Earlier today the Bridgeport Sound Tigers announced that rookie forward Jason Clark has been loaned to Gwinnett (ECHL). Here’s the release:
Clark has looked ok in very limited time with the Sound Tigers, but at just 20-years-old and a rookie out of the University of Wisconsin, where he battled injuries and was not a full-time player, this is an opportunity for him to get good minutes on a regular basis.
Additionally, this is not a typical ECHL season, as the lockout has also boosted the overall talent level of the league, just as the addition of NHL regulars on entry-level contracts have increased the talent in the AHL. In the case of the “Coast”, a number of NHL players are there during the lockout, while many players who have been mainstays in the AHL, find themselves on ECHL level clubs because they were squeezed out of their spots in order to play the NHL guys. It’s a trickle down of talent. So in this case, I think Clark plays against better talent in the ECHL then compared to other seasons.
The Sound Tigers previously have sent down contract players to the ECHL to gain additional playing time, most notably guys like Trevor Smith and Andrew McDonald several years ago with the Utah Grizzlies.