American Hockey League
The 2017-18 AHL season won’t get underway until Friday, Oct. 6, but here are some players who are worth keeping an eye on because they could be in the NHL shortly.
Thomas Chabot - He was surprisingly sent down by the Senators despite having the potential to be a game breaker from the back end. Chabot’s AHL debut is slated to come Friday against Laval.
Zach Aston-Reese - He is another AHL rookie who could be a star this year. ZAR spent some time with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the end of 2016-17 season and he accounted for eight points (three goals, five assists) in 10 games.
Luke Kunin - Kunin was close to claiming a roster spot with Minnesota, but he will start his pro career in the minors. He produced five goals and three helpers in 12 matches for Iowa last year after he ended his college career.
Honorable Mentions: Jesse Puljujarvi, Oskar Lindblom, Jack Roslovic, Samuel Blais, Anton Slepyshev, Kyle Connor, Kasperi Kapanen, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Lucas Wallmark, Joe Hicketts, Henrik Haapala, Michael Vecchione, Nick Schilkey, Alexander Nylander, Daniel O'Regan, Mark Jankowski, Timothy Liljegren, Jake Bean and Tomas Hyka.
National Collegiate Athletic Association
Patrick Harper potted two goals and added an assist in a 4-1 win over Union last weekend. The Nashville Predators prospect had 37 points in 38 games with Boston University last year during his freshmen campaign. Harper was chosen in the fifth round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The Terriers also got a goal from Dante Fabbro (NSH), a goal from Shane Bowers (OTT), an assist from Jordan Greenway (MIN) and a helper from Chad Krys (CHI) in the contest. 2018 NHL Draft eligible prospect Brady Tkachuk also picked up an assist in the win. Bobby McMann, who attended development camp with the Buffalo Sabres, registered a goal and an assist for Colgate University in a 5-1 victory versus Niagara.
Kontinental Hockey League
Eeli Tolvanen captured the KHL’s best forward of the week honor after he posted five goals and two assists in three contests. The 18-year-old was also named the Rookie of the Month for September and he has earned the Rookie of the Week award three times already. Tolvanen, who was selected with the 30th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft by Nashville, has generated 10 goals and 18 points in 14 games for Jokerit. SKA St. Petersburg forward Nikita Gusev has amassed 12 goals and 27 points in 18 games. His NHL rights were acquired by Vegas at the expansion draft from Tampa Bay. He was a seventh-round pick back in 2012. Igor Shestyorkin was tabbed as the best goaltender of the month for September and the best netminder of the week. He posted a 0.50 goals-against average and allowed just one goal in a pair of victories. Shestyorkin leads the KHL with a .957 save percentage and 1.17 GAA this season. The four rounder of the New York Rangers in the 2014 NHL Draft also has an 11-0-2 record and three shutouts for SKA St. Petersburg. New York Islanders prospect Ilya Sorokin is also having a strong year between the pipes in the KHL. He is tied for the league lead with three shutouts. The third-round choice in 2014 has a 1.57 GAA and a .927 save percentage in 10 matches for CSKA Moskva in 2017-18.