Desjardins’ NHLE for AHL (Forwards)

The Springfield Falcons were not a very good team this season, but there were some impressive individual performances. We can see part of the picture with Desjardins’ NHL equivalencies. Gabriel really hones in on the highest minor league with specific numbers for each player based on their age (the idea being your third AHL season should be more impressive than the first one).

Here are the 2008-09 NHLE’s, forwards per 82 games played:

  1. Jordan Eberle (18) 13-27-40*
  2. Ryan Potulny (23) 18-12-30
  3. JF Jacques (23) 5-20-25
  4. Liam Reddox (22) 14-11-24**
  5. Gilbert Brule (21) 13-11-24
  6. Ryan Stone (23) 7-17-24
  7. Rob Schremp (22) 3-20-23
  8. Slava Trukhno (21) 5-13-18
  9. Bryan Lerg (22) 8-8-16**
  10. Charles Linglet (26) 4-8-12
  11. Tyler Spurgeon (22) 3-8-11**
  12. Colin McDonald (23) 4-6-10**
  13. Shane Willis (31) 3-7-10
  14. Stephane Goulet (22) 2-7-9
  15. Geoff Paukovich (22) 4-4-8
  16. Derek Bekar (32) 5-2-7
  17. Carl Corazzini (29) 3-4-7**
  18. Ryan O’Marra (21) 1-5-6
  19. Cory Urquhart (23) 2-3-5
  20. Ryan Huddy (25) 0-5-5
  21. Tim Sestito (24) 3-1-4**
  22. Guillaume Lefebvre (27) 1-3-4
  23. Hans Benson (24) 0-1-1

*It’s important to note this is a 9-game glimpse. I used Gabriel’s 20-year old equivalency for Eberle’s progression. I also “filled in the blanks” for Desjardins’ AHL numbers for age 27+ by moving his number along a line.
**These are the men who did more heavy lifting based on Jonathan Willis’ fine AHL toughness of minutes post.

A few conclusions:

  • We can’t trust Eberle’s number. It’s a nice indicator but should he be hired to play 80 AHL games his flaws may be more obvious than they appear to be with this short look.
  • Ryan Potulny is clearly the best available minor leaguer amongst the forwards on the minor league roster. The new coach is going to be looking for size and toughness, but if there’s room for skill he would be the best available option from the Falcons.
  • JF Jacques is still young enough to have a career and continues to put up interesting minor league numbers. He’s a guy I’d bet on (that should come as no surprise) to have a real good chance with the new coach this fall.
  • Liam Reddox is going to have a hard time this fall because of his size, but based on NHLE’s and the fact he did some heavy lifting this would appear to be at least a fringe NHLer for some time to come.
  • Gilbert Brule didn’t light up minor league pitching but is still young enough to have a career. I imagine he’ll make a stronger bid for the big club at TC, he’s certainly in the mix.
  • Ryan Stone had a nice run after coming over and has some things that the new coach might find useful. The Oilers also have needs that suit his (and Jacques’) resume very well. A player to watch moving forward.
  • Rob Schremp has been stepped over by so many prospects he has athlete’s scalp.
  • Slava Trukhno has not progressed as a pro hockey player. He’ll need a big AHL season to establish himself again as a legit prospect.
  • Bryan Lerg didn’t have a good season and it may cost him his first NHL organization.
  • Tyler Spurgeon played on the checking line and had a few things going on. He’s still alive as a prospect and has outlasted a few higher picks and is likely to be retained this fall over the club’s first rounder from his draft year.
  • Colin McDonald had a decent run at the end of the season and did play some of the tougher minutes for the Falcons so might be one of those guys who makes it despite playing on the fringes of prospect status for a few years. His chances (as it is with all players of this type) of becoming an NHL regular are not high. Fernando Pisani had almost identical numbers in the AHL at the same age but was +2 on a team that had forwards at -20, -19 and -17. McDonald was -8 on a team that had forwards at -26, -14 and -13. He’s from the same family, but has a lot to prove before we can compare him to St. Fernando.

If I were a betting man, the four forwards who would get my money (in terms of having a major league career) would be Eberle, Potulny, Reddox and Jacques.

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