Prospect Ramblings: The AHL Playoff Picture and Beauty First Goals

Hayden Soboleski


Looking at the state of the AHL scoring and playoff races in this Sunday Ramblings…



AHL teams are around the 60-game mark, meaning battles for playoff spots will be heating up as teams work towards the 76-game final mark (other than the Pacific Division, who will only be playing 68). Lets see how the divisional standings look this morning:

AHL playoffs start separated by division, with 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 from every group (no wildcard spots like the NHL). 


In the Atlantic: The Penguins (PIT) would need to have a diasterous finish to miss the post-season, while Springfield and Hartford are essentially out of the running. The Bears (WAS), Tigers (NYI), and Bruins (BOS) will have a crazy finish as only two of the three will earn spots.


In the North: Rochester (BUF) ad Binghamton (OTT) won't be making a push and understandably moved players in trades to contenders. Anyone could come out on top in this division, which would end up being a playoff bracket bonus for someone in this weaker division. Utica (VAN), Toronto (TOR) and St. John's (MTL) are fighting for the number 3 and 4 spots.


In the Central: Much more separation here, as Grand Rapids (DET) and Chicago (STL) are 6-point- up on the third-pace Admirals (NSH), who are 8-points-up on the current fourth-place Wild (MIN). The reigning champion Monsters (CLB) could make a push for that final spot, as could the Checkers (CAR).


In the Pacific: San Jose (SJS) and San Diego (ANH) are looking like locks in the top-two, while Ontario (LAK) is also in good shape. After that – 4 teams within 4 points of each other. San Antonio (COL) is as out-of-it as their NHL affiliate, but the development teams of DAL, ARI, CAL, and EDM are all still in the running for what should a nail-biting finish to the season.



Let's take a look at the scoring race as the season winds down. I wanted to show the top-ten, but the four-way tie for 10th makes it a longer list:


The points-per-game race is a close one, but the overall leader looks to be Kenny Agostino (STL)  of the Chicago Wolves. This is his third season in the AHL, and while he's always been a producer, this is his first time near the top. 


Chris Terry (MTL) is an AHL veteran – now in his 7th season and third organization. He looked to have secured an NHL spot in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons in Carolina, but has only seen limited time with the Habs this year. Perhaps the trade of Andrighetto at the deadline signals that Terry has earned a shot at a spot next season.


Most of the list is made of up AHL mainstays who may see NHL call-up time or even earn a full-time spot if their lucky, but there is one outstanding exception – Daniel O'Regan of San Jose. The rookie is nearly at a point-per-game pace and will crack the 20-goal mark soon. He has 113 SOG in 50 GP, and any scout will tel you that a huge sign of a smooth transition to the pro leagues is the ability to give yourself chances. This former 5th-round-pick is looking like a steal for the Sharks and we can't wait to see what he comes up with as an encore next year.



It's been a great week for rookies scoring their first-ever NHL goals, so let's jump into recognizing these outstanding youngsters:


Adrian Kempe makes moves through traffic and finishes with one heckuva release:

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Believe it or not, Adrian Kempe had zero career NHL goals before this gem. <a href="">#WSHvsLAK</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NHL (@NHL) <a href="">March 12, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Valentin Zykov gets to the dirty area, stays strong on his feet, and pops in a rebound:

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">See it again: Valentin Zykov nets his first career goal in his <a href="">@NHL</a> debut with the <a href="">#Canes</a>. ? <a href="">#Redvolution</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) <a href="">March 10, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Josh Ho-Sang blasts a one-timer top-shelf through bodies:

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Josh Ho-Sang’s first NHL goal is a beauty <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) <a href="">March 8, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Yanni Gourde does it right –  fighting of defenders to score a shorthanded beauty for his first:

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">If you're going to score your first goal, make it a great one! Hats off to Yanni Gourde for this beauty! <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) <a href="">March 12, 2017</a></blockquote>
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For enthusiasts of the annual Minnesota State Al Hockey Hair unveiling, wait no longer. Game On! Minnesota released their yearly wrap-up of the best haircuts in the state. Let it flow gentlemen.




As always, thank you for reading and best of luck in the fantasy hockey playoffs!

Hayden Soboleski






Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Max Plante 7.5 4.5
Jack Pridham 6.0 7.0
Brodie Ziemer 6.5 7.0
Matvei Gridin 8.5 6.5
Dean Letourneau 6.5 7.5
Kamil Bednarik 6.0 8.0
Cole Hutson 9.0 6.0
Luke Osburn 5.5 7.0
John Mustard 8.0 6.5
Sacha Boisvert 6.5 8.0