ECHL Midseason Predictions

The ECHL is a mid-level professional ice hockey league with teams scattered across the United States and two franchises in Canada. The ECHL and AHL are the only minor leagues recognized by the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA. That means any player on an entry-level hockey contract must report to a club in the ECHL or AHL, but most players are signed to ECHL contracts. We are at the midseason point now, so here are my predictions for the playoffs and end of season awards.

All-Rookie Team 

A rookie if defined as a player who has played less than 25 games prior to the start of this season.

Goalie– Thomas Sholl, Idaho Steelheads

Defensemen– Jalen Smereck, Norfolk Admirals and Alex Breton, Allen Americans

Forwards– Chris Collins, Kalamazoo Wings; Giorgio Estephan, Newfoundland Growlers; Steven Iacobellis, Wichita Thunder

All-ECHL First Team

Goalie– Michael Houser, Cincinnati Cyclones

Defensemen– Kevin Spinozzi, Wheeling Nailers and Matt Register, Toledo Walleye

Forwards– Jesse Schultz, Cincinnati Cyclones; Caleb Herbert, Utah Grizzlies; Reid Gardiner Kalamazoo Wings

All-ECHL Second Team

Goalie– Sean Bonar, Atlanta Gladiators

Defensemen– Jalen Smereck, Norfolk Admirals and Matt Petgrave, Brampton Beast

Forwards– T.J Hensick, Toledo Walleye; Nick Saracino, Wheeling Nailers; Steven Iacobellis; Wichita Thunder

Individual Awards

ECHL Sportsmanship Award- Jesse Schultz, Cincinnati Cyclones

The ECHL Sportsmanship Award is presented annually to the player who is judged to have exhibited the best sportsmanship combined with a high standard of playing ability.

CCM/ECHL Rookie of the Year- Steven Iacobellis, Wichita Thunder

ECHL Scoring Award- Caleb Herbert, Utah Grizzlies

AMI Graphics/ECHL Plus Performer of the Year- Logan Roe, Florida Everblades

CCM/ECHL MVP- Jesse Schultz, Cincinnati Cyclones

Warrior Hockey/ECHL Goalie of the Year- Michael Houser, Cincinnati Cyclones

CCM/ECHL Defenseman of the Year- Kevin Spinozzi, Wheeling Nailers

ECHL Best Ice Award- Toledo Walleye

Kelly Cup Playoff Predictions

In the Kelly Cup Playoff format the top 4 teams in each division qualify, while playing the first two rounds entirely in the division, with the winner playing in their respective conference finals for a birth into the Kelly Cup Final.

Eastern Conference

Brabham Cup- Florida Everblades

The Brabham Cup is awarded to the team with the best regular season record and ensures home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs

North Division 

#1 Newfoundland Growlers defeat #4 Maine Mariners

#3 Brampton Beast defeat #2 Adirondack Thunder

Newfoundland Growlers defeat Brampton Beast

South Division 

Florida Everblades defeat South Carolina Stingrays

Jacksonville Icemen defeat Orlando Solarbears

Florida Everblades defeat Jacksonville Icemen

Eastern Conference Finals:

Newfoundland Growlers defeat Florida Everblades to win E.A. “Bud” Gingher Memorial Trophy

Western Conference 

Central Division

#1 Cincinnati Cyclones defeat #4 Fort Wayne Komets

#3 Wheeling Nailers defeat #2 Toledo Walleye

Cincinnati Cyclones defeat Wheeling Nailers

Mountain Division

#1 Utah Grizzlies defeat #4 Kansas City Mavericks

#2 Idaho Steelheads defeat #3 Tulsa Oilers

Utah Grizzlies defeat Idaho Steelheads

Western Conference Finals:

Cincinnati Cyclones defeat Utah Grizzlies to win the Bruce Taylor Trophy.

Kelly Cup Champion: Newfoundland Growlers over Cincinnati Cyclones 

Thank you for reading my predictions, which can be very different come end of the season due to call-ups and injuries, but these are the players that excel in the E. Follow Game Changer Sports Network on Facebook and Twitter (@TheOfficialGCSN) for my ECHL Coverage. Next week I am going to drop an article on players you could see representing your favorite NHL team and maybe a few other surprises.

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