Fretter, Milam earn ECHL all-rookie honors

DULUTH - Forward Colton Fretter and defenseman Jamie Milam joined an elite group of Gwinnett Gladiators to be named to the ECHL All-Rookie team on Wednesday.

Only three other players from Gwinnett have been so honored, and never in the same year. Fretter and Milam joined Jon Awe (2005-06), Jeff Campbell (2004-05) and Kevin Doell (2003-04) on the list of first-year Gladiators selected to the team, which consists of just six players each year picked by the league's coaches.

Also on this year's team are Bakersfield forward Todd Griffith, Alaska forward Julian Talbot, Texas defenseman Paul Albers and Cedrick Desjardins, the goaltender for Cincinnati.

"I'm real happy for (Fretter and Milam)," Gwinnett head coach Jeff Pyle said. "Fretts is definitely the rookie of the year in my mind. Kind of a no-brainer. So it's good to see the league hasn't forgotten him."

The ECHL won't announce its rookie of the year until Saturday, but Fretter received the most votes overall for the All-Rookie team.

The Michigan State product has been on the injured reserve since Feb. 15, but still leads all rookies in scoring with 64 points in just 49 games. Fretter's 35 goals rank first among rookies and fifth overall in the ECHL.

He was named to the American Conference squad for the 2007 ECHL All-Star Game and scored the game-winning goal.

Named Rookie of the Month for October, Fretter was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2002 and signed by Chicago of the American Hockey League coming out of college.

The 25-year-old had a 16-game point streak going (15 goals and 12 assists) when he was injured at Florida on Feb. 14. Fretter scored a goal in the first period of that game before a sliding Ryan Van Buskirk fractured his ankle.

"Milo had a pretty good year, too," Pyle said. "So I tip my hat to those guys. They played hard and they played well. They deserve it."

Milam leads ECHL rookie defensemen in scoring with 45 points off of 22 goals and 23 assists in 66 games. His 13 power-play goals rank first among ECHL rookie defensemen and second among all defensemen.

The Michigan native had 13 points in 10 games during February and was subsequently named rookie of the month for that period.

The first and second All-ECHL teams will be released today.