AHL Players Most Likely to Be Called Up in Final Month of 2013-14 NHL Season

Allan MitchellFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2014

AHL Players Most Likely to Be Called Up in Final Month of 2013-14 NHL Season

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    They've been riding buses all season, working hard to get noticed by scouts. A minor league player is in transition, and that means if he's not moving forward, someone is gaining on him.

    The period after the trade deadline gives teams outside of the playoff picture a chance to call up their best prospects to see if they've made progress during the long winter. Contending teams may call on prospects in times of injury or employ them to give veterans a rest.

    A strong impression may mean an NHL job next season. Here are 10 players who could get the call to the NHL in the next few weeks.

10. Shane Prince, LW, Ottawa Senators

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    What kind of player is he?

    Shane Prince is a slightly undersized skill forward. As an effective scorer and passer, he has a nice range of offensive skills.

     

    Why is he under consideration?

    He's made progress in his second AHL season and is knocking on the door of the NHL.

     

    When will he get the call?

    The Ottawa Senators are fading from playoff contention. Once their chances have been exhausted, Prince may be recalled so the team can have a look at him. If he performs well, he could be in the NHL full time in 2014-15.

9. Alexander Khokhlachev, C, Boston Bruins

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    What kind of player is he?

    Alexander Khokhlachev is a playmaking center with the ability to find the open man consistently. He has been hugely successful at every level.

     

    Why is he under consideration?

    His skill level has translated easily to the AHL, and the only hurdle left is an extended audition. Once he passes that test, he'll be in the NHL a long time.

     

    When will he get the call?

    The Bruins are in a race for first overall in the Eastern Conference. Once they secure top position, Boston will likely spend a few games resting their important players and giving prospects a chance to shine.  

8. Ty Rattie, RW, St. Louis Blues

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    What kind of player is he?

    Ty Rattie is a smaller winger with terrific scoring ability. He reminds some of Jordan Eberle in terms of style and skill set. 

     

    Why is he under consideration?

    He is the leading scorer for the Chicago Wolves as a rookie pro. Rattie's 19 even-strength goals in the AHL are an impressive total.

     

    When will he get the call?

    The St. Louis Blues are on top of the Western Conference standings. As the season winds down, there may be a chance to rest the veterans and give Rattie his first taste of NHL action.

7. Linden Vey, C, Los Angeles Kings

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    What kind of player is he?

    Linden Vey is a smart offensive center with average size. He has posted impressive numbers at every level and passed a point-per-game average this season.

     

    Why is he under consideration?

    The Los Angeles Kings have recalled and sent him back several times this year. Vey offers the team needed depth down the stretch and into the postseason.

     

    When will he get the call?

    Vey is on the call-up list in case of injury. He may see action in the NHL late in the regular season when Los Angeles decides to rest veterans.

6. Emerson Etem, LW, Anaheim Ducks

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    What kind of player is he?

    Emerson Etem is a speedy winger with goal-scoring ability. He's fast enough to be a threat to the defense off the rush and has delivered offense in junior and the AHL.

     

    Why is he under consideration?

    Etem's already been in the NHL this season (28 GP, 7-4-11) and is an impact player in the minors.

     

    When will he get the call?

    The Ducks sent him out in February and are in a race for playoff seeding. Once the Pacific Division champion has been crowned, Etem is a strong candidate for recall. He could be in Anaheim sooner if the Ducks have injury trouble. 

5. Tyler Pitlick, RW, Edmonton Oilers

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    What kind of player is he?

    Tyler Pitlick is a gritty two-way winger who plays with a physical edge. Injuries have slowed his path to the NHL.

     

    Why is he under consideration?

    The Edmonton Oilers are in dire need of Pitlick's player-type. The roster at the NHL level is high on skill, but low on position players who can grind and win battles along the wall.

     

    When will he get the call?

    The Oilers could call Pitlick up anytime, but the minor league team in Oklahoma City is in a death struggle for the playoffs. The parent team may feel that experience has more value than an NHL appearance. Once their playoff fate has been decided, Pitlick is a likely call-up.

4. Luke Adam, LW, Buffalo Sabres

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    What kind of player is he? 

    Luke Adam is a big winger with skill. He's played in the NHL before and has a nice combination of size and skill. Skating has kept him from establishing himself at the highest levels.

     

    Why is he under consideration? 

    The Buffalo Sabres are in evaluation mode and want to get a look at all of their prospects. A change in head coach may mean Adam gets a second chance.

     

    When will he get the call?

    He was recalled last week on an emergency basis and played in one game with the Sabres. That's a clear indication he's at the top of the Buffalo recall list.

3. Vladislav Namestnikov, C, Tampa Bay Lightning

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    What kind of player is he? 

    Vladislav Namestnikov is a rare player-type: A playmaking center with two-way ability. The downside is that he's undersized for the NHL. 

     

    Why is he under consideration?

    Namestnikov has taken a big step forward in the AHL this season. In fact, he spent time in the NHL, but the results were not strong.

     

    When will he get the call?

    The Tampa Bay Lightning are a playoff team fighting for a better position in this year's postseason. Namestnikov could be an injury recall or get some playing time once playoff seeding has been decided in the Eastern Conference. 

2. Curtis McKenzie, LW, Dallas Stars

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    What kind of player is he?

    Curtis McKenzie is a skill winger with size. That's a valuable player-type and his minor league audition may be coming to an end soon.

     

    Why is he under consideration? 

    McKenzie is one of this season's AHL success stories. As Alyssa Dombrowski from NHL.com details, AHL coach Willie Desjardins describes him as a humble guy who works hard.

     

    When will he get the call?

    The Dallas Stars are in the middle of a playoff race, but once it's decided McKenzie could be recalled for his first NHL action.

1. Mark Arcobello, C, Edmonton Oilers

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    What kind of player is he?

    Mark Arcobello is an undersized two-way center. He spent the first half of the NHL season with the Edmonton Oilers, but was sent down after Sam Gagner returned from injury.

     

    Why is he under consideration?

    Arcobello is shooting lights out in the AHL. His scoring totals (13 GP, 9-17-26) are outstanding in Oklahoma City.

     

    When will he get the call?

    The Oilers can recall Arcobello at any time, but may be keeping him in the minors to help the AHL playoff run. Once that race is decided, there will be no reason to keep him in Oklahoma City.