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Stewart Is 354th Player To Play In NHL After ECHL

April 7, 2008 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release

PRINCETON, N.J. - Former Cincinnati Cyclones left wing Greg Stewart became the 354th player to play in the National Hockey League after playing in the ECHL when he made his debut with the Montreal Canadiens in a 3-1 win against Toronto on Saturday.

Stewart fought Bryan McCabe in the third period and finished with 13 shifts and 11:26 of ice time.

He is the 25th former ECHL player to play his first NHL game this year and the 209th to make his debut in the past seven seasons. In each of the last nine NHL seasons there have been at least 20 former ECHL players who have played their first NHL game including 41 in 2003-04 and a record 47 in 2005-06.

There have been five players who have played in both the ECHL and the NHL this season: Chris Beckford-Tseu (Alaska and St. Louis), Joe Jensen (Wheeling and Carolina), Dan LaCosta (Elmira and Columbus), Jonathan Quick (Reading and Los Angeles) and Danny Taylor (Reading and Los Angeles).

The Premier ‘AA' Hockey League has affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the NHL, marking the 11th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams.

Selected in the eighth round (246th overall) by Montreal in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the 21-year-old Stewart played his entire rookie season in 2006-07 in Cincinnati and had 23 points (8g-15a) and 126 penalty minutes in 62 regular season games. He led the Cyclones in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with 36 penalty minutes and tied for the team lead with five goals while finishing with seven points in 10 games. He had 17 points (10g-7a) and 137 penalty minutes in 69 games for Hamilton of the American Hockey League in 2007-08. The Cyclones are the ECHL affiliate of the Canadiens and the Bulldogs.

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