Over the previous 5 years, Kasimir Kaskisuo has usually been unnoticed of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ long-term goaltending dialog.
He had a few spectacular outcomes early on in his professional profession, however by no means did sufficient to earn a full-time function with the Toronto Marlies till final season. Even then, whereas he performed 30 video games with the newborn membership final season, Michael Hutchinson and Eamon McAdam made their presence identified in what was an in any other case common yr in internet by the Marlies netminder contingent.
However Kaskisuo is rising as one of many AHL’s high goaltenders this season and a first-rate candidate for a call-up if Hutchinson or Fredrik Andersen go down with an damage. Kaskisuo has been strong by 4 begins, posting a shutout in opposition to Manitoba and successful all 4 video games, serving to Toronto to an ideal 6-Zero-Zero file to begin the marketing campaign. Having Kaskisuo on the highest of his recreation is significant, provided that Charlotte had the sting over Toronto in the course of the 2019 post-season. If Kaskisuo needs a practical shot on the NHL, enjoying like he has will solely get him nearer to that actuality, even when Joseph Woll and Ian Scott have the within observe as future replacements for Andersen.
It’s nonetheless early, however let’s check out 10 different standouts from the primary few weeks of AHL motion:
Lucas Elvenes, LW (Chicago)A Golden Knights fifth-rounder in 2017 (127th total), Elvenes kicked the yr off proper with a four-point debut in opposition to the Grand Rapids Griffins and has stored the momentum alive ever since, main the league with 11 factors by seven video games. In truth, he’s solely gone one recreation and not using a level thus far. Elvenes made the transfer to North America after spending three seasons within the Swedish League, though his 20-point efficiency in 42 video games final season was seen as a step down from his 16 factors in 28 video games the yr earlier than. However Elvenes appears comfy in Chicago and has achieved sufficient to push himself again up the depth chart in Vegas, a workforce with a really brief, but efficient, draft historical past.
Reid Boucher, LW (Utica)The Comets are excellent by 5 video games, and it’s not precisely a shock given there are a pair names on the roster which might be in all probability worthy of an NHL shot. Boucher’s 133-game NHL profession over the previous six years was fairly underwhelming, to say the least, however he’s first amongst all AHLers with eight objectives, scoring in each recreation, together with three two-goal efforts. For the reason that begin of the 2017-18 season, Boucher is tied with Chris Terry for the AHL lead in objectives with 64, whereas Boucher’s 118 factors in 106 are good for seventh – his 1.11 points-per-game common is the place he actually stands out, giving him the most effective complete amongst gamers with no less than 80 video games performed in that span.
Nikolay Goldobin, RW (Utica)Talking of the Comets, Goldobin was, unsurprisingly, named the CCM/AHL participant of the week final week after potting seven assists and eight factors in simply three video games. Utica’s high three wingers – Boucher, Goldobin and Sven Bartschi – have been dominant due to their years of NHL expertise However the scoring race was made fascinating due to Goldobin particularly, who sits tied with Elvenes for the league lead with eight assists and is simply two factors off of Elvenes’ scoring lead, regardless of enjoying three fewer video games. Utica will likely be an absolute blast to observe this season if the massive three proceed to supply.
Travis Boyd, C (Hershey)He’s as much as his outdated shenanigans final yr. After skating in simply two AHL video games due to a 53-game stint with Washington, Boyd is already exhibiting why he’s top-of-the-line forwards the AHL has seen over the previous 5 years. In simply three video games, Boyd has two three-point nights to his credit score, scoring on 4 of his six photographs in that span. He was referred to as as much as the Capitals final week however has but to decorate in a contest. Will he play quickly? Perhaps, but it surely’s secure to say the remainder of the AHL is OK with him sticking with the Caps proper now.
Brett Seney, LW (Binghamton)Seney did not make the New Jersey Devils out of coaching camp after skating in 51 video games with the massive membership final yr, however he hasn’t misplaced a beat within the AHL whereas enjoying a pivotal function for Binghamton. Seney has recorded some extent in each recreation this season, together with his two objectives in a Four-1 win over Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday proving to be an early-season spotlight for the Merrimack School graduate. Seney, a 5-foot-9 winger that isn’t afraid to put a giant hit or drop the gloves in opposition to somebody a lot larger, will earn an NHL call-up in some unspecified time in the future this season, and, even with restricted time within the NHL, he’s choice to have round to mentor younger forwards Joey Anderson and Nathan Bastian.
Chase Priskie, D (Charlotte)How’s this for a professional debut? Priskie has seven factors in six video games since ending his four-year NCAA tenure with Quinnipiac, highlighted by a four-point evening in opposition to Syracuse final week. His six assists are tied with Hershey veteran Christian Djoos for probably the most by a defenseman thus far and his seven factors are good for second amongst all rookies. Priskie has a protracted street forward of him if he needs a practical shot at enjoying for the Hurricanes, given their huge base of defensemen to select from, however he’s shortly turning into a low-risk, high-reward candidate for a workforce on the lookout for additional scoring depth on the blueline.
Lane Pederson, C (Tucson)Capturing at 40 p.c this season, few gamers have been as outstanding within the purpose column as Pederson, an under-the-radar prospect within the Arizona Coyotes’ system. Given Pederson’s stat line over the previous two years, the place he bounced up from 26 factors in 2017-18 to 47 final season, means that he’s prepared for a breakthrough yr in Tuscon as a strong late-blooming prospect. Pederson excelled as a bottom-six AHL ahead two years in the past however has transitioned to a top-scoring line. If he’s to make the NHL sometime, it’ll be in a fringe scoring/checking function additional down the Coyotes’ lineup.
Cal Petersen, G (Ontario)Are Jonathan Fast’s days numbered in Los Angeles? Petersen is doing his finest to make that the case. He was busy in his first two video games, stopping 83 of the primary 85 photographs he confronted to turn out to be the AHL’s first participant of the week this season. Petersen impressed in an 11-game stint with L.A. final yr and the Kings wouldn’t hesitate to provide him a pair begins if Fast or Jack Campbell go down with an damage – he’s ok to earn an NHL backup spot on many groups, as it’s. Within the meantime, he’ll contend for the AHL’s goaltender-of-the-year award.
Morgan Geekie, C (Charlotte)Geekie confirmed up on the scene late final season, turning a good 46-point rookie professional marketing campaign into a strong 18-point playoff efficiency en path to Charlotte’s first Calder Cup championship. Geekie has hit the ice at full tempo this season, with eight factors in six video games to assist him proceed the place he left off final season. It’s not a very new-look Checkers workforce this yr, however having veteran Brian Gibbons within the fold and Julien Gauthier producing at a goal-per-game common helps to fill the void left by the departures of high scorers Andrew Poturalski, Aleksi Saarela and Martin Necas. Geekie will likely be a risk for the top-scoring spot on the finish of the season.
Sam Anas, C (Iowa)With Gerald Mayhew incomes just a few video games within the NHL, Anas has had the chance to emerge as Iowa’s most necessary ahead within the early going. Anas, a small, speedy middle standing at 5-foot-Eight, had 61 factors as a sophomore in 2017-18 however had simply 38 in a disappointing 2018-19 marketing campaign. To this point, Anas has eight factors in six video games, centering the workforce’s high trio and turning into the all-time factors chief in franchise historical past with 135. It’s clearly early, however Anas is having fairly a begin in a strong rebound marketing campaign for the No. 1 middle.
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Tags: prospects, ahlConnect: In regards to the AuthorSteven EllisSteven Ellis is a Digital Content material Producer for The Hockey Information. He spends his free time listening to music you would not like and watches obnoxiously-long motor races.