To start the day I wanted to share some information on the five players that were just assigned to Allen by San Jose. Their trip to Allen was unique. As I mentioned yesterday the Barracuda were in Austin to play the Texas Stars. They beat the Stars 5-2 last Friday and lost to the Stars 5-3 on Saturday. The third game of the series was scheduled for last Tuesday but by then the winter storms hit and the game was postponed. Steve Martinson was in contact with San Jose General Manager, Joe Will, because he needed help as Allen was down to 12 skaters. The original plan was to have Barracuda players assigned on February 22 when San Jose is moving from Tucson, where they had training camp and started the season, back to San Jose. When Allen ended up being short players and in need of help San Jose stepped up by agreeing to assign players early. The question was how to get the players from Austin to Allen in the middle of two winter storms and frigid temperatures. Steve Martinson told Joe Will he would drive to Austin himself to pick up the five players. This was Wednesday before the Allen games were postponed. Coach Martinson headed to Austin in a two wheel drive Suburban and spent the next 11 hours on the road. Martinson grew up in Minnesota and has driven a lot in bad weather but he told me it was as tough of driving he has ever had. A mere 11 hours after he left Allen he got back home. He had to exit Highway 35 a couple of times because the road was blocked because of the snow, ice and slush,  Sounds like above and beyond the call of duty but Martinson is always willing to do whatever it takes and he wasn’t going to ask anyone else to make the trip in those conditions. The highlight of the trip was a stop at Buc-ee’s which was a new experience for the players.

 

JOE GARREFFA – Joe doesn’t need an introduction since he was the Americans leading scorer when he was recalled by San Jose after playing 11 games in Allen. Garreffa is still tied for sixth in points by ECHL rookies (13) and third in goals by a rookie (6) even though he has missed 12 games since being called up by the Barracuda. His 13 points (6G, 7A) is fourth on the team and his 1.18 average points per game leads the Americans. Garreffa was the ECHL Player of the Week for the week of December 28 – January 3.

Here is what I included about Joe when he was assigned to Allen at the beginning of the season. In a shortened 2019-20 season, Garreffa, 21, finished seventh in the Ontario Hockey League in points with 90 (36 goals, 54 assists), sixth in plus/minus (+48) and tied for third in points-per-game (1.82) as a member of the Ottawa 67’s. Over a five-year career in the OHL, with Ottawa and the Kitchener Rangers, the five-foot-seven, 176-pound Toronto, Ontario, native totaled 315 points (108 goals, 207 assists), 34 penalty minutes and plus-13 rating.

Joe played in two of the Barracuda’s four games before being assigned to Allen and had no points.

 

KYLE TOPPING – The name is familiar to Allen fans as his older brother (two years older) Jordan was the leading goal scorer (26 goals) for the Americans last season. Kyle is a rookie who signed with San Jose last May. Here is some information from the press release when he signed.

“Kyle is a playmaking two-way center with a high hockey IQ and we’re excited for him to join the organization,” said San Jose General Manager, Joe Will.

In a shortened 2019-20 season, Topping, 21, finished with 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists), 14 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating in 33 games with the Kelowna Rockets.

Over a four-year career in the WHL, all with Kelowna, Topping finished with 196 points (71 goals, 125 assists), 177 penalty minutes and plus-41 rating in 226 games.

The six-foot, 191-pound, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, native attended the Sharks Development Camp in 2019.

Kyle played in two of the Barracuda’s four games before being assigned to Allen and scored his first pro goal in his first pro game against the Texas Stars.

 

KRYSTOF HRABIK (CHRIS-toff RAW-beek) – Krtstof signed a two year AHL deal with San Jose in October, 2019. From the San Jose press release:

“Krystof is a natural center who can skate and play a power forward type of game,” said General Manager Joe Will. “He played on the top line for the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championships last year and we expect him to be a top player in the WHL this season.”

The native of Praha, Czech Republic, appeared and scored in two AHL exhibition games, collecting two goals, while putting four shots on net and finished with a plus-one rating.

In 2018-19, the six-foot-four, 209-pound native of Praha, Czech Republic skated in 63 games with the Tri-City Americans (WHL), totaling 51 points (21 goals, 30 assists), 53 penalty minutes and a minus-eight rating. In addition, Hrabik skated in five WHL playoff games, collecting two points (one goal, one assist), two penalty minutes and a minus-nine rating. Hrabik also skated in five games with Team Czech Republic at the 2019 World Junior Championship where he totaled one assist, two penalty minutes and a minus-one rating.

In the shortened 2019-20 season with the Tri-City Americans Hrabik was the team’s captain and had 31 points (14G, 17A) in 42 games.

Krystof played in one of San Jose’s four games before being assigned to Allen and had no points.

 

STEENN PASICHNUK (PASH-nuck) – Steenn was signed by the Barracuda last June after completing his collegiate career. Here is info from the press release announcing his signing.

“Steenn is a physical, defensively conscious utility forward who contributed to building a solid program at Arizona State (ASU) and we’re excited for him to join our organization,” said General Manager Joe Will.

Pasichnuk, 25, just completed his senior season at ASU, finishing with a pair of points (one goal, one assist), while ranking tied for fifth on the team in penalty minutes (29).

Pasichnuk finished his collegiate career, skating in 113 games for the Sun Devils, fifth-most in program history, while collecting 21 points (six goals, 15 assists), and 119 penalty minutes, fourth-most in school history.

The six-foot-four, 208-pound, Bonnyville, Alberta, native is the older brother of defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk who the Sharks signed to an entry-level contract on March 31, 2020.

Both Steenn and Brinson participated in the Sharks Development Camp in 2019.

Steenn did not play in a Barracuda game before being assigned to Allen.

 

CHAZ REDDEKOPP – The only defenseman of the group, Chaz signed with the Barracuda just a month ago. The six-foot-three, 225-pound left-shot blueliner was originally selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2015 NHL Draft (round seven, 187th overall).

Chaz finished five seasons in the WHL with the Victoria Royals in 2017-18.  He finished his WHL career with 280 games played, 134 points (27G, 107A) and 191 penalty minutes.

Reddekopp spent the 2018-19 season with the Ontario Reign (AHL) and finished with 10 points (1G, 9A) to go along with 101 PIMS in 40 games.

Chaz, 24, skated in 22 games for the Ontario Reign in 2019-20, totaling one assist and 55 penalty minutes. The West Kelowna, British Columbia, native also appeared in 17 games for the Fort Wayne Komets scoring one goal and adding six assists.

Chaz played in two of the Barracuda’s four games with no points before being assigned to Allen.

 

– You may have noticed the ECHL suspended Matt Register for one game yesterday and wondered what caused the suspension. Register was suspended under the rule (69.3) that prohibits players from shooting pucks into the crowd. If you recall a Kansas City player was given a game misconduct penalty and one game suspension for shooting the puck into the crowd in game one on Saturday. This happened after the player was responsible for Les Lancaster being given a penalty shot. Fast forward to game three on Monday in the second period. There was stoppage in play for an injured Kansas City player. As the players were skating around waiting for play to resume Matt Register picked up the pick with his stick, had it laying on the blade and flipped the puck over the glass to a fan in the front row. You see players do this all the time in warmups. As it turns out that is technically a violation of the rule that you can’t shoot a puck into the crowd. The only way the league would even review this since no penalty was called is Kansas City sent it into the league office for a video review. Coach Martinson’s quote to me, “That was one of the most chicken sh** moves I have seen. Asking the league to review a player giving a young fan a souvenir puck during a stoppage in play.”  The Kansas City coach was well aware if Register was suspended it would be against Allen in a game that would have been played tonight had it not been postponed. Maybe Register violated the letter of the rule but certainly not the spirit of the rule. I know coach Martinson has a long memory and he won’t forget this move by the Kansas City coach. Register will serve the one game suspension when he next plays in the ECHL.

 

 

– Goalie Dereck Baribeau was called up to the Minnesota Wild yesterday from the taxi squad and was the backup goalie for the Wild last night as they beat Anaheim 3-1. One step closer to seeing NHL action for Dereck. Baribeau had a record of 9-2-0-0 last season in Allen with a .914 save percentage.

 

 

DID YOU KNOW: While a number of players with NHL experience have played in Allen just two have played in Allen and gone on to NHL careers. Jordie Benn who played in Allen as a second year pro in 2009-10 he has gone on to a 10 year NHL career and has played 531 NHL games. Jordie is currently with the Vancouver Canucks. The other player to go on from Allen to the NHL is Aaron Dell who was the goalie in the Americans first championship in 2012-13. Aaron is in his sixth NHL season, has a record of 48-34-12 with a GAA of 2.76 and a save percentage of .908. After five years in San Jose, Dell is now in the New Jersey Devils organization.