I heard in an interview recently the question posed about which Allen team, since joining the ECHL, had the best group of defensemen from an offensive perspective. I decided to take a look back from several different angles to see what the stats show to see if any one group stands out.

 

– The easiest calculation is to look at goals scored by the defensive group by season. Because 2019-20 was a shortened season the goals scored was adjusted by taking average goals per game times 72. Here are the goals scored by defensemen by season:

55 2019-20
41 2018-19
46 2017-18
55 2016-17
51 2015-16
57 2014-15

 

– If you look at total points by defensemen rather than just goals here are the results. Again, the 2019-20 number was adjusted for a complete 72 game season.

240 2019-20
176 2018-19
184 2017-18
205 2016-17
163 2015-16
215 2014-15

 

– Next I looked at the top individual seasons for defensemen in points, goals and assists:

POINTS (50+ point seasons)
56 – Aaron Gens (2014-15)*
55 – Alex Breton (2019-20)*
54 – David Makowski (2017-18)
51 – Joel Chouinard (2017-18)
50 – David Makowski (2016-17)

*led ECHL

GOALS (14+ goal seasons)
17 – David Makowski (2015-16)*
16 – David Makowski (2016-17)
16 – Tyler Ludwig (2014-15)*
15 – Stepan Falkovsky (2019-20)*
14 – Alex Breton (2018-19)
14 – Eric Roy (2017-18)
14 – Eric Roy (2015-16)

*led ECHL

ASSISTS (30+ assist seasons)
48 – Aaron Gens (2014-15)*
44 – Alex Breton (2019-20)*
43 – David Makowski (2017-18)
39 – Joel Chouinard (2017-18)
36 – Kevin Young (2014-15)
34 – David Makowski (2016-17)
34 – Joel Chouinard (2016-17)

*led ECHL

 

CONCLUSIONS

– The Allen Americans have had some outstanding offensive defensemen since joining the ECHL in 2014-15. If you look at which group of defensemen was best the stats would point to the 2014-15 and 2019-20 teams as the standouts. Both seasons had the ECHL leaders in points, goals and assists. In 2014-15 Aaron Gens led the ECHL in points (56) and assists (48) while Tyler Ludwig led in goals (16). In 2019-20 Alex Breton led the league in points (55) and assists (44) while Stepan Falkovsky led in goals (15).

 

– It is impossible to tell what the 2019-20 defensive group could have accomplished if the regular season had been completed and the playoffs took place. There is no doubt they were one of the best offensive group of defensemen ever.

 

– The 2014-15 group was the only one in Allen history to have four players reach 35 points (Aaron Gens, Kevin Young, Justin Baker, Tyler Ludwig). The 2019-20 team had two defensemen with more then 35 points (Alex Breton & Stepan Falkovsky). Jack Sadek finished with 32 points and would most likely have made 35+ had the season not been canceled.

 

– What distinguishes the 2014-15 group of defensemen and makes them in my opinion the top offensive group is their performance in the 2015 Kelly Cup playoffs. To an already strong group Allen added Konrad Abeltshauser to the roster at the end of the regular season from their AHL affiliate, Worcester Sharks. The Americans went on to win their first Kelly Cup and defensemen finished the playoffs with five of the top 11 spots in assists.

 

– In summary, while there have been many groups of great offensive defensemen since the Allen Americans joined the ECHL the records of the 2014-15 group has them #1 all time. Here is a recap of their stats:

#1 – Kelly Cup Champions
#1 – Most goals scored by defensive group, one season (57)
#1 – Most points by individual defenseman, one season (56)
#1 – Most assists by individual defenseman, one season (48)
#2 – Most goals by individual defenseman, one season (16)
#2 – Most points by defensive group, one season (215)

 

DID YOU KNOW: David Makowski is the only defenseman to ever lead the Americans in game winning goals. In 2015-16, David had seven game winning goals which is #3 all time. #1 all time is Greger Hanson (11) and #2 is Gary Steffes (8) both set in 2014-15.

 

– Here is another stat about offensive defensemen. Just seven Allen defensemen have a career points per game average above .500 (minimum 100 games regular season and playoffs). The years played in Allen is in parenthesis:

.825 – Alex Breton (2018-20)
.814 – David Makowski (2015-19)
.679 – Tyler Ludwig (2011-15)
.611 – Eric Roy (2015-19)
.601 – Joel Chouinard (2016-19)
.561 – Aaron Gens (2014-17)
.554 – Justin Baker (2014-16)