HFNHL - Making the Cut 2012
It's a bit early, particularly with the lockout looming, but it's too quiet around here right now, so how about a look at what rookies may make the cut.
For the Canucks, last year three players clearly made the cut, Justin Faulk, Justin Braun and Jeff Petry, while Richard Bachman and Tommy Wingels claimed regular spots as the season went along. Faulk is now a core player and the others have all earned one-way deals, eliminating them from contention on this list.
The Good Bets
Dougie Hamilton - May have to drop the Dougie and go with Doug to make it as a pro, but most assume that Hamilton will be in Boston this year. I am a bit skeptical myself - I think his Calder trophy hype is more based on the fact he has nothing left to do in junior. Equally likely to get the Alex Pietrangelo treatment (9 games and a lot of healthy scratches before the WJC) as to take a regular shift.
Damien Brunner - Obviously paid 3.25M on the assumption he cracks the Wings line-up. Babcock is a huge fan and has suggested Brunner will get a chance with Datsyuk to start the year. Coming from the NLA, there is a risk factor though.
Kyle Palmieri - Maybe the safest bet, Palmieri has absolutely nothing left to prove at the AHL level, although he remains waiver exempt. Will get top six minutes to start, but probably on LW, not his natural RW. Legitimate Calder candidate if he is still eligible.
Brenden Dillon - Probably the most anonymous player on this list, but from all indications Dillon is a near lock to play in Dallas' top six this year, possibly in the top four. Big and mobile, Dillon brings enough variety to his game that he could take on a decent role off the bat.
Mattias Ekholm - Made the Predators last season only to return to Sweden after two games. This year it appears he is more likely to suit up, particularly with Ryan Suter gone and Jon Blum's stock on the decline. Still not a lock to start in the top six, but has committed to playing all year in North America either way.
Cory Conacher - Hard to tell if Conacher will play in Tampa to start the year, as JT Brown is probably the favourite, but Yzerman has implied they held off signing a top six winger to allow these two prospects to battle for a spot. A dark horse candidate for the Calder, who could quite easily Brett Sterling 2.0 as well.
Alexander Urbom - Has made the cut before, but never held on to a job through October. WIth Mark Fayne due to start the season on the IR, there is a spot for Urbom, who has the size and skating to play now. Make or break season.
Max Sauve - Impressed last year in Bruins camp, and could make it this year, but injuries are a major problem. Got hurt three shifts into his only call-up last year. The skill is there and has proven in spurts that, when healthy, has the potential to score.
Mike Hoffman - A dark horse for a top six spot in Ottawa, due to his pure skill level. Was relatively productive and consistent in Binghamton last year. Needs to show something in the NHL this year, or will be lapped by prospects like Puempel and Noesen in Ottawa's sytsem.
Jerry D'Amigo - I see some Leafs fans pencilling D'Amigo in for a spot, and would like to believe it, but find it unlikely. Had an outstanding playoff in the AHL last year, but is still quite young.
I'm expecting big things out of Blum this year tbh though he could just bust
For the Jackets:
D Justin Schultz will be given every opportunity to play top-4 and #1 powerplay minutes for Edmonton.
D Brian Dumoulin has a chance to earn a few starts in Pittsburgh, where the move of Zbynek Michalek creates an opportunity.
G Ben Scrivens is currently the leads' backup, but nobody believes that Burke is done. We will likely have to wait until the new CBA is agreed to before we see what the Leafs do in net. Whatever happens, Scrivens will almost certainly get at least a few games dressed as a backup this season.
C Patrice Cormier has a decent chance a becoming the Jets' new checking-line centre, with bottom-six guys Glass and Stapleton moving on. Cormier is still raw in a lot of ways, but his physical presence, defensive awareness and especially his strength on faceoffs mean the Jets will give him a look at camp (whenever that may be).
W Carl Klingberg is another Jet who will get a look at camp, but without the sigle stand-out ability Cormier brings to the table, it's likely Klingberg will continue to develop on the rock.
D Eric Gryba has a slim chance of earning Matt Carkner's vacated job as depth enforcer in Ottawa. More likely he'll be a leader in Binghampton.
Who else? Meh. I'm sure there's a few that are dark horses, but none jump to mind at present.
C/W Mikael Granlund - One of the top prospects in the world who has shined against men for several seasons. This season, the Wild are lacking a 2nd line center, and Granlund could possibly step into that role, if not, on the wing on the 2nd line. Might even have a taste of the first line with Koivu, who knows...
Projection: Top line playmaking forward
D Jonas Brodin - Most likely Brodin will find himself in North America, however its still unknown whether that be the NHL or AHL. It really depends on how he does in training camp. If he finds himself in the AHL, he'll at the very least be the first call-up.
Projection: Top pairing two-way defenseman
D John Moore - Played a good amount of NHL games last season but was still raw in areas. With the improved blueline and Moore being waiver exempt, he could find his way to the AHL. Still, he is a promising youngster.
Projection: 2nd pairing two-way defenseman
RW Linden Vey - Lots of offensive talent and did very well in the AHL last season. However, considering how deep the LA Kings are offensively, Vey probably would find himself in the NHL, although injuries might open up a spot.
Projection: Offensive forward (boom or bust)
D Matt Clark - Steady, shutdown defenseman, most likely be in the AHL. But if the Ducks ever need a bottom pairing defenseman who adds some grit, Clark would be their first callup.
Projection: Bottom pairing shutdown physical defenseman
G Matt Hackett - The Wild already have Backstrom and Harding, but with Backstrom on his last year on his contract, he might be traded later in the season, allowing Hackett to come up and serve a backup role.
Projection: 1A Goaltender
G Anders Nilsson - It is hard to predict what the goaltending for the Islanders will look like considering they have cycle through goalies like crazy and DiPietro's huge contract. But Nilsson might find himself caught in that cycle and play a few games in the NHL.
Projection: 1B Goaltender
Realistically, Blum is not really in competition with Ekholm, as they are different players and play different sides. The only left-shooting players on that blueline are Josi and Hal Gill as of right now, so there is room for Ekholm. Ellis or Josi could struggle as sophomores as well. It is all quite wide open but you are right Blum is a better bet to make the cut out of training camp than Ekholm.
Mark Olver - Seems to have a good chance to finally stick with the Avs for a full season now that he's healthy. He's put up good numbers, generally, when he's played so. Fingers crossed.
Matt Donovan - Had a fantastic finish to his rookie AHL year and seems to be poised to take a spot on the Isles blueline. Most places have him penciled in on the Isles 3rd pairing. Lord knows I could use a cheap blueliner for my pro team, so again, fingers crossed.
Brandon Manning - Got a cup of coffee in his freshman pro season and apparently didn't look out of place. The Flyers just got brutal injury news on 2 starting defenseman (Meszaros, Lilja), so hopefully he can capitalize on that and make the team.
But you could well be right, his window is closing in Ottawa, in which case after another year in the AHL I could see him finding his way to another organization.
The organization is bursting with NHL playres on the blueline, as a deep veteran laden depth chart currently has Chara, Pronger, Byfuglien, Staal, Klesla, MacDonald, Campoli, Mikkelsson and Lee. With six prospects having already seen time in the NHL last year, including the likes of Josi, Cole and Gustaffson, the Blues are likely to be trading one or more of these guys in the year ahead.
Roman Josi – grabbed top 4 minutes late last year, and with Suter now gone, Trotz has said it will be Josi taking Suter’s regular spot beside Shea Weber. Could be a boom year for him, although he could easily be moved off that top pairing if it doesn’t gel. Still, pretty much a lock to be full-time in Nashville this year.
Ian Cole – He has bounced back and forth between St. Louis and Peoria, and this is likely the year he takes on a full-time support role with the Blues. Big and strong with under-appreciated offensive abilities, Cole will be asked to compliment the more offensive d-men on the Blues and will likely fill into that role well.
Erik Gustafsson – With the long-term injuries to Pronger and Meszaros and the Flyers failure to land a big time replacement, Gustafsson finds opportunity knocking, in particular given his puck moving skills. But that could all change, as the Flyers look to wheel and deal for more depth on the blueline.
On the Bubble
Jan Mursak – A long-time depth player and call-up for the Red Wings, the attrition for the Wings means Mursak is likely to get a bottom six spot this year, something he had in hand last year before a serious ankle injury in camp.
TJ Brennan – Brennan looked solid in his call-up opportunities last year and is a good bet to see time in the NHL again this year.
Viktor Tikhonov – After and another back’n forth season between North America and Russia last year, Tikhonov is again committing to try and make the Coyotes squad and replicate the proven goal scoring production he has demonstrated in Russia. Will be given a chance.
Ben Maxwell – a fringe prospect bordering on journeyman, Maxwell came on late in the year with the Jets and seems to be likely to get a chance to crack the bottom 6 full-time this year.
Johan Larsson – The Blues top prospect and SEL rookie of the year has looked like a dynamo whenever given the chance, but at his age he is much more likely to spend a year in the AHL, than to crack the NHL squash. But with his mature two-way game, it wouldn’t be a shock for him to get a look and earn some time in the NHL.
Mark Stone – despite a nice debut in the playoffs last year, Stone seems more than likely to see some AHL time before his NHL career takes off. But likely to get a look in preseason with some talented linemates at least
Stefan Noesen – the fact he can’t be sent to the AHL gives him an outside shot, because if he really impresses in preseason, he might be given 9 games to see if he can make the club before they send him to junior, where he dominated last year. He could easily play in a bottom six role, given his style, but still more than likely to spend another year in junior.
Reilly Smith – Made his NHL debut late last year after burning up the NCAA as one of the top goal scorers, but with some of Dallas’ free agent signings and his limited pro experience, much more likely to spend a year in the AHL.
Shane Prince – Almost assured to spend the year with Bingo, but Prince was arguably the top junior at the Sens pro camp last year, so you never know. His speed, smarts and intangibles make him a potential role player to start, although the Sens are much more likely to be inclined to see him work his way up in Bingo.
Maxim Goncharov – After a few AHL seasons in North America, and with loads of depth in front of him, the clock seems to be ticking on Goncharov on when he will head back to Russia. He certainly has all the skills to be an NHLer, but he has yet to put it all together on NA ice.
Shawn Lalonde- Took a step back last season and looks like he needs to demonstrate more progress at the AHL level before making the jump. Could be a make or break year for him, much like Goncharov.
Tomas Kundratek – Came into his own after being traded to Washington, but with a lot of skilled offensive d-men ahead of him, unlikely to crack the Caps squad. But injuries could see him for some longer spells in the NHL this season.
Konrad Abelthauser – Will be a rookie pro this season, but has the frame and skills to make an impact. Probably the longest shot, as he will likely see a few seasons in the AHL before getting a full-time chance at the NHL level.
Several other prospects are almost assured of junior or European duty, including William Karlsson, Matt Puempel, Sebastian Collberg, Nicolas Kerdiles, Adam Pelech, Gemel Smith, Charles Hudon, Blake Coleman, Michael Houser and several other fringe guys.
I also wonder if the fact the Sens let Carkner go was a clear decision that having that kind of player take a regular shift is something the club wants to move away from. Over the past two years, Carkner was exposed routinely as lacking the footspeed to keep up, and I actually interpreted the addition of Methot and Lundin as an indication the club felt defensive awareness was more important than physicality in a stay-at-home d-man, at least within the context of a puck-possession team in today's NHL. That is to say, I think Gryba still has better odds to make it on the merits of his defensive play, rather than his fighting ability.
For the Stars
Sven Baertschi CGY. I think hes a lock for the Flames roster most likely on the 2nd line. Unless he has a bad camp then he could find himself seasoning his game in the AHL.
Matthew Bartkowski BOS atm i think he may have the upperhand on Dougie for making the 6th and final spot has had a cup of tea in the NHL and i suspect with a good camp he will find himself on the big squad but a bad showing could see Hamilton jump him very easily.
Aaron Gagnon WPG could crack a 4th line role in Winnipeg dont expect much more from him most likely and AHL depth guy
John McCarthy SJS another guy i expect will be a depth piece in signed a 1 way deal so most likely will start the year in the NHL.
Jonathon Blum NSH Boom or bust year for Blum good chance to crack the top 4 and stick if he plays well if not could just go back to sweden or be and AHL star.
Cory Emmerton DET most likely a lock for a bottom six role in Detroit for the once promising prospect.
The rest could dark horse but most likely will be AHL or back to junior for them.
Brandon Saad – After a draft in which he dropped faster than the force of gravity his stock has since had an equally meteoric rise. Got a taste of the big club last year and is expected to make the club this year out of camp and possibly play in the top 6.
"I think he could have played (with the Blackhawks) last year and he would have had a very good year, but in the big picture for Brandon I think it's going to turn out to be the right decision," Kelley told NHL.com. "The nice thing when you went to see him play last year is what he did when he was on the ice defensively, the little things that don't come up in the stats. He's one of those players that coaches love, and that makes it easier for any player."
Cody Eakin – After being packaged in trade for Riberio he will be given a chance to be a 3rd line player. If he does, there's some potential -- he compiled 47 goals and 36 over the last two years in the WHL. Has speed to burn.
Frazer McLaren – 4th line player. Big bodied (6’5” 250 lbs) 4th line enforcer type. Has seen parts of the last 3 seasons in the NHL. More likely to put up PIM’s then score he has 85 PIM’s in 39 GP in NHL.
Paul Postma – Is usually the first defenseman called up by the Jets. Has plenty of offense to spare and has worked on his defense over the past few years in the AHL. Has started to fill out physically at 6’3” 195 lbs. A make or break year for him.
Brett Bulmer – Power Forward in the making. Has bulked up to 204 lbs at 6’3”. Got a 9 game tryout last year and was expected to stay with the club. Came as a shock when he was sent down. Most likely to play in the AHL this year. Has very good speed and an all-around game.
Charlie Coyle – Left the NCAA for the QMJHL and was awarded the MVP of the playoffs 15 G and 34 PTS to lead all scorers. Another big bodied power forward at 6’2 207 lbs.
"His skill set with his size and strength, they're just so hard to come by," Flahr said. "Moving to Saint John, he was able to play with some great players and at the same time take his offensive game to another level."
Not far off from being an NHL regular. He will be given a chance to make the club.
Tomas Tatar – Has spent the past 3 years in the AHL and posted 147 points in 204 games. Only 21 years old. Should be the 1th to 13th forward on the Red Wings or the number 1 call up. Has improved his defense and has very good speed
The odds of Postma making the Jets just improved with the news that Bogosian will be out 4 to 6 months.
So, with training camp underway, finally, it seems like an appropriate time to update this. A few updates from the Canucks:
Damien Brunner - Is poised to start the year one a line with Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Has dominated the Swiss league, with Zetterberg on his line, throughout the lockout.
Dougie Hamilton - Underwhelming WJC aside, he's got nothing left to do in junior, and should stick with the Bruins. The only question is probably ice-time.
Kyle Palmieri - Has only been average in the AHL so far, but nothing left to learn at that level. Currently on a line with Perry and Getzlaf in training camp.
Brenden Dillon - With Mark Fistric dealt, Dillon is almost a lock to start in Dallas. Stay-at-home defenceman with above-average mobility, could earn top 4 minutes by end of the year.
Beau Bennett - Has been a major surprise as a rookie pro, leading the Penguins in scoring. Is being considered as a possible winger on Malkin's line, although he is still quite raw.
Mattias Ekholm - Has made a fine transition to the AHL, but is currently sidelined with a foot injury and won't be back for a few more weeks at least.
Cory Conacher - On the plus side, JT Brown is injured and the Lightning still have spots available for Conacher. On the downside, he has been slumping offensively of late. Good chance to make it.
Christopher Nihlstorp and Richard Bachman - One of the two will back-up Kari Lehtonen this year. Bachman has a one-way deal, but Nihlstorp is an experienced veteran who has been dominant at times in the AHL this year.
Also In Camp
Mike Hoffman - Got an invite over players like Zibanejad, Stone and Prince, and has skating to push for a spot.
David Warsofsky - Not expected to make the Bruins, but got a chance over Torey Krug. Possible powerplay specialist.
Jayson Megna - Surprising camp invite is the extreme dark horse contender for a spot on Malkin's line.
JT Miller - It appears the Rangers have decided to let Miller stay in the AHL for now, instead of inviting him to camp.
Max Sauve - The biggest disappointment on the list, Sauve was left off the camp roster as a result of a poor season.
Jerry D'Amigo - Has had an average season and did'nt get the call to camp. Only in his second full year as a pro.
Johan Sundstrom - Not a huge surprise, as he's only 18 months from being drafted, but Sundstrom has had a great rookie year. Could get a look later in the year.
Alex Urbom - Seems to be going in reverse, although the Devils camp roster includes only d-man that played in the NHL last year.
Where do u find camp rosters ?
Juniors only get a 5 game tryout this year
Leafs are keeping a close eye on
- Interesting to see his transition to the NHL. we are cautiously optimistic.
- I think he still needs more time to mature, but has all the tools.
- Great start in the AHL this year, have to see if he can mirror that production in the NHL.
For the Flames --
A couple defenseman that Nick couldn't pry away from me, Patrick Wierioch and Mark Borowiecki, are trying out to fill the injury depleted D for the Sens.
Anton Khudobin was steady for a terrible KHL team and is slated to be the back-up.
Free Agents Ben Street and Roman Cervenka are in camp - although Cervenka is still recovering from a blood clot and isn't playing.
The time is now for Eric Trangradi. He's playing on a line with James Neal and Evgeni Malkin in camp. He needs to stick and play top six minutes.
Other Flames news - The injury bug has hit several of the younger players who should have started in the NHL. Zack Kassian, Jake Gardiner and Dmitri Orlov are all out with injury.
Frazer McLaren - made the team
Brandon Saad made the team
Ryan Johansen - made the team
Cody Eakin - made the team
Tomas Tatar - assigned to AHL
Scott Laughton (5 game tryout while Breire is injured)
J.T Wyman - waived
Marco Scandella (made the team last year)
I expect 5 players to break camp (Scandella, Johansen, Saad, Eakin, and Postma) The rest will be call ups or tryouts
Scrivens appears set to start the season as Reimer's caddy in Toronto since the log-rumoured Luongo trade has not come to pass.
And that's it. This is what I get for systematically trading away my top prospects over the last couple of years. Stepan, Henrique, Smith, Hamilton, Zucker... You could ice a pretty good team just of rookies and sophomores that have passed through Columbus' system.
C'est la vie.
Eric Tangradi made the roster at the expense of Beau Bennet who was returned to the AHL.
Khudobin didn't have any real competition to back up Tuuka Rask - it will be interesting to see how many games he gets into.
Ben Street was returned to the NHL and Cervenka is skating but not practicing with the team yet.
There is no timetable for the return of Gardiner - or Orlov.
Kassian has been practicing despite his back problems, skating yesterday on a line with the Sedin Sisters.
(I know, not strictly competition for this season, but he's playing VERY well in the AHL, so expect Khudobin to start to feel the pressure sooner than later.)
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=6...d=nhl:topheads full opening day rosters
Made their teams:
Rickard Rakell - ANA
Lane MacDermid - BOS
Philip Larsen - DAL (63 NHL games)
Jonathan Huberdeau - FLA
Robin Lehner - OTT
Jakob Silfverberg - OTT
Korbinian Holzer - TOR
Some late cuts from camp:
Nick Palmieri - MIN
Harri Pesonen - NJ
Boone Jenner - CBJ
Spencer Machacek - WPJ
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