The Allen Americans had a rare afternoon (4:00 pm) practice yesterday and for the first time the entire opening day roster was together. The group included newly acquired forwards Jared VanWormer (#19) and Josh Lammon (#15). Alex Guptill was wearing a new number switching from the #9 he was wearing earlier in training camp to #27.
- The 2019-20 roster is made up of 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies. Maybe the most important thing to keep in mind is this is just a starting point. With injuries, call ups, trades, loans and assignments, the Americans will have over 40 players play at least one game this season. In the five seasons Allen has played in the ECHL the total number of players on the roster has been between 41-46 each season.
- There is so much to learn about this group I am not sure where to start so today will be a few random facts about the group and some of the players. Here goes:
- There are five players on the roster that played in Allen last season. Spencer Asuchak played in all 72 games, Alex Breton 53, Stepan Falkovsky 12, Ben Owen six and Jack Sadek two.
- There are three players that played elsewhere last season but have played for Allen in the past; Alex Guptill, Olivier Archambault and Jake Paterson.
- In 2017-18 Archambault spent 19 games with Allen before spending the rest of the season in the AHL. In 19 games Olivier had 31 points (13G, 19A). His "career" points per game average in Allen is 1.632 which is exceeded only by Jack Combs who played 32 games for the Americans in 2014-15. Jack had 22 goals and 34 assists in those 32 games for a points per game average of 1.750.
- 15 of the 22 players on the roster have AHL experience. In total it is just over 1000 AHL games led by Mike Heddon (210), Shawn O'Donnell (188) and Gabe Gagne (154).
- There are seven rookies on the roster (less than 25 regular season pro games). Josh Lammon, Jack Sadek, Tyler Sheehy, Les Lancaster, Ben Owen, Regan Nagy, Dereck Baribeau. Three of the rookies (Lancaster, Nagy, Baribeau) have yet to play their first pro game.
- The youngest player is Dereck Baribeau who won't turn 21 until January 22. The oldest player is Mike Hedden who will turn 35 on December 27. According to the Elite Prospects website, Mike is the third oldest player in the ECHL.
- Rookie forward Josh Lammon was captain of his college hockey team at Mercyhurst University and was selected the Best Defensive Forward of his 11 team Division I conference (Atlantic Hockey Association). Among his other awards were Scholar Athlete of the Year. His degree is in Finance and Competitive Intelligence Studies with a minor in Information Technology.
- Defenseman Kayle Doetzel grew up in the small town (2500) of Rosetown, Saskatchewan. He moved away from home to pursue his hockey career when he was 15. He played five years of junior hockey for the Red Deer Rebels in the Western Hockey League. Here is a video about his billet family (family he lived with) when he played in Red Deer.
- Turner Ottenbreit's dad, Grant, played professional hockey in the ECHL for the Erie Panthers. Grant was a tough guy who averaged about 280 penalty minutes per season. One of his many fights was with Allen coach Steve Martinson.
- Allen forward Shawn O'Donnell returns home to Nova Scotia each summer to train with a large group of NHL/AHL players. Among the group who come back to their native province to relax and train are Sidney Crosby, Brad Marchand and Nathan MacKinnon.
- Here are the assigned jersey numbers as of practice last night:
2 - Kayle Doetzel
3 - Stepan Falkovsky
4 - Turner Ottenbreit
5 - Jack Sadek
7 - Alex Breton
8 - Tyler Sheehy
10 - Olivier Archambault
11 - Jordan Topping
14 - Les Lancaster
15 - Josh Lammon
17 - Mike Hedden
18 - Jason Salvaggio
19 - Jared VanWormer
20 - Ben Owen
25 - Gabe Gagne
26 - Spencer Asuchak
27 - Alex Guptill
28 - Regan Nagy
30 - Dereck Baribeau
35 - Jake Paterson
44 - Brett Pollock
92 - Shawn O'Donnell
DID YOU KNOW: As the 11th Allen season gets underway one question is who will play in all 72 regular season games. I think one of the more undervalued statistics has to do with players that never miss a game. I call them the Ironmen and they are few and far between. In AA hockey with limited rosters and salary cap/budget issues, having a player that plays every game in a season is something special and valuable. Thought today would be a good day to honor all of the Ironmen in Allen history. One thing to keep in mind is when the Americans first started in the CHL (2009-10) they only played 64 games in a season. It was then expanded to 66 games and since joining the ECHL (2014-15) it is 72 games. Congrats and stick taps to all Allen Ironmen past and present! It is a very exclusive club.
2018-19 - Spencer Asuchak
2017-18 - Joel Chouinard, Casey Pierro-Zabotel
2016-17 - Chad Costello, Joel Chouinard
2015-16 - Chad Costello
2014-15 - Chad Costello, Aaron Gens, Jamie Schaafsma
2013-14 - Spencer Asuchak, Daniel Tetrault, Mike Berube
2012-13 - Jamie Schaafsma, Jason Deitsch
2011-12 - Jason Deitsch
2010-11 - Colton Yellow Horn, David Strathman
2009-10 - Bruce Graham, Christian Gaudet