It’s a few weeks early for the usual end-of-season look at how some former Worcester pro players did in the 2022-23 season, but with the snow flying here in New England on this Tuesday morning we may as well kill some time by putting the list together a bit early. We’ll still do one at the season’s end too.
For the North American pro leagues, any player in their league’s top 20 gets a mention, while for the European leagues, we’ll look at their top ten. Goaltenders are listed only if they meet their league’s qualifying minimums.
All of the stats and rankings are as of March 14th.
As we get further and further away from the last season of the WorSharks the number of former Worcester pros in the NHL is dropping, and only one of those few players makes this list as Dallas’ Joe Pavelski places fifth in the NHL with a plus-32 rating.
While it’s not shocking the NHL numbers are dropping the small list of former Worcester pros having success in the AHL is surprising, and perhaps is the reason for the lack of playoff success the Railers have had in their franchise’s history. Worcester’s AHL affiliate Bridgeport has two players making this listing, with Arnaud Durandeau‘s nine power play goals tying for 14th and Jeff Kubiak‘s two shorthanded goals tying for sixth.
Coachella Valley defenseman Matt Tennyson is the only other former Worcester pro making the AHL listing, with his plus-19 tying for 13th.
Early in the season, the Railers had many current players that made the ECHL top 20 in many statistical categories, but now they’re down to four players making the listing, two of which are currently in the AHL. For the skaters, Collin Adams gets two mentions, with his three overtime goals tying for second and his five game-winners tying for twelfth. Jimmy Lambert hits the listing once with his two shorthanded goals tying for eleventh. Both players are currently in Bridgeport.
Both of Worcester’s usual goaltender tandem make the cut, with Henrik Tikkanen getting three nods for his 16 wins (tied for twelfth), two shutouts (tied for seventh), and his .915 save percentage (tied for eleventh). Ken Appleby hits the listing twice, with his 2.89 goals against average tying for 18th and his .910 save percentage tied for 16th.
For the former Worcester pros skaters in the ECHL, Allen’s Jack Combs gets five mentions, the most of any player. His 77 points rank second in the league, his 46 assists and 12 power play goal tie for third, his 31 goals rank fourth, and his five game-winners tied for twelfth. Tulsa’s Eddie Matsushima gets three nods, with his four shorthanded goals tying for the ECHL lead, his seven game-winners tying for second best, and his 25 goals tying for 14th.
Also getting three mentions is Orlando’s Ross Olsson, who is tied for the league lead with 14 power play goals, sits in eighth place with 136 penalty minutes and is tied for tenth with 27 goals. Reading’s Max Newton also has three top 20s, with his five game-winners tying for twelfth, his 25 goals tying for 14th, and his 56 points tying for 17th.
Hitting the list twice is Cincinnati’s Lincoln Griffin, with his two shorthanded goals tying for 11th and his six game-winners tying for sixth. Each getting one mention is Atlanta’s Mike Pelech for his 44 assists (tied for fifth), Maine’s Connor Doherty has 120 penalty minutes (tied for 13th), and Idaho’s Wade Murphy‘s five game-winners (tied for twelfth).
For goaltenders, Evan Buitenhuis makes the ECHL list despite bolting for Europe earlier this season. His .922 save percentage ranks fifth, his 13 wins tie for 18th, and his 2.90 goals against average just makes the cut as 20th. Allen’s Luke Peressini has 15 wins, tying for 14th.
In the SPHL, Brian Bowen from Fayetteville gets three mentions, with his 43 points tying for twelfth, his 15 goals tying for 15th and his 26 assists tied for 17th. Roanoke’s Billy Vizzo makes the listing twice, with his 17 goals tying for 15th and his plus-18 rating tying for tenth. Huntsville’s Dominick Procopio also gets two mentions, with his plus-23 tied for second and his 88 penalty minutes tied for 15th.
Closing out the SPHL skaters are two players who played part of this season with the Railers, with Birmingham’s Jake Pappalardo tying for 15th with 17 goals and Macon’s Timothy Faulkner in 14th place with 93 penalty minutes.
Fayetteville’s Brent Moran, a goaltender who spent time with Worcester this year, makes the list twice with his 3.23 goals against average and .903 save percentage both tying for 17th. Moran’s Marksmen teammate Jason Pawloski hits the listing three times, with his .913 save percentage placing seventh, his nine wins placing tenth, and his 3.04 goals against average landing him in 15th.
For overseas play Konrad Abeltshauser plus-23 ties for tenth in the DEL, Chris Langkow‘s plus-20 ranks sixth in Slovakia, Sacha Guimond 40 assists ranks second in France’s Ligue Magnus, Garet Hunt leads the KHL in penalty minutes with 95, and Chris Lawrence ranks fourth in the EIHL at 82 penalty minutes.
We don’t usually list the overseason low-minor leagues, but the fact that a former Worcester pro is playing in the United Arab Emirates alone in itself makes it worthy of mention, as Brennan Feasey is tied for the lead league with 31 goals, sits in fourth with 49 points, and is tied for sixth with 18 assists.
For the netminders, Linus Soderstrom gets four mentions in the SHL with his 1.63 goals against average and .929 save percentage ranking second, his six shutouts tying for second, and his 22 wins tying for third. Eamon McAdam gets three EIHL listings, with his 18 wins placing him in third, and his 2.88 goals against average and .911 save percentage both placing eighth.
Mitch Gillam closes out the posting with two mentions from Norway, with his 14 wins ranking seventh and his .910 save percentage ranking ninth.
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