top 30 AHL prospects

10-27-2003, 06:06 AM

4. Jeff Taffe, C, Springfield (Coyotes) -- Traded by the St. Louis Blues for Keith Tkachuk in March 2001, Taffe has begun to display the potent offensive skills that made him a first-round pick in 2000. Capable of making defenders miss with his excellent skating and deft puckhandling, the 6-3, nearly 200-pound pivot produced a team-leading 49 points on a low-scoring Springfield squad last year. Originally considered more of a playmaker, the 22-year-old has developed a scorer's touch, potting a team-leading 34 goals for 2002 NCAA Champion University of Minnesota and tallying a combined 26 goals between Springfield and the Phoenix Coyotes last season. Possessing both size and skill, the 2002 AHL All-Star has the potential to be an impact player in the NHL.

10. Frederik Sjostrom, RW, Springfield (Coyotes) -- After the Phoenix Coyotes traded up to take him 11th overall in the 2001 draft, the now 20-year-old winger played a pair of seasons with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League. He led that team with 34 goals and 43 assists last season. Like many European-born players, Sjostrom is an excellent skater with strong puckhandling skills. Simultaneously, the 6-1, 215-pounder also can play the more physical North American style and is a solid defensive player. Sjostrom has a reputation as a hard worker, always digging in the corner for loose pucks and not backing down from larger opponents.

23. Igor Knyazev, D, Springfield (Coyotes) -- Originally taken 14th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2002, Knyazev, who was named the best defenseman at the 2002 World Junior Championships, was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes after a tough 2002-03 year in the AHL. At 6-1 and 210 pounds, the Russia native is known for his solid decision making in the defensive zone and playing an aggressive, physical style. Despite low statistical totals, Knyazev is very capable of carrying or passing the puck out of his own zone and has shown some offensive outbursts during his career.

10-27-2003, 01:42 PM
absolutely fantastic find. thoroughly enjoyed it. One obvious criticism. Where's LeNeveu? Of course he started bad so I shouldn't complain too loudly (although so did Sjostrom and he's number 10).

Nice to see Taffe earning some respect.

Notice the number of goalies on this list. Market value on goalies should continue to low as long as the number of highly touted goalies of the future continues to be this high. Buffalo alone has three goalies who are capable of being #1 netminders at some point in their careers. If it comes down to drafing a goalie or a positional player (defenseman or forward) then go with option B.

10-29-2003, 02:38 PM
3 players ... very nice. 3 players when the average should have been just 1.

Means they are close to making the jump. Wonder where Spiller fit in if he was down in Springfield?