Rather than talk about the trials and tribulations of this year's team I thought today would be good time to talk about some of the teams and players from the past. If you are a long time Allen fan you will have fond memories of the early years and if you are a more recent follower of the team you can see how some of the players from the two Kelly Cup championship teams are doing.
THE EARLY YEARS
2009-10: There are only two players from Allen's first team still playing professional hockey, Colton Yellow Horn and Jordie Benn. It was an exciting first season as the upstart Americans went all the way to the championship final before losing to Rapid City.
Jordie Benn (age 29) - Jordie didn't venture far from Allen as he signed with the Dallas Stars organization after playing in Allen and went back and forth between the Texas Stars (AHL) and Dallas Stars (NHL) for a couple of years but has been with the big club the last four seasons. Jordie is now 29 and has 264 NHL games to his credit.
2010-11: Probably the most talented offensive team ever in Allen. They won their conference by 20 points and scored 271 goals in 66 games for an average of 4.11 per game. They had three 30 goals scorers, (Bruce Graham - 34, Nino Musitelli - 34, Colton Yellow Horn - 33) and five players that averaged a point per game (Dave Bonk & Judd Blackwater in addition to those above). Clearly the best team in the league but they disappointed in the playoffs losing to the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs in the conference finals, four games to one. The Mudbugs went on beat Colorado in the finals to win the championship. Bonk and Blackwater are still playing.
Dave Bonk (age 34): After his one season in Allen when he had 58 points (20 goals 38 assists) in 49 games and led the team in plus/minus (+27) he signed to play in Japan for the Nikko Icebucks. He has been there ever since and is now in his sixth year with the team. Always one of the top scorers in the league, Dave has averaged 1.48 points per game in his 234 games in Japan (143 goals 204 assists). This season he has played 27 games and has 36 points (18 goals 18 assists). His team is in sixth place in a nine team league.
Judd Blackwater (age 29): Probably most known for what is called the best fight in team history, Judd was an accomplished fighter but did not fight often. He only had two fights in 2010-11. He is a gifted offensive player and terrific with the puck. Judd has spent the last few years playing in Europe and is currently playing in Nitra, Slovakia. In 25 games he has 23 points (7 goals 16 assists). His team is in third place in a league that has 11 teams. You can check out that fight at this link. https://youtu.be/4iBh9IJYNP0
FORMER PLAYERS UPDATE
Here is an update on players from last season's Kelly Cup team who are playing in Europe this season along with a few favorites from the past. Stats courtesy of eliteprospects.com.
David Makowski - David is playing for a team in Hungary (Szekesfehervar) and has nine points (2 goal, 7 assists) in 18 games. He is the second leading scorer among defenseman on his team. His team is currently in 10th place in a 12 team league.
Jordan Rowley - Jordan is playing in Sweden (HC Vita Hasten) and has 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) in 21 games. He is the top scoring defenseman on his team and is fourth in scoring overall. His team is in 11th place in a 14 team league.
Thomas Carr - Carr is playing in France (Gap) and has 8 points (1 goal, 7 assists) in 22 games. His team is in fourth place in a 12 team league.
Alex Lavoie - Alex is playing in Sweden (BIK Karlskoga) and has 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists) in 22 games. He is second on the team in scoring. His team is in second place in the 14 team league.
Jack Combs - Jack is playing in Germany (Fischtown Pinguins) and has 14 points (8 goals, 6 assists) in 21 games. He leads the team in scoring. His team is in 9th place in a 14 team league.
Ian Schultz - Ian is playing in Scotland (Edinburgh Capitals) and has two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in 12 games. His team is tied for last place in a 10 team league.
Jonathan Lessard - Jonathan is playing in France (Angers) and has 13 points (7 goals 6 assists) in 21 games. He is third on his team in scoring and third on his team with 28 penalty minutes. His team is in fifth place in a 12 team league.
Trevor Hendrikx - Trevor is playing in Scotland (Braehead Clan) and has 3 points (1 goal 3 assists) in 13 games along with 38 penalty minutes. His team is in 8th place in a 10 team league.
NO LONGER PLAYING
Here is a list of former Allen players that played last season but are not playing this season. Not sure all of them have officially retired but they aren't playing. Lot's of great memories and championships among this group. The years they were with Allen are included:
Jarret Lukin - 2009-14
Brian McMillin - 2010-15
Scott Howes - 2012-13
Kevin Young - 2014-16
Justin Courtnall - 2015-16
Kyle Follmer - 2014-16
Jonathan Parker - 2015-16
FORMER PLAYERS STILL WORKING IN HOCKEY
Josh Hepditch - Head Coach, St Stephen Aces, Maritime Hockey League (Junior A)
Daniel Tetrault - Assistant Coach, Rapid City Rush (ECHL)
John Snowden - Assistant Coach, Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL)
Phil Fox - Hockey Operations Manager, Northern Michigan University
Steve Silverthorn - Assistant Coach, Bentley University
Liam Huculak - Director Business Development, Bakersfield Condors (AHL)
DID YOU KNOW: There are only four players in the history of the Allen Americans that have played in over 200 games. Tyler Ludwig (247), Jarret Lukin (238), Mike Berube (229) and Brian McMillin (215). It is possible four more players could hit the 200 mark this season. With 53 regular season games remaining Chad Costello (163), Greger Hanson (156), Gary Steffes (149) and Aaron Gens (149) could all make the 200 game milestone.