For as much as people bash on the Federal Hockey League, it’s mainly directed at the people who run the league and teams, because over eight seasons of play, the FHL has had some pretty good players hit the ice.
But which player had the best season in FHL history? We try to answer that question.
It was simple, we looked season-by-season, and tried to decide who had the best year that season, then compared that season against the other seven best years, so yes, there are guys who may have had better seasons than some players on our list, but if they didn’t have the best season in that particular year, then they didn’t have the best season of all-time and there’s no sense putting them on the list. Make sense?
Some seasons were very close, and not everyone on the list simply led the league in points, there were other things factored in like how clutch was a player, how much did they contribute on special teams, and how many games did they play compared to a player with similar numbers.
OK good. Here we go, and get ready to see a couple of players a few times, which makes you wonder how they haven’t played more at higher levels.
8. Alex Goupil, 1000 Islands, 2010-11
Season stats: 44 Games, 42 goals, 35 assists, 72 points, 1.8 PPG, 9 GWG, 12 PPG, +23
In the first season in FHL history, Goupil won the scoring title by five points, the goals title by eight, while also leading the league in powerplay goals and game-winning goals. A fine season in 44 games, but of all the players who had the best season in their particular year, this was by far the weakest resume on our list. Goupil, whose career in pro hockey dated back to 2004 in Danbury of the UHL, played just six games the next season for Danbury’s FHL team, and has been out of hockey since.
7. Ahmed Mafouz, Dayton, 2013-14
Season stats: 45 games, 42 goals, 54 assists, 96 points, 2.1 PPG, 4 GWG, 4 SHG
You know you’ve had quite a career in the FHL when you “weakest” entry to our list of best seasons ever is still 96 points in 45 games. While this was his “weakest” season he won the FHL Triple Crown that season, leading the league goals, assists, and points. SPOILER: There will be more from Mafouz on list.
6. Ahmed Mafouz, Port Huron, 2016-17
Season stats: Ahmed Mafouz, Port Huron – 53 games, 25 goals, 78 assists, 103 points, 1.9 PPG, +63
This was the ‘Fouz’s most prolific season as a passer, leading the league in assists by 18, and posting the third-most assists in a FHL season. Mafouz was part of a powerhouse line in Port Huron that saw the league’s top-3 three scorers with him, Matt Robertson, and Brandon Parkhouse, who finised 1-2-3 in scoring and assists. Mafouz edged out Robertson for the points title by 5, playing one fewer game.
5. Tyler Gjurich, Danbury, 2015-16
Season stats: 49 games, 50 goals, 50 assists, 100 points, 2.0 PPG, 9 GWG, +34
Gjurich wowed in his FHL rookie season with a 50-50 mark, leading the league in points by four in eight fewer games than runner-up John Scorcia. Gjurich won the goals title by seven, and led the league with his nine game-winning goals, proving his was also a clutch performer for the Titans. This season may have been ranked even higher had he not been called up to the ECHL for 8 games where he tallied five points.
4. Tyler Gjurich, Watertown, 2017-18
Season stats: 47 Games, 56 goals, 40 assists, 96 points, 7 GWG, 15 PPG, 4 SHG, +63, 2.0 PPG
After a year away in the SPHL, Gjurich returned to the FHL and picked up where he left off, leading the league in goals by an astounding 19, his 56 goals were the second-most in FHL history. In addition to the overall goals title, Gjurich led the league in power play goals, short-handed goals, and game-winning goals, just an absolutely prolific goal-scoring season helping the Wolves to the Commissioner’s Cup.
3. Justin MacDonald, Watertown, 2014-15
Season stats: 46 games, 44 goals, 58 assists, 102 points, 2.2 PPG, 12 PPG, 4 SHG, 9 GWG
This was one of the hardest season’s to pick from, because Ahmed Mafouz led the league in scoring that year with 107 points in 40 games, but what makes the difference for this one is MacDonald’s ability to score clutch goals. MacDonald led the league in goals, power play goals, short-handed goals, and game-winning goals. Mafouz was right behind him, but was not in the Top-3 in any of those categories except goals, where he finished five behind MacDonald. His numbers may have been higher if he didn’t play 20 games in the ECHL as well, here he put up 12 points. That season springboarded MacDonald to higher hockey, and has spent the last three years primarily in the ECHL with two stints in the SPHL.
2. Ahmed Mafouz, Dayton, 2012-13
Season stats: 46 games, 48 goals, 63 assists, 111 points, 2.4 PPG, 5 GWG, 5 SHG
Mafouz’s most prolific season edges out a great year from Trevor Karasiewicz, who set the league record for assists with 102, and won the scoring title with 124 points…but did so in 11 more games than Mafouz. Had Mafouz played the full 57 games, he could have approached 130+ points. We actually put those two seasons to a vote at BLH, and Mafouz won out because it was a more rounded season. He won the goals title by nine, won points per game over Karasiewicz, and was second in short-handed goals. Mafouz also led the league at +53, just a really well-rounded season.
1. Pierre Dagenais, Akwesasne, 2011-12
Season stats: 45 Games, 81 goals, 62 assists, 143 points, 3.2 PPG, 5 GWG, +52
It had to be this. You know how guys in beer league will tell tales of how good the guys who played in the CHL or UHL or whatever are compared to regular beer leaguers? This is the pro hockey equivalent of that question. What would happen if an NHL talent played in the FHL? Dagenais was twice a draft pick of the Devils, a 2nd rounder in 1996 and a 4th rounder in 1998. He played 142 games in the NHL netting 58 points.
After coming to the States from the KHL, Dagenais scored 54 points in 23 games for Akwesasne in 2010-11, and then took off the next year. In 2011-12, Dagenais set the league record for points, the next closest season being 19 points fewer, the league record goals with an AMAZING 81, nearly 2 per game, and 25 more than the next best season from Tyler Gjurich at 56. It’s probably safe to say his goals and points totals will never be topped in the FHL, unless the season expands or another player with NHL experience somehow ends up playing in the league. He averaged 3.2 points per game, also highest in league history. Had Akwesasne played 53 games like New Jersey did, eight more games than the 45 he suited up for, he would have scored 170 points.
Dagenais was so good that he helped teammate Sylvain Deschatelets (who himself was a very over-qualified player for the FHL with stints in the ECHL, WCHL, and the Swiss A League) net 86 assists, second in FHL history, and finish second in scoring at 104 points. For reference, after that season, Deschatelets has never broke 60 points in six seasons in the LNAH.
So that’s our list. Agree? Disagree? Is there someone whose season should be higher on the list? Lower?