ECHL: Jeremy McKenna Leaves Mavericks for DEL

Jeremy McKenna, the Kansas City Mavericks‘ top goal scorer for the Kelly Cup Playoffs, is embarking on a new chapter in his career. He has signed a contract with the Nurnberg Ice Tigers in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany, becoming the second ECHL player to join the Ice Tigers for the 24/25 season, following Idaho Steelheads Defesman Cody Haiskanen.

McKenna joined the Kansas City Mavericks in the 22-23 season. After not being drafted, the Forward was pitted to start his professional career with the Stockton Heat in 2019; however, he was reassigned to the ECHL Mavericks and decided it was in his best interest to return to the QMJHL and play his final year. In doing so, he played his fourth and final season with the Moncton Wildcats, leading in goals with 40 and 42 assists in 57 games. He would sign a two-year contract with the Toronto Marlies in the AHL in 2020. Eight months into the agreement, he would be assigned to the ECHL Wichita Thunder, where he would play his first professional game against the Kansas City Mavericks. This was during the COVID lockdown when things were a little wonky, and the teams did not know when the AHL season would start. Two games were all that Jeremy would play with the Thunder before making his AHL debut. He would be reassigned to the Thunder later in the season for development, then recalled back to the Marlies, finishing the year with 28 AHL and 36 ECHL games under his belt. The following season, the Toronto Maple Leafs changed their affiliation, and Mckenna split time between the Marlies and the Newfoundland Growlers, playing 16 games for the Marlies and 43 for the Growlers. 

Enter the AHL Coachella Valley Firebirds and the ECHL Kansas City Mavericks. Joining the Firebirds in the 2022 season, he would go on to play for the Firebirds and once again be assigned to the ECHL Mavericks for further development. It took two years to get him back to where he would have started had he stayed with his original contract in 2019. During his time with the Firebirds and Mavericks, McKenna would play 38 AHL and 77 ECHL games. During the last season with the Mavericks, McKenna led the team in goals for the Kelly Cup Playoffs at ten and tied for most assists at 11, while he gathered 24 goals and 30 assists during the regular season. 

James Slemp/InsideTheRink

Since starting his professional career in 2020, McKenna has played 82 AHL games with 12 goals and 17 assists. 140 ECHL games with 72 goals and 82 assists.

Losing McKenna will be a significant blow to the Mavericks. He is a well-rounded player who has shown he has what it takes to win AHL and ECHL Playoff games. The development he will get in the DEL should give him the extra push he needs to be an NHL-caliber player when and if he returns to the North American leagues, as the overseas leagues are notorious for being a more brutal, physical league with bigger hits and less referee interaction when it comes to aggressiveness on the ice.

Stephanie DeLaFleur

Beat Writer covering the ECHL Savannah Ghost Pirates, NHL Vegas Golden Knights and AHL Henderson Silver Knights. Follow me on X @StephiDelafleur

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