ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign of the ECHL, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs, announced Thursday that Los Angeles has assigned Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
to the Reign. They also announced that they received Goaltender Kellen Briggs from the Idaho Steelheads in return for future considerations. Per Club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Jeff Zatkoff, 21, is a third round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings (#74 overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Zatkoff played his college career with the Miami University Redhawks (CCHA) where he suited up between the pipes for 82 games ending his collegiate career with a 55-21-5 record. During his junior year, he posted a 27-8-1 record, which included three shutouts, a 1.72 goals-against average and .933 save percentage, ranking him second nationally and first in the CCHA in goals-against average and save percentage. As a Redhawk, he was named to the CCHA All-Tournament Team and his 27 wins helped rank him second overall in wins in the CCHA and the nation that same season.
In 2006-07, during Zatkoff’s sophomore season as a Redhawk, the 6-foot 2-inch, 170-pound netminder helped lead Miami to their first CCHA regular season championship since 1992 when he posted a 14-8-3 record and .919 save percentage on the season. That same year the Detroit, MI, native was named to Team USA U20 where he competed in Sweden at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Juniors Championship. This milestone marked Zatkoff as only the second player in Miami history to compete in international competition.
Kellen Briggs, 25, joins the Reign roster after spending his first professional season with the Idaho Steelheads in 2007-08. Briggs suited up for 31 games with the Steelheads making 813 saves (92%) with a 2.36 goals-against average and a record of 17-11-2. He recorded his first professional shutout on Nov. 24, 2007 in a 3-0 win over the Victoria Salmon Kings and picked up his first professional point with an assist in a 3-1 win at Utah. The 5-foot 11-inch, 188-pound, Colorado Springs native was named RBK Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week for Nov. 19-25, 2007 and was also selected to the National Conference All-Star Team to represent the Steelheads in the 2008 ECHL All-Star game.
Prior to joining the Steelheads, Briggs was a member of the University of Minnesota’s Gopher’s hockey team from 2003-04 where he was a teammate of current Reign Forward Mike Howe. In his freshman year, Briggs was named the Frank Pond Rookie of the Year as he put up 25 wins, the most ever for a freshman. In 2004-05 he was named as a co-winner of the John Mariucci team MVP award when he helped lead UM to the NCAA Frozen Four. He also was named to the WCHA All-Academic Team his sophomore year and again for a second consecutive time his junior year. His senior year brought about other achievement as he was named the Gophers’ assistant captain; the first time since 1973 that a UM goaltender was distinguished with a letter. That same season he helped the Gophers take home the McNaughton Cup for regular season play as well as the Broadmoor Trophy as they took home the WCHA championship. Briggs ended his collegiate career posting Minnesota University record 13 shuto uts with 84 wins, a 2.31 GAA and a .90 SP in 131 games.