Christmas break has many current and former Worcester players at the top of their pro leagues

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As Christmas comes and goes it’s time to take another look at how some current and former Worcester pro players are doing in the 2018-2019 season.

For the North American pro leagues any player in their league’s top-20 or leading their NHL team gets listed, and 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 of the stats and rankings are as of December 24, 2018.

In the NHL just three skaters qualify for the list, with the ever-present Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks getting two mentions for being tied for fifth in goals at 23 and tied for seventh in power play goals with seven. His Sharks teammate Logan Couture leads San Jose with 36 points.

The third player is one that the San Jose brass thought wouldn’t amount to anything and let go for nothing. Tampa’s Yanni Gourde continues to prove them wrong, making the list with five game winning goals, tying him for third in the NHL.

Three goaltenders also making the posting, with the Islanders Thomas Greiss tying for 14th with 12 wins, and tying for 13th in both save percentage (.920) and goals against average (2.53). Buffalo’s Carter Hutton also hits those same three categories, with his 13 wins putting him in 13th place, his 2.58 goals against placing him 14th, and his .917 getting him 16th place.

Sharks netminder Aaron Dell is tied for fifth in the NHL with two shutouts, and he leads San Jose with a .904 save percentage and a 2.69 goals against average.

Over in the AHL it’s just two skaters getting mentions, with former “Crazed Rats” forward John McCarthy of the San Jose Barracuda tying for 13th place at a +11 ratings, and Bridgeport’s Steve Bernier tying for ninth with three game winning goals.

For the goaltenders Milwaukee’s Troy Grosenick gets three mentions, tying for fourth with a .920 save percentage, tying for fifth at a goals against of 2.44, and tying for ninth with nine wins. Two other former Worcester netminders also make the posting for AHL wins, with Harri Sateri tying for seventh with ten and Eamon McAdam, our first former Railers player to make the posting, tying for 19th at seven wins.

In the ECHL former Railers forward Nick Saracino, now with the Wheeling Nailers, hits the listing four times with his 17 goals tying him for third, his 10 assists tying him for eleventh, his four power play goals tying him for tenth, and his +17 earning him the eighth spot.

Greenville’s Michael Pelech gets three mentions as his 22 assists, 33 points, and two shorthanded goals all tie him for fifth in those categories. Daniel Ciampini from Brampton also has two shorthanded goals, and Jacksonville’s Garet Hunt gets a third place spot with 99 penalty minutes.

Both current Railers goaltenders make the posting with Mitch Gillam tying for 14th with eight wins, and landing in sixth place with a .922 save percentage. His 2.71 goals against puts him in the 15th spot. Evan Buitenhuis has two ECHL top-tens to his credit, with his
2.23 goals against ranking third and his .929 save percentage earning him the fourth spot.

Alex Sakellaropoulos from Adirondack rounds out the former Worcester players in the ECHL with three entries, with his eight tying him for 14th, his 2.66 goals against getting him the 13th spot, and a .914 save percentage tying him for tenth.

Over in Europe Jon Matsumoto continues to roll in the DEL as he leads the league with 24 assists and 38 points. His 14 goals ties him for fourth.

And finally we hit two former IceCats players, with Ladislav Nagy still ruling the Slovak Tipsport Liga in goals at 27. His 45 points ties him for the league lead. Jason Bacashihua is the last mention this time as his .911 save percentage is good enough for fourth in the DEL2.

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