583 AHL alumni begin season on NHL rosters

Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … As the National Hockey League opens its 2023-24 season, the American Hockey League is proud to have 583 graduates across the NHL’s 32 opening-day active rosters, making up more than 82 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, among them 2022-23 AHL rookie of the year Tye Kartye (Seattle); 2022-23 AHL Top Prospects Team members Lukas Reichel (Chicago) and Tyson Foerster (Philadelphia); and 2022-23 First Team AHL All-Stars Michael Carcone (Arizona), Darren Raddysh (Tampa Bay), Alex Barré-Boulet (Tampa Bay) and Matthew Phillips (Washington).

A total of 14 players who participated in the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic appear on NHL opening-night rosters, including Lukas Dostal (Anaheim), Joel Hofer (St. Louis), Thomas Bordeleau (San Jose), Luke Evangelista (Nashville), Thomas Harley (Dallas), Joseph Woll (Toronto), Zac Jones (N.Y. Rangers) and Brayden Pachal (Vegas).

Lucas Johansen and Beck Malenstyn begin the 2023-24 season on the Washington Capitals’ opening-night roster after winning a Calder Cup championship with the Hershey Bears four months ago, and Joey Daccord will open the season in Seattle after a memorable run to the Finals in net with the Coachella Valley Firebirds.

Twenty-two of the NHL’s 32 head coaches were AHL bench bosses earlier in their careers, including Greg Cronin of the Anaheim Ducks, Ryan Huska of the Calgary Flames, Pascal Vincent of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Spencer Carbery of the Washington Capitals, who all make their NHL head coaching debuts this week.

Among the NHL stars who developed their skills in the American Hockey League are reigning Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins, Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Marchessault of the Vegas Golden Knights and Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last season, a total of 924 AHL alumni played in the National Hockey League – 87.2 percent of all NHL players – including 375 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 88th season begins this Friday, October 13.