Prospect Ramblings: Keep an eye on Coyotes’ Fischer (Jan. 28)

Mark Allan

2017-01-28

Although he's been assigned to the Tucson Roadrunners so he can play in the AHL all-star game, Christian Fischer scored in his first two NHL games and will likely be recalled by the Arizona Coyotes.

 

 

After mentioning a week ago that RW Christian Fischer had been promoted by the Coyotes, the 2015 second-rounder had a fast start to his NHL career.

The 19-year-old became the first player in franchise history to score in each of his first two NHL games. Playing with Alexander Burmistrov and Jamie McGinn, the 6-2, 214-pounder scored on his first two NHL shots on goal, including the winner in his debut, a 5-3 win over the Lightning.

Maybe it was just coincidence but Arizona, which has the second-worst record in the league, won all three games in which Fischer played.

That’s why his demotion Friday to the Tucson Roadrunners during the NHL all-star break seems so surprising until you realize it’s actually a reward for 16 goals and 16 assists in 31 earlier AHL games. It allows Fischer to play Monday in the league’s all-star game.

Although he didn’t get any PP icetime during his first three games and his TOI was generally limited, watch Fischer carefully the rest of the season for another promotion to the big club. If his hot start is a good indication, he has a bright NHL future, especially once he’s used on the power play and has more-skilled linemates.

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We also noted last weekend that interim coach Doug Weight didn’t shake up the Islanders’ struggling lineup in his first game after replacing the fired Jack Capuano but he must be doing something right.

The team has a 4-0-1 record under Weight and is five points out of the eighth and final post-season berth in the conference. Although the NYIs have played the same number of games (47) as the Maple Leafs, who are four points ahead, the Islanders have three games in hand on fellow Metropolitan Division member Philadelphia and five games in hand on Boston, which is tied with the Flyers for seventh in the east.

This means GM Garth Snow has a tough decision coming about whether to be a buyer or a seller at the trade deadline March 1. Weight’s mandate is more simple – just win, baby. That’s bad news in the short term for two young Islanders we profiled last weekend.

Since previous starter Jaro Halak was sent to the AHL, J-F Berube has gone from the press box to the end of the bench as veteran backup Thomas Greiss has seized the No. 1 job, including being in the net for every game of the 4-0-1 run. After playing in only 12 games last season between the NHL and AHL, the still-promising Berube barely dressed until Halak was demoted because the Isles couldn’t risk him being claimed on waivers if they tried to send him down.

Berube, a looming RFA, badly needs to play but won’t as long as Greiss keeps carrying the NYIs higher in the standings. The overpaid Halak still lurks in the AHL with one more season on his contract. Keep an eye on Berube, 25, but don’t expect much in the short term.

Ditto for pint-sized winger Anthony Beauvillier, who definitely has a future in the NHL but likely not much of a present. After a hot start to the season, the 19-year-old rookie has tailed off to just 11 points in 33 games.

With the Islanders trying to claw their way into the playoffs and considering their glut of NHL-caliber forwards, Beauvillier won’t get much prime icetime the rest of the season unless there are injuries, slumps or the team falls out of contention again.

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In NHL transactions this week affecting prospects:

San Jose Sharks assign LWs