The Montreal Canadiens are headed back to the playoffs and this time there’s an expectation for a deep run. The club has some issues entering the deadline and could be active. Sven Andrighetto (in photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved) is one of many emerging prospects from the AHL’s North Division.
CALGARY (ADIRONDACK FLAMES)
- L Sven Baertschi: Once a highly-touted prospect, he received a quick adjustment on the depth chart when Brian Burke arrived and has never recovered. He is 34GP, 8-14-22 this season and 22 years old, so one suspects he’ll get another look sometime.
- L Michael Ferland: Power-forward prospect with injury issues, I’ve read nice things about him and he could emerge if he can stay healthy. 32GP, 7-8-15 this season.
- C Max Reinhart: They used to call them energy players but he has some nice things. No one on the Flames is scoring this year (44GP, 8-7-15) but he might have a future.
MONTREAL (HAMILTON BULLDOGS)
- L Charles Hudon: A splendid skill player who leads the team in scoring (54GP, 12-33-45) he’s 5.11, 180 and clearly has offense in his arsenal.
- R Sven Andrighetto: Swiss winger, he has a range of abilities (Swiss army knife?) including legit offense (38GP, 12-15-27). This is his second year in the AHL, has played in the NHL this year. Undersized but aggressive.
- L Daniel Carr: I haven’t read a word about him but the young man has adjusted quickly to the AHL (54GP, 16-11-27). A college kid who passes others this quickly on the AHL depth chart? Probably worth watching.
BUFFALO SABRES (ROCHESTER AMERICANS)
- C Mikhail Grigorenko: Easy to forget him but after the organization handled him badly early, both sides have settled in and there’s progress. At 20, he’s 37GP, 10-20-30 in the AHL and should have an NHL career based on recent results.
- D Mark Pysyk: Another player with some ups and downs but when it comes to defensemen that’s not a big surprise. A nice range of skills, he’s played in 70 NHL games and has been effective in his recent callup.
- L William Carrier: Power-forward started his AHL career at 19 (now 20) and isn’t scoring a lot (54GP, 7-11-18) but is a regular. Solid resume, these guys have a low success rate but are much coveted.
TORONTO (TORONTO MARLIES)
- R Connor Brown: Highly-skilled rookie is killing it (53GP, 16-28-44) in his first AHL season. Foot speed appears to be the issue but that’s a really valuable prospect.
- C Ryan Rupert: If you’re looking for the next poster boy for ‘size bias’ it’ll be this gent. Terrific two-way player with skill (35GP, 10-10-20) one has to look long and hard to find info on him. He can play the game.
- D Stuart Percy: This is a nice prospect, two-way skills and can play the modern game (move the damn puck). May be judged as undersized but I don’t know if it’s true.
VANCOUVER (UTICA COMETS)
- C Brendan Gaunce: A power center (6.02, 205) who can do a lot of little things well. The Canucks are an organization that can get impatient (he’s 52GP, 8-14-22). A fabulous passer.
- R Nicklas Jensen: May be labelled a ‘tweener’ if he doesn’t increase offense (39GP, 11-10-21). He has size, good speed and is creative. A nice young player.
- G Jacob Markstrom: There may be a window of opportunity to grab this fellow but it’s likely to close. His AHL SP (.932) has always been solid to sparkling and he should be ready for another long look. Valuable prospect.