It was another exciting week in the American Hockey League last week. There was a plethora of future and current NHL stars making their mark by way of records, awards and unfortunately injuries. As always I want to remind you that any success for failure at the AHL level, especially this season, should not have any great bearing on your perspective of these players future fantasy careers. They are being asked to work on specific things and may look better or worse than they will actually pan out being in game situations at the NHL level.
A Leaf prospect was at the source of a new AHL record last week. On Nov. 1, Toronto Marlies goalie Ben Scrivens was beaten by two different Abbotsford Heat players setting an AHL record for the fastest two goals scored by one team. Steve McCarthy scored at 4:28 of the third period, and on the ensuing faceoff, Ben Street shot the puck from center ice and beat the Toronto keeper.
The Rochester Americans played a home game at the First Niagara Center. The 3-1 victory over the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs was witnessed by 10,936 fans. That earned the Sabre's affiliate their biggest crowd for a home game since the 2004-05 lockout.
John Slaney may be shaking in his boots and praying for an end to the lockout. Slaney holds both the record for goals by a rookie defensemen with 20 and goals by all defensemen with 30 in two sepereate season. Oilers prospect Justin Schultz is looking to annihilation both of them this season. Schultz is on pace for 46 goals this season. Maintaining that pace is very unlikely, but topping 30 on the stocked Oklahoma City Barons roster is a possibility.
Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach won the AHL Player of the Week award last week after he tallied three goals and two assists for five points in two games for the Rockford Ice Hogs.
The AHL also named their Player of the Month, which was Schultz, who had a point in every one of his first seven games professional games. For the month of October the defenseman had six goals and six assists for a league-leading 12 points for the Barons.
Curtis McElhinney of the Springfield Falcons was chosen as the AHL Goaltender of the Month for October. The Blue Jackets prospect went 5-1-0 with a 1.51 goals-against average, a .949 save percentage and two shutouts. This was good enough to give the Falcon's the best October record in the AHL. It will be interesting to see what happens when the Blue Jackets are forced to actually develop their prospects. The best thing for the Blue Jackets organization and their prospects could be a three-year lockout.
Wild prospect Mikael Granlund was named the AHL Rookie of the Month. He had 10 points in seven games. Unfortunately, he has been named in the section below.
Granlund will miss a few weeks with what is being called a strained muscle in his right leg.
Another highly-touted Wild prospect Jonas Brodin was the recipient of a dirty hit by Taylor Hall. The result of the hit was a broken clavicle and several missed weeks for the 2011 first rounder.
The Most Interesting Player In the Week
The most interesting player this week for me has been Roman Horak. A prospect, and late round pick of the Calgary Flames. Currently leading the AHL in goals with 10 goals in 9 games the six foot tall centre is someone to watch. I still wouldn't put him very high on my list of prospects, but I will be interested in seeing how he develops for the Flames. The Flames haven't had a solid centre since Joe Nieuwendyk. Will this player develop into a quality or even elite first line centre? Probably not, but it has to happen to someone in the organization someday . . . right?