So since the NHL has gone to a lockout, while the league owners and the NHLPA still agrue over who gets move money a lot of the players have been heading home to Europe and Russia to play for leagues over there. So what about the Candian and American players? Well those who aren’t signing with European teams for the duration of the lockout have the option to head to the minor league affiliates. There are a lot of young players that have been sent to the AHL as the lockout became official.
In the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers have sent top rookies Sean Couturier, Zac Rinaldo and Brayden Schenn to the Adirondack Phantoms along with 20 other prospects. The Flyers are not alone in thinking it’s a good idea to have their rookies active in the AHL. The full list can be viewed here. It is not just the Eastern teams that are sending as many players as they can to their AHL Affliates, many teams in the Western Conference are doing the same thing. Most notably the Oilers have sent down Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle. Also like the Flyers, the Minnsota Wild has sent the Houston Aeros a lot of their prospects like Charlie Coyle, Zack Phillips, Matt Hackett, etc.
Pretty much all 30 teams in the NHL are sending at least one of their young players to the minor league affiliate in an attempt to keep the young guns in top shape, and close by. With big names like Nugent-Hopkins and Couturier, if you’re missing the NHL really bad start paying attention to the AHL.