590 AHL alumni begin season on NHL rosters

2021-22 AHL Rookie of the Year Jack Quinn (Photo: Graham Stokes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … As the National Hockey League opens its 2022-23 season, the American Hockey League is proud to have 590 graduates across the NHL’s 32 opening-day active rosters, making up nearly 83 percent of the NHL’s initial player pool to begin its campaign.

Many of last year’s notable AHL players have made the jump to the NHL as the new season gets underway. Buffalo Sabres forwards JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Jack Rathbone all earned spots on the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2021-22, while Matias Maccelli (Arizona), Marco Rossi (Minnesota), Alexandre Holtz (New Jersey), Fabian Zetterlund (New Jersey), Dylan Holloway (Edmonton), Cole Smith (Nashville) and Cole Koepke (Tampa Bay) have also earned NHL roster spots after strong rookie pro years in the AHL.

Members of the 2022 Calder Cup champion Chicago Wolves beginning the season in the NHL with the parent Carolina Hurricanes include Stefan Noesen, Jamieson Rees, Pyotr Kochetkov and Jalen Chatfield.

Twenty-two of the NHL’s 32 head coaches were AHL bench bosses earlier in their careers, including Colorado’s Jared Bednar, Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper, Toronto’s Sheldon Keefe, Washington’s Peter Laviolette, Vancouver’s Bruce Boudreau , Philadelphia’s John Tortorella and Los Angeles’s Todd McLellan – all Calder Cup champions during their AHL tenures.

Among the NHL stars who developed their skills in the American Hockey League are reigning Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers; Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider of the Detroit Red Wings; Lady Byng Trophy winner Kyle Connor of the Winnipeg Jets; and former AHL All-Stars such as Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen, Vancouver’s J.T. Miller, Ottawa’s Drake Batherson; Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom, St. Louis’s Jordan Binnington, and Edmonton’s Jack Campbell.

Last season, a record 992 AHL alumni played in the National Hockey League – 88.2 percent of all NHL players – including 423 who skated in both leagues last year alone.

In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives, broadcasters and officials of the National Hockey League and its 32 teams. The AHL’s 87th season begins this Friday, October 14.