Nicola Riopel

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Nicola Riopel
NicolaRiopel.jpg
Born (1989-02-20) February 20, 1989 (age 27)
Saint-Pie, QC, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
ECHL team
Former teams
Norfolk Admirals
Adirondack Flames
Dundee Stars
Frederikshavn White Hawks
Dragons de Rouen
NHL Draft 142nd overall, 2009
Philadelphia Flyers
Playing career 2010–present

Nicolas Riopel (born February 20, 1989) is a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who currently plays for the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL.

Playing career[edit]

Riopel began his major junior career with the Moncton Wildcats in 2005–06, appearing in 5 games. He shared starts with the older Jhase Sniderman in his rookie season in 2006–07 before taking the starting position in 2007–08. In his third season with the Wildcats, Riopel emerged with a record-setting and award-winning campaign. Along with his 43 wins, which helped Moncton to an Atlantic Division title, and .930 save percentage, he established a league record with a 2.01 goals against average,[1] far surpassing Martin Houle of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles previous record of 2.32, set in 2003–04. Riopel was awarded the Jacques Plante Memorial Trophy for having the lowest GAA in the league and the Michel Brière Memorial Trophy as player of the year.[1] Selected in the 5th round, 142nd overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers.

Riopel began the 2009–2010 season by claiming a spot in training camp with the Flyers' top AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. After posting a 4-6-0 record with a 3.35 GAA and a 0.893 save percentage in back-up duty to Johan Backlund, Riopel was loaned back to his Junior club, the Moncton Wildcats, on December 17, 2009.

After attending both the Philadelphia Flyers' training camp and then the Adirondack Phantoms' training camp, Riopel was assigned to the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL. However, after performing extremely well in "AA" hockey, he was recalled after Greg Gilbert was released as head coach of the Phantoms to replace Brian Stewart. Since, he has become the starting netminder for the Glens Falls team after an injury to starter Johan Backlund.

After Flyers Stanley Cup goaltender Michael Leighton was waived and sent to the Adirondack Phantoms on January 4, 2011, the logjam at the position saw Riopel returned to Greenville.

Since Riopel wasn't signed to an entry-level contract by June 1, 2011, the Flyers no longer hold his NHL rights.[2] He signed a contract with the ECHL's Greenville Road Warriors in the summer of 2011.

On August 9, 2012, Riopel inked a deal with the Dundee Stars of the EIHL in Scotland. Riopel played two further seasons abroad with Frederikshavn White Hawks in Denmark and in the French Ligue Magnus with the Dragons de Rouen.

On September 16, 2015, Riopel returned to North America in signing a one-year ECHL contract with the Rapid City Rush.[3] He was winless in two games to start the 2015–16 season before he was released by the Rush. On November 6, 2015, he remained in the league after he was signed by the Norfolk Admirals.[4]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T/OT MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2006–07 Moncton Wildcats QMJHL 37 17 12 0 1914 107 1 3.35 .894 4 1 3 185 16 0 5.19 .842
2007–08 Moncton Wildcats QMJHL 47 15 29 10 2662 135 1 3.04 .910
2008–09 Moncton Wildcats QMJHL 59 43 15 4 3487 117 5 2.01 .931 10 5 5 620 21 2 2.03 .936
2009–10 Adirondack Phantoms AHL 10 4 6 0 573 32 0 3.35 .893
2009–10 Moncton Wildcats QMJHL 25 19 5 0 1455 50 3 2.06 .918 21 16 4 1291 46 3 2.14 .930
2010–11 Greenville Road Warriors ECHL 38 24 12 2 2301 107 2 2.79 .906 7 4 3 436 18 0 2.48 .910
2010–11 Adirondack Phantoms AHL 11 3 7 0 591 35 1 3.55 .874
2011–12 Greenville Road Warriors ECHL 25 14 9 2 1453 74 0 3.06 .905 2 0 2 119 8 0 4.03 .900
2012–13 Dundee Stars EIHL 51 19 28 3 3012 174 0 3.47 .912
2013–14 Frederikshavn White Hawks DEN 26 2.92 .902
2014–15 Dragons de Rouen FRA 17 2.51 .903 3 2.11 .920
2015–16 Rapid City Rush ECHL 2 0 2 0 119 8 0 4.03 .843
2015–16 Norfolk Admirals ECHL 32 13 15 1 1779 76 0 2.56 .924
AHL totals 21 7 13 0 1164 67 1 3.45 .884

Awards[edit]

Records[edit]

  • QMJHL league record; lowest goals against average, single-season - 2.01 in 2008–09

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Wildcats goalie Nicola Riopel captures QMJHL player of the year award". Canadian Online Explorer. Archived from the original on April 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  2. ^ Bill Meltzer (2011-06-05). "Meltzer's Musings: Goaltending Prospects (Part I of II)". Hockey Buzz. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  3. ^ "Rush add Riopel between the pipes". Rapid City Rush. 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  4. ^ "Admirals sign goaltender Nicola Riopel". Norfolk Admirals. 2015-11-06. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Bobby Nadeau
Jacques Plante Memorial Trophy
2009
Succeeded by
Jake Allen
Preceded by
Francis Paré
Michel Brière Memorial Trophy
2009
Succeeded by
Mike Hoffman