This is Jeff Tambellini. He’s been a point-per-game player in the AHL since leaving college in the summer of 2005. He’s had auditions with two of the NHL’s more “interesting” teams (LA and NYI) and he’s a player of interest if you believe there are quality NHLers stuck in the minors.
Looking at the AHL scoring list right now there are a few players ahead of Tambellini in the points race (Tambellini is 30gp, 19-17-36, -2) but none I can see with the track record at 23 years old.
Tied with Tambellini in the scoring race is Edmonton’s Rob Schremp, but I’d trade the Syracuse dandy for Tambellini (a Calgary boy who played bantam in Port Moody, BC and college for Michigan–he was a teammate of former Oiler prospect Dwight Helminen) straight up.
A few reasons: Tambellini’s draft day scouting report talked about his skating ability (“excellent skater, quick acceleration, quick off the mark”) and overall intelligence in game. He was described as undersized but willing to go into traffic areas. Hockey News quoted a scout as saying “He has come a long way from junior-A in BC to play at the level he played at (college), I like his speed and quickness. He uses it at both ends of the ice, especially when he pressures the defense.”
Tambellini scored at a 2.17ppg clip in the BCJHL at age 17, and then in 3 college seasons progressed overall (1.05, 0.69 and 1.36) before turning pro at 21 and scoring at a 1/1 rate in the AHL.
Since then, his seasons in the minors have looked like this:
- Age 21 (56gp, 25-31-56) 1.00
- Age 22 (50gp, 30-29-59) 1.18
- Age 23 (30gp, 19-17-36) 1.20
I’m not going into any more detail in terms of math since Vic Ferrari already did it here. The Islanders are doing to Tambellini what the Yankees used to do to guys like Otis Nixon. Here’s a list of transactions for this guy in the calendar year 2007:
- 13-Dec-07: Assigned to Bridgeport (AHL).
- 02-Dec-07: Recalled from Bridgeport (AHL).
- 12-Oct-07: Assigned to Bridgeport (AHL).
- 08-Oct-07: Recalled from Bridgeport (AHL).
- 03-Oct-07: Assigned to Bridgeport (AHL).
- 24-Mar-07: Recalled from Bridgeport (AHL).
- 13-Mar-07: Assigned to Bridgeport (AHL).
- 10-Mar-07: Recalled from Bridgeport (AHL).
- 27-Feb-07: Assigned to Bridgeport (AHL).
- 01-Feb-07: Recalled from Bridgeport (AHL).
Tambellini is a natural left winger and appears to be behind Fedotenko, Bergenheim, Hilbert and Comeau on what looks like the most pedestrian LW depth chart on the planet but they must be doing something right since they’re in the heart of the Eastern conference playoff race.
I don’t have any idea about what the Islanders need but this is a guy who is 23, has earned the reputation of being a player who can help you even if he’s a little shy on scoring (with forechecking and intelligent play) and plays a position Edmonton could use a little help with in light of Raffi’s injury.
His contract is identical to Pouliot’s, meaning he is an rfa and at a crossroads this summer.