Names to know: ECHL to the Iowa Wild
Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders’ affiliation with the Minnesota Wild means the Heartlanders have been welcomed into the “Wild family,” which will allow players from the Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild to be loaned, recalled and assigned to and from the Heartlanders. As part of the affiliation agreement, it’s likely the Heartlanders will be the first step before players advance to the Iowa Wild.
The Iowa Wild have had 121 players in their history compete in both the AHL and ECHL. Here are four names to know from Iowa’s history that have used their time in the ECHL to mature into more-polished players.
G Dereck Baribeau: The 22-year-old is still crafting his Iowa Wild story, going 6-1-2 in 10 AHL games this season (2.54 goals-against average, .914 save percentage).
Baribeau played his 2019-20 rookie season in Iowa and Allen and went 9-2-0-0 for the Americans in 15 appearances. His last few weeks in the ECHL included an impressive stretch in which he denied 69 straight shots in four games, pitching two shutouts and helping Allen in two relief appearances. Two weeks after that dominance, Baribeau was reassigned to the Iowa Wild and has been in either the AHL or NHL since. Baribeau stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 225 pounds.
F Tyler Sheehy: Sheehy has been a consistent ECHL talent with Allen over his first two seasons of professional hockey and has started to turn that into increased AHL time. In 2019-20, Sheehy led the ECHL in points-per-game (70 in 47 games) and topped the league with 44 assists. This season, he earned a role with the Iowa Wild, scoring five points (1g) in 15 games. Sheehy is currently with Allen for the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
D Turner Ottenbreit: Similarly to Sheehy, Ottenbreit parlayed his ECHL time with Allen into a more-consistent AHL role with Iowa. The 23-year-old earned a one-year AHL standard player contract with Iowa this March, playing steady defense (1g, 3a, plus-5 rating). Preparing for his third professional season, Ottenbreit will look to build on his role with the Iowa Wild in 2021-22.
F Colten Beck: The all-time leader in games played in Iowa Wild history (319 GP), Beck ranks seventh on Iowa’s career points list (104) and skated with the Wild for five full seasons (2015-2020). Before his wonderful run with Iowa, Beck spent a good portion of his first two professional campaigns with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads and become a trusted two-way presence. In 2018-19, Beck scored a career-best 14 goals and helped power Iowa to their first Calder Cup Playoffs appearance.
The Iowa Wild, who have played in Des Moines since 2013, offer the Heartlanders a geographically-logical and important AHL affiliate that will help grow the game at a grassroots level across the Hawkeye State.