Welcome to Idaho Steelheads Power Rankings, where we at IdahoSteelheads.com will see where the Steelheads and their players rank among the best of the best in the ECHL.
ECHL defensemen have had a devil of a time over the season’s first ten games while trying to keep one of the league’s newest faces in check. Justin Parizek has been among Idaho’s best offensive performers in the season’s first month, leading the team in goals and serving as a go-to guy on the team’s power play. But where does the first-year Steelhead rank among other ECHL rookies in goal-scoring? Let’s find out!
5) Artur Tyanulin– 4 goals, Fort Wayne Komets
There are currently eight rookies in the ECHL at the four-goal mark, but none as efficient as Artur Tyanulin. Tyanulin has done so in just four games, also grabbing eight points over that stretch . The Russian rookie has at least a point in every game to start his season, with his best performance coming last Sunday when he earned his first multi-goal, three-point game against Kalamazoo. Last year Tyanulin scored 24 goals and logged 85 points in 67 games for the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s, a scoring pace that earned him an AHL contract with the Tucson Roadrunners. At his current scoring rate, he may be heading back their soon.
4) Grant Besse – 4 goals, Norfolk Admirals
The Steelheads did a nice job of keeping Grant Besse in check during their season-opening series against the Admirals, holding the former Wisconsin Badger without a point in his first two pro contests. That’s proven harder to accomplish in the weeks since, with the 2013 Anaheim Ducks draft pick scoring four goals and nine points over his last eight games. Besse has found the score sheet in six of eight games over that time, with three of his goals coming on the power play.
3) Alexandre Goulet – 5 goals, Jacksonville IceMen
Fans enjoying the early days of hockey’s return to Jacksonville have found a young stud they can get behind in Alexandre Goulet. After a breakout final season in the QMJHL with the Victoriaville Tigres- 39 goals and 89 points in 68 games, the Canadian rookie has picked up where he left off with five goals and nine points in his first six games in Jacksonville. Goulet burst onto the scene scoring all five goals in his first four games of the season. Perhaps even more impressively, he’s taken only 14 shots this season, giving him an early-season shooting percentage of 35.7 percent.
2) Justin Parizek – 6 goals, Idaho Steelheads
Last year’s captain at the University of Nebraska-Omaha is making an instant splash in Idaho with a team-leading six goals in the first ten games. It’s well ahead of his college scoring pace, with his best season coming in 2014-15 with 13 goals in 38 game, and his best scoring pace last year with 12 goals in 33 games. Parizek also leads all ECHL rookies with 39 shots on goal. Three of Parizek’s goals have either tied the game for Idaho or given the Steelheads a lead.
1) Reid Gardiner – 8 goals, Wheeling Nailers
Reid Gardiner technically qualifies as a rookie despite playing 23 games last season in the American Hockey League with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, when he scored three goals in 23 games. This season in Wheeling he’s making a much bigger impact, averaging a goal per game and currently riding a six-game goal-scoring streak and an eight-game points streak. Gardiner put up solid numbers in juniors with 257 points in 290 WHL games with Prince Albert and Kelowna. In Wheeling, he’s been a key contributor with three power play goals and three game-winning goals. Gardiner’s 8 goals are ranked second among all players in the league this season, one goal behind Colorado’s Michael Joly.