Teams preparing for future at NHL Draft
Thirty National Hockey League teams are preparing to take part in this weekend's 2014 Entry Draft in Philadelphia, and their top affiliates are ready and waiting for the next wave of young American Hockey League stars to begin their professional careers.
In 2013-14, more than 240 former first- and second-round draft picks could be found on AHL rosters, including young standouts like Colton Sissons, Tanner Pearson, Cody Ceci, Tomas Jurco, Ryan Strome and J.T. Miller.
The 2014 Calder Cup champion Texas Stars featured eight former first- and second-round picks, including Brett Ritchie, Scott Glennie, Jamie Oleksiak, Jack Campbell, Cameron Gaunce, Radek Faksa, William Wrenn and Patrik Nemeth, whose overtime goal in Game 5 of the Finals clinched the championship for the Stars.
Ten first-round selections from last year's draft in Newark made appearances in the AHL in 2013-14 as well, including 13th overall pick Josh Morrissey who helped the St. John's IceCaps to an Eastern Conference championship.
Other top picks to appear in the AHL this past season include 2012 picks Filip Forsberg (11th), Mikhail Grigorenko (12th), Malcolm Subban (24th), Stefan Matteau (29th); 2011 picks Adam Larsson (fourth), Mika Zibanejad (sixth), Ryan Murphy (12th), Sven Baertschi (13th), Joel Armia (16th), Nathan Beaulieu (17th), Mark McNeill (18th), Connor Murphy (20th), Tyler Biggs (22nd), Matt Puempel (24th) and Vladislav Namestnikov (27th); 2010 selections Brett Connolly (sixth), Dylan McIlrath (10th), Brandon Gormley (13th), Joey Hishon (17th), Austin Watson (18th), Riley Sheahan (21st), Quinton Howden (25th) and Emerson Etem (29th); as well as Peter Holland (15th in 2009), Chris Kreider (19th in 2009), Zach Boychuk (14th in 2008) and Jacob Markstrom (31st in 2008).
The Florida Panthers, parent club of the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, own the first pick in this year’s draft, which gets underway on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
First- and second-round picks (by year)
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- Hoffman hoping to stick in Ottawa
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- AHL time has served Connolly well