Los Angeles Kings‘ 6th year center Andrew Crescenzi(21) is starting to assert his large frame into the power forward the team projected he could become when they signed him to a three year entry level deal after his third year of juniors, then re-upped him on extension for the last few seasons.
His size definitely plays into the style of his current club and a somewhat quick start on the score sheet (3 goals, 1 assist, 12 AHL games) in the new campaign has earned him a first NHL recall from affiliate Ontario Reign.
In a pair of games he skated an average of 14 shifts for under 10 minutes of total ice with 4 hits, 1 takeaway, 2 penalty minutes and went 50% on the face-off dot in unfortunately two losses.
If the 25-year old can keep up his scoring in the minors, he should be asked to stick around regardless of getting another chance in the big league this season but we fully expect him to get another look.
Undrafted 2nd year left wing Daniel Ciampini(17) scores his 2nd AHL contract signing for 2016/2017 with Ontario Reign.
It should heed better results for the forward than his rookie deal with Rockford Icehogs, which had him skating most of his time with affiliate Indy Fuel.
Through 7 recalls he was unable to fare as well with his contract club.
In 10 games he managed only one goal.
The 5’11” 185 lbs. player did well in the lower league scoring 14 goals and 24 assists for 38 points in 48 ECHL games.
These scoring stats were more in line with what he was able to accomplish in his four years at Union College.
As a senior he scored 26 goals and 24 assists and was voted a Hobey Baker Finalist.
He also won back-to-back 2012 & 2013 NCAA/ECAC titles as a freshman and sophomore before grabbing the ultimate prize, the 2014 NCAA Championship, a season in which he was a point-per game player with a +26 rating and earned the top star award.
After graduating, he would join Worcester Sharks on an ato and skated 15 games while continuing his scoring streak with 3 goals and 3 assists, but was somehow absent from the playoff roster. Possibly merely an allowed number of player issue.
The already 25-year old (almost 26) will need to work hard out of training camp to make his new squad but if he can put in the effort may just start hitting the stat sheet with decent frequency at the higher level of hockey.
San Jose Sharks‘ undrafted 3rd year right wing Ryan Carpenter(40) had a breakout season in 2015/2016.
He exploded for career highs in all scoring categories, pocketing 18 goals, 37 assists and 55 points with a +20 rating in 66 AHL games with affiliate San Jose Barracuda, then got another goal and assist in 4 Calder Cup Playoff contests.
The 6’1″ 195 lbs. forward always plays a tenacious, hard skating style game that keeps opposing players on their toes and opens himself up for scoring chances.
His efforts grabbed him a first NHL recall but unfortunately it only lasted a single outing for 13 shifts and 7:21 total ice with 1 hit in a 2-0 loss before being reassigned back to the farm team.
The Florida-born prospect has always shown the ability to affect the score sheet, initially through two years in the USHL with Sioux City Musketeers before joining Bowling Green University, where he spent three campaigns, serving as team captain as a sophomore and junior.
We expect the 25-year old to compete hard for a spot on the big league club out of the upcoming training camp.
Winnipeg Jets‘ 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft (#70 overall) 2nd year right wing Scott Kosmachuk(72) is getting the shot to prove his game at the highest level of hockey and he’s pretty much answering the bell.
In 7 games he has three assists with fairly limited ice time in the 12/13 minute range per night, but an interesting side note is the amount of shifts he skates, which is in the 19 or 20 range at times.
He also has a +1 rating.
His first NHL recall makes sense for the slumping parent club as he’s posting similar numbers as he did in his rookie campaign in less games with AHL affiliate Manitoba Moose and looks to have taken his game to the next level.
At 5’11” 185 lbs. he isn’t exactly the biggest power forward out there but he plays a bang ’em, shoot on the net style, which is obviously leading to scoring opportunities.
He was able to score big through 4 years of juniors with Guelph Storm and even won the 2014 OHL Championship before he left to turn pro.
The 24 year old still has one more season left to his 3-year entry level contract, so there’s no time like the present to step up your game.
New York Islanders‘ 3rd year, Finnish-born goalie Christopher Gibson(60) received his first NHL game recently coming in for relief, putting out the fire on a 5-2 drubbing.
He faced 17 shots making 16 saves in 29:03 of work and left with a .943 SV%.
It was the only appearance he made before being sent back to affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers, where he has been solid in net.
In 25 AHL games he has an 11-7 record with a 2.32 GAA and .932 SV% and 2 shutouts equaling his mark he posted in 45 contests last season for Toronto Marlies.
The 6’1″ 195 lbs. net minder was traded from Toronto Maple Leafs just before the start of 2015/2016 in what was mostly a minor league prospect transaction.
He is in the final year of his entry level deal he signed after four campaigns guarding the cage with Chicoutimi Sangueneens of the QMJHL.
On numerous occasions he was voted with top goaltender of the week honors and in 2009/2010 had the best SV% in the league.
Originally a Los Angeles Kings‘ 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft (#49 overall) he never inked with them.
The 23-year old is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season and it’s looking good for him to be given a qualifying offer to stick in the system.
Springfield Falcons‘ 2nd year left wing Greg Carey(12) is having an outstanding breakout season.
He’s already eclipsed scoring marks from his rookie campaign with 3 goals, 6 assists for 9 points and a +4 rating.
The 5’10” 204 lbs. undrafted forward looks much bigger than his stats might suggest and plays an all out checking style game, while always heading to the net for offensive chances.
Signed to a 1-year entry level deal by Arizona Coyotes he split time in his first campaign between then affiliate Portland Pirates and Atlanta Gladiators.
He was close to a point-per-game guy in the ECHL, picking up where he left off after four years of college hockey at St. Lawrence University.
Left unqualified going into 2015/2016, he was a training camp invite to Coyotes‘ camp and was on the list to be reassigned to new farm club Springfield, although he was an unrestricted free agent.
He signed a one-year AHL deal and although he had a bit of a bumpy start has found himself with opportunities that he’s answered and has performed well on the team’s first line.
The 25-year old may just play himself into a new big league contract but will have to keep pace.
10th year, veteran defenseman Nathan Oystrick(74) returned last season from a pair of years playing for HC Lev Praha putting up some decent numbers and was even an assistant captain in 2013/2014 with a deep playoff run that had him score 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in 22 KHL games.
Signing a month into the 2014/2015 campaign on a pto with Springfield Falcons, he only appeared in 12 AHL games before being released a few months later.
The 6′ 205 lbs. blue liner had some time to think about his next pro hockey pursuit and agreed quickly in the off-season to a one-year deal with Elmira Jackals and become the team captain/assistant coach.
He made a good decision and looks to be fitting in nicely with his new role.
It’s his first time in the ECHL and he already has a goal and 8 assists in 13 games.
At 32-years old he may decide to hang up the skates next season (after playing his 500th pro game) but our bet is he’s doing so well and likes it where he is, so he may stay and play at least one more year before heading behind the bench.
South Carolina Stingrays‘ undrafted rookie right wing Derek DeBlois(13) lit up the score sheet during the regular season and continues on an even better tear in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
He scored 21 goals and 24 assists with a +17 rating through 59 ECHL games in 2014/2015 and has added another 8 tallies and 10 helpers in only 17 postseason contests with a +11 plus/minus.
The 5’11” 180 lbs. forward had a good run in four years of college hockey at University Of Michigan but maxed out at 20 points during his final two campaigns.
He was also an NCAA/CCHA Regular Season Champ in 2011 and named assistant captain for his senior year.
His game really seems to have been elevated since turning pro.
He was invited to Worcester Sharks‘ training camp and was recalled for 4 AHL games late season scoring 1 goal.
The 24-year old should get another look from a top affiliate of an NHL team as he enters his sophomore season and may just help his current team to a title.
Manchester Monarchs took a 3-1 lead mid-way through the 2nd period in game 1 of the AHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. Portland Pirates and never looked back getting a 5-2 victory.
Los Angeles Kings‘ 3rd year prospect Jordan Weal(19) scored the opening tally and the game-winning goal to seal the deal.
San Jose Sharks‘ 7th year veteran left wing Bryan Lerg(42) has accumulated 346 AHL games in his pro career but has been largely left out of the mix when it comes to the big league.
The small, listed at 5’10” 175 lbs. undrafted forward was originally signed to an entry level deal by Edmonton Oilers after a successful 4-year run with Michigan State University. He was assistant captain of their 2007 NCAA Championshipship as a junior.
After a couple of injury-marred seasons with affiliate Springfield Falcons he was left unqualified and headed off on an invite to Switzerland’s NLA but his time overseas lasted only a one contest for Geneve Servette before he returned signing a minor league contract with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
His time in Pennsylvania was fruitful as he produced career highs with 27 goals, 26 assists and 53 points in his 2nd campaign with the team.
Colorado Avalanche took notice and signed the unrestricted free agent to a one-year two-way deal, but he would spend all of his playing time with Lake Erie Monsters and served as captain to help their prospects in 2013/2014.
He would once again jump ship to explore other opportunities, signing for another one-year term with the Sharks.
Once again named captain he has helped lead the farm club Worcester Sharks in assists with a new best mark 28 and points; and helped solidify them as a tough to play against squad as they head towards the postseason for the first time in 5 years.
The 29-year old received his first shot at a game in the show, as the regular season wraps up and the parent club is out of the playoff picture and scored his first NHL goal, the game-winner in his debut.
There is every reason to believe he will be retained to stay where he is for another season as the team moves to its new home as San Jose Barracuda.
See related: 10/26-11