There’s no method Jordan Binnington may have seen this coming.
Nothing actually went his method on the trail to the NHL. The Blues had a big selection of AHL netminders to select from, and Ville Husso appeared like he was going to emerge as the highest goalie prospect throughout the group. However you know the way the story went: Binnington was good within the AHL, Jake Allen and Chad Johnson fell flat, and Binnington was given an opportunity halfway by the season. A couple of months later and Binnington is the primary rookie goaltender to win 16 video games en path to a Stanley Cup.
Not dangerous for a child the Blues tried gifting away to Boston through the low season for virtually nothing.
Binnington wanted eight seasons and 164 AHL video games earlier than his promotion to full-time NHL responsibility turned a actuality. If it wasn’t for his play within the second half of the season, the Blues would’ve had a really robust time preventing their method again to a playoff spot from final place, not to mention a Stanley Cup championship.
However this begs the query: if Binnington may do it, who else can emerge from the AHL to turn into affect NHLers? We already checked out among the prime prospects who may make the leap, so let’s see the gamers who won’t be star prospects however may nonetheless make waves subsequent season:
Andrew Poturalski, C, 25 (Carolina)There won’t be a single participant who was extra spectacular when it mattered within the AHL this season than Poturalski, an undrafted middle with 4 years within the group. And positive, a very good season at 25 might scream “profession AHLer” within the vein of Darren Haydar, however Poturalski’s rise this season was fairly spectacular. He smashed his earlier career-high level whole of 52 two seasons in the past with a 70-point marketing campaign earlier than scoring 12 objectives and 23 factors in 18 playoff video games en path to Charlotte’s first Calder Cup. As an unrestricted free agent, Poturalski, who performed two video games with the Hurricanes in 2017, may earn a spot in a staff’s bottom-six subsequent season and it might be clever for the Hurricanes to maintain him round for some added scoring depth for subsequent season.
Tyler Benson, LW, 21 (Edmonton)Benson is without doubt one of the youthful choices on this listing, however there’s loads to love about him. It wasn’t that way back that he was pegged as a future star, going first general within the 2013 WHL draft after destroying the Alberta Bantam AAA scoring report with 146 factors in simply 33 video games. Accidents restricted his WHL profession and he fell to the second spherical in 2016 to the Oilers (32nd general), however he has the ability to be a possible second-liner within the NHL, particularly after placing up 66 factors in 68 video games as an AHL rookie in Bakersfield. Benson is a incredible playmaker and deserves a shot at making Edmonton’s roster subsequent season.
Jeremy Bracco, RW, 22 (Toronto)With the Leafs needing to make some adjustments up entrance to account for Mitch Marner’s contract, Bracco might lastly get a chance to crack Toronto’s lineup. It might be even simpler to justify it if the staff loses Andreas Johnsson, a strong scoring winger that Bracco may replicate. With 79 factors in 75 video games, Bracco noticed unimaginable progress in his sophomore AHL marketing campaign with the Marlies whereas main the playoffs with 12 assists regardless of a third-round exit. The playmaking winger doesn’t have way more to show within the AHL and could possibly be a pleasant funds choice for Toronto subsequent season.
Matt Luff, RW, 22 (Los Angeles)Within the halfway level of the season, Luff was on an absolute tear with the Kings, scoring seven objectives in a 15-game span. He confirmed super chemistry with Adrian Kempe and Austin Wagner in a restricted position, however as time went on, Luff was given alternatives to shine. Sadly, his offense dried up and he was shipped again right down to the Ontario Reign, however Luff confirmed some potential on a staff determined for objectives. With 31 factors in 36 AHL video games, Luff might be within the dialog to make the Kings out of coaching camp, but when he doesn’t, anticipate him to spend chunks of time within the NHL regardless after impressing in his 33-game stint this season.
Alex Barre-Boulet, C/RW, 22 (Tampa Bay)All he does is rating, however Barre-Boulet nonetheless went undrafted regardless of placing up 337 factors in 263 QMJHL video games from 2014 to 2018, probably the most of any participant in that span. Signed by Tampa Bay in 2018, Barre-Boulet took the AHL by storm by scoring a league-leading 34 objectives, along with his 68 factors being probably the most by a rookie since Cory Conacher put up 80 in 2011-12, adequate to earn Barre-Boulet the rookie-of-the-year title. At 5-foot-10 and 165 kilos, Barre-Boulet’s dimension is without doubt one of the primary the reason why he’s all the time been an underdog, however the Lightning have to present him an opportunity subsequent season primarily based on his potential to attain and his pace alone.
Calle Rosen, D, 25 (Toronto)This isn’t precisely breaking information, however the Maple Leafs need assistance on protection. Jake Gardiner is unlikely to return, Ron Hainsey and Martin Marincin additionally look like on their method out and the Leafs are exploring new alternatives for Nikita Zaitsev. Feels like an ideal time for Rosen to swoop in and steal a spot subsequent season, particularly on a staff that can look to save lots of each greenback they will. Rosen had 46 factors in 54 video games with the Marlies this 12 months and was an enormous a part of the staff’s Calder Cup title in 2018. It might be sensible for the Leafs to advertise Rosen subsequent season whereas permitting children Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren additional time to develop within the AHL.
Alex Nedeljkovic, G, 23 (Carolina)The Hurricanes are anticipated to roll with the identical goalie duo that they had this season, however Nedeljkovic’s incredible season with Charlotte may make issues fascinating. A second-round decide in 2014 (37th general), Nedeljkovic took a number of years to search out his recreation, however after profitable the Calder Cup and the highest goaltender award (after main everybody in wins for the second consecutive season), the time is correct to present him a shot. His one NHL begin with the Hurricanes this 12 months resulted in a victory, however the staff nonetheless must signal the pending RFA to a deal.
Dylan Sikura, LW/C, 24 (Chicago)With 11 factors in 38 NHL video games and a full season of professional hockey underneath his belt, Sikura appears prepared so as to add his scoring punch to the Blackhawks’ bottom-six subsequent 12 months. In fact, they nonetheless should signal the pending RFA, however that looks like a given after seeing what he can do in any respect three ahead positions. Sikura had a strong 17-goal, 35-point run with Rockford this 12 months and didn’t look misplaced as an energy-packed ahead within the depths of Chicago’s roster. It’s time for a promotion to full-time NHL work.
Kevin Lankinen, G, 24 (Chicago)Goaltending has been a difficulty with the Blackhawks over the previous few years, with Corey Crawford’s harm historical past proving to be an actual concern. Alexis Gravel could also be pegged because the man to steer the staff sooner or later, however Lankinen has really put himself into the dialog as somebody who deserves a shot. Lankinen began the 12 months within the ECHL however impressed sufficient within the AHL with Rockford to warrant a spot on Finland’s World Championship staff. Lankinen placed on a goaltending clinic, main Finland to a surprising gold medal over Canada and incomes a number of reward for his incredible effort. Not dangerous for an undrafted goaltender, however Lankinen may very well be worthy of some begins subsequent 12 months, even when he’s nonetheless behind backup Collin Delia on the depth chart.
Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, 21 (Edmonton)OK, hear me out: Puljujarvi’s time in Edmonton has been a whole catastrophe, and it’s starting to seem like he received’t have to fret about that subsequent 12 months. However you may’t deny that Puljujarvi is a proficient participant and that most individuals agreed that he was the appropriate decide at No. four for Edmonton again in 2016. However perhaps a brand new staff and a brand new scenario is strictly what he wants to actually boost his profession. Puljujarvi hasn’t been spectacular within the AHL by any means, however he appeared good in restricted motion in Bakersfield and will discover the stride that made him such a dominant prospect a number of years in the past in a brand new scenario. In fact, that’s hanging on to the previous, however perhaps there’s nonetheless hope for a child that’s simply 21.
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Tags: ahl, nhl, prospects, st. louis bluesConnect: 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.