Tuesday, 30 March 2021

A Name You May Recall

If you're a WHL fan, you likely know his name from the time he spent in one of Brandon of Swift Current, but Jordan Papirny was most recently tending the nets for the Calgary Dinos of Canada West. Papirny was always a good goalie in my eyes as he posted back-to-back 44- and 31-win seasons with Brandon in 2014-15 and 2015-16 before Brandon lost a pile of their talent. His numbers only got better when he arrived at the University of Calgary, winning eight of 14 games in both seasons while posting a GAA no higher than 2.45. In short, Papirny was the kind of goalie I always thought had a good shot at making an AHL roster if he was drafted by an NHL team.

As his university record suggests, he was not drafted. I'm not here to point out that negative fact, but he does have the most wins in WHL history if you combine his regular season and playoff totals so it seems hard to justify why he never caught scouts' eyes. Regardless of his undrafted status, Papirny went to the Dinos, posted respectable numbers, and was named to the 2018 U SPORTS All-Star squad played against Canada's World Junior Championship team in their warm-up after his WHL career ended.

We'll also throw in a mention that Papirny did get signed by an AHL team as the Toronto Marlies inked the netminder to an amateur tryout contract in 2017, but nothing more seemingly came of that opportunity.

So what's happening with Jordan Papirny now?

Well, Papirny, 24, had been playing with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2019-20 in the ACAC where he continued his winning ways in posting a 14-3-0 record, a 1.82 GAA, and a .933 save percentage which caught the eyes of one team in North America who decided to sign the Edmonton native this past week!

On March 26, the ECHL's Florida Everblades added Papirny to their roster after he signed a contract with the team, and he served as the backup in the Everblades' two wins against former Dinos teammate Matt Alfaro and the Wheeling Nailers on the 26th and 27th! While no one expected Papirny to come in and be the starter in his first ECHL moment in his career, the Everblades have committed to Papirny through the end of the season so it appears we'll see him in the Everblades' net soon!

That game could be as early as Friday as the Everblades travel in-state to Orlando where they'll meet the Solar Bears in the three-game set on April 1-3 at Amway Center. It's almost assured that Papirny will get the middle game of the back-to-back-to-back set against Orlando, and it will be exciting to see the former Wheat King and Dino in his pro hockey debut for the first-place team in the ECHL! Let's hope he can recreate the same winning ways he's had through his junior and university days to capture that all-important first pro win in his career!

Florida currently holds a seven-point lead over the second-place Indy Fire in the ECHL's Eastern Conference as they sit with a 29-10-2 record through 41 games. Orlando, meanwhile, sits in fourth-place with a 20-15-4 record this season, but I should be very clear that there will likely be no surprises for either team when they meet for the 19th time this season on Thursday - that is not a misprint. Florida is 12-5-1 against Orlando this season, but are a pedestrian 5-5-0 when they play in Orlando, including winning just once in their last four visits to the Amway Center. Needless to say, there appears to be some great hockey action set for the weekend in Ontario between these two fierce ECHL rivals!

Congratulations to former Calgary Dinos and Brandon Wheat Kings netminder Jordan Papirny on earning his shot at the professional level, and here's hoping that Papirny can pick up that first win in Orlando this weekend!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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