The Christmas holiday sees many former and current Worcester players near the top of their leagues

As we hit the Christmas holiday break it’s time to take another look at how some current and former Worcester pro players are doing in the 2022-2023 season.

For the North American pro leagues, any player that’s in their league’s top 20 makes the cut, and for the European leagues, it’s just those in the top ten in 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 25, 2022.

In the NHL, the apparently ageless Joe Pavelski is the only Worcester alumni who gets a mention, with his plus-22 rating for Dallas ranking second in the league.

It was bound to happen eventually, and for the first time since we started these updates, no former Worcester pro player is in the top 20 in the AHL in any category.

Six Worcester Railers make the list in the ECHL, with Collin Adams getting four mentions. His two overtime goals tie for the league lead and his four game-winners tie for third. Adams’ four power play goals tie him for 16th, and his 11 goals tie him with many others, including teammate Reece Newkirk for 20th. Two players make the list for plus-minus, with the recalled Ryan MacKinnon‘s plus-15 tying for tenth and Jared Brandt‘s plus-14 ranking him 16th.

Goaltenders Henrik Tikkanen and Ken Appleby both have nine wins, tying them for fifth in the ECHL. Tikkanen also makes the list for his 2.58 goals against average (11th) and his .921 save percentage (eighth).

Jack Combs leads off the Worcester alumni in the ECHL, with his 15 goals for Allen tying him for fourth. His four game-winning goals tie for third, his 29 points tie for seventh, and his four power play markers tie for 16th. Cincinnati’s Lincoln Griffin also gets four mentions. He also has four game-winners, his two shorthanded goals tie for second, his plus-13 rating tie for 17th, and his 11 goals tie for 20th.

Continuing on, Eddie Matsushima is one of a long list with four game-winning goals, he leads the ECHL with three shorthanded tallies and his 14 goals with Tulsa ties for sixth. Reading’s Max Newton gets two mentions with 13 goals (tied for ninth) and 26 points (tied for 16th). Solar Bears captain Ross Olsson also gets two listings, in exactly what you’d expect, as his four power play goals tie him for 16th and his 60 penalty minutes tie him for 11th.

Skaters with one mention include Grant Jozefek (Adirondack) with three game-winners tying him for eighth. Atlanta’s Mike Pelech‘s 19 assists tie him for eighth, and Thunder forward Yanick Turcotte has racked up 49 penalty minutes in just 13 games, tying him for 20th.

The only alumni netminder making the list is Evan Buitenhuis, with his nine wins for Wichita tying for fifth, his .919 save percentage tying for ninth, and his 2.05 goals against placing him in 18th.

Over in the SPHL, Billy Vizzo of the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs gets three mentions, with his three game-winners tying for second, his 11 goals tied for seventh, and his plus-ten tying for 11th. Carlos Fornaris gets two listings, with his 13 assists and 18 points for the Fayetteville Marksmen both tying for 18th. His Marksmen teammate Brian Bowen has eight goals, tying him for 17th. Dominick Procopio has a plus-10 rating for the Huntsville Havoc, tying for 11th.

Also from Fayetteville, goaltender Jason Pawloski gets three mentions, with his five wins tying for eighth, his .917 save percentage tying for fourth, and his 3.16 goals against landing him in the eighth spot.

Overseas, we’ll start with the United Kingdom’s EIHL, with Daniel Ciampini 21 assists tying him for seventh and Chris Lawrence‘s 62 penalty minutes placing him second. Goaltender Eamon McAdam has 12 wins for third place, and .916 save percentage that lands him in fifth, and an eighth-ranked 2.74 goals against average. Garet Hunt‘s 90 penalty minutes leads the KHL, and Sacha Guimond has 21 assists in France’s Ligue Magnus, tying for fourth.

Two netminders round out the post, with Harri Sateri tying for the lead in Switzerland’s NL with 16 wins and four shutouts. His .923 save percentage ties for third, and his 2.33 goals against ranks fourth. Over in Norway, Mitch Gillam six wins tie him for ninth and his .906 save percentage ranks tenth.

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