  10. Will the league see a 40-goal scorer for the first time since the 2017-18 season?

Keep visiting The Sin Bin all season long for extensive AHL, ECHL, and SPHL coverage!