CHARLOTTE, NC—The ECHL announced Saturday that Charlotte Checkers head coach and general manager Derek Wilkinson has been named to the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game. Wilkinson will coach the American Conference team along with South Carolina Stingrays head coach Cail MacLean.
It is the first such nomination for Wilkinson who was selected using a combination of win percentage and votes from coaches in the American conference. The Checkers are currently 16-10-4 and rank sixth in the ECHL with a .600 win percentage.
The native of LaSalle, Ontario is in his sixth full season as general manager and head coach of Charlotte and at 35 years old is one of the youngest active head coaches in the ECHL. He is 210-171-38 and has more wins than any other coach in team history.
Wilkinson has led the Checkers to the Kelly Cup Playoffs each of his first five seasons tying the team record for consecutive postseason appearances. In his first full season in 2004-05, Charlotte finished 39-26-7 and returned to the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time in three years.
Prior to coaching, Wilkinson played seven professional seasons as a goaltender, including parts of four seasons in the NHL. He was the first-ever netminder selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning, who selected him in the seventh round (145th overall) in the 1992 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
The 2010 ECHL All-Star Game will take place on Jan. 20 in Ontario, Calif.
The Checkers (16-10-4-0) host Gwinnett today (2 p.m.) and South Carolina on Wednesday (7 p.m.). Ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com
Notes: Ryan Munce ranks second among all ECHL goaltenders with a .922 save percentage…Tyler Doig has 13 points in his last 11 games…Randy Rowe has four goals in the last three games and now has 399 career ECHL points…Miika Wiikman has only one regulation loss in nine games this season (5-1-2)…rookie Andrew Carroll has three game-winning goals in the last eight games…the Checkers are 8-3-1 in their last 12 home games…T.J. Reynolds leads all ECHL defensemen with 137 penalty minutes, and is second overall in the league in plus-minus with a +18 rating…Derek Couture remains on loan to Hartford, Daniel Tkaczuk is with Syracuse, Matt Ford remains with Lake Erie (AHL) and defenseman Ethan Graham is with Norfolk (AHL)…Trevor Glass, Codey Burki and Chris Chappell are on the 21-day injured reserve.