Roper Shocked And Thrilled With All-Star Nod

First-year Trenton Devils radio voice Paul Roper wasn’t expecting to get the opportunity to broadcast the ECHL All-Star Game. But, when you listen to Wednesday’s game, to be held in Reading, Roper’s will be one of the voices you’ll be hearing.

“It was really quite shocking,” said the 22-year-old of learning he’d be broadcasting the game.

“I didn’t ever think I’d get the chance to call this game, I don’t really have that much experience. But I grew up as a big fan of the game and I’d always wanted to broadcast hockey, so I’m just shocked and surprised right now.”

With the format of the game having been changed in 2002 to feature some of the league’s younger players, including 26 NHL graduates since that change, the recent Seton Hall grad should be in for a treat.

“I’m just excited to be able to call the premier event at the ECHL level, and happy that the Devils organization gave me this opportunity to call games.  This should be a lot of fun,” Roper said.

Roper is also looking forward to teaming up with Reading Royals voice Mark Thompson and South Carolina Stingrays radio man Josh Heller.

Roper on Thompson: “Mark’s a very good guy, I’m really looking forward to working with him.  He’s a veteran, so I’m sure I’ll be able to learn a lot from him.”

Roper on Heller: “Josh is young like me, he’s actually a year older than me.  He’s another guy who could really break out, I hear he does a great job and I’m really looking forward to working with him as well.”

But for Roper himself, he’s also viewing this as an opportunity to be heard by a wider audience, as the game will be simulcast on XM’s NHL radio, as well as ECHL.com

“This is my national debut, I just hope people like me,” joked Roper.

But anyone who’s had the pleasure of listening to his Trenton Devils broadcasts throughout the season — or had the pleasure of working with him during his days with the Newark Bears — knows that Roper is unlikely to encounter any problems being liked.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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