Through 13GP Binghamton is 7-4-2, good for 5th place in their conference - that in spite of only scoring 34 goals. Their leading goal-scorer is Derek Grant, who's a swell prospect to be sure, but fans are clamoring for more from those prefixed as "highly-touted".
Hopefully this post can ease concerns.
While Silf and Zibanejad are sitting on three goals between them, they have at least continued to generate shots consistently (which is good). In that vein I got to wondering how they stacked up against their prospect brethern. Below is a list sorted by shots per game of the top-30 AHL forwards who were under-23 at season's opening. (minimum 9GP, B-Sens in red):
Three players in the top-30 seems pretty positive to me, especially as two are more or less rookies in North America.
- Hoffman sits second on the list, he's boosted his rate from 2.49 last season to 3.62 today. No small feat.
- Silfverberg is producing at a higher rate than he was with Brynas (3.14) last year.
- Zibanejad shot 2.16 last year with Djurgarden, and through 13 games is shooting 2.69.
- Among B-Sens who didn't make the list, but are creating at a decent clip: Petersson 2.00, Grant 1.92, Pageau 1.92.
And the top-20 defenseman:
Plenty of quality players on his list so it's nice to see Wiercioch ensconced in the middle. I wondered prior to the season if this was the year he'd be able to take another step offensively. And while the points aren't showing it yet, his shot rate is the highest it's been since his freshman year at Denver when he put up an impressive 2.94 per game. This is an aspect he's clearly tried to focus on, telling Ken Warren "...i'm making a conscious effort to shoot more this year".
Now seven weeks of games isn't a great sample, but it is a snapshot if nothing. I'll be doing this again at the 30 game mark, so we can all see who's falling off and vice versa. Maybe by that time, a couple more shots (by the guys in red) will have found the back of the net too.
*Eyes On The Prize has a great post on AHL shot-rates and how they translate to the NHL.
What's more impressive about Wiercioch+Silf+Zbad's presence on that list is that the quality of play in the AHL is stronger this year due to the lockout.
a) Is Schenn STILL considered a prospect? Yeesh
b) I'm also concerned about Stone, I know he needs more time but expected a bit more of him
@SensDew19 Braydenn Schenn? Well everyone has different opinions of what a "prospect" is, but the only way I wanted to constrain the list was by age, and since he's only 21...he fits.
On Stone it's still early but maybe he hasn't been looking to shoot as much, looking to play the role of playmaker instead?
@Wham_City Stone, maybe that's a role he wants to try to fit into, but I always saw him as a shooter at his very best aka Team Canada and his WHL days but like you said it IS too early.
Not to take anything away from Schenn's age but he's had a bit more experience than most. This list really does bring into light that our top prospects aren't in "bad shape" per se, would be nice if Richardson does truly help them develop good D sense..the goals will come for them eventually
@SensDew19 @Wham_City Solid defensive play in a league that too often lacks good structure says some pretty good things about the coaching job Richardson's done so far. Lehner's playing awesome, but it really helps that the D in front of him know their roles and keep things from turning into chaos. Saw that all the time last year in Binghamton, and it effects everything- the forwards come back from the point to collapse around the net and scramble to clear the puck. Even if they get it out, there's no good breakout, and so forth.
@SensDew19 Word. I'd be more worried if nobody was creating shots.