Thought it was interesting that Tyler Donati was sent back to the ECHL today…thought it was really interesting that the transaction reads that he was loaned by the Connecticut Whale to the Stockton Thunder.
In ECHL circles at least, Donati is synonymous with the Elmira Jackals. He’s spent all or parts of the past four seasons with the club, and last year scored 114 points (38-76-114) in 67 games en route to league MVP honors. What he can’t seem to do, however, is translate that success to the AHL. With the Connecticut Whale, the newly re-branded top minor league affiliate of the New York Rangers, he’s without a point in nine contests.
Donati has 21 points (10-11-21) in 18 games this season with the Jackals, which projects out to an 84 point campaign over a full season…certainly not what he posted last year, but not too shabby none the less. I’ll be interested to see what’s behind the assignment out west.
UPDATED: Turns out there was more to it than met the eye earlier today. Elmira has traded the ECHL rights of Tyler Donati to Stockton…coming back from Stockton (Could this be a real trade in the ECHL? Who knew?) is goaltender Garrett Zemlak.
Zemlak is a huge, huge addition for the Jackals. A fairly highly-regarded goaltending prospect in the Kings organization (and who isn’t…Bernier, Zatkoff, Jones, etc.), the 21-year-old has a 2.37 GAA and .912 save percentage in 14 games for the Thunder this season. Marco Cousineau has struggled big time this season, and guys like Daren Machesney, Zane Kalemba, Peter Skoggard, and whoever the heck else they had behind him this season haven’t really gotten it done, either.
It also goes to show you that, for the right player, good goaltending is out there in this league. But this is where how the Devils do things at this level really hurts them…they don’t “borrow” players from other organizations, and don’t allow their own guys to be loaned to other organizations, either. If you don’t think that’s a factor in why things are the way they are on the ice in Trenton, you need to think again…
UPDATE 2: Here, read this story I did on Michael Ryder for ECHL.com
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com