The AHL’s 20-Year Old Forwards, 07-08

Two of the best seasons to look at prospects are their 17-year old (draft year) season and their 20-year old pro year.

A good rule of thumb is that if a player is 20 and in the NHL you have something, so Andrew Cogliano would have to be considered a good bet for a solid NHL career.

However, what do we make of a player like Slava Trukhno or Ryan O’Marra? Both turned pro this season and are currently trying to get noticed in the AHL.

A few years ago Vic Ferrari suggested that forwards who could put up a point a game at age 20 at the AHL level would often go onto success at a skill spot in the National Hockey League.

It’s a valuable tool, an effective “line in the sand.” Now most of the kids who can do this are off to the NHL long before the mid-season point so by this time each season we’re looking at players who aren’t at the 1/1 level.

Still it’s nice to see which 20-year olds are close and which ones are far down the list. Here are the AHL forwards (all 30 teams) who are 20 and their ppg totals at the All-Star break:

  1. Bobby Ryan (ANA) 1.00
  2. Bryan Little (ATL) .684
  3. Gilbert Brule (CBS) .667
  4. Michael Grabner (VCR) .667
  5. Jerome Samson (CAR) .642
  6. Nicholas Drazenovic (STL) .632
  7. Bobby Hughes (CAR) .615
  8. Chris Stewart (COL) .610
  9. Ilya Zubov (OTT) .609
  10. Nick Foligno (OTT) .588
  11. Artem Anisimov (NYR) .537
  12. Jack Skille (CHI) .514
  13. David Meckler (LAK) .396
  14. Niklas Bergfors (NJD) .393
  15. Peter Kalus (MINN) .390
  16. Perttu Lindgren (DALL) .390
  17. Slava Trukhno (EDM) .389
  18. James Neal (DALL) .375
  19. Trevor Lewis (LAK) .370
  20. Cal Clutterbuck (MINN) .361
  21. Brodie Dupont (NYR) .356
  22. Tom Sestito (COL) .350
  23. Juraj Simek (VCR) .333
  24. Morten Madsen (MINN) .322
  25. Mattias Ritola (DET) .302
  26. Nick Blanchard (CAR) .297
  27. Tom Pyatt (NYR) .286
  28. Chris Lawrence (TBAY) .257
  29. Ryan O’Marra (EDM) .250
  30. Richard Clune (DALL) .250
  31. Darren Helm (DET) .225
  32. Adam Hobson (CHI) .200
  33. Andreas Thuresson (NASH) .190
  34. Tom Wandell (DALL) .174
  35. M.A. Cliche (LAK) .148
  36. Ryan Russell (MTL) .143
  37. Ryan Reaves (STL) .142
  38. Brett Sutter (CALG) .133

This isn’t really fair to some of these guys, who were never touted as scorers and have a future as role players. An example would be Tom Sestito. There are some pretty high picks mucking about here and it doesn’t look as good as it should for them but remember we don’t have ATOI totals and that’s the at-bats portion of figuring out batting average.

There seems to be a line after Jack Skille at .500 where there’s a fairly big gap, don’t know if it means anything. We would need to look at several seasons to get a perspective but it does tell us that the two Oiler forwards on the list aren’t among the cream.

As an aside here are some recent Oiler prospects and their AHL ppg at 20:

  1. Rob Schremp .768
  2. Jarrett Stoll .711
  3. Marc Pouliot .692
  4. JF Jacques .677
  5. Kyle Brodziak .571
  6. Jani Rtia .552
  7. Michael Henrich .205
  8. Zack Stortini .156

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6 Responses to "The AHL’s 20-Year Old Forwards, 07-08"

  1. PunjabiOil says:

    Brule plays with Columbus.

    Interesting, not many ”high end” players in the AHL. Perhaps the talents level isn’t there this year, or Vic Ferrari’s 1:1 ratio has to be adjusted for “deflation”

    I think Schremp being at the PPG mark with few other top end players on the team, is hinting he’ll be a NHL player soon.

    Pouliot who was essentially a 1:1 in his 2nd year (31 pts in 33 games) has regressed this season (28 in 35). You have to wonder how much time the Oilers will give him, or whether the Oilers will resign to the fact he’s got a career ahead of him in the bottom 2 lines.

    Just one question – can the Oilers keep holding onto Pouliot’s/Jacques rights next year without giving them a one way contract next year?

    Jeff Tambellini is tearing up the AHL. Ted Nolan must not be a fan of rookies

  2. Lowetide says:

    I’d bet on Tambellini heading somewhere at the deadline and would be happy if it was Edmonton. I see out friend MA Bergeron making a mistake that cost a goal on the Island so maybe they deal for Tarnstrom?

    Probably not.

    Vic’s 1/1 rule may need to be nicked a little (say .900)but it seems like when you reach that level it’s off to the show so a few players are in the NHL now that established themselves early: Derick Brassard, Sergei Kostitsyn, Vladimir Sabotka.

  3. Bank Shot says:

    I’m voting for crappy talent pool this season.

    Last year there were a bunch of guys who played a fair amount of games and put up at or near a PPG pace.

    Stafford, Boyd, Tyler Kennedy, Krejci, Versteeg, etc.

  4. doritogrande says:

    Hard to believe Brule was playing in the NHL as an 18-year old. My how he’s fallen. Columbus always seems to rush their high picks.

    After a disasterous beginning, O’Marra’s starting to turn it around. Problem is, he hates the Edmonton Oiler organization. I don’t think he’s going to have a future here, and given his injury history we won’t get market value for him either.

  5. PunjabiOil says:

    Why does O’Marra hate the Oilers organization?

  6. doritogrande says:

    Recent HF article:

    ” HF has spoken to everyone involved with the situation, but because the player has been asked to focus on playing and not talking, no one really wants to comment much beyond the press releases to shed any more light on the matter. Suffice to say that player and organization haven’t always seen eye to eye this year.”

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