AHL Watch #10

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Called up...

Matt Fraser, Dallas Stars

The AHL league leader in goals (33) was called up to fill a spot on a Stars team that was busy unleashing a few veteran forwards at the deadline. The undrafted Matt Fraser hasn’t scored less than 30 goals in a full hockey season since his 2008/09 junior season, so the knack for putting the puck in the net is obvious, whether it translates to the NHL on a full-time basis is Dallas’ hope, and a fantasy GM’s low risk to take.

Austin Watson, Nashville Predators

His first AHL season has been a success for Austin Watson, rewarded by a late season call-up by the Preds. The well sized centerman has shown that he can do it all, and play within any role whether it’s checking or asked to score a goal. Look for him to be a mainstay in the Nashville line-up heading into next year, it will be interesting to see if he ends up being a ‘top 6’ or ‘bottom 6’ forward.

Sami Aittokallio, Colorado Avalanche

The Finnish netminder has been rising quickly through the ranks, making the transition to the North American game this season, and putting up a respectable 14 wins and .903 SV%. He still needs more time on the farm, as most European goalies do, and even if this call-up is just for injury reasons, Sami Aittokallio is one to keep an eye on down the road.

Next year...

Reid Boucher, New Jersey Devils

The forward is only five AHL games into his pro career but has already shown flashes of brilliance. Reid Boucher absolutely tore up the junior ranks with 62 goals in 68 games with the Sarnia Sting, and already has 5 points in 5 games with Albany. Depending on how the Devils top six shapes out next season, Boucher could be in that opening day line-up.

Adam Clendening, Chicago Blackhawks & Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks

The two offensive blueliners have a couple things in common. Both are AHL rookies, and both are probably good enough to play for an NHL team right now, but have to wait due to their respective team’s success in the regular season. If given respectable minutes, and some powerplay time, both could be significant steals for your fantasy team as a keeper or as a draftee next season.

Brock Nelson, New York Islanders

The big forward has some nice speed to go along with his frame, and has shown exactly what he can do with it with an impressive first full AHL season, collecting 50 points in 61 games. The Islanders first round pick in 2010 will certainly be ready to go full-time in their NHL line-up by next season.

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