Canadiens: Former Rocket Farmhand Alex Kile Making Good in the ECHL

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After spending parts of the past two seasons split between the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the ECHL’s Maine Mariners, Kile has gotten off to the best start of his pro career in 2023-24. Seeing a regular role in the East Coast for the first time since the 2020-21 season, Kile has posted 24-25-49 totals over 40 games, earning a brief, three-game cup of coffee with the Phantoms posting no points and a -1 rating. While the call-up left him three games back of the ECHL’s other top scorers, Kile still sits sixth in the league in scoring and has shown no sign of slowing down, something the Rocket have similarly showcased after a less-than-ideal start as a franchise.

Following the Canadiens' brief stint in St. Johns with the IceCaps, Montreal relocated the team much closer to home in Laval for the 2017-18 season, with the team set to play at the newly constructed Place Bell arena. While expectations were high for Laval going into their first season, with a mix of AHL stars in Peter Holland, Byron Froese, Chris Terry and Matt Taormina alongside top prospects in Nikita Scherbak and Michael McCarron, by the start of training camp for the 2018-19 season, the Rocket were reeling from a dreadful 24-42-10 record that saw them lose 12 straight games to finish the season. Even when compared to AHL affiliates struggling with a lack of support from their parent organization, there have been few teams in AHL history who were as depleted as the Rocket were in their inaugural season, turning to a who’s who of players from the ECHL, junior hockey, Canadian U-Sports and even the single A SPHL, the lowest rung on the professional hockey ladder.

5 years removed from his first full-time AHL stint with the Montreal Canadiens affiliate, the Laval Rocket, left-winger Alex Kile is off to a career-best start in the ECHL.