Pro teams chasing league titles have Ice connections

Former Kootenay players are in the middle of chasing league championships, one of which clinched a title on Monday in the ECHL.

Former Kootenay Ice players are in the middle of chasing their respective league championships, one of which clinched a title on Monday night in the ECHL.

James Martin, a former defenceman who was a part of the 2011 WHL-championship team, won the Kelly Cup with the Alaska Aces, defeating the Cincinnati Cyclones 4-0 to win the series in six games.

Martin, a prospect with the Calgary Flames, has played two full seasons in the ECHL, one with the Utah Grizzlies and the most recent campaign with the Aces.

He posted two goals and 15 assists in the regular season, and suited up for 11 games in their playoff run to the Kelly Cup final.

Martin went pro after the Ice went to the Memorial Cup, but his entry-level contract expires this off-season.

Martin enjoyed a four-year career in the WHL with the Swift Current Broncos and the Kootenay Ice. In 189 games, he tallied 19 goals and 33 assists with a plus-three rating.

In the AHL, former Ice captain Jason Jaffray is locked in a battle for the league title with the St. John’s IceCaps, who are facing the Texas Stars.

The series stands even at 1-1.

Jaffray has been a career minor-leaguer for the most part, suiting up for 277 AHL games, and currently serves as the captain for the IceCaps.

He’s been in the system with the Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets, spending the majority of his time in the NHL with the latter two teams.

He made the Kootenay Ice as a 17-year-old during the club’s first year in Cranbrook, winning a WHL title in 2000 but got traded to Swift Current before the Memorial Cup run in 2002.

Jaffray holds several franchise records with the Manitoba Moose—the former farm team of the Vancouver Canucks—with honours such as all-time leader for most points at 321. He also the record for most powerplay goals (39) and all-time game-winning goals (19).

Jaffray led the team in points during the regular season with 18 goals and 41 assists, and is fifth in team scoring in the playoffs.

Game Three goes down in St. John’s on Wednesday night.

Of course, it’s hard not to mention Kootenay’s most famous alumnus.

Jarret Stoll and the L.A Kings are one win away from their second NHL title in three years as they hold a 3–0 series lead over the New York Rangers.

Stoll, who still holds a few records with the Kootenay Ice, has spent the last 12 years playing professionally in the NHL.

He won the Stanley Cup with the Kings two years ago, and is poised to do it again, save for a miraculous comeback from the Blueshirts.

Stoll enjoyed a successful major-junior career with the Ice, winning two WHL titles and the Memorial Cup in 2002. He represented Canada twice in the World Junior Championship where he won a bronze and a silver, serving as team captain the second time around.

He played four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers before landing in Los Angeles via trade in 2008. The Kings signed him to a three-year contract extension in 2012.