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09-21-2010, 01:09 PM
  #68
expos4ever
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Originally Posted by expos4ever View Post
Here's a great THN article explaining why: How an AHL stint prepares prospects for NHL Life
e.g:

Quote:
Kyle Beach spent the past four years wreaking havoc in the Western League, but also got two stints with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. Now he’s gunning for a spot on the Chicago Blackhawks, who took the rambunctious scorer with the 11th pick overall in 2008.

“It’s something you can’t trade, it’s a great experience,” Beach said. “It’s a time where you have to really absorb everything, take it in, get used to the pro level, the pro game.

“In junior I was one of the biggest guys, out there I’m like everyone else.”

And that’s a major factor in jumping from the junior ranks to the ‘A.’ Not only does the game move at a quicker pace, but those ain’t lanky 17-year-olds on the forecheck anymore
and:
Quote:
Colorado Avalanche vice president of player development Craig Billington recalls a conversation he had with 6-foot-2, 228-pound power forward Chris Stewart after the emerging star suited up for the Lake Erie Monsters in 2007-08.

“He came up to me in the dressing room,” Billington recalled, “and said ‘Boy, are these guys big.’ And I don’t know if you’ve met Chris Stewart…”

But yeah, if that hulking dude was surprised, he wouldn’t be the only one. And that sort of realization is very important for a prospect’s development, even if it’s only for a short amount of time.

“What does that two to four weeks at the end of a season matter?” Billington mused. “I think it matters. You have pre-conceived notions of the pro game and you don’t really know it until you touch it.”

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