After much media scrutiny, he's been freed from AHL jail, and will make his long awaited return back to an NHL line-up tonight against the Lightning. The offensive minded blueliner has had some concussion issues, but they seem to be behind him as Gardiner went on to register 31 points in 43 AHL games. For him to go the next level he’ll need plenty of ice-time and some PP time, it’ll be interesting to see how much minutes Randy Carlyle will be giving him initially.
The highly touted American goaltender will likely get his first NHL start either Wednesday or Thursday, when the Stars play back-to-back games. Jack Campbell has played well with the Texas Stars, and much is expected from the eleventh overall pick in 2010. Certainly not worth a one year pick up, but with Kari Lehtonen prone to various injuries, it’s worth keeping an eye on.
The Predators have rewarded their farm teams leading scorer with a call-up, now it’s up to Taylor Beck, the 21 year old power forward to see if his numbers can translate to a Nashville team looking for a spark at offence. He’s already played one game, and Barry Trotz gave him ample amount of time to see what he can do, although he did not register a point, if he continues to see over 14 minutes a game, the points will come.
Stefan Elliot, Colorado Avalanche
With some space opening up on the Av’s blue-line due to injuries, this may be the opportunity Stefan Elliot was waiting for. He’s one of the best prospects the Av’s have, but hasn’t been able to assert himself in to the pro line-up this year because of injuries, and some inconsistent play. The big team is giving him another chance, so watch to see if the former junior offensive stand out numbers begin to climb.
Last week I mentioned him as being close to a call-up, by this week he’s accounted for 3 NHL points. He’s an offensive generator, but with Tampa Bay already loaded with many offensive weapons it’ll be interesting to see when, if ever, he ever gets more than 14 minutes plus a game, and what he could do with that given ice-time. He’s the best forward no one’s ever heard of, unless of course you read this article.
He’s already been touted as the best defender on the ice for the Sabres, throughout the last two games, the first two of his career. Mark Pysyk is a sound defender who plays a calm game. Points wise, he exemplified exactly what you’re going to get from him on the farm, 18 points in 57 games with the Rochester Americans, that’s going to be his career, a steady defenseman who will probably average around 25-35 points a year.
Before yesterday, Dmitry Orlov hadn’t played in a single NHL game this year, which is somewhat surprising given he played 60 for the Caps last year, but injuries held him back. With 22 games under his belt in the AHL this season, the Capitals felt it was time to bring him up again. He only played 12 minutes last night, so they'll be bringing him along slowly. Don’t expect big numbers once he gets going, but nonetheless keep an eye on him.
The wave of the college player signings have begun, with the Canucks picking up 6’6 forward, Kellan Lain. Now his numbers with Lake Superior State University are not too impressive but according to scouting reports he has ‘a good blend of both speed and skill,’ and for a 6’6 forward to have that is quite impressive. The Canucks have assigned him to the Chicago Wolves.