Category: AHL

Cory Kane (8)

Cory-Kane3

Undrafted 3rd year center Cory Kane(8) picks up his game after two seasons of AHL contracts and heads to Czech Extraliga signing a one-year deal with HC Ocelari Trinec.

The 6’1″ 201 lbs. feisty forward started his pro career playing 4 regular season games then 12 Calder Cup Playoff match-ups on an ato with Providence Bruins after four years and a decently successful senior campaign at Ferris State University.

He would sign an extension just before his rookie season and played a career high 55 games scoring 7 goals and 12 assists with a +11 rating but was also reassigned down to South Carolina Stingrays for 6 ECHL games.

Although he wasn’t retained for a second run in Rhode Island, it didn’t take him long into free agency to secure a contract with Texas Stars.

The soon to be 26-year old should find the challenge of going overseas rewarding as he’ll probably be able to open up enough space to post some pretty good numbers.

Gabriel-Verplaest3

Undrafted 3rd year defenseman Gabriel Verplaest(27) had his most productive offensive season with Norfolk Admirals‘ in 2015/2016.

Through 57 ECHL games he scored a career high 6 goals and 28 big assists for 34 points, tripling his stats from his rookie campaign with Bakersfield Condors.

The 6’1″ 195 lbs. blue liner never showed the kind of production he’s had since turning pro in four years in the QMJHL with Baie-Comeau Drakkar, where his best showing was 19 assists in his final run.

He was loaned to Stockton Heat late-ish into his sophomore season but failed to register a point in 8 AHL appearances.

He did get into one scrap, which mirrors the aggressive playing style he played in juniors and in the lower league, which was good for 15 fights in each of his first two years.

The still super-young 22-year old re-signs to stay put in Virginia for 2016/2o17, but should gain a training camp invite and could raise his game.

Brian-Ferlin

Boston Bruins‘ 4th round pick in the 2011 draft (#121 overall) right wing Brian Ferlin(19) was enjoying a good first season before getting sidelined for the Calder Cup Playoffs with a hit that unknowingly knocked him for a loop in the final game of the regular campaign.

As a rookie he potted 11 goals and 9 assists in 53 contests, while also grabbing a first recall for 7 appearances and his first NHL point, an assist.

The 6’2″ 209 lbs. forward sat for the majority of his sophomore run, finally returning four months later.

In 23 AHL games with affiliate Providence Bruins he scored 6 goals and 8 assists and reversed his -9 rating from a year earlier to a +9, while continuing to impress the parent club.

He enjoyed a first offensive breakout in his 2nd year of play for Indiana Ice with 25 goals and 48 assists in 53 USHL games before leaving for Cornell University.

Through 3 years of college hockey he also showed good productivity and was ready to leave school for his chance to turn pro in 2014/2015.

The 24-year old was slated to compete for a spot on the big league roster last season but post-concussion syndrome derailed that opportunity for the moment.

A late training camp cut for his two seasons in the system, he should make waves in the upcoming run.

Not bad for a Jacksonville, FL native.

Wade Megan (28)

Wade-Megan

Florida Panthers‘ 5th round pick in the 2009 draft (#138 overall) center Wade Megan(28) has played in the club’s system for the last three seasons on minor league contracts, first through two years with San Antonio Rampage, then last season with new affiliate Portland Pirates.

The seemingly graciously listed at 6’1″ 190 lbs. forward recorded new career highs in all categories through 2015/2016 getting 14 goals, 9 assists for 23 points with a +10 rating, 145 shots on net and even a new best 53 penalty minutes.

These totals were more in line with what he achieved in his last two years at Boston University, where he posted identical 29 point campaigns, serving as captain in his senior season.

Heading into his fourth season on an upward scoring trajectory, the soon-to-be 26-year old scores his first NHL contract signing a one-year two-way deal with St. Louis Blues that will likely see him spent most of his time with farm club Chicago Wolves.

Jared-Nightingale

Finishing up his 10th pro season having only been signed to minor league contracts, undrafted defenseman Jared Nightingale(18) filled in the role of captain in his second year with Toledo Walleye quite nicely.

That is, until he was loaned to Chicago Wolves for two weeks, returned and quickly recalled for a couple months before joining them for the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

It would be little surprise to see the 34-year old score an inviteĀ a farm team’s camp in the forthcoming year and earn a deal.

The 6’3″ 205 lbs. blue liner plays a consistently punishing style that shows little signs of slowing down.

Known to drop the mitts on many occasions, his fighting majors were only down slightly to 11 playing in the two leagues.

He also could own the record for most AHL clubs a single player has put on a uniform for at 10.

Magnus-Hellberg2

New York Rangers‘ 6th year goalie, Swedish-born Magnus Hellberg(45) played a career high 53 AHL games with affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack posting an easy best 30 wins and 20 losses with a 2.40 GAA and .918 SV% including 4 shutouts.

Originally a Nashville Predators‘ 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft (#38 overall) he played his first two pro seasons in Allvenskan with Almtuna IS, then Frolunda HC of the SHL before coming to North America.

The big 6’5″ 200 lbs. net minder played most of his time with minor league team Milwaukee Admirals, but did get into his only NHL game in 2012 and also had a smattering of appearances in the ECHL for Cincinnati Cyclones.

As the just turned 25-year old was heading into his first restricted free agency at the end of 2014/2015, he was dealt to the Blueshirts and quickly signed to a two-year deal.

He was recalled on a couple of occasions but mostly for simple practice and back up purposes. He could easily slide into more big league time, especially if he keeps up the workload for the farm team.

Frederik-Gauthier

Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 1st round pick in the 2013 draft (#21 overall) rookie center Frederik Gauthier(23) is another young player getting his chance with the big squad in a non-playoff berth season.

The huge 6’5″ 238 lbs. power forward has appeared in 7 games scoring his first NHL point, an assist while skating a lot of minutes short-handed time, delivering crushing hits and breaking up plays.

He’s having a good first year with league leading affiliate Toronto Marlies scoring 6 goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 54 AHL contests with a +17 rating in a mostly checking line role.

This comes after three years of junior hockey with Rimouski Oceanic, where he was virtually a point-per-game player and won the 2015 QMJHL Championship.

The soon-to-be 21-year old, signed through 2017/2018 on an entry level deal, will compete hard at the upcoming training camp for a full-time roster spot but may just win the minor league’s highest award, the Calder Cup first.

Ashton-Rome

Veteran right wing Ashton Rome(44) lasted just five ECHL games with Greenville in 2012/2013 before jumping ship for Dusseldorfer EG of DEL.

He would spend two seasons with the team, then jump allegiances to Schwenninger Wild Wings for his next two campaigns, reaching almost point-per-game totals in 2015/2016 scoring 17 goals and 15 assists in 39 contests.

The 11th year pro switches it up once again but stays for a 5th run in the German league joining Iserlohn Roosters.

He did briefly return on a pto with Norfolk Admirals but was released after only a couple of AHL appearances and returned overseas to resume his career.

The 30-year old he still seems to have plenty left in the tank and seems to be simply enjoying the ride.

Sonny-Milano

Columbus Blue Jackets‘ 1st round pick in the 2014 draft (#26 overall) rookie left wing Sonny Milano(22) is having a pretty decent first year with affiliate Lake Erie Monsters.

The only 19-year old forward has 12 goals and 15 assists in 48 AHL games with a +10 rating on a league leading squad.

Taking a bit of a unique path before turning pro at such a young age, he played two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program in the USHL as a point-per-game performer, while also playing for the under 17 and 18 of the USDP recording even better numbers.

As a highly touted player, he would leave to skate the next season with Plymouth Whalers, once again exploding on the score sheet with 22 goals and 46 assists for 68 points in 50 OHL games.

He would sign his three-year entry level deal at the conclusion of that campaign and be reassigned to join then minor league team Springfield Falcons for the remainder of the calendar getting five assists in 10 games.

His impressive play and possibly that the parent club is out of the postseason picture, earns him a first recall.

In two games, utilized for an average 12 minutes of ice time, he recorded his first NHL point, an assist with 1 shot, 3 hits, 2 breakups and 1 giveaway with a +1 rating.

He’s easily impressed and if he comes into 2016 training camp in good shape, should get a serious look to start the season in the show.

Zach Hyman (11)

Zach-Hyman2

Toronto Maple Leafs‘ rookie center Zach Hyman(11) plays a hard checking, offensive-minded style of game that’s giving the deep selection a longer, early look from the parent club.

He was originally a Florida Panthers‘ 5th round pick in the 2010 draft (#123 overall) but traded in the off season for an older prospect.

The speedy 6’1″ 205 lbs. forward put up exceptional numbers in junior A with Hamilton Red Wings, including 102 points in his final year before joining the ranks at University Of Michigan.

In his senior year, serving as assistant captain he popped for 22 goals and 32 assists in 37 games earning him a 2014/2015 Hobey Baker Finalist nod.

A late cut from training camp, he connected immediately with the scoring sheet on reassignment to affiliate Toronto Marlies.

In 54 AHL games in his first season he has a tidy 13 goals and 20 assists with a +28 rating and 121 shots on net.

The 23-year old’s hard play has earned him an NHL recall.

In his debut he skated a whopping 22 shifts for 15:58 of ice time with two shots, 1 hit and :32 of short-handed play.

He may be on a short leash between the big league and the farm club but before too long it’s almost an easy bet he’ll be permanently up in the show.