HOOKSETT, NH -- On Friday, the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) announced its 68 All-Stars for the 2020-21 season. Of the many challenges that have presented themselves this season, the EHL has been forced to cancel all of its feature events to date, from the EHL Showcase Series to the EHL All-Star Series. A new event that was scheduled to debut this year was the EHL All-Star Classic presented by Dangle Sauce Hockey.
The event was lined up to feature 60 of the top skaters from around the league, along with eight goaltenders. Despite attempts to change the dates and venue of the event, the league determined that in the best interest of safety for everyone involved, the EHL All-Star Classic could not be held this calendar year.
With that being said, the league chose to continue to recognize the players and coaches who would have participated in the event. The official list includes Chris Cerrella, the Head Coach and General Manager of the Avalanche, along with Chris Aarons, Mark Blaney, Robert Martiniello, Artem Mateichenko, and George McMichael.
The Avalanche are one of just three teams to have five or more players named 2020 EHL All-Stars, as well as one of the only teams to have a player in each category of forward, defenseman, and goaltender.
Each player is undoubtedly deserving of the recognition, starting with McMichael who leads all EHL goaltenders in Wins (8), GAA (1.44), Save Percentage (.953), and Shutouts (3).
Working up the ice from there, Blaney and Martiniello have played as defensive partners for much of the season, gelling well together as a pairing. The two have combined for 11 total points to date, and it's worth noting that of the 68 EHL All-Stars, Martiniello is the only player with a 2003 birth year or younger.
Moving up front, to the veterans of the group for the Avalanche, Aarons and Mateichenko are each returning 2000-born forwards. Mateichenko currently leads the team with 16 total points through 13 games, while Aarons (with one less game played), sits right behind his line-mate with 14 total points.
Along with this five players, there were a handful of other members of the Avalanche who made a strong case as well. From Parker Sondag and Ryan Malko up front, to Christian Halbig on the back end, this year's team is showing plenty of similarities to the previous three Avalanche rosters.
Depth has always been the key for Cerrella and the Avalanche, and this season appears to be no different at all.