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.
New York Rangers‘ 1st round pick in the 2012 draft (#28 overall) defenseman Brady Skjei(6) received his first recall from minor league affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack just over a couple months into his rookie season.
The fairly large 6’3″ 207 lbs. blue liner decided to turn pro after three years at University Of Minnesota and previously two campaigns of juniors in the USHL with the US National Development Team Program.
He joined the farm team on an ato late last season and skated in all 15 Calder Cup Playoff games scoring his first AHL goal and adding 2 assists.
Upon being reassigned, he’s appeared in 28 contests, affecting the score sheet unlike he’s ever done with 2 goals and 11 assists.
In his 2 NHL games he skated an average of 22 shifts for roughly 15 minutes of ice time with 2 shots on net, 2 hits, 4 break ups, 1 giveaway, 3 takeaways, 2 penalty minutes and 4:21 in short-handed situations.
The team went 1-1 while he was up.
The 21-year old is signed to a three year entry level contract and could spend the remainder 2015/2016 in Connecticut to continue his progress but he’s definitely being given a good look to see how he reacts, when given the opportunity with the big club.
In the final season of his three-year entry level deal, Andrey Pedan(37) was traded in a prospects’ transaction to Vancouver Canucks.
He was reassigned to their affiliate Utica Comets, where he finished out his sophomore campaign with a career high 48 AHL games, 14 assists and 17 points.
The giant-sized blue liner was somewhat under-utilized in New York Islanders‘ system, even sent double down to the ECHL Stockton Thunder on a couple of occasions during his pair of years.
The now 22-year old wasn’t necessarily a late cut from his first Canucks‘ training camp but played pretty great out of the gate with the farm club scoring a goal and 6 assists in 15 games with a +3 rating and received his first recall.
In his NHL debut, he was inserted as a seventh d-man playing a sparing 6 shifts for 3:54 of ice time with 2 hits, 1 breakup in a 2-1 overtime loss.
He stayed with the parent team for a week before being sent back but if he can keep up the pace in the minors and stay healthy should get another crack at the show.
New York Islanders‘ 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft (#65 overall) 2nd year defenseman Adam Pelech(50) has been consistently putting in the hard work to get noticed since he arrived on the pro scene with affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
On the second worst team in the AHL last season he managed to record 11 assists and owned only a -3 rating, while landing at least one shot on net in each contest.
This season the unassumingly large 6’3″ 210 lbs. blue liner already has his first two goals and a pair of assists in 11 games with a team defense leading +9 plus/minus.
In his NHL debut he skated 17 shifts for 13:19 of ice time and left the 4-1 win with a +1, 1 shot, 2 hits, 1 breakup and :13 on the power play.
There’s no reason to believe he won’t be able to put up some offensive numbers, especially helpers like he did in four campaigns with Erie Otters of the OHL.
The recently just turned 21-year old was a healthy scratch for his second game but there’s very little doubt with the current news surrounding the Isles‘ defensive core he’ll work his way into the lineup and may even never look back.
Heading into his third season having just signed a nice 2-year extension to stay in the system, Anaheim Ducks‘ left wing Max Friberg(43) has once again played his way to a second recall.
He got into a single game right after Christmas last season and although didn’t make a mark on the score sheet, he threw a couple hits on the ice.
A bit of a late training camp reassignment this season after a strong showing, he makes his way back to the NHL for an encore show early.
The small, fast forward skated an increased 16 shifts for 10:12 minutes and using one of his talents, :46 of short-handed penalty kill.
His two games thus far have both been winning efforts, which can’t hurt.
In his first pair of AHL seasons he put up an identical 40 points, although in far fewer games last campaign and even added a couple more assists to his scoring highs.
He may get dispatched back to new affiliate San Diego Gulls and the soon to be 23-year old certainly will need to work hard to find his niche’ but it definitely can be done.
Washington Capitals‘ 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft (#77 overall) center Chandler Stephenson(18) played his first NHL game in just his second pro season.
He skated 9 shifts for 8:43 total ice time and was a great 83% in the face off dot with one takeaway and one giveaway in an impressive 4-1 victory.
In four years of junior hockey with Regina Pats he posted 30 goals and 59 assists with a +27 rating in 69 WHL games in his final campaign.
On reassignment to farm club Hershey Bears for his rookie season he played a tenacious style but seemed to be getting situated with 7 goals and 7 assists in 54 AHL contests but really came to life in 10 Calder Cup Playoff games getting 1 goal and 4 assists with a +4 rating through two rounds before exiting.
Heading into his sophomore season he had a strong training camp and was one of the last cuts before 2015/2016 started.
The super-young 21-year old may not stay with the parent club unless they keep winning but he’s off on a good skate to begin his time in the big league.