We haven't invested much time into the alumni because we're a little short staffed and some of our writers are a little preoccupied with their day jobs and families, but we thought it was important to keep you informed on where everyone is playing right now and who's doing well.
The highlight so far this season has to be Blake Pietila's recent run of form. In the second-best league in North America, the AHL, Pietila is scoring nearly a point per game and was the Albany Devils' leading scorer before getting called up to the NHL today:
His call up probably has something to do with Saturday's effort, where Pietila scored a hat trick with a tally in each period, including the game-winning goal with under three minutes left in regulation. He earned the First Star of the game for the first time this season, but got on the score sheet with at least one point for the eighth time in twelve games.
Three other former Huskies skaters are earning time in the AHL. Despite an injury, Jujhar Khaira is scoring over a point per game with four goals in only five games. Chris Conner is the eldest MTU player still playing professional hockey in North America with John Scott and Andy Sutton's retirements. He's still getting it done with Lehigh Valley where he has 8 points in twelve games. Tanner Kero is the final player at he AHL. After a pretty good start, Kero has stalled a bit with only one point in his last seven games. The good news is that assist was Sunday, so maybe he will get back on track offensively.
Pheonix Copley is the lone goaltender currently up in the AHL, playing with the Chicago Wolves. His save percentage is currently tenth-best in the AHL despite only winning one of his four starts thus far. Josh Robinson was off to a great start with Missouri (ECHL) and recently found himself loaned out to Bridgeport (AHL). Even if that didn't last long, hopefully Robinson will get another chance in the AHL this season.
There are four former Huskies currently playing in the ECHL, the best among them thus far is Alex Petan. He started the preseason representing the Minnesota Wild in the NHL Prospects Camp and somehow found himself dropping from the NHL to the ECHL in about a week. His 9 points thus far for the Quad City Mallards is good enough for third on the team, while he leads the Mallards in goals. THG sources have confirmed that Petan has gotten some interest from AHL teams and isn't likely to stay in the ECHL for long.
Petan's teammate from last year, Jamie Phillips, is currently playing for Winnipeg's ECHL affiliate, the Tulsa Oilers, where he was recognized as the Goaltender of the Month for October and immediately followed that up with Goaltender of the Week to start November. Phillips posted a 6-0-0 record with a 2.44 goals-against average and a save percentage of .918 in six appearances during October, helping the Oilers to the best record in the league. He's since improved his GAA and save percentage and only lost once in 12 starts.
There are six players who have made the jump to some of the top leagues in Europe. Right now, Brett Olson leads the way with 20 points in 17 games for EC Salzburg, while playing in the top league in Germany/Austria. Clay Wilson (5th season) and Geoff Kinrade (3rd season) are now veterans in the KHL, while Steven Siego, Malcolm Gould and Bryce Reddick are all trying out new leagues in Europe with mixed success.
Alumni 2016-17 Skater Statistics
|Blake Pietila||Albany (AHL)||12||6||5||11|
|Chris Conner||Lehigh Valley (AHL)||12||3||5||8|
|Jujhar Khaira||Bakersfield (AHL)||5||4||3||7|
|Tanner Kero||Rockford (AHL)||14||2||4||6|
|Alex Petan||Quad City (ECHL)||11||5||4||9|
|C.J. Eick||Utah (ECHL)||13||4||1||5|
|Eric Kattelus||Kalamazoo (ECHL)||12||3||1||4|
|Blake Hietala||Kalamazoo (ECHL)||3||0||0||0|
|Carl Nielsen||Peoria (SPHL)||2||0||1||1|
|Geoff Kinrade||Nizhnekamsk (KHL)||15||3||6||9|
|Clay Wilson||Severstal (KHL)||22||1||2||3|
|Brett Olson||Salzburg (Germany)||18||3||17||20|
|Steven Siego||Lukko (Finland)||20||3||5||8|
|Malcolm Gould||Strasbourg (France)||2||1||1||2|
|Bryce Reddick||Aalborg (Denmark)||14||2||11||13|
Alumni 2016-17 Goaltender Statitistics
|Phoenix Copley||Chicago (AHL)||1-2-1||2.22||0.927||0|
|Josh Robinson||Missouri (ECHL)||2-1-0||3.19||0.893||0|
|Jamie Phillips||Tulsa (ECHL)||11-1-0||2.30||0.927||1|
Cover image of Alex Petan courtesy of Sean Flynn Photography