Cox, Sheppard Named to All-ECHL Second Team
ESTERO, Fla. - Florida Everblades forward Joe Cox and defenseman Derek Sheppard have been named to the All-ECHL Second Team, the league announced on Thursday.
Cox is being honored with a selection to an All-ECHL team for the first time in his career, while Sheppard, who was an ECHL All-Rookie Team selection on Wednesday, is receiving his second end-of-season accolade.
A native of Chelsea, Michigan, Cox has led the 'Blades in nearly every offensive category all season, including points (61), goals (27) and assists (34). He is the league leader in plus-minus rating with a +46 mark. Cox, 25, was the 'Blades player representative at the 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic and helped the Eastern Conference capture the All-Star Classic title.
A second-year pro, Cox took just 51 games to surpass his previous career-high point total of 54 points (22g-32a) from his rookie season last year and has notched multiple points in 16 games this year. Cox returned on Wednesday from his first career American Hockey League stint, playing in nine games and recording four points (2g-2a) with the Laval Rocket.
Prior to turning professional, Cox notched 69 career points (28g-41a) in 143 games for Michigan State University. He served as the team captain in his final season with the Spartans in 2016-17, before joining the Everblades for five games at the end of that season.
Sheppard has compiled the best offensive season by an Everblades rookie defenseman in franchise history. The Ajax, Ontario, native is tied for first among ECHL rookie defensemen with 14 goals and is third among rookie blueliners with 40 points, a point total that is tied for eighth overall among all league defensemen. He has posted multiple points on nine occasions, including a single-game career-high of three points in four games.
A product of York University, Sheppard suited up in 10 games for the Everblades last season after finishing his four-year career with the Lions. He notched 100 points (33g-67a) in 111 career games with York University.
The All-ECHL First and Second Teams for 2018-19 were determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media, who were asked to select a goaltender, two defensemen and three forwards. The All-ECHL First Team and All-ECHL Second Team are listed below.
2018-19 All-ECHL First Team
G - Michael Houser, Cincinnati Cyclones
D - Eric Knodel, Cincinnati Cyclones
D - Matt Petgrave, Brampton Beast (50 gp, 8g, 32a, 40 pts.)
F - Caleb Herbert, Utah Grizzlies (51 gp, 31g, 37a, 68 pts.)
F - Adam Pleskach, Tulsa Oilers (69 gp, 37g, 34a, 71 pts.)
F - Jesse Schultz, Cincinnati Cyclones
2018-19 All-ECHL Second Team
G - Tomas Sholl, Idaho Steelheads (37 gp, 25-12-0, 2.26 GAA, .928 save pct.)
D - Matt Register, Toledo Walleye (62 gp, 12g, 34a, 46 pts.)
D - Derek Sheppard, Florida Everblades (57 gp, 14g, 26a, 40 pts.)
F - Joe Cox, Florida Everblades (55 gp, 27g, 34a, 61 pts.)
F - Chris McCarthy, Reading Royals
F - Zach O'Brien, Newfoundland Growlers (50 gp, 27g, 36a, 63 pts.)
Florida starts a two-game weekend with a Friday night matchup against the Orlando Solar Bears at Hertz Arena. The game will get underway at 7:30 p.m.
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