Any way you look at it, this week is critical for Allen if it wants to be a factor in the Kelly Cup playoffs. The Americans have lost seven of the last eight games and is currently out of the playoff picture. Only Wichita has a lower points percentage in the Mountain Division. Just seven ECHL teams have a lower points percentage than Allen’s .500. With four games in five days this week, all at home, it is an opportunity for Allen to get back on the winning track.
– Don’t look for goalie Antoine Bibeau to be back in Allen any time soon. Bibeau has been in Seattle on COVID protocol since serving one game as the Kraken backup goalie. Yesterday Bibeau was assigned to Charlotte, who has been playing with goalies called up from the ECHL. When all the contract goalies in Seattle and Charlotte are healthy and back in the lineup, Bibeau could be reassigned to Allen, but for now he will be with the Checkers.
– Steve Martinson had this to say yesterday about the forward he is bringing in, “I signed forward Kolten Olynek out of the University of Western Ontario because he is the type of player that will play hard on the puck and is a good penalty killer.” Here are the details on Allen’s new forward.
Olynek is another small forward, 5’7″ (hockeydb) or 5’8″ (eliteprospects) and 165 pounds. He is a left shot who is soon to be 26 years old (February 13). While Kolten is a rookie and is yet to play his first professional game, he is older than nine of the players on the Allen roster.
Olynek is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and played his junior hockey (five seasons) in the WHL, playing for five different teams. He played 253 games in the WHL and had 77 points (32G, 45A). From the WHL, Olynek went on to college at the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario) where he majored in criminology. In his five seasons in college he played in 86 games and had 50 points (24G, 26A). His team did not play last season and just six games this season before it was paused.
|Olynek wore #91 in college
– Here is the Americans Weekly from Tommy Daniels: https://allenamericans.com/media/200775/
– Brett Neumann played 25 games in Allen last season (16 points – 8G, 8A) and decided to leave pro hockey to go to college this year (St. Mary’s University – Halifax, Nova Scotia). Neumann has left school and signed in Europe. He will be playing for Orli Znojmo which is a team in Znojmo, Czech Republic, a town of 34,000 on the Austrian border. The team plays in the Austrian league. One of Neumann’s teammates will be another Allen alum, Josh Brittain.
– With Spencer Asuchak currently off the roster and the addition of Olynek, the Americans are now one of the shortest teams in the ECHL averaging just under six feet (71.99 inches). They are also one of the lightest teams, only two teams (Reading & Newfoundland) have an average weight lower than Allen’s 188 pounds.
– Allen is ranked #10 in average age (25.95). Adirondack is the oldest team in the league (27.52) and Maine is the youngest (24.05).
DID YOU KNOW: This season is shaping up to be an ECHL record for the number of players used in a single season. Allen has not been impacted as much as many other teams. The Americans have used 31 players thus far. They have typically used 40-45 players in a season though last season Allen used a record 52 players.
With over half the season yet to be played, the ECHL is on record pace for the number of players used in a season. Between replacing players because of COVID and injuries and sending players to the AHL/NHL because of their COVID and injury issues, more players than ever have played at least one game in the ECHL. Here are the total players used (at least one game played) for each ECHL season since 2015-16.923: 2021-22 (48% of games completed)584: 2020-21 (14 teams)870: 2019-20 (shortened season)1000: 2018-19980: 2017-18958: 2016-17996: 2015-16