Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Red Wings
He’s back with the big team after a brief two game stint earlier in the year; he’s slated to begin play on the second line with Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen. This makes Gustav Nyquist an immediate threat for points, and if his AHL scoring ways are any indication (60 points in 57 games, first in AHL scoring), he should be ready to produce as soon as he hits the ice. Assuming he’s already been stashed away on your keeper league teams, in one year leagues, pick him up as a bench forward at the very least.
Jimmy Hayes, Chicago Blackhawks
The 6’6 forward has earned his second shot with the big club, and will be looking to make a more lasting impression than the 31 games he played last year with the Hawks. Jimmy Hayes is enjoying an excellent AHL season showing off his goal scoring touch with 22 goals in 58 games. Much like Nyquist, Hayes will be given an immediate opportunity to succeed as he’ll start playing with Patrick Kane and David Bolland on the second line. He’s one to keep an eye on especially if the points start rolling in.
Tyler Toffoli, Los Angeles Kings
After a great run in his first full pro season, Tyler Toffoli gets a reward to see what being a King is all about. It’s unknown what his role will actually be, he’s best fit for a top six role, and unless some of the top forwards are banged up it’s unlikely he’ll have too much of an impact this season. His offensive skills are to be noted, scoring at a very high pace everywhere he’s played.
Harri Pesonen, New Jersey Devils
The 24 year old Finnish forward is in his first North American season and hasn’t look out of place, so much so he’s got the call from New Jersey. The pure intrigue of Harri Pesonen is the unknown. He’s good at a lot of offensive aspects of the game, but has been known to be a ‘part-time’ player. If his play-offs with his Finnish club JYP in previous years are any indication, it’s that he does show up for the big games. He’s in the NHL now, so every game is a big game.
Philipp Grubauer, Washington Capitals
The Capitals sit in second last place in the entire NHL, even after a solid run thanks to some good goaltending from Braden Holtby. Philipp Grubaur is not worth a pick-up in one year leagues, but with the uncertainty in the Capitals crease, and Michal Neuvirth probably playing his last season in Washington, Grubauer may be worth stashing away. His numbers in the minors have been good, and there isn’t much else in the Capitals organization that comes close to his ability in goal after Holtby.
Next ones up...
Joe Whitney, New Jersey Devils
The forward has broken out in his second AHL season, leading the Albany Devils, once again, in scoring with 39 points in 47 games. He’s grown in every aspect of the game, and the undersized forward may be in line for a call up very soon. Again, we see many smallish forwards time and time again, and some go on to make an impact. New Jersey is a team always looking for an extra offensive boost; Joe Whitney may be a solution that they found in their own back yard.
Jeremy Morin, Chicago Blackhawks
The Hawks don’t lack depth at forward by a long shot, and this week’s edition of the AHL Watch exemplifies just that. With the Hawks playing so well to start the season, they were rightfully content with the players they were rolling with. Jeremy Morin is part of a pack of forwards that are young and have above average skill. He’s already surpassed his AHL points totals from a year ago, and may be in line for another call-up in the near future. But he’ll have to beat out Brandon Pirri for the next ticket out of Rockford.