Tag Archives: Stefanos Lekkas

Jr. Blues Represented at Seven NHL Development Camps

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have six players, current or alumni, on NHL development camp rosters. Development camps are not tryout camps, but rather are an opportunity for players to showcase their talents to that respective team. Draft picks from this year and previous years will be in attendance as well as invitees who have not been drafted yet. 

Henry Graham, a Manhattan, NY native, will be participating in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ development camp this week in Ohio. Henry played in two regular season games for the Jr. Blues at the end of the 2018-19 NAHL season and finished with a 1-0-0 GAA and .907 SV % after playing for Honeybaked U18 previously. Graham is one of eight players to have signed a tender with Springfield for the 2019-20 season. 

Tommy Nappier, the Big Ten Goaltender of the Year, is in Pittsburgh to showcase his skills for the Penguins. The Ohio State goalie played for the Jr. Blues during the 2015-16 season before playing in the USHL for the Chicago Steel and the Omaha Lancers. The St. Louis, MO native just wrapped up his sophomore season for the Buckeyes, leading them to a regular season title behind a 12-4-3 record with a 1.86 GAA and .934 SV%. 

Kelly Klima, who played for the Jr. Blues with his brother Kevin during the 2014-15 season, will be at the Arizona Coyotes camp for the second year. The Tampa, FL native split this past season between the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL) and the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL). In 27 ECHL games Klima put up 14 goals and 14 assists while adding 1 assist in 10 games in the AHL. 

Mike Robinson, a Bedford, NH native, will be in San Jose for the Sharks development camp. The 2015 3rd Round pick of the Sharks spent the last two seasons at the University of New Hampshire after playing for the Jr. Blues during the 2016-17 season. In 31 games for UNH this past season Robinson posted a 2.48 GAA and .915 SV%. It will be the fourth appearance for Robinson at the Sharks development camp. 

Devin Cooley, a goaltender at the University of Denver, will be participating in the Toronto Maple Leafs camp this month. The Los Gatos, CA native played here in Springfield during the 2016-17 season with fellow alumnus Mike Robinson. Devin had a solid season for the Pioneers this past season, compiling a 11-6-2 record with a 1.85 GAA and .934 SV%. 

Patrick Curry, who will be entering his senior season at Boston University, is currently participating at the St. Louis Blues development camp. The Schaumburg, IL native played for the Jr. Blues during the 2013-14 season before playing for Bloomington in the USHL for two seasons. This past season Curry put up 13 goals and 13 assists in 38 games for the Terriers.

The final Jr. Blues alumnus on an NHL development camp roster is University of Vermont goaltender Stefanos Lekkas , who is attending the Florida Panthers camp. The Elburn, IL native just finished up his third season with the Catamounts, posting a 2.27 GAA and .930 SV%. Lekkas played for the Jr. Blues during the 2013-14 season before joining the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL. 

In addition to Jr. Blues alumni there are three players who played in the NAHL this past season who are also on development camp rosters. Jake Veri (Lone Star Brahmas), Trevor Smith (Northeast Generals), and Pavel Rotenberg (Brookings Blizzard) will also be attending camps this summer. Six NHL teams have yet to release development camp rosters, while the majority of league will be hosting their camps this week.

Lekkas, McKay, Nappier Named Mike Richter Award Semi-Finalists

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that three alumni have been named Semi-Finalists for the Mike Richter Award. The award is given out annually to the best goaltender in NCAA Division 1 hockey.

Stefanos Lekkas, a junior at the University of Vermont, put in a stellar campaign for the Catamounts in an otherwise disappointing season. In 34 games played, Lekkas posted a 12-19-3 record with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage. The Elburn, IL native ranks in the top 20 for GAA and is 5th in the nation in SV%. 

Dryden McKay has been lights out this season for the Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks. In 30 appearances he has a 21-6-2 record with a miniscule 1.72 GAA and a .928 SV%. Additionally, McKay has posted 3 shutouts in his freshmen campaign. McKay leads all freshmen netminders in wins, GAA, SV%, and shutouts. Among all division 1 goaltenders he ranks 2nd in GAA and 7th in SV%.

For all that McKay and Lekkas have accomplished this season, Tommy Nappier has been at the front of the pack all year long. In his 18 games played this season, Nappier has an 12-2-3 record with a 1.78 GAA and a .937 SV%. He ranks 2nd in SV% and 4th in GAA among all Division 1 goaltenders. But that’s not where the story ends. The St. Louis, MO native had a conference best 1.82 goals-against average and .936 save percentage in Big Ten games, while also leading the league in winning percentage (.750; 8-2-2). His goals-against average is the second-lowest in Big Ten history, with his save percentage ranking fourth all-time.

Congratulations to Stefanos Lekkas, Dryden McKay, and Tommy Nappier for their outstanding play this season!

Jr. Blues Alumni Report – March 13th, 2019

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues are proud of the accomplishments that our alumni have made this season. With many seasons having already ended, or will be ending soon, we take a look at the performances of this past week from the NCAA and beyond.

We begin this week’s alumni rundown with our eyes set on the ECHL. Ross Olsson signed his first professional contract last week for the Worcester Railers and made his debut this past Saturday against the Norfolk Admirals. In a 6-1 victory for the Railers, Olsson scored his first professional goal and got in his first professional fight. Olsson recently graduated from Endicott College where he put record numbers offensively. 

The NCAA is entering the final stretch as conferences are in the midst of their playoff tournaments. Continuing his superb season, Dryden McKay helped Minnesota State to a Quarterfinal sweep of Alabama Huntsville in the WCHA playoffs this past weekend. McKay earned an Honorable Mention for both the WCHA Goaltender and Rookie of the Week honors after allowing just two goals on 32 shots. McKay has a stellar 21-6-2 record with a 1.72 GAA and a .928 SV% on the season. He leads all freshman goaltenders in wins, GAA, SV%, and shutouts, and ranks 2nd among all goaltenders in GAA and 7th in SV%.  

The UCONN Huskies upset the #2 ranked Massachusetts Minutemen on Saturday night, 4-3. Brian Rigali scored his 5th goal of the season and added his 6th assist in the programs first ever victory over a team ranked that high (previous highest ranked team was #3). Max Kalter would join his fellow Jr. Blues alum on the scoresheet with his 10th assist of the year in the season finale for UCONN, who did not make the playoffs.

While Stefanos Lekkas didn’t lead his team to victory in their season finale, he did lead them to a 2-2 tie against UMass-Lowell. Lekkas stopped 28 of 30 shots to earn his 3rd tie of the season, he currently holds a 12-19-3 record with a strong 2.27 GAA and a .930 SV%. The junior from Elburn, IL is ranked 5th in the nation in SV% and in the top 20 in GAA.  

Our final highlight of the weekend goes to Ryan Leibold, a freshman at Holy Cross. On Saturday, Leibold scored his 4th goal of the season in a 3-2 loss to Robert Morris. In 33 games this season Leibold has 4 goals and 5 assists.

Here is a recap of other alumni around the hockey world:

  • Tim Santopaolo, F: 6 G, 6 A in 14 GP (Watertown Wolves, FHL)
  • Nicholas Belger, F: 21 G, 31 A in 32 GP (Stony Brook Univ., ACHA)
  • Josh Bell, F: 19 G, 16 A in 27 GP (Missouri St., ACHA)
  • Michael Davies, F: 16 G, 14 A in 39 GP (EHC Linz, EBEL)
  • Zachary Tyson, F: 6 G, 20 A in 29 GP (Hobart College, NCAA DIII)
  • Joey Lupo, F: 11 G, 13 A in 25 GP (Amherst College, NCAA DIII)
  • Luke Radetic, F: 14 G, 9 A in 26 GP (Univ. of St. Thomas, NCAA DIII)
  • Joey Sardina, F: 10 G, 10 A in 28 GP (Lake Forest, NCAA DIII)

Jr. Blues Alumni Breakdown

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have advanced over 100 players onto college and professional hockey in the last 25 years. We’ve picked out a handful of alumni who have been excelling this season on and off the ice for this week’s Jr. Blues Alumni Breakdown.

Dryden McKay nabbed his fourth WCHA Goaltender of the Week award after going 1-0-1 for the MSU-Mankato Mavericks against the Michigan Tech Huskies. McKay, a freshman, stopped 57 of 60 shot in two games started and ended with a .950 save percentage and 1.38 goals against average. McKay turned aside 24 shots in Friday’s contest, and an additional four shooters in the shootout victory. On Saturday the Downers Grove, IL native made 33 saves in a 3-2 overtime win. He is now 17-5-2 over all with a 1.87 GAA and a .923 save percentage this season. McKay currently leads all freshmen goaltenders in minutes played (1477:55), wins, goals against average, and shutouts (3).

Stefanos Lekkas, to his own credit, has been playing equally as well for the University of Vermont Catamounts as of late. After going 1-1-0 against University of New Hampshire he was named the Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Lekkas, who is from Elburn, IL, stopped 57 of 59 shots he faced over the weekend. He denied 26 shots in a 1-0 defeat on Friday before making 31 saves in a 4-1 victory on Saturday. On the season Lekkas is 12-14-2 with a 2.26 GAA and a .931 save percentage.

Facing off with Lekkas was a fellow Jr. Blues alum in Mike Robinson. Robinson led the UNH Wildcats to a 1-0 victory on Friday behind a 29 save shutout, his fourth of the season. In Saturday’s 4-1 defeat Robinson turned aside 37 of 41 shots. In 25 games played this season he is 10-8-7 with a 2.25 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

Not to be outdone or forgotten, Tommy Nappier is continuing to win for the Ohio State Buckeyes. The St. Louis, MO native is 11-1-2 with a 1.60 GAA and a .946 save percentage for the #2 team in the nation. Over the weekend Nappier kept 29 of 30 shots out of the net in a 4-1 victory over Wisconsin.

McKay, Lekkas, Robinson, Nappier, and Devin Cooley have not only been topping our alumni list each week, but they’ve also been ranking at the top or near the top of statistical categories for all goalies in the NCAA. Nappier has the highest winning percentage in Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey (.857), while McKay sits at sixth (.750) and Cooley is 15h (.654).

All five are in the top 20 for goal against average: Nappier is second (1.60), McKay is seventh (1.87), Cooley is 14th (2.08), Robinson is 19th (2.25), and Lekkas is 20th (2.26). Nappier is also second in the nation in save percentage (.946), while Lekkas is fifth (.931), Cooley is 8th (.929), McKay is 15th (.923), and Robinson is 16th (.923).

Here is a quick recap of a few more of our alumni:

  • Max Kalter had 2 assists for UCONN (NCAA); he now has 6 goals and 7 assists in 28 games played.
  • Brian Rigali had 1 goal and 1 assist for UCONN (NCAA); he now has 4 goals and 5 assists in 23 games played.
  • T.J. Friedmann scored his first NCAA goal for Quinnipiac on Feb. 2nd against Clarkson University. He has four assists in 23 games as well.
  • Kelly Klima has four points in his last five games (2 goals, 2 assists) and has at least one point in 13 of his 20 games played this season (8 goals, 9 assists) for the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL).
  • Kevin Loppatto is currently on loan to IF Bjorkloven in HockeyAllsvenskan (Second League) in Sweden. He has 1 goal in three games played with the team. Loppatto had put up 16 goals and 13 assists in 33 games for Vannas HC in Sweden’s Division 1 League (Hockeyettan, Tier Three).
  • Evan Fear was traded to the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL by the Green Bay Gamblers. In 24 appearances this season, Fear is 10-9-4-0 with a 3.33 GAA and a .899 save percentage. He has three USHL Goaltender of the Week awards this season (10/22/18, 12/10/18, and 12/31/18).
  • Mike McKenna is now on his second AHL team this season (Belleville Senators, Lehigh Valley Phantoms) and his 14th AHL team overall (Norfolk, Milwaukee, Omaha, Portland, Lowell, Albany, Binghamton, Peoria, Springfield, Syracuse, and Texas). McKenna has played in 470 AHL games and holds a career line of: 228-176-25 with 27 shutouts, a 2.71 GAA, and a .913 save percentage. He has appeared in two Calder Cup Finals (Syracuse Crunch and the Texas Stars).
  • Luke Radetic has 13 goals and 9 assists for University of St. Thomas (NCAA D3) in 23 games.
  • Bradley Marek has 6 goals and 4 assists in 41 games for the Central Illinois Flying Aces (USHL).

Jr. Blues Alumni Report

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have been a member of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) since 1993 and have had alumni play college hockey and in professional leagues around the world. Here are a few alumni performances from the past week that we have chosen to spotlight.

Three goaltenders earned player of the week honors in three different conferences. Dryden McKay (Minnesota State-Mankato) has continued to impress as he was named the WCHA Goaltender of the Week. McKay, a freshman, stopped 26 of 27 shots in two wins over Alabama Huntsville this past weekend. In Saturday’s 4-0 win McKay stopped all 12 shots for his third career shutout. The Downers Grove, IL native currently has a 16-5-1 record with a 1.91 GAA and a .921 save percentage for the Mavericks.

Shifting to the east coast, Stefanos Lekkas was named the Hockey East Player of the Week after backstopping Vermont to a victory and a tie against #9 Providence. The Elburn, IL native made 33 saves in a 3-1 win on Friday, and made 46 saves in a 1-1 tie on Saturday. On the weekend Lekkas made 79 saves, posted a 0.98 GAA and a .975 save percentage. Overall Lekkas is 11-13-2 with a 2.36 GAA and a .929 save percentage for the Catamounts this season.

We would be remiss if we didn’t include Tommy Nappier in our Alumni recap as well. Nappier, a sophomore at Ohio State, was named the Big Ten #3 Star of the Week after leading the Buckeyes to a 2-0 win on Saturday against Notre Dame. Nappier turned aside all 30 shots that he faced to earn his fourth shutout of the season and his 10th win of the season. With just one loss on the season, Nappier’s 1.64 GAA and .945 save percentage both rank second in the nation.

But don’t think that it’s just goalies who are making strides since leaving Springfield. Boston University forward Patrick Curry scored two goals on Friday night against #3 UMass. Curry, who is from Schaumburg, IL, is in his junior season at BU and in 25 games played this season he has 9 goals and 8 assists.

Here are more alumni who have been playing well this season:

  • Russell Jordan (F) – 4 goals, 6 assists between Pensacola and Birmingham (SPHL)
  • Sam Craggs (F) – 4 goals, 4 assists in 29 games; Bowling Green St. Univ. (NCAA)
  • Coale Norris (F) – 6 goals, 6 assists in 28 games; Ferris State (NCAA)
  • Max Kalter (F) – 6 goals, 5 assists in 26 games; Univ. of Connecticut (NCAA)
  • Kelly Klima (F) – 7 goals, 8 assists in 17 games; Norfolk Admirals (ECHL)
  • Jack Summers (D) – 7 assists, +3 in 20 games; Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)

Jr. Blues Alumni Shine in the NCAA

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have over 100 alumni playing in other junior leagues, college, and professional leagues. In what has proven to be a phenomenal year for our alumni, goaltenders have stood out from the rest.

For his play this past weekend, Dryden McKay was named an Honorable Mention for WCHA Goaltender of the Week. McKay helped propel the Minnesota State – Mankato Mavericks to a sweep of Northern Michigan, going 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .931 save percentage. In 21 games played this season McKay is 14-5-1 with a 2.04 GAA and a .919 save percentage.

But McKay wasn’t the only alumni goaltender to play well this past weekend.

Mike Robinson was named a Hockey East Top Performer as he went 1-0-2 for the University of New Hampshire. Robinson recorded a 1.90 GAA and a .937 save percentage in the three games, including a career-best 36 saves in a 6-0 shutout against UCONN. The shutout is Robinson’s third shutout of the season, and he sports a 8-6-7 record with a 2.20 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

 

Not to be forgotten, Stefanos Lekkas was also named a Hockey East Top Performer for driving the University of Vermont Catamounts to a two-game sweep of Merrimack. Turning in a 1.94 GAA and a .923 save percentage, Lekkas allowed one goal on Friday and kicked aside 28 shots in a 4-3 overtime victory on Saturday.

Goaltending excellence aside, our alumni forwards have pitched in lately as well. Brady Tomlak scored a goal and an assist in Air Force’s 3-1 victory on Saturday against Robert Morris to finish a two game sweep. Tomlak now has 5 goals and 6 assists in his junior season for the Falcons.

Josh Lammon once again makes our list of alumni outstanding performances after he scored one goal and added one assist for Mercyhurst in a weekend split with AIC. The senior captain of the Lakers has 9 goals and 10 assists in 28 games this season.

Here is a recap of other alumni around the world:

  • Zachary Tyson (F) – 5 G, 16 A in 21 games for Hobart College (NCAA D3)
  • Michael Davies (F) – 10 G, 11 A in 29 games for EHC Linz (EBEL)
  • Radim Matus (F) – 7 G, 13 A in 42 games for Orli Znojmo (EBEL)
  • Patrick Curry (F) – 7 G, 8 A in 23 games for Boston Univ. (NCAA D1)
  • Chris Brown (D) – 7 G, 12 A in 35 games for Missouri State Univ. (ACHA)
  • Lester Lancaster (D) – 3 G, 3 A in 19 games for Univ. of Denver (NCAA D1)

Lekkas named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud member of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that 2013-14 alum Stefanos Lekkas has been named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week!

Lekkas kicked aside 84 of 89 shots that he saw over the weekend, helping Vermont to split a weekend series at Colorado College. He made 48 saves, tying his career high, in a 2-1 win over the Tigers on Saturday. He also denied all six of Colorado College’s power play opportunities on the weekend and the Catamounts are now 42 of 47 on the penalty kill this season.

The Elburn, IL native currently has five wins for the Catamounts this season and sports a solid 2.27 GAA and a .936 save percentage, good for 25th and 3rd in the nation respectively.  In October, Lekkas was named the Hockey East Player of the Week as well.