Martin Marincin of the Oklahoma City Barons is among the AHL players who could find themselves in a new city as we approach the deadline. Although most teams look to add veterans as insurance, a player like Marincin has added value in that he has NHL experience and is a player with substantial potential. Here’s a look at the promising AHL players in the West Division.
EDMONTON (OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS)
- D Martin Marincin: Rangy defender who looked solid in 40+ games a year ago in Edmonton. He has been less than expected this year but offers a team some cover for this season and a lot of potential in the future. Currently in the NHL.
- C Anton Lander: Two-way center may have turned the corner on his NHL career this season. Edmonton had given up on him—at least placed him on waivers—but he may not be available should a team call about him.
- R Iiro Pakarinen; Finnish winger has adapted quickly to North American hockey. Scored 17 goals in half an AHL season and is currently in the NHL. Brings a physical element, can pass well and has some touch around the net.
FLORIDA (SAN ANTONIO RAMPAGE)
- R Rocco Grimaldi: Small winger with offensive ability and a real dynamo. He won’t back down but at 5.06, 160 there’s legit worry about his ability to stay healthy.
- L Connor Brickley: Physical winger plays a rugged game NHL fans will enjoy. He’s scoring well (47GP, 17-12-29) in his first AHL season.
- L Garrett Wilson: He has a power-forward profile and is scoring (50GP, 17-11-28) enough in the AHL to be considered a prospect of interest.
Brendan Ranford of the Texas Stars
DALLAS (TEXAS STARS)
- L Brendan Ranford: Bill Ranford is his uncle, Brendan is a completely different player. Undersized with just average or a little better speed, his puck skills are very good and that might give him an NHL chance. Currently ranks second in team scoring.
- R Brett Ritchie: One of the better PF prospects in the minors, Ritchie has played in NHL games this season. 6.04, 215 with substantial skill.
- C Justin Dowling: Not much fanfare but for the Stars that’s nothing new. Brenden Dillon, Antoine Roussel and others have come through their system with success. Appears to be effective in multiple areas without possessing a dominant skill.
CAROLINA (CHARLOTTE CHECKERS)
- D Keegan Lowe: Defender with good size and speed, and is improving consistency. Lowe is not as naturally talented as his father but has worked very hard to get where he is today.
- D Trevor Carrick: Smart blueliner with some skill (plus shot) he’s in his first pro season and is miles away. Still, a talented young player.
- L Brock McGinn: Blossomed in his final year of junior and has played well as an AHL rookie. 14 points so far this season, he has some edge to his game. Like Carrick, he’s going to take awhile.
MINNESOTA (IOWA WILD)
- C Tyler Graovac: Impressive young player who is surging in his second pro season. Good speed and skill, he has 34 points in 50 games this year.
- R Zack Mitchell: Smart player with some skill, he graduated from the OHL this season and has posted 23 points in 53 games. That’s a solid total for a role-playing AHL rookie.
- D Matt Dumba: A unique talent who has been famous for awhile, Dumba has 14 points in 20 AHL games and has been in the NHL for most of the season. Rambunctious player, needs to be a little more reliable defensively but a real talent.
Up next: The Atlantic Division of the AHL. (All photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)