February 20, 1989 |
Saint-Pie, QC, CAN
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)|
|AHL team (P)
Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL)
Frederikshavn White Hawks
Dragons de Rouen
|NHL Draft||142nd overall, 2009
Nicolas Riopel (born February 20, 1989) is a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who currently plays for the Kalamazoo Wings in the ECHL on loan from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL).
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, 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. 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. 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. 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. Riopel appeared in 32 games with the Admirals, and after a string of impressive performances was signed by the Syracuse Crunch to end the year on March 4, 2016.
Although failing to feature in a game with the Crunch, in the off-season on August 22, 2016, Riopel was signed to a one-year deal to remain in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch.
Regular season and playoffs
|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|
|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|
|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||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
- Won the Jacques Plante Memorial Trophy (QMJHL's lowest GAA) in 2008–09.
- Won the Michel Brière Memorial Trophy (QMJHL player of the year) in 2009.
- "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.
- Bill Meltzer (2011-06-05). "Meltzer's Musings: Goaltending Prospects (Part I of II)". Hockey Buzz. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- "Rush add Riopel between the pipes". Rapid City Rush. 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
- "Admirals sign goaltender Nicola Riopel". Norfolk Admirals. 2015-11-06. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
- "Syracuse Crunch sign goaltender Nic Riopel to AHL contract". Syracuse Crunch. 2016-08-22. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
- Nicola Riopel career statistics at EliteProspects.com
- Nicola Riopel career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Nicola Riopel player profile at NHL.com
|Awards and achievements|
|Jacques Plante Memorial Trophy
|Michel Brière Memorial Trophy