ECHL's Central, North Divisions Vying For Superiority

ECHL's Central, North Divisions Vying For Superiority

Here's how each ECHL division is faring as we head into 2022.

Dec 30, 2021 by Mike Ashmore
ECHL's Central, North Divisions Vying For Superiority

As seen exclusively on FloHockey, the first third of the 2021-22 ECHL season has been incredibly entertaining, with each division’s respective playoff races starting to take shape as we head towards the All-Star break in mid-January.

Here’s a quick look at how each division is looking thus far:


The Newfoundland Growlers have been the most intriguing team in the North so far this season, as their issues at home have finally been resolved. That combined with their undefeated streak on the road to start the year makes the Growlers a must-watch team. 

Not to be overlooked, however, are the Trois-Rivieres Lions, an expansion team that isn’t playing like one, and is just two points behind the Growlers for first place in the division.

Behind them, the final two playoff spots seem up for grabs; the Adirondack Thunder and Reading Royals currently occupy them with 23 points each, just one point ahead of the Maine Mariners and six up on the Worcester Railers.

The North has also seen some standout individual performances thus far; Newfoundland’s Zach O’Brien and Trois-Rivieres’ Olivier Archambault each find themselves among the top 10 in the ECHL’s scoring leaders.


This year’s All-Star Game hosts, the Jacksonville Icemen have unexpectedly emerged not only as the class of the division, but the league as well. Their 18-8-1-1 record serves as the ECHL’s best as the calendar gets ready to turn to 2022.

Perennial powerhouse Florida Everblades has seemingly locked themselves into a playoff spot with a firm grasp on second place in the South, while the Orlando Solar Bears and Atlanta Gladiators round the teams currently in postseason berth positions in the standings.

The Norfolk Admirals, Greenville Swamp Rabbits and defending Eastern Conference champion South Carolina Stingrays are all currently on the outside looking in. The trio of franchises are looking to turn their seasons around after tough stretches of late; all three have only two wins in their last ten games.

The South division features the league’s second-leading scorer in Florida standout Blake Winiecki, as well as three of the league’s top-six leaders in goals against average; Atlanta’s Tyler Parks (2.09), Florida’s Cam Johnson (2.13) and Jacksonville’s Charles Williams (2.14). 


The Central just might be the league’s best division from top to bottom; it’s the only one in the league that can boast having either three teams at 30 points or above, and five teams with a points percentage above .500.

The Toledo Walleye, Fort Wayne Komets and Cincinnati Cyclones are locked in a battle for the top spot, separated by one point, with Toledo currently holding the lead. Behind them, the Wheeling Nailers are in the fourth and final playoff position at 29 points, with the Kalamazoo Wings trailing with 26.

Indy and Iowa are holding up the rear in the Central at the moment, each with nine wins and 22 points so far this season, but still just seven points out of a playoff spot with plenty of hockey still remaining to play.

The league’s leading scorer among both forwards and defensemen come from the Central. Those are Toledo’s T.J. Hensick and Indy’s Mike Lee, respectively, while one of the league’s best stories, Japanese-born Yushiroh Hirano, finds himself not far behind Hensick in the scoring race.


The Utah Grizzlies have a firm grasp on the Mountain Division’s top spot, with an 18-9-1-0 record that’s good for second-best in the league.

As for the remainder of the top four spots, those have stayed pretty steady for most of the season, occupied by the Idaho Steelheads, Tulsa Oilers and Rapid City Rush.

The Rush have a five-point lead over the division’s fifth-place team, the Kansas City Mavericks, who hold a one and two-point edge, respectively, over the Wichita Thunder and Allen Americans.

Idaho boasts both of the league’s top goaltenders, Jake Kupsky (1.65 GAA) and Matt Jurusik (1.66 GAA). However both have since left for the American Hockey League after a bevy of transactions from the trickle-down effect of the National Hockey League at least temporarily returning to implementing taxi squads at the game’s top level. Rapid City’s Logan Nelson is currently the league’s third-leading scorer with a 10-22—32 line in his first 27 games.