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.
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.
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.
Calgary Flames‘ undrafted 2nd year right wing Garnet Hathaway(64) spent the majority of his first season signed to a minor league contract with then affiliate Adirondack Flames posting solid numbers (19 goals, 17 assists), which was good enough to get him a two-year entry level deal towards the end of 2014/2015.
The fairly sizable 6’2″ 205 lbs. forward spent training camp with the parent club and previously signed an ato with Abbotsford Heat after completing four years at Brown University.
His numbers were decent in college hockey but nothing too stellar and in his first 9 AHL games (including one postseason) he failed to record a point.
A late cut to be reassigned to new affiliate Stockton Heat, he didn’t exactly go crazy on the score sheet but continued to show steady progress connecting for a tidy 6 goals, 17 assists in 35 contests.
It was enough to get him a first late season recall.
The 24-year old has skated 4 games averaging 20 shifts for roughly 14 minutes of playing time with 3 shots, a battering ram 19 hits, 7 breakups, 1 takeaway, 6 penalty minutes, 2 assists (in one game) and even :42 short-handed time. He also has a nice +3 rating in only one victory and 3 losses.
Impressive stats that should keep in up in the big league for awhile longer.
He’s set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the current campaign but will definitely be qualified to continue his pro game right where he is.
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.
Toronto Maple Leafs‘ recent acquisition in the Dion Phaneuf(4) deal, sixth year center Colin Greening(38) was buried in the minors on the second season of his three-year multi-million dollar extension.
Judging by his stats through the first 41 AHL games, scoring only 7 goals and 6 assists he did not appear to be happy.
No worries about that for now, as his new home team has been inserting him straight into the lineup on a nightly basis and he’s popped in a goal and an assist with a +2 rating averaging 17 minutes ice time per game.
The 6’2″ 211 lbs. power forward had his best production as a sophomore skater and his first full campaign up in the big league.
Through a complete 82 game schedule he had a pretty serious 17 goals and 20 assists and never quite matched those totals in the following years.
A new building to play in, wearing a different emblem on his chest may be the switch up what the now 29-year old needs to come back to life.
He’s on the hook for one more year for $3.2m so they are likely hoping this will happen.
St. Louis Blues‘ 5th year center Pat Cannone(12) continues to elevate his play with age.
The 29-year old forward has been a story of chip-chip chip away at it and it will start to come loose.
After two seasons in Ottawa Senators‘ farm system playing for Binghamton Senators, his sophomore campaign didn’t go quite as well on the score sheet as his rookie year did, but he turned a -7 into a tied for 2nd +21 rating.
It wasn’t enough to keep him around for the final year of his contract as he was traded in the off season to St. Louis for future considerations (bag of rocks).
Impressive in his first run with affiliate Chicago Wolves scoring 16 goals and 18 assists and he had a team leading +24 plus/minus.
That was good enough for the parent club to sign him up to a one-year extension and he became an assist captain for the minor league club. He set new personal highs for assists (33 – 1st), points (47 – 2nd) and his +11 was also good enough for 2nd on the squad.
It was in the postseason that he really started setting his current pace though, as he notched 6 assists in 5 Calder Cup Playoffs games.
Given another 1-year contract, he was named captain for 2015/2016 and is on pace to record new best marks in all categories.
In 41 games he has 16 goals, 21 assists with a +14 and he also looks to be shooting the puck on net with way more frequency at 87.
He recently was named MVP for the Central Division in the 2016 AHL All-Star Game getting 3 goals and an assist with a +2 in the victory.
Although he has yet to earn an NHL recall and there are maybe younger prospects ahead of him, he has put in the effort to see what he can do up in the big league.
Ottawa Senators‘ 2nd year left wing Ryan Dzingel(43) received his 1st NHL recall in what is a contract year for the skater.
He played a sparingly used 7 shifts for 5:25 minutes of ice time with 1 hit, 2 penalty minutes, went 50% in the face off dot and was a -1 rating in a 2-1 shootout loss.
The small-ish forward leads affiliate Binghamton Senators in assists with 24 and is tied for the lead in points at 36.
He was tops for all rookies last season with his 17-17-34 totals and finished four on the team in goal scoring.
His marks in 43 AHL games this season has eclipsed what he put up last year and it looks like he will reach new peaks.
The 23-year is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of current campaign but seems like an easy bet to receive a qualifying offer and stay in the system.
Philadelphia Flyers‘ 2nd round pick in the 2012 draft (#45 overall) gargantuan 6’6″ 232 lbs. goaltender Anthony Stolarz(41) is starting to grow into his game.
Taking a somewhat crazy but cool path through juniors first with Corpus Christi Ice Rays of the NAHL, followed by a year at University Of Nebraska-Omaha before settling in for a couple of seasons with London Knights, where he won the 2013 OHL Champinship and had a league best SV% at .926 in 2013/2014.
Reassigned to be the starting goalie with affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms, his workload looks to almost double from his rookie season, when he played in 31 AHL games.
He’s already tended the cage for 29 appearances in the current campaign giving his just over .500 team a chance to win every contest with a 15-10-3 record, 2.45 GAA and .915 SV%.
The just turned 22-year old has been recalled on numerous occasions without making his NHL debut but that moment can’t be too far off at this point.
Vancouver Canucks‘ 3rd year center Mike Zalewski(40) must have been a little nervous signing his most recent contract, the one-year minor league variety with his team of a couple seasons, Utica Comets.
Previous to this campaign though, the undrafted 6’2″ 205 forward was playing in the AHL on a two-year entry level deal with the ‘Nucks after only a pair of decent campaigns at Rensselaer Polytech Institute.
The first year of his deal was actually a couple of NHL games after leaving college that counted toward his term.
His official rookie year was 2014/2015. He skated 55 games scoring 3 goals and 9 assists with a -3 rating and then added another 23 contests heading all the way to the Calder Cup Finals and notched another tally and 2 helpers.
The still young 23-year old is off to a hot start this season, already matching his 9 assists mark and almost tripling his goal output with 8 in just 35 games.
It’s caught the attention of the parent club once again as they have inked him to a one-year two-way deal and immediately recalled him for a couple of appearances.
He played an average of 17 shifts for 12 minutes of ice time and got another assist, with two penalty minutes, 1 shot, 5 hits, 1 giveaway, was 50% in the face off circle and was reassigned back to the minor leagues with a +1 rating.