All-Star breaks see many former Worcester hockey pros at the top of their leagues

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As the North American pro leagues come out of their All-Star breaks 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 January 29, 2019.

In the NHL on three skaters find themselves in the league’s top-20 stats, with perennial list maker Joe Pavelski getting two mentions with his 27 goals tying him for ninth and his eight power play goals tying him for thirteenth. Pavelski’s San Jose teammate Barclay Goodrow hits the list for being 19th in the NHL with 55 penalty minutes.

The only other former Worcester pro skater in the NHL’s top-20 statistically is a player the Sharks threw away, Tampa Bay’s Yanni Gourde. The Lightning forward ties for tenth with five game winners.

For the goaltenders Thomas Greiss gets four mentions, with the Islanders netminder tying for tenth in the NHL with a 2.50 goals against average and two shutouts. His .920 save percentage is good for seventh place, and his 14 wins ties for 19th. Buffalo’s Carter Hutton also has 14 wins, and his 2.75 goals against just makes the listing at 20th.

San Jose’s Aaron Dell matches Greiss’ two shutouts, and he leads the Sharks with a .891 save percentage. Ottawa’s Dylan DeMelo ties for his team’s lead with a +15 rating.

For the AHL only one former Worcester pro skater makes the list, with the Sound Tigers Steve Bernier at eight power play goals, which ties him for eleventh.

AHL All-Star Troy Grosenick gets three mentions, with his 2.37 goals against earning him fourth place, his .921 save percentage placing him fifth, and his 13 wins for Milwaukee tying him for thirteenth. Grand Rapid’s Harri Sateri‘s 15 wins ties him for sixth in the league.

Three current Worcester Railers make the posting in the ECHL, with captain
Mike Cornell tying for 16th with 102 penalty minutes. Goaltender Mitch Gillam ties for eighth with his .921 save percentage, 2.72 goals against earning him the 14th spot, and his 12 wins tying him for 15th.

Evan Buitenhuis gets two mentions for his third place .928 save percentage and his 2.23 goals against tying him for fourth.

For the former Worcester players, Greenville’s Michael Pelech‘s 26 assists ties him for twelfth and his 109 penalty minutes ties for thirteenth. Florida’s Ben Masella‘s +23 ties him for ninth, Nick Saracino‘s +17 for Wheeling ties him for 19th, and Reading’s Frank DiChiara‘s five power play goals ties him for 17th.

Neither Garet Hunt nor Curt Gogol are strangers to the penalty minute list, with Jacksonville’s Hunt placing second with 194 minutes, and the much-traveled Gogol placing 18th at 98.

Former Railers netminder Alex Sakellaropoulos, now with Adirondack, hits the list four times with his two shutouts tying for sixth, his 2.47 goals against and .919 save percentage both landing in ninth, and his 13 wins tying him for eleventh.

The SPHL has one player making the list, with Fayetteville’s Brain Bowen 16 assists tying him for 17th and his 30 points tying him for ninth.

Overseas Michael Swift leads the Asia League with 19 assists, and his 25 points is fifth best in the league. Over in the DEL Jon Matsumoto leads the league with 38 points and gets a top-three with 31 assists. Chad Costello is fourth in the DEL at 44 points, and his 28 assists ties him for fifth.

The lone former IceCats player to make the list, Ladislav Nagy, leads the Slovakia league with 34 goals and 61 points.

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