As the new year starts many former Worcester pro players near the top of their leagues

With 2017 in the rearview mirror it’s once again time take a look at how some current and former Worcester pro players are doing in their respective pro leagues. For those that read my previous posting, you can see I still haven’t gotten a new logo for these posts. Ill say again that maybe I’ll work on that later, but I know I won’t

For the NHL, AHL, and ECHL any player in the league’s top-20 gets listed, along with players who lead their NHL teams. For the European leagues it’s just those in the top-five for the league. Goaltenders only get a mention if they meet their league’s qualifying minimums. All stats are as of December 31st.

In the NHL more than half the players currently play on the San Jose Sharks, which is expected considering there are no former Worcester IceCats still playing in the NHL.

We begin with both Logan Couture and Chris Tierney tied for fourth with two shorthanded goals each. Couture’s 15 goals also leads San Jose. Other Sharks team leaders include Justin Braun‘s +9 rating, and Tomas Hertl tied for the team lead in power play goals at five.

Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell is in third place in both save percentage (.931) and goals against average (2.06).

For other former WorSharks skaters in the NHL we have Chicago’s Tommy Wingels joining the two Sharks with two shorthanded goals, Yanni Gourde of Tampa Bay tying for 14th with a +15 rating, and the Panthers Micheal Haley with 80 penalty minutes, tying him for second.

And finally we mention the only former Worcester player leading the NHL in any category, with Carter Hutton of the St Louis Blues ranking first among qualified goaltenders with a .946 save percentage and a 1.68 goals against average.

Not many former Worcester players make the list for the AHL, and it’s not a shock that two of the three players make it for penalty minutes. The P-Bruins Sena Acolatse has 71 of them, which ranks him sixth. Thunderbirds forward Bobby Farnham has 58, putting at 17th.

Defenseman Matt Taormina from Laval has 25 assists, tying him for fourth, and 27 points, tying him for 19th in the AHL.

In the ECHL we’ve got some current Railers in the mix, starting with goaltender Mitch Gillam sitting in 14th place with a 2.57 goals against average.

It’s no surprise that a couple Railers make the list for penalty minutes as Yanick Turcotte has 104PIM for 6th place and Mike Cornell, currently on recall to Bridgeport, has 84PIM to for for 15th.

To round out the “WOR” entries, Chris Langkow, who is up with Hartford on a PTO, has two shorthanded goals to tie for fifth, and Patrick McNally, who left Worcester to go play in Sweden, is tied for 15th with a +15 rating.

For the rest of the penalty minute crowd, Curt Gogol, who was set to return Worcester after a trade with Greenville but failed his physical and was sent back, sits in eighth place at 94PIM. Jacksonville’s Garet Hunt is tied for ninth at 91PIM.

Three players find themselves tied for 20th in different categories, with Florida’s Gus Young and Utah’s Greger Hanson both having 19 assists, and the Grizley’s Michael Pelech having 29 points. Pelech also ranks tied for 17th with 20 assists.

For netminders, Jeff Jakaitis, who was a mainstay in these posts for a couple seasons in the European section, returns to the ECHL in South Carolina and his ten wins tie him for seventh and his 2.46 goals against outs him in eighth.

Over in Europe Riley Brace leads the AlpsHL with 37 assists and 57 points. He ranks second in the league with 20 goals. Over in the Asia League Michael Swift matches Brace in leading his league with 28 assists and 42 points. Swift has to settle for a tie for second in goals with 14.

In the DEL both Jack Combs and Trevor Parkes are tied for third with 18 goals.

And last, but not least, two former IceCats make the list with Brendan Brooks in second place in the EIHL with 19 goals, and in Slovakia Ladislav Nagy is tied for fourth with 14 goals.

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