As expected the lockout is creating serious roster problems for a number of teams as they continue to investigate all manner of avenues to send their signed (and not signed) prospects off to continue their development in other leagues with as little interuption to their growth curves as professional hockey players as possible.
With all this movement of players and their associated skill levels, the ranks of both the AHL and ECHL have seen a number of players enter into those systems with skill levels technically higher than the league norm. I am not really talking about Adam Henrique of the New Jersey Devils playing for the Albany Devils or even about Jake Gardiner playing for the Toronto Marlies, guys who have already technically made it to ‘the show’ but about guys like Adam Hughesman who I mentioned earlier in my blog in a posting below.
Hughesman came into Marlies camp and in my opinion (based predominately on statistics and hearsay found online) made a case to stay with his strong play and it also sounds like a number of people agreed; although he did turn down a minor league Marlies contract (like Mike Zigomanis’s) there surely remains a strong connection between him and MLSE.
The 5’11” 185 pound left winger has made an immediate impact on his ECHL team, the Las Vegas Wranglers at least according to the statistics behind his play:
—————————————————–Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2011-12 Tri-City Americans WHL 72 50 66 116 42 40
2012-13 Las Vegas Wranglers ECHL 5 3 3 6 0 0
*stats courtesy of HockyDB
However after checking out some of the video found on the Wranglers website http://lasvegaswranglers.com they appeared to be well placed goals and 6 points in 5 games, although early, does translate well into Hughesman taking the next step into the AHL. One has to but wonder if this initial introduction to pro hockey won’t do anything but have positive affects on his confidence as well as his physical play as he becomes use to playing against larger bodies.
Another potential Marlie, Sam Carrick is also getting his feet wet as a pro, currently have played in 4 games for the ECHL Idaho Steelheads http://www.idahosteelheads.com where he has 1 goal and sits at a +2, so far so good!
Tyler Brenner is also spending some time down in the big ‘E’ for the Bakersfield Condors http://bakersfieldcondors.com/ where perhaps it was just a case of too many bodies and is really just more of a conditioning stint but after lacing them up for 4 games he has a respectible 2 goals, 2 pims and sits at a +1.
Thats it for now, if there was any Marlies related players or unsigned prospects playing in the ECHL that you know of, by all means let me know, would love to follow them.