Thursday, November 14, 2013
Nikita Kucherov (TB) is off to a torrid start for the Syracuse Crunch, with 12 goals and 22 points in just 13 games. The Lightning are loaded with forward prospects- Richard Panik, Tyler Johnson, Brett Connolly, and Ondrej Palat just to name a few, so may have to make a trade or two to make room for Kucherov.
Tampa Bay has two scorers in the AHL top 5, with Vladislav Namestnikov right behind his linemate Kucherov with 19 points in 13 games. Namestnikov needs more time developing his overall game and will be afforded that time in the Lightning organization. Keep an eye on him because he has a high ceiling.
Gustav Nyquist is widely regarded as the top player in the AHL and has proven himself at this level. He has 17 points in 13 games as he waits for his opportunity to play in Detroit on a full-time basis. The Red Wings would be wise to make room for Nyquist or trade him now while his trade value is high.
Mark McNeil’s fantasy prospects have dimmed steadily since he was drafted in the 1st-round by Chicago three years ago. The AHL has impressed with his mature all-around game and penalty-killing, but has also surprised with his offense to this point. McNeil is a sure-fire NHLer and may exceed his third-line projection.
Eric O’Dell is an interesting player. The Winnipeg Jets prospect has 17 points in 13 games thus far for St. John’s, following a 55 point season last year. O’Dell is a creative offensive player with average size and speed, but makes up for it with his quickness and vision. I don’t understand why he isn’t getting more of a look in Winnipeg for the goal-starved Jets.
Corban Knight capped of a stellar career at the University of North Dakota last year before signing a pro contract with the Flames. He was impressive in Calgary’s training camp but was sent down to Abbotsford to adjust to the pro game. Knight has responded with 16 points in 17 games so far. Knight plays an aggressive offensive game and could be a good second-line player in the near future.
Knight’s former North Dakota teammate Danny Kristo is thriving in Hartford following a trade from Montreal for Christian Thomas. Kristo has eight goals and 14 points in 14 games For Hartford, where he is biding his time until there’s an opening on the Rangers.