Teemu Pulkkinen is a productive winger in the Red Wings system and could be moved at the deadline. Pulkkinen (in photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved) headlines Detroit’s best prospects ‘possibly’ available for March 2. Brendan Leipsic was traded this morning from Nashville to Toronto, so we’ll begin our look with the AHL’s Midwest Division.
DETROIT (GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS)
- RW Teemu Pulkkinen: Undersized skill winger has very good hands (43GP, 29-27-56) and has played in the NHL this season (6GP, 1-0-1).
- D Ryan Sproul: Has terrific skills and good NHL size (6.03, 185) with a reputation for impacting the game offensively. 46GP, 3-15-18 in the AHL this season.
- LW Andreas Athanasiou: Young man (6.02, 200) with a range of skills, including plus speed. Last name is pronounced Ath-ehn-uh-SEE-you if it becomes an issue.
NASHVILLE (MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS)
- C Austin Watson: Two-way forward can play center or wing, brings good size (6.04, 183) and some skill (49GP, 18-11-29 in the AHL). A former first-round pick.
- D Taylor Aronson: A righty defenseman (6.01, 205) with offensive ability and a plus shot. 46GP, 3-23-26 in the AHL this year.
- L Pontus Aberg: Smooth skill-winger with a size issue (5.11, 189) but his offense (43GP, 15-9-24 AHL) makes him a prospect of interest at age 20.
Ville Pokka, Rockford. Photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved.
CHICAGO (ROCKFORD ICE DOGS)
- C Phillip Danault: Young center with a range of skills, he’s a slight player (6.00, 184) at age 20. He’s 45GP, 8-19-27 as an AHL rookie, good future.
- C Mark McNeill: Bigger (6.02, 210) center with a two-way reputation. Scoring has improved (37GP, 14-11-25) in year two AHL but I think he’ll land as a checking center should McNeill make the NHL.
- D Ville Pokka: Small (5.11, 200) skilled blue (44GP, 7-15-22) came over from the Islanders as a major piece in the Nick Leddy trade.
ST. LOUIS (CHICAGO WOLVES)
- R Ty Rattie: Skill winger whose size (6.00, 178) and skills (45GP, 17-12-29 this season AHL) may mean he’s not good enough to crack that STL forward group. He’s certainly an NHL calibre player.
- F Magnus Paajarvi: Fleet winger with size (6.03, 208) and a good two-way reputation. Hasn’t found NHL employment yet but has talent (14GP, 5-5-10 in AHL).
- L Phil McRae: Rugged winger (6.01, 196) having a good year (47GP, 15-15-30) in the AHL after some time in Finland. Not quite the power forward hoped for on draft day.
COLORADO (LAKE ERIE MONSTERS)
- C Colin Smith: One of the smallest actual prospects in the game (5.10, 175) Smith is an expert passer and has stepped up in year two AHL (44GP, 10-17-27).
- D Stefan Elliott: Puck moving defender with NHL experience, he’s stuck in the minors at 24. Decent size (6.01, 190) and skill (40GP, 12-14-26) should get him another NHL look.
- F Joey Hishon: Another smallish forward (5.10, 175) with plenty of skill. 43GP, 11-14-25 in the AHL, he lost development time to injuries and may not make the grade.
Up next: The West Division (including Oklahoma City).