Steve Quailer(13) Manchester Monarchs

Steve Qualier

Originally a Montreal Canadiens‘ 3rd round pick in the 2008 draft (#86 overall) right wing Steve Quailer(13) was involved in a mostly minor league that sent him to Los Angeles Kings, who are notorious for developing size up front.

At 6’4″ 209 lbs. he’s certainly a big frame and has been using it in his time with AHL affiliate Manchester Monarchs. In 19 games he’s posted 3 goals and 3 assists pushing him to modest yet new career highs for helpers and points.

He played for a season and a half with Hamilton Bulldogs.

In the final season of his 2-year entry level deal, he signed after he finished four years at Northeastern University, where he served as assistant captain.

Already 24-years old, he’s set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the current campaign, but should be retained for one more shot in the prospect system to see if he’ll turn the corner the way they think he might by picking him up.

He’ll be playing in his first forthcoming postseason games.

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NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Game 2: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins‘ celebrate the 4-1 win over Detroit Red Wings in game 2 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to even the series at one game apiece.

Providence Bruins‘ forward Justin Florek(57) on recall to the parent club had the opening tally and 2nd year defenseman Torey Krug(47) had a pair of assists.

Both teams have three tough wins to punch their ticket into the 2nd round.

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Joey Martin(14) Stockton Thunder

Joey Martin

Stockton Thunder undrafted center Joey Martin(10) posted career highs for games played, assists and points in his third ECHL season.

He skated in 66 contests, scoring one less goal than he did as a rookie, with 21 tallies and a new record 45 helpers, 66 points; all team leading offensive totals.

He also managed to tie his AHL scoring mark in 2013/2014 with a pair of goals on loan to affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers; and his 2 assists for 4 points with a +3 rating in 9 games were new personal bests. He’s skated in higher league games in each of his years.

The 5’10″ 174 lbs. forward is now once again lighting up the postseason score sheet and will undoubtedly eclipse his former totals as in just 2 games he has already evened up with his 5 points, including a new record 4 assists.

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Lukas Sedlak(28) Springfield Falcons

Lukas Sedlak3

Columbus Blue Jackets‘ 6th round pick in the 2011 draft (#158 overall), Czech Republic-born rookie center Lukas Sedlak(28) had himself a decent first year with minor league affiliate Springfield Falcons. He appeared in 54 AHL games scoring 8 goals and 6 assists with a -1 rating.

The 6′ 209 lbs. skater played like a power forward and got his share of dings throughout the regular season.

He’s been in a few training camps with the parent club since he was selected and grabbed in the 1st round of the CHL import draft by Chicoutimi Sangueneensto put his game on display in North America.

He already had four seasons of junior hockey in his home country and arrived somewhat late to these shores as an 18-year old.

He would turn pro after two campaigns after putting up 32 goals and 47 assists in 98 games in the QMJHL.

Signed to a three-year entry level deal through 2015/2016, he should compete for an NHL roster spot in his sophomore campaign.

A strong showing for the now 21-year old in the Calder Cup Playoffs will definitely help his chances.

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William Karlsson(22) Norfolk Admirals

William Karlsson2

Anaheim Ducks‘ 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft (#53 overall), Swedish-born center William Karlsson(22) already has 4 seasons of pro hockey in his home country, including the last pair in the SHL with HV71.

He scored 19 goals with 46 assists in 105 games and previously played 60 contests as a teenager in the tier 2 league, Allsvenskan.

The 6′ 180 lbs. forward was a point-per-game guy with a +25 rating in 2011/2012 for Västerås.

Signing his 3-year entry level deal for the current season, he was loaned by the parent club to skate one more season in Sweden.

With their playoff elimination, he was recalled to join minor league affiliate Norfolk Admirals.

In 6 AHL games he has his first North American pro hockey goal and a 3 assists, while playing a hard-working, highly skilled style.

At 21-years old he’ll most definitely be competing for a NHL roster spot for his official rookie year, 2014/2015.

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Coach Roy Sommer Worcester Sharks

Roy Sommer2

Worcester Sharks‘ coach Roy Sommers stood behind the bench for his now league leading 1,257th AHL game.

He started his journey 16 years ago in 1998 with then San Jose Sharks‘ farm club Kentucky Thoroughblades, then moved with the team to 5 minor league famed seasons at the helm for Cleveland Barons.

Continuing his move with affiliates east, he achieves the record feat in his 8th year in Central Massachusetts.

The 56-year old former played only three NHL games but managed to score his only goal in the show in his debut.

He also won a Calder Cup trophy with Maine Mariners in 1984 and skated in 147 AHL and 195 IHL games.

He hung up his skates after 8 seasons, just after his 30th birthday.

Straight after retirement, he started as an assistant coach for a pair of seasons before moving on to 5 winning campaigns in the ECHL and two more as an assistant in the NHL.

 

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Derek Whitmore(11) Adirondack Phantoms

Derek Whitmore

Undrafted 6th year left wing Derek Whitmore(11) was having problems fitting in to a veteran laden  Hershey Bears‘ lineup after signing a one-year minor league contract with the team upon his return from a short, half season stint in Germany’s DEL skating for Augsburger Panther.

He did reasonably well overseas connecting for 9 goals and 14 assists in 26 games.

Loaned in a player swap at the trade deadline to Adirondack Phantoms, the 5’11″ 185 lbs. forward has benefited, scoring almost as many points with his new squad in half the amount of contests.

He’s well off his 40+ point pace from 2010-2012 in Buffalo Sabres‘ affiliate system but given another full season workload could find the mark again.

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Patrick McNeill(8) Springfield Falcons

Patrick McNeill

Columbus Blue Jackets‘ 7th year defenseman Patrick McNeill(8) must be liking the first change of scenery in his pro career.

He’s reached a new high in scoring with 11 goals with minor league affiliate Springfield Falcons and second most for points, currently at 36.

Originally a Washington Capitals‘ 4th round pick in the 2005 draft (#118 overall), he spent his first 6 seasons in the team’s prospect system skating for Hershey Bears.

The 6′ 198 lbs. blue liner initially showed strong offensive instincts in four campaigns of OHL juniors with Saginaw Spirit, leading all d-men scoring 77 points in 2005/2006.

He has yet to realize his first NHL contest but has appeared in a whopping 386 AHL games, registering 44 goals and 144 assists with a combined +36 rating and a back-to-back Calder Cup Championships in 2009 and 2010.

The 27-year old is signed to a 1-year, 2-way deal through the end of 2013/2014.

A contract extension may well depend upon how he and the team perform in the upcoming postseason but he’s certainly right on track.

See related: 8/3-11, 6/19-12

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Michael Hutchinson(33) St. John’s IceCaps

Michael Hutchinson

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson(33) has been on quite the ride through the hockey ranks this season since being left unqualified by the team that drafted him, Boston Bruins.

Originally a 3rd round pick in 2008 (#77 overall), he spent the first three years in their prospect system tending net mostly with Providence Bruins.

He was reassigned on a couple of occasions to ECHL affiliate Reading Royals through his first two campaigns.

None of it compares to the roller coaster ride he’s still on this season backstopping cages in three different leagues.

The almost unassumingly large 6’3″ 192 lbs. free agent net minder signed fairly quickly with Winnipeg Jets for a 1-year 2-way contract.

He was in training camp but quickly reassigned to AHL farm team St. John’s IceCaps and it didn’t stop there as he was sent along to Ontario Reign to start his fourth pro season.

This was where he stepped it up because in 28 starts he won 22, good enough for third in the league, lost a lowest 4 contests and posted a 2.08 GAA and .921 SV%.

He would receive an early Christmas gift on recall but it didn’t last as he was sent back down again. In early 2014 though, he was summoned up once again and due to injury ending up splitting starting duties.

Earning his time in net, he managed a 15-5 record, helping to solidify the IceCaps‘ postseason berth.

The stellar play of the 24-year old earned him his first NHL games.

In three appearances he won 2 and lost 1. One of his wins was against his former team in a shootout and his 1.64 GAA and .943 SV% should almost assuredly score the future restricted free agent an extension.

First up though, he could be on his way to help bring the Calder Cup to the Rock.

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Andrey Pedan(3) Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Andrey Pedan

New York Islanders‘ 3rd round pick in the 2011 draft (#63 overall), extra large 6’4″ 215 lbs. Russian-born defenseman Andrey Pedan(3) missed a good portion of his rookie season with minor league affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers due to an upper body injury that put him on the sidelines for almost three months.

Appearing in only 25 AHL games, he still was able to connect for 5 goals and 5 assists while playing a punishing shutdown style in his own zone.

His -1 rating is also nicely accountable on a team with a league second worst goal differential.

He’s been in the parent club’s training camps ever since he was selected but returned to junior hockey as a teenager, where he skated a few seasons with Guelph Storm before signing his three-year entry level deal.

No doubt this is a player that has been widely scouted, as he was a first round grab in both the 2010 KHL and OHL drafts.

He obviously decided to try his skates on North American ice for a shot at the NHL.

The 20-year old may return to the farm club for a full year of development in 2014/2015, but could very well be on the short list for a recall, especially if he continues to display more of his offense-minded upside.

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