ECHL: Zach O’Brien to Join the Cardiff Devils (EIHL)

Photo Credit: Rich LeBlanc for Inside the Rink

The Cardiff Devils have announced the signing of Canadian forward Zach O’Brien for the 2024-25 season. O’Brien, who previously played for the Newfoundland Growlers in the ECHL, spent a total of five seasons with the team. Notably, in the 2018-19 season, he guided the Growlers to victory in the Kelly Cup Championship, earning the playoff MVP title by leading the team with 16 goals and 13 assists in 23 games. Additionally, O’Brien boasts a Calder Cup Championship from his time with the Manchester Monarchs in 2015.

Recognized as a favorite among Newfoundland fans, O’Brien, who hails from St. John’s, played five seasons with the Growlers, securing First or Second-Team All-Star honors three times. He led the team in scoring for three of those five years and holds the franchise records for games played, goals, assists, and points. During the 2023-24 season, O’Brien recorded 60 points from 21 goals and 39 assists across 54 games with the Growlers after starting the season in Slovakia with Bratislava. He participated in 16 games with Bratislava where he earned 12 points (5g, 7 a).

In the previous season, O’Brien topped the scoring charts for the Growlers with 23 goals and 64 assists in 59 regular-season games. O’Brien’s impressive performance led to being named to the ECHL First All-Star Team for leading the league in assists. He played in seven games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) where he earned six points (2g, 4a). He holds the record for the highest number of points scored in the history of the Newfoundland Growlers franchise, with a total of 339 points. The ECHL forces the Growlers to cease operations in April of this year.

O’Brien is set to join the Cardiff Devils for the upcoming 2024-2025 season. Based in Wales, the Devils are a professional ice hockey team in the British Elite Ice Hockey League. They play at the Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff Bay, which is currently known as the Vindico Arena. The team’s most recent achievement was winning the 2022 EIHL Title.

Karen Zehner

Credentialed Beat Writer covering the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Diving into the world of slap shots, penalty kills, and the game we love. [@RunwithK] on socials.

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