Saturday, October 11, 2014

Allen Americans 2014-2015 Training Camp Roster - Names, #'s & Details

It has been quite a week for the Allen Americans and the entire Central Hockey League as their journey to becoming part of the ECHL went from rumor on Monday to reality on Tuesday to training camp today. It will be a quick camp as final rosters need to be submitted to the ECHL headquarters office by 3:00 pm on Wednesday (October 15). For that reason the preseason game with Tulsa was switched from October 17 to October 14 (Tuesday).

- Training camp for the Allen Americans starts today with the first on ice session from 3:00 - 5:00 pm at the Allen Community Rink. The public is welcome at most training camp practices. Tomorrow (Sunday) is an exception as it is a closed practice. See the complete schedule at the end of this post.

- The training camp roster is below and is the latest information from the Allen Americans but if there is ever a year to expect changes to the roster this would be it. Now that the Americans are part of the ECHL there are plenty of possibilities for roster changes from players being assigned by AHL teams and yes, maybe even an affiliation, to players that have played in Allen in the past returning. Roster changes are inevitable and this year that is more true than ever.

- A few notable roster names added or removed from what had been announced earlier by the team include the signing of goalie Aaron Dell who was the starting goalie for Allen's first championship in 2012-2013 and the addition of  forward Chad Costello (former ECHL MVP). Two previously announced players that will not be coming to Allen are goalie Ben Meisner ( he has signed with Missouri) and Brandon Coccimiglio.

- There will be a couple players on the ice this afternoon not listed below. .

Here is the 2014-2015 Allen Americans training camp roster:

#3 Tyler Ludwig

Defense -- shoots R
Born -- Rhinelander, WI
[28 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 205
Tyler returns for his fourth season with the Americans. He led all defensemen in the CHL in scoring last year with 55 points (20 goals 35 assists) and was named the Most Outstanding Defenseman in the CHL.

#5 Aaron Gens

Defense -- shoots R
Born Feb 24 1987 -- Baudette, MN
[27 yrs. ago]
Height 6.01 -- Weight 204
Aaron comes to Allen after playing in the ECHL the last two years (Evansville & Reading).
Aaron had a great collegiate career at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks (UAF) where he played for four years and had 72 points (12 goals 60 assists) in 140 games and was the club's leading scorer among defensemen his junior and senior seasons.  He was also successful in the classroom as he graduated with honors with a degree in Business Administration (marketing). 

After finishing his college career (2011-2012) he signed an AHL contract with the Lake Erie Monsters and played with them for seven games at the end of their season. The 2012-2013 season proved to be a special one for Aaron as he got to play with his brother (Matt) in Evansville (ECHL). Aaron comes from a musical family and is a talented musician who writes music, plays guitar and sings. He is also an avid hunter and fisherman.

#9 Brian McMillin

Forward -- shoots R
Born Feb 26 1988 -- Roseau, MN
[26 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 200
Brian McMillin returns to the Americans for the fourth year and is the longest tenured player on the team. The 2012-2013 CHL Playoff MVP originally signed to play in the Netherlands this year but circumstances changed with that league so he returned to Allen.  Brian needs to play in 40 games this year to become the Allen Americans all time leader in games played. He had a great collegiate career at Colorado College where he was also on the NCAA (WCHA) All-Academic Team. Brian is also an avid hunter and fisherman.

#10 Brett Lyon

Left Wing -- shoots L
Born Jan 23 1991 -- Grand Forks, BC
[23 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 205
Brett joins the Americans having spent time in both the AHL and ECHL last season. This will be his third year as a professional. He has played in 97 ECHL games and 13 AHL games. He is the only player on the roster that attended an AHL training camp this year as he recently returned from camp with the Chicago Wolves. Brett will provide a physical presence for the Americans up front. Last year he had nineteen fighting majors in fifty three games.

#12 Gary Steffes

Center -- shoots R
Born May 20 1987 -- Grand Blanc, MI
[27 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 210
Gary will be starting his fifth year as a professional having played for the Tulsa Oilers from 2010-2013 and for the Bakersfield Condors (ECHL) this past season. Last year in Bakersfield he had 35 points (18 goals 17 assists) in 60 games. A 2012-13 nominee for the CHL’s Man of the Year Award when he was with Tulsa, Steffes gives his time and talents to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). He works specifically with FCA Hockey, a group that travels the world sharing the gospel through hockey camps and clinics.  He played college hockey at Miami University (Ohio) and earned a degree in Kinesiology, Health and Exercise Science. Gary likes to keep a journal which helps him stay focused and deal with fears and anxieties.

#13 Chad Costello

Forward -- shoots R
Born Jul 22 1986 -- Johnston, IA
[28 yrs. ago]
Height 5.09 -- Weight 185
A prolific scorer and former MVP of the ECHL when he played for the Colorado Eagles, Chad joins the the Americans as one of their four veterans. Chad has 40 AHL games, 117 CHL games and 93 ECHL games under his belt. His 1.49 points per game average in his 93 ECHL games is one of the highest of all time. In 2012 playing for the Colorado Eagles Chad accomplished a rare feat in a 5-2 victory over the Las Vegas as he scored a hat trick and all three goals were short handed goal.

#15 Andrew Hamburg

Right Wing -- shoots R
Born Jun 17 1989 -- Phoenix, AZ
[25 yrs. ago]
Height 6.03 -- Weight 203
Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona the first question you ask is how and why does a youngster get involved in hockey? Andrew and his brother, Anthony, who is two years younger actually got involved in hockey because of their mother. Here is how Anthony explained it in an interview,  "It's a funny story, actually. Our dad, is not a winter athlete at all. Can't ski, can't skate, nothing. So, my mother went to Denver University as an under graduate, and she hung out with all the hockey guys, because she was in a sorority and, of course, they were in a fraternity. So, she just took us skating one day when I was two and a half and Andrew was about four, and ever since then we've been in love with hockey. Andrew has spent time in Dallas in the past as he played midget hockey (2005-2007) for the Dallas Stars Midget AAA team and also played briefly for the NAHL Texas Tornado (2007-2008) before being traded to the St. Louis Bandits where he won back to back championships (Robertson Cups). Andrew had 103 points in 93 games playing for the Bandits. Andrew spent the next four years 2009-2013 playing Division 1 hockey at Colorado College (WCHA). In addition to being an outstanding hockey player at Colorado College, Hamburg excelled in the classroom as he was selected to the NCAA (WCHA) all-academic team his sophomore, junior and senior years and graduated with a degree in economics. Last year (2013-2014) Andrew played professional hockey in Norway and Slovakia.

#17 Trevor Ludwig

Defense -- shoots L
Born -- Rhinelander, WI
[28 yrs. ago]
Height 6.01 -- Weight 210
Trevor starts his eighth professional season and fourth with the Americans. A former NHL draft choice of the Dallas Stars, Trevor has been plagued by serious injuries over the last few years. Last season a severe skate cut to his arm ended his season after 30 games. An experienced defenseman Trevor has 144 games played at the AHL level. To help change his luck with the injuries, Trevor asked the fans to help him pick a new number for the 2014-2015 and that is why he is wearing #17 this year.

#19 Sy Nutkevitch

Center -- shoots R
Born Jan 28 1988 -- Dollard-des-Ormeaux, PQ
[26 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 189
Sy is a familiar name to Allen fans having played parts of two seasons with the cross town rival Texas Brahmas in 2011-2013. Sy led the Brahmas in assists and was the second leading scorer in 2012-2013 with 46 points (13 goals 33 assists) in 61 games. Last season he played 37 games for the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL, totaling seventeen points. Sy has a younger sister, Lauren, who played college hockey (defense).

#22 Jamie Schaafsma

Center -- shoots R
Born -- Chatham, ONT
[29 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 190
Jamie is back for his third year with the Americans. He is starting his eleventh year as a professional and has played hockey all over Europe as a pro and as a member of the Netherlands national team. A proven winner, Jamie has been to the championship finals for the last six years, playing for four different teams. Jamie won the MVP award in the CHL playoffs last season. Jamie, who has three older brothers returns each summer to the area where he grew up in Ontario. He has an interest in becoming a firefighter after his playing days are over and is taking courses and working on certificates to help him in that endeavor.

#24 John Ryder

Defense -- shoots L
Born Mar 6 1989 -- Colorado Springs, CO
[25 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 200
John is from Colorado Springs, Colorado and played college hockey at the University of Denver. Last year he split time between the Colorado Eagles and Ontario Reign of the ECHL. Ryder is a stay at home defenseman who has been described as a big time check waiting to happen, who has perfected unpenalized checks on the puck carrier in the neutral zone or inside the blue line to the point you pay attention to him as if he was the best offensive player on the ice. He led the University of Denver in each of his last three seasons, racking up 802 hits in 102 games from 2009-2012. He recorded over 1000 hits in his college career. The 25 year old, who majored in fiance and management, was named to the All-WCHA Academic Team for four consecutive years (2008-2012) while at the University of Denver. John is a voracious reader who reads a book every 2-3 days.

#25 Jeremy Beaudry

Defense -- shoots R
Born Dec 13 1993 -- Montmagny, PQ
[20 yrs. ago]
Height 5.11 -- Weight 193
Jeremy Beaudry  just finished his junior career with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He had 53 points (19 goals, 34 assists) in 60 games. The 19 goals were the most scored by a defenseman in the history of the team. Jeremy's  hockey hero is his older brother because he is a real example of determination and perseverance. Jeremy wears #25 because that is the number is brother always wore. Jeremy plans on coaching when his playing days are done. Besides the ritual of taking a pregame nap he always eats a can of tuna as his pregame meal.

#27 Jesse Messier

Right Wing -- shoots R
Born Mar 5 1988 -- Keswick, ONT
[26 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 195
Jesse joins the Americans for his first full year of professional hockey. He played 18 games last year with the Toledo Walleye after he finished his collegiate career at York University which is in Toronto. A natural leader, he was captain of his college team his junior and senior year and led the team in scoring for three straight year. He had 129 points (55 goals, 74 assist) to go along with 305 penalty minutes in his 131 game college career. And to answer the question he gets asked all of the time, he is not related to NHL great Mark Messier.

#29 Aaron Dell

Goalie -- shoots L
Born May 4 1989 -- Airdrie, ALTA
[25 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 209
Aaron rejoins Allen after splitting time last year with the ECHL Utah Grizzlies (29 games) and AHL Abbotsford Heat (6 games). Aaron's games played (35) was rather low last season because he spent many games as a back up in the AHL. During the season he was on loan to the Norfolk Admirals and Manchester Monarchs in addition to Abbotsford. After a collegiate career at the University of North Dakota, Aaron joined Allen as a rookie in 2012-2013 and what a rookie year it was. He was named to the CHL all rookie team, the CHL all-star team, and was selected for the CHL Most Outstanding Goaltender Award. And he led his team to the biggest award of all, the Presidents' Cup where he played in all nineteen playoff games. Though his coming to Allen has been in the works for a while it was just completed and announced yesterday. His number assignment (#29) is based on he number in the past and has not been confirmed. He is headed to Texas but will not be at training camp today but should arrive in time for Sunday's practice. A little known fact about Aaron is that he was home schooled.

#30 Riley Gill

Goalie -- shoots R
Born Jan 1 1985 -- Northfield, MN
[29 yrs. ago]
Height 6.01 -- Weight 211
Riley is starting his sixth full year as a professional after a successful collegiate career at Western Michigan University where he finished with the highest career save percentage in school history at .915.  Last year he played for the Reading Royals (ECHL) and Hershey Bears (AHL). Riley was the 2012-2013 ECHL Kelly Cup MVP as he led his Reading Royals to the championship. In the playoffs (17 games) he had a GAA of 1.91 and a save percentage of .930. His teammates should be careful on the golf course as Riley is a scratch golfer.

#37 Willie Yanakeff

Goalie -- shoots R
Born Apr 30 1992 -- Jerome, MI
[22 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 185
Willie returns to Allen having signed last year after finishing his collegiate career at Michigan State University. He played in just three games before getting hurt which ended his season but in those three games (just 64 minutes) he had a GAA of 1.88 and save percentage of .920. With four goalies in camp and only five days before the final roster is in place, it will be a tough situation for the rookie.

#39 Raphael Girard

Goalie -- shoots L
Born Jan 24 1991 -- Saint-Hyacinthe, PQ
[23 yrs. ago]
Height 5.11 -- Weight 185
Raphael joins Allen for his first professional season after finishing his collegiate career at Harvard University. Though he is from Canada he attended two years of high school at Northwood Prep School in Lake Placid, New York before enrolling at Harvard. When he was playing midget hockey back home in Quebec (2007-2008) he was awarded the Ken Dryden Trophy as the most valuable goaltender in the Quebec midget AAA league after tying Patrick Roy's record for wins in a season. Riley played in eighteen games for Harvard last year and had a GAA of 2.52 and save percentage of .924.

#43 Kevin Young

Defense -- shoots R
Born Jul 16 1982 -- White Rock, BC
[32 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 196
Kevin joins the Allen Americans for his tenth professional season after playing for the Colorado Eagles (ECHL) last year. He was the CHL's Most Outstanding Defenseman  in 2012-2013 when he played for the Wichita Thunder and led all defensemen in scoring with 59 points (24 goals 35 assists).  His mom, Lynne, passed away four years ago and Kevin now wears #43 in honor of his mom who was born in 1943. Kevin became engaged earlier this summer and has been working hard on his golf game. Kevin is from White Rock, British Columbia. White Rock is located on the ocean in the southwest corner of British Columbia, 30 miles south of Vancouver and is flanked on the south by the US/Canadian border and Blaine, Washington. And yes the name comes from a 400 ton white rock that is on the beach in the town center. Kevin describes White Rock as the perfect place to live that is never too hot, never too cold, with mountains and the ocean.

#61 Geoff Irwin

Forward -- shoots L
Born Jun 7 1985 -- Victoria, BC
[29 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 195
Geoff joins the Americans having played for the Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL last year). He turned professional with the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) after finishing his collegiate career at Minnesota State University (Mankato) in 2009-2010. Another leader, Geoff was captain of his college team and was also the captain when he played with the Ontario Reign (ECHL) in 2011-2012. Back in his junior days he won the Canadian Junior A National title playing for the Burnaby Express. Geoff took a year off from hockey (2012-2013). As he said, "I wanted to see if there was something else I wanted to pursue with my life. I started up a business with a buddy of mine and worked an office job and realized that was not by calling."  By the way the business Geoff started with his buddy is an online company ( that sells gloves to gamers to prevent sweat from getting on their controllers. You know he is a serious gamer. His Las Vegas coach describes Geoff as a guy who is hard to play against, is full of energy, can play in any situation, can score goals, gets to the hard areas on the ice and he will run you through the boards. Geoff has played in 167 ECHL games and has 99 points (39 goals, 60 assists).

#71 Travis Ouellette

Forward -- shoots R
Born Feb 17 1989 -- Windsor, ONT
[25 yrs. ago]
Height 5.09 -- Weight 165
Travis was one of the first players signed by Steve Martinson for the upcoming season. Last year Ouellette spent time with the Arizona Sundogs, St. Charles Chill, and the Greenville Road Warriors (ECHL). He had a combined point total of 27 points (11 goals 16 assists) in 34 games. Each year Steve Martinson finds a couple of young players that have not gotten a real chance to show what they can do who end up thriving in his system. Travis Ouellette could be one of those players this year. He is in the mold of Anthony Maiani and Alex Lavoie in both size and style of play.

#79 Garrett Clarke

Defense -- shoots L
Born Nov 3 1992 -- Windsor, NS
[21 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 197
Garrett rejoins the Allen Americans where he played his rookie season (2012-2013) after playing last year in Arizona. A tough gritty player who also has a lot of skill Garrett will most likely see time at both defense and forward during the season. An agitator extraordinaire, Clarke has led his team in penalty minutes in both years as a professional. Fitting of his role as a tough guy with skill Garrett has worked as a bear hunting guide back home.

#84 Devin DiDiomete

Defense -- shoots R
Born May 9 1988 -- Stratford, ONT
[26 yrs. ago]
Height 5.11 -- Weight 201
Devin, who was drafted by the NHL Calgary Flames in 2006 joins the Americans after playing last year in Sweden and Italy. He has played in 196 AHL regular season games. Devin has played for Steve Martinson in the past in the ECHL (Chicago Express 2011-2012). He is a tough winger who plays with lots of grit and energy who loves to hit and is strong along the boards. Not afraid to drop the gloves, he should be a fan favorite.

Fans are encouraged to attend training camp practices, scrimmage and game to show support for the team. Here is the schedule from the press release on the team's web site:

October 11 (Today) - 3:00 - 5:00  at the Allen Community Rink
October 12 (Sunday) - 11:30 - 1:30  Allen Event Center (closed session)
October 13 (Monday) - 10:00 - 12:00  at the Allen Event Center
October 14 (Tuesday) - 7:05 pm will be a preseason game against the Tulsa Oiler at AEC
October 15 (Wednesday) - 10:00 - 12:00 at the Allen Community Rink
October 16 (Thursday) - 10:00 - 12:00 at the Allen Community Rink
October 17 (Friday) - 7:00 pm Red vs White scrimmage at the AEC (doors open 6:00 pm)

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