American Hockey League

Top NHL prospects on move before deadline

Several NHL prospects changed teams in the American Hockey League before the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline on Monday. 

Here is a look at several potential NHL players who found new AHL homes. 

Eetu Luostarinen, Chase Priskie and Mason Marchment, Springfield (Florida Panthers)

Florida added prospect depth in a trade that sent forward Vincent Trocheck to the Carolina Hurricanes for forwards Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark along with Luostarinen and Priskie. Luostarinen, a forward, and Priskie, a defenseman, have been assigned to Springfield.

The 21-year-old Luostarinen (6-foot-3, 184 pounds) had played three seasons with KalPa (Finland) and had 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 36 games last season before coming to North America. He had 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 44 games for Charlotte, the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate. He also had one assist in eight games for the Hurricanes, who selected him in the second round (No. 42) of the 2017 NHL Draft.

Priskie (6-0, 185), who had 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) in 52 games for Charlotte is tied for 12th in AHL scoring among defensemen. The 23-year-old is fourth among rookie defensemen in the league. He was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the sixth round (No. 177) of the 2016 NHL Draft but did not sign. Carolina signed him as a free agent on Aug. 17, 2019 after he played four NCAA seasons with Quinnipiac and was a Hobey Baker Award finalist last season with 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 36 games. His 17 goals led all NCAA defensemen.

Florida also added size to the Springfield lineup with the addition of forward Mason Marchment (6-4, 220) from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a trade for forward Denis Malgin on Feb. 20.

The undrafted 24-year-old won a Calder Cup with Toronto in 2018 and has 20 points (13 goals, seven assists) in 26 games this season, including two assists in his first two games in Springfield.

Janne Kuokkanen, Binghamton (New Jersey Devils)

With a deep base of prospects, the Hurricanes were able to part with Kuokkanen in a trade with New Jersey that landed defenseman Sami Vatanen. The trade also included defenseman Fredrik Claesson and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft going to New Jersey.

The 21-year-old Koukkanen led Charlotte in scoring with 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) in 52 games. Carolina drafted him in the second round (No. 43) of the 2016 draft. Last season he had 38 points (12 goals, 26 assists) in 48 games before he had season-ending surgery and missed Charlotte’s run to a Calder Cup championship.

Binghamton also added forward prospect Nick Merkley on loan this week from the Devils. Merkley (5-10, 194) has 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists) in 47 AHL games between Tucson (Arizona) and Binghamton. He was part of the trade that sent Taylor Hall to the Arizona Coyotes on Dec. 16.

Daniel Sprong, Hershey (Washington)

Sprong could be the game-breaker Hershey needs as the long-successful Washington-Hershey affiliation moves its way toward a13th playoff berth in 15 seasons. The Capitals acquired the forward from the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Christian Djoos on Monday.

The 22-year-old (5-11, 191) had 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 39 games in a season mainly spent with San Diego. He also had two points (one goal, one assist) in eight games with the Ducks.

Sprong was a second-round pick (No. 46) by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2015 NHL Draft. He returns to the Eastern Conference, where he played his rookie season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Pittsburgh Penguins) in 2017-18. He had 65 points (32 goals, 33 assists) in 65 regular-season games and was named to the 2018 AHL All-Rookie Team. He has 30 points (19 goals, 11 assists) in 97 NHL games with Pittsburgh and Anaheim.

Julien Gauthier, Hartford (New York Rangers)

Gauthier remains on NHL recall, but the Rangers made him playoff-eligible with Hartford on Monday.

The Rangers acquired the 22-year-old forward from Carolina on Feb. 18 for rookie defenseman Joey Keane. Gauthier (6-4, 227 pounds) is tied for fourth in the AHL with 26 goals in 44 games for Charlotte; he also has 11 assists. Selected No. 21 by Carolina in the 2016 draft, he has one assist in eight career NHL games between the Rangers and Hurricanes.

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