Thursday, March 30, 2017

ELC Madness

As the college hockey season comes to its conclusion with the Frozen Four, there are more players who will likely be signed to entry level contracts (or ELCs) in the coming days and weeks. Four players who were taken in the first round the last two years have already done so, and either have or will make their NHL debuts soon.

Brock Boeser was the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, and was widely regarded as a pure goal scorer. He played in North Dakota for two seasons before signing with the Canucks at the conclusion of North Dakota's season last week. He made his debut in his home state of Minnesota, where he scored on a tap-in that proved to be the game winner against the Wild on Sautrday.

Boeser's teammate at North Dakota Tyson Jost was taken 10th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2016 NHL Draft. He won silver with the Canadian Junior National team and was one of the bright spots on a North Dakota team that didn't quite fare as well as the previous season, when they won it all. Jost was signed yesterday to an ELC by Colorado and will likely make his debut soon.

Clayton Keller was a former US-NTDP taken 7th overall by the Arizona Coyotes in 2016. He went on to college at Boston University and shined during the WJC tournament, where he helped lead the United States to gold. The Coyotes need more skill up front, which was why they were willing to sign Keller to an ELC earlier this week. Keller made his debut on Monday in St. Louis, an area where he played his youth hockey.

Charlie McAvoy was the 14th overall pick of the Boston Bruins in the 2016 NHL Draft. He had already played a season with Boston University when he was drafted, and was also on the U.S. squad that won gold at the WJC tournament. He actually signed an ATO with Boston and will begin play with their AHL affiliate in Providence. It is likely that he will sign an ELC before next season.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Becoming Kansas City

The logo you see above is what will be used starting next ECHL season. The Missouri Mavericks announced last week that they will be playing as the Kansas City Mavericks effective next season. While the Mavericks in fact play in the city of Independence, MO, it is considered a part of the Kansas City area, and with their affiliation with the St. Louis Blues playing a role in their success this season, it makes sense on a civic level to change the name. While the Mavericks are also tied to the New York Islanders, with the Jacksonville IceMen and Worcester Railers HC coming in next season, it is possible that they could be losing the Islanders to either team. With three other NHL teams still without an ECHL affiliate, it could mean that the Isles could stay in Kansas City for their ECHL affiliate.