Louis Leblanc called up
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12-04-2011, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Originally Posted by
Which player became instant success?
How can you ask that question? Almost every team in the NHL has a player drafted in the first round that has played little if no AHL games and became a success in the pros at the age of 19 to 22 (22 when they come out of the US University system).
So here is a list of instant successes. I could have gone on and on, probably drawing out 60 players or so, but I think 14 current succesful players is enough to prove my point. To be fair, I only selected players, like Louis leblanc, who were drafted in the first round but below the overall 10th pick mark.
Name Age (NHL) Games in AHL Draft Pick
----------------- ---------- ------------- ------------------------
Anze Kopitar 19 0 1st - 11th overall
Simon Gagne 19 0 1st - 11th overall
Mike Richards 20 0 1st - 24th overall
Claude Giroux 19 33 1st - 22th overall
Alex Tanguay 20 5 1st - 12th overall
Jarome Iginla 19 0 1st - 11th overall
Saku Koivu 21 0 1st - 21th overall
Bryan Little 20 34 1st - 12th overall
Dmitry Kulikov 19 0 1st - 14th overall
Martin Hanzal 20 0 1st - 17th overall
David Perron 19 0 1st - 26th overall
T.J Oshie 22 0 1st - 24th overall
Alex Steen 21 0 1st - 24th overall
Jeff Carter 20 3 1st - 11th overall
As you can see, for first round picks, playing straight in the NHL with little AHL experience is quite common. It sure did not ruin the career of all the players listed above. In fact, for offensive minded forwards (with the exception maybe of power forwards), playing in AHL can slow down their progress because the AHL is not as fast paced as the NHL and chock full of third line defensive minded players and fourth line goons.
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