Prospect Ramblings: The AHL Prospect Frenzy

Dave Hall

2021-02-09

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Ramblings.

It would be a crime not to begin this week by sending out a farewell, along with a few additional congratulations. If you missed the news, Cam Robinson, our former Managing Editor and highly touted Vancouver Canucks scout has officially moved on from his role(s). Of course, he will be greatly missed, but we wish him all the best.

On the bright side, this paved the way for Tony Ferrari, who you already know so well, to jump right into the role. If you aren’t already, make sure you are following him on Twitter @theTonyFerrari.

Congratulations to both.

On a personal note, with Cam passing the torch, I am pleased to announce that I have officially taken over the Canucks prospects. The shoes will not be easy to fill, but as a lifelong fan of the club, I cannot wait to bring you updates on the club’s up-and-comers. In addition, I will continue contributing to the Columbus Blue Jackets, however, I will be stepping away from the Florida Panthers. Not to worry, Josh Simpson has taken over as the Panthers contributor, so, make sure to give him a follow for updates @joshsimpson77.

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Alright, on to this week’s task at hand – the AHL.

After ten (plus) game-less months, the American Hockey League has officially hit the ground running with their 2020-21 season and if you are a fan of prospects, you are going to want to tune in this season. With no games taking place in leagues such as the OHL and WHL, many prospects have fast-tracked their careers, making their pro debuts slightly early than originally expected. The result? An abundance of young, talented rookies night-in and night-out. Basically, the league is going to be spicy. Very spicy.

With that, I dedicate this week to a quick recap on some notable first-year prospects.

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As if we need any further evidence, but Trevor Zegras has officially achieved legendary status. Roughly one month removed from his historic WJC run, where he amassed 18 points to go along with a tournament MVP and Gold Medal, the 19-year-old made his professional debut with the San Diego Gulls.

Not only did he find the scoresheet, but racked up an impressive five points, which includes two goals and three (primary) assists – which at the moment, his point total holds up as tops in the league. Naturally, he was awarded AHL Player of the Week.

What makes his debut so impressive, is his incredibly smooth transition. At no point did Zegras portray his inexperience, and looked poised and comfortable in all situations, despite having never been apart of a professional atmosphere. Much like we saw in this year’s WJC tournament, he carried the puck with utmost confidence and swagger. In fact, before contributing his first career assist, went as far as attempting a “Michigan goal”:

I mean, are you kidding me?

No, I do not view his minor league stint as shocking. Although I would have loved to see him fast-tracked to the NHL, he still has some tweaks to make in his game – most notably, his play along the boards and perhaps some additional touch-ups in the defensive end. However, if his extraordinary offensive contributions trickle through his next few games, I cannot picture a short-term future where we don’t see a “Zegras” name bar on the back of an Anaheim Duck uniform.

He’s extremely fun.

Continuing with the Gulls, Zegras wasn’t the only young gun to make their debut over the weekend. Both Jacob Perreault and