Brampton Beast announce their 27-player Protected List

After their best season in franchise history, the team begins forming for next season

The ECHL’s Brampton Beast have released their Protected List of 27 players heading into the off-season. The ECHL doesn’t have multi-year contracts, so this process of a protected list helps teams retain rights to players from the previous season ahead of contract negotiations.

Protected List rules

Every team is allowed to protect as many players from the previous season as they want, but there are a few caveats. A player must have met one of the following conditions:

  • under contract with the team until the end of the 2016-17 season, without being traded or released;
  • received a Qualifying Offer for the season, didn’t sign a contract, but wasn’t traded or released, or;
  • was signed to an AHL or NHL contract during the season after signing an ECHL standard playing contract first./

The Protection List will not include players on NHL or AHL contracts who were loaned to the Beast. The exempt players are Connor Crisp, Dalton Thrower, Mathieu Corderre-Gagnon, Yannick Veilleux, Guillaume Asselin, and Zachary Fucale.

Beast Protected List


Andrew D’Agostini


Reggie Traccitto
Jordan Henry
Mike Folkes
Matt Petgrave
Justin Baker
Tim Billingsley
Mike Vernace
Garrett Clarke
Chris Owens


Brandon MacLean
Chris Auger
Chris Leveille
Brandon Marino
David Pacan
David Vallorani
Luke Pither
Corey Durocher
Luc-Olivier Blain
Lucas Venuto
David Ling
Mitch Zion
Daultan Leveille
Coltyn Sanderson
Justin Courtnall
Jeff Brown
Mike Hammond

Key players

Andrew D’Agostini was the only goaltender the team needed to protect. He played well enough in the high-scoring league, with 13 wins in 25 games played, and might serve well in a backup role again next season. The Canadiens will have to choose between sending Fucale back to the ECHL, or give starter time to Michael McNiven, who will be making his professional debut next season.

Seeing Mike Vernace on the Protection List means that the former Beast star might be coming back for next season. He left the team after 23 games to pursue his career in Europe with EBEL’s Feherevar AV19 and was consequently suspended by the team. He played with a flurry of other names from the past that include Thomas Beauregard, David Makowski, and Drew Schiestel.

Chris Owens also played for the same team. The Beast acquired his rights during the 2016 off-season, but he never signed a contract with the team, opting for Europe instead. The situation is the same for Mike Hammond and Jeff Brown, who continued their pro careers in the United Kingdom.

Another player that failed to sign a contract with the Beast after they acquired his rights last year is Justin Courtnall, the son of NHLer Geoff Courtnall. Justin didn’t play any pro hockey last season, focusing instead on completing his degree at Boston University. Courtnall had previously dressed for the Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2013-14 season.

Coltyn Sanderson is a bizarre case. He was signed by the Orlando Solar Bears after completing his NCAA stint with the University of North Dakota, but never played a game for them in 2016-17. He was released from his contract immediately after the pre-season ended, and then ended up signing with the Idaho Steelheads in late October, where he played only seven games. On January 3 he was traded to the Beast, but never played another game that season.

Missing off of the list is Willie Corrin, the only player who played in the playoffs who was left unprotected.

Obviously all the heavy-hitters from the team made the Protected List such as David Vallorani, David Pacan, Brandon MacLean, and Jordan Henry.

What’s next?

The next step is announcing the Season-Ending Roster on June 15. This phase finalizes the roster after all trades for “future considerations” are completed on June 13. The Beast made a trade with the Wichita Thunder this season to acquire Daulton Leveille, in return Wichita would receive such future considerations.

The season-ending roster can be up to 20 players. From this list a team shall only be entitled to reserve the rights of eight players who have received a qualifying offer. Of these eight qualified players, no more than four shall be veterans (with more than 260 professional hockey games).

For the Beast, Mike Vernace, David Ling, Jordan Henry, David Pacan, and Brandon Marino count as veteran players, so one of them cannot be qualified. The 40-year-old David Ling might be odd-man out, depending on Vernace’s situation and whether he wants to return to North America or not.

This process is merely a mechanism for starting to build the roster for the 2017-18 season. Players on the Protected List who are not on the Season-Ending Roster still belong to the Beast.

Listen to Andrew weekly on TSN 690 Radio Sundays at 8:05am on Habs Breakfast, part of Weekend Game Plan.

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