The AHL – An Early Season Update

Jeff Angus

2009-10-21

Kyle Turris

Although the AHL season is not even 10 games deep yet, it is never too early to take a look at some of the scoring leaders down on the farm. You made the right move by coming to this site to get a leg up on your pool competition – but the work never stops! Want to find out about the next Rich Peverley? How about an update on a blue-chip prospect? Many of the top AHL scorers are veterans and career minor leaguers (like Jason Krog), but there are also some intriguing players (like 28 year-old Alexandre Giroux, who has scored 65 goals over his past 75 regular season AHL games), as well as promising youngsters being groomed for NHL stardom (like Kyle Turris).

 

Alexandre Giroux – Hershey Bears. Giroux has been scoring goals at a Bret Hull-like clip over the past two AHL seasons, with 65 goals in Hershey's last 75 regular season games. He has only had a few brief cups of coffee in the NHL, scoring three goals in 22 games, all but one coming with the Capitals. He has good size (6'3"), and obviously possesses elite goal scoring ability. He notched 60 goals in 2008-09 (and was absolutely white-hot during the Bears Calder Cup-winning run, scoring 15 goals in 22 games), and already has five through six games this season. I am sure there are knocks on him – skating, intensity, grit, and defensive play are the usual negative aspects of failed AHL-to-NHL scoring stars (Giroux's plodding skating is his biggest weakness). However, he has never really been given a fair sniff at an NHL gig. I know that for every Alex Burrows or Peverley there are dozens similar to Fedor Fedorov and Josef Balej, but Giroux deserves a shot. He is definitely on my radar in all keeper leagues, and should be on yours too. He was passed over this off-season and opted to re-sign with Washington, but he is a UFA next summer.

 

Kyle Turris – San Antonio Rampage. There probably isn't another blue-chip prospect that is as undervalued as Kyle Turris is right now. The Coyotes made a mistake pulling him out of college after only one year, but spending some time on the farm isn't the end of the world. Want a decent comparison? Eric Staal scored 31 points in 81 games during his rookie season with Carolina, but was forced to play in the AHL the next season due to the lockout. He probably would have been in the NHL otherwise (unlike Turris), but the extra year of development definitely didn't hurt for Staal, as he came back in 2006-07 with Carolina and had a 100-point regular season followed by a 28-point playoff performance (and a cup ring to boot). Turris wasn't and isn't as NHL-ready as Staal was at the time, but Turris still possesses elite, high-end offensive upside. There was a reason GM's were flying in from all around North America to catch a glimpse of him shredding apart competition in the BCHL in his draft year.

 

Turris has done exactly what the Coyotes