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Willows Named CCM ECHL Rookie of the Year

Monday, April 11th
Willows Named CCM ECHL Rookie of the Year

ESTERO, FL – The Florida Everblades are pleased to announce that Matt Willows has been named the CCM ECHL Rookie of the Year and the recipient of the John A. Daley Memorial Trophy. In addition, Everblades goaltender Anthony Peters was also considered for the award.

The award is presented annually to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the ECHL as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members.. The trophy was named in honor of John A. Daley in 1997. Daley, who passed away in 1996, was one of the founding fathers of the ECHL, serving as general manger and minority owner of the Johnstown Chiefs from the inception of the team in 1988 until 1994.

Michael Kirkpatrick of Adirondack finished second, followed by Manchester’s Matt Leitner, Vitek Vanecek of South Carolina and Florida’s Anthony Peters.

Willows, who was named to the All-ECHL Rookie Team last week, led ECHL rookies in scoring with 66 points (23g-43a) in 70 games this season, which is also tied for fifth overall in the league. He also led first-year players with 43 assists while he was tied for first among rookies with 12 power-play assists, finished fourth with 17 power-play points and was second with 232 shots on goal.

The 24-year-old spent the previous four seasons at the University of New Hampshire where he recorded 90 points (45g-45a) in 130 career games. Willows made his pro debut at the end of last season tallying five points (3g-2a) in 11 games with Worcester of the American Hockey League.

ECHL Rookie of the Year Winners2015-16           Matt Willows, Florida Everblades2014-15           Tyler Barnes, Toledo Walleye2013-14           William Rapuzzi, Idaho Steelheads2012-13           Ryan Zapolski, South Carolina Stingrays2011-12           Dustin Gazley, Elmira Jackals2010-11           Ben Street, Wheeling Nailers2009-10           Justin Donati, Elmira Jackals2008-09           Bryan Ewing, Wheeling Nailers2007-08           David Desharnais, Cincinnati Cyclones2006-07           Colton Fretter, Gwinnett Gladiators2005-06           Alex Leavitt, Alaska Aces2004-05           Joe Tenute, South Carolina Stingrays2003-04           Kevin Doell, Gwinnett Gladiators2002-03           Jason Jaffray, Roanoke Express2001-02           Frederic Cloutier, Louisiana IceGators2000-01           Scott Stirling, Trenton Titans1999-00           Jan Lasak, Hampton Roads Admirals1998-99           Maxime Gingras, Richmond Renegades1997-98           Sean Venedam, Toledo Storm1996-97           Dany Bousquet, Birmingham Bulls1995-96           Keli Corpse, Wheeling Thunderbirds1994-95           Kevin McKinnon, Erie Panthers1993-94           Dan Gravelle, Greensboro Monarchs1992-93           Joe Flanagan, Birmingham Bulls1991-92           Darren Colbourne, Dayton Bombers1990-91           Dan Gauthier, Knoxville Cherokees1989-90           Bill McDougall, Erie Panthers1988-89           Tom Sasso, Johnstown Chiefs

The Everblades will open up the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs against the Wheeling Nailers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals this Friday at Germain Arena, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The following is a complete schedule the of the best-of-seven series:Game 1:  Friday, April 15, Wheeling at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:30 p.m. Game 2: Saturday, April 16, Wheeling at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:00 p.m. Game 3:  Wednesday, April 20, Florida at Wheeling, WesBanco Arena, 7:05 p.m.Game 4:  Friday, April 22, Florida at Wheeling, WesBanco Arena, 7:35 p.m.Game 5:  Saturday, April 23, Florida at Wheeling, WesBanco Arena, 7:35 p.m.**Game 6:  Monday, April 25, Wheeling at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:30 p.m.**Game 7:  Wednesday, April 27, Wheeling at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:30 p.m.**** If NecessaryTicket Information

Playoff Game Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online atwww.ticketmaster.com

Discounted Group Tickets: Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price! For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825.

2016-17 Season Ticket Plans Now Available:  Full  and flexible partial season ticket plans are  currently available for the 2016-17 season. We offer several tickets packages designed to help fit your budget and schedule. For more information, call 239-948-7825, or stop by the team’s main office located at Germain Arena from Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Fans may also stop by our sales tables located in the concourse at Everblades games. .

The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###

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