AHL Report: Fantasy Hockey Prospects to Watch

Zachary DeVine

2017-02-06

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Both the NHL and the AHL seasons are emerging from grinding part of the season and getting into the last period of player movement. Down in the AHL, players are stuck down in the minors for a variety of reasons. That does not mean they are not ready or deserving of time with their respective parent clubs.

Serviceable, valuable players are still to be had and below is a starting line-up of players that can be serviceable this year, ready for jobs next year or even be targets for the 31st NHL franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights. This list and the honorable mentions below are not exhaustive but give some pointers on what to look for to round out your roster or give ideas on potential trade targets.

Kenny Agostino – Chicago Wolves (RFA)

Agostino is a producer, plain and simple. After a four-year run at Yale University, the 6-foot, 200-pound winger has 120 points in 160 AHL games. He recently was called up to the St. Louis Blues, who lost Robbie Fabbri to a torn ACL over the weekend. Agostino could be a Mike Hoffman-type late bloomer and a player to stash on the bench. He could help your playoff push as a firesale in St. Louis is likely to begin. The nexus of opportunity, enough skill still on a St. Louis roster and a porous goaltending situation could lead to risky, high-scoring games.

{source} <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Good luck in your Blues debut, <a href="https://twitter.com/kennyagostino">@kennyagostino</a>. <a href="https://t.co/EzDOKMFcnF">pic.twitter.com/EzDOKMFcnF</a></p>&mdash; St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) <a href="https://twitter.com/StLouisBlues/status/828756723800342529">February 7, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Teddy Purcell – Ontario Reign (UFA)

A player that likely should be in the NHL and even the Reign’s coach Mike Stothers says so. “He’s too good for this league, and maybe this is what he needs to get back up to the NHL, but it’s almost like he’s a tweener,” the Reign bench boss told the AHL.com. Purcell is the type of player that will add depth to a playoff contender with physical play, decent skill and a track record of middle-six production. The same benefits he brings to the professional ranks, he could bring to your fantasy team with an open bench or minor slot to see how the trade deadline shakes out. Even if Purcell does not move this season, he will be a UFA this summer and the Vegas Golden Knights could be a very enticing destination.

 

Cory Conacher – Syracuse Crunch (UFA)

The diminutive winger is nearly a point-per-game player in the AHL with 189 points in 202 games. He is no stranger to NHL action as well with 148 games and registering 60 points split between four clubs. So far with the Crunch, Conacher has 36 points in as many games. The Lightning are a bubble team realistically but the Canisius College has been part of the call-up rotation and his offensive ability and versatility in a line-up could be attractive, either to the Lightning or a club looking for depth on the cheap. Factor in his UFA status, he could be a player this summer that has a chance to win an NHL job as the NHL expands to 31 teams. Conacher checks a lot of boxes in a deep dynasty league.

 

Mark Barberio – IceCaps (Under Contract)

Barberio is most recently of