Two Gwinnett Gladiators, Jeff Campbell and Troy Milam, were named First Team All-ECHL on Wednesday. They were the only two players from the American Conference on the All-ECHL first and second teams.
Both returned to the Gladiators lineup two days ago, Campbell from an American Hockey League callup and Milam from injured reserve. But the team wouldn't be where it is - No. 1 in the American Conference - without these two.
"I can't say enough about the both of them," Gwinnett head coach Jeff Pyle said.
Milam, who had surgery on a broken foot in February, played his first game in nearly two months on Tuesday. The 25-year-old's 40 assists this season tie him for second among ECHL defensemen and Milam is in the top five with 46 points in 46 games.
Under contract this season with Gwinnett's AHL affiliate in Chicago, Milam was a starter in this year's ECHL All-Star Game.
"Troy, we were fortunate he was here this year," Pyle said. "He probably shouldn't have been. But I think he's fired up coming back. He's great for us on ice and in the locker room, even when he was hurt.
"And Soupy is the forward in that mold. I don't think either one has reached their peak."
Campbell leads the team in scoring (despite missing eight games while playing for AHL Lowell) and is among the league's top five with 80 points. Named to the ECHL All-Rookie team last year, Campbell is tied for second in the ECHL with five short-handed goals and seven game-winners.
The 24-year-old picked up a goal and an assist in seven games for the Lock Monsters, just returning from his first callup in time for the final week of the regular season.
The Gladiators' two-time ECHL All-Stars were joined on the first team by three players from Alaska and Fresno forward Luke Curtin. Aces forward and league-leading scorer Alex Leavitt, defenseman Ryan Gaucher and goalie Matt Underhill were all selected for the team in a vote of ECHL coaches.
The second-team included two forwards from Idaho - Garett Bembridge and D'Arcy McConvey - Utah forward Ryan Kinasewich, defensemen Peter Metcalf of Alaska and Victoria's Steve Lingren. Goalie Marc Magliarditi was the only player selected from Las Vegas, which trails Alaska in the hunt for the league's best record by just one point.