AHL TARGETS (NORTH DIVISION)

friberg williams

In our continuing look at possible additions at the trade deadline, we arrive at the Northern Division. A bunch of Canadian teams and some outstanding talent that could shake loose at the deadline or in summer.

Previously:

Last year’s looks:

BUFFALO (ROCHESTER AMERICANS)

  • D Mark Pysyk. Former Edmonton Oil Kings defender has progressed nicely at the pro level, despite injury issues. Although he has played in 100 NHL games, Pysyk has had a hard time staying in the NHL lineup. He is a righty, 24, and can move the puck well.
  • C Philip Varone. Received a callup after the Daniel Catenacci injury, he has some offensive ability (26 points in 38 AHL games this year) but is undersized and 25.

MONTREAL (ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS)

  • L Charles Hudon. His boxcars (45gp, 15-18-33) are interesting and he is just 21. He was second in team scoring a year ago and once again is among the leaders this year. Undersized but he appears to be a player (don’t know about foot speed).
  • R Max Friberg. Skill winger from Sweden, acquired from the deep Anaheim Ducks system in the Dustin Tokarski trade. Edmonton and Montreal do plenty of business in recent months, perhaps this player is of interest.
  • R Daniel Carr. Got his NHL chance and flourished, clearly a player with skill despite lack of size and pedigree. Montreal may see him as a solution for themselves long term (he is currently injured) but he is a name worth remembering.

NEW JERSEY (ALBANY DEVILS)

  • D Vojtech Mozik: Czech defender had some impressive seasons back home, he is rated as a pretty good power-play defenseman who can move the puck. He is 6.02, 189 and 23 years old.
  • L Reid Boucher. Undersized winger looks like a tweener, but you never know. He is 22 and scored at close to a point-per-game before his recall to New Jersey.

PUEMPEL CAPTURE

    OTTAWA (BINGHAMPTON SENATORS)

    • L Matt Puempel. The Senators appear to favor Shane Prince but I bet Puempel has a career, too. Scored 30 as an AHL rookie and per 82gp at that level is averaging 29 tallies. Ottawa drafts and develops very well, he would be a nice add for a team like Edmonton, who will be looking for inexpensive complementary scorers.
    • L Nick Paul. I am including him because he is a Peter Chiarelli-type player (big, two-way forward), but Paul is just 20 and in his first pro season (most organizations don’t trade these guys until they know who they are). Would be exactly the player-type Chiarelli is no doubt looking for right now.

    TAMPA BAY (SYRACUSE CRUNCH)

    • C Tanner Richard. Leads the Crunch in scoring (although they do not score much) and plays a gritty game. He is yet to play in an NHL, but at 22 should make it soon.
    • L Jonathan Drouin. Insanity that his career is now here, but this is a supreme offensive talent and worth following at the deadline and into summer. 

        TORONTO (TORONTO MARLIES)

        • D Frank Corrado. He is having a weird career, getting claimed on waivers and then not playing for long stretches. Still, he has skill and may have a career (he is just 22) and can move the puck well. Slightly undersized, he is a righty.
        • L Nikita Soshnikov. Young Russian winger has 17 goals already and looks like he might fit into the North American style well. He is 5.11, 185, I included him because no one ever talks about him but there appears to be a story (Toronto has a very famous minor league team due to slow playing some outstanding prospects).

        VANCOUVER (UTICA COMETS)

        • C Brendan Gaunce. This is a nice player. Gaunce has size, skill and is a responsible forward. His spike offensively year-over-year (.391 to .714) is encouraging. No idea if he would be available, but the Canucks do not have good luck in development—this appears to be an exception.

        Up Next: Atlantic Division.

        (Friberg photo by Mark Williams)

            • Dirtski

              Why do you keep running this LT? Is AHL players with promise really what the oilers need right now?

              I hope that one day prospects around here become just that… Prospects. I get the feeling that prospects are look at as saviours around here. I admit I’m just a sour oiler fan, and I also admit that prospects are extremely important for an organization. But right now, after watching this team for the last decade, I simply don’t care about prospects anymore.

              And it’s rather sad since we have supposedly been rebuilding for 6 years, and I’m looking at the prospects we do have with less than stellar optimism. We have great young talent on the important team, but I don’t see much bubbling under

                • Dirtski

                  I was bored one day, so I decided to look up the KHL, SHL and SM-Liiga. Spent an hour just looking at player profiles, team profiles. You can also look up the All-Star teams for each of the leagues.

                  I was impressed to see that on each of the All-Star teams there were players drafted by Chicago. 21-25 year old All-Stars in three leagues. That’s on top of players they have in Rockford.

                  Theyve done a phenomenal job identifying talent and drafting them in late rounds.

              • Lowetide

                I do these every year, as (for me) it is interesting to look at what might be available via trade at the deadline.

                For the Oilers, it is especially interesting because their AHL depth for 2016-17 is very poor. I could see them trading Purcell for one of these players for just that reason—lack of depth at the pro level (especially among forwards).

                As you mentioned, the bubbling under group (Brossoit, Reinhart, Musil, etc) is not a deep crew for next year. My look at other AHL teams is designed to look at some of the possible acquisitions.

                I do understand that it is obscure, and promise to bore you with just one more. 🙂

            • toprightcorner

              Pass on them all except maybe Tanner Richard. If they are not from the power forward or QB PP gene pool with size, grit, skating then not interested. These are the types of players you develop to make your team in the future. Small skilled guys to fill the farm are a dime a dozen, the players you develop over a few years will be bottom 6 most of the time with the odd second liner sneaking through. Maximize what you need by filling the farm with them and spread AHL veterans throughout.

            • toprightcorner

              …”L Jonathan Drouin. Insanity that his career is now here, but this is a supreme offensive talent and worth following at the deadline and into summer.”…

              … the supreme offensive talent part is not a universal tag given him. A lot of those in the game have tagged him more of a great wingman that needs to compliment a top center. And prone to “Daigle-esk” pouts and attitude.

              • Jaxon

                Something occurs to me…

                Hall to Tampa.

                Drouin and a good D or a good D prospect to Edmonton

                Before you get all crazy with your man crushes for Hall: Drouin would be amazing on the left of McDavid, plus we get a D. When Drouin played with Mackinnon he was a force.

                Hall would help Tampa now and as much as most of you hate hearing it Hall might be the problem in that room. Drouin is cheaper, wants a chance and we get him to tag along with a defender.

                One can only dream, but I think it would be a good trade

                • Morgo_82

                  Hold on a second, you want to consider trading Hall because he “might be the problem in the room” for a player that has publicly shown that he has an attitude problem, I fail to see that logic. Also, that defenceman we’re getting back better have the last name Hedman and the first name Victor otherwise forget it.

            • Mike Modano's Dog

              LT, barring a trade I couldn’t help notice the availability of another centre we have in our possession – as of Feb. 18th.

              Roman Horak’s season comes to an end in the KHL that day, and barring a miracle I don’t believe Mark Letestu should be playing a 3rd line centre role… he is a fine 4th line centre though.

              What would you think about finally bringing this guy over? Do you think he would consider that? I think it would be a great time to see what he’s got, or cut bait forever. I can’t think of another time when we would need him more, if he’s ever going to play for us.

              • Lowetide

                Horak would be an interesting item. He is not a Chiarelli type (doesn’t mean he won’t be signed) but would guess he is more likely a trade item than re-signed.

            • toprightcorner

              LT, I notice you didn’t include any goalies. Is it on purpose, or are there no golie of interest in these clubs? Isn’t Gudlevskis a good option as the Oilers number 3 next year?

            • Jaxon

              Prior to Kassian arriving I would have targeted one of 3 right wing prospects in Buffalo’s system: Hudson Fasching, Nicholas Baptiste or Justin Bailey. And it may still be agood idea. A team with extra prospect depth at any position is a better bet to pry one of them away. Bailey played with Nurse last season and Baptiste played with McDavid last season so they would be my primary targets as long as I got good reviews from them. Plus Buffalo is short on left handed D, which we have excess of.

            • Mike Modano's Dog

              Thanks LT,

              I love these articles of potential prospects that are out there prior to the trade deadline. Nobody focuses on that, and then afterwards we wonder who these guys are! Thanks for your hard work, it is much appreciated!! 🙂