Prospect Ramblings: Back to reality for some WJC participants

by Mark Allan on January 7, 2017

A sure-fire future NHLer, Oliver Kylington has been assigned for the time being to the AHL.

 

The thrill of representing their various countries at the world junior tournament is already fading for some young hockey players.

Some WJC participants are adjusting to a different reality after being assigned to the minors in the past few days.

The Calgary Flames reassigned D Oliver Kylington to the Stockton Heat (AHL). Kylington (pronounced Shillington) had four assists and was plus-4 in seven WJC games for Sweden. An outstanding skater with tremendous playmaking skills, the 2015 second-rounder had 12 points in 47 AHL games last season. Saddled with an ugly minus-15 rating, he already has 12 points in only 25 AHL games with a vastly improved plus-7. He needs to get stronger and learn when not to force plays, but Kylington has a bright future in the NHL.

The Dallas Stars reassigned RW Denis Guryanov to the Texas Stars (AHL). The Stars’ 12th overall pick in 2015 has a projectable 6-3, 201-pound frame as well as a nose for the net and a sneaky, accurate shot. He must either improve his defense or score so much that Dallas can live with his deficiencies. Four goals and three assists in seven WJC games for Russia followed 4G and 9A in 25 games during his first pro campaign in Texas. After acclimating to North America, he should have no problem carving out a productive NHL career.

The Winnipeg Jets returned C Jack Roslovic to the Manitoba Moose (AHL). Roslovic, who also plays RW, had only two assists in seven games for the WJC champion Americans. Winnipeg’s 25th-overall pick in 2015 and a natural offensive producer will try to build on 19 first-half points in 25 games with the Moose in his pro debut as well as improving a minus-5 rating.

 

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In other transactions:

 

Pavel Buchnevich looks like a bonafide NHL sniper as he rifles a puck past Tuukka Rask.

 

The New York Rangers assigned LW Pavel Buchnevich to the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL) after he missed 26 games with back spasms. The electrifying Russian had 4G and 4A in 10 NHL games after making the Rangers’ roster in his North American debut following 37 points in 54 games last season for two KHL squads. He’ll be in the AHL just long enough to return to game shape. If healthy, he should have a productive second half with the Blueshirts, although like many young hotshots he could get stronger and improve his play without the puck.

The Nashville Predators promoted C Vladislav Kamenev from the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals with W Victor Arvidsson out day to day with an upper-body injury. A 2014 second-round pick by the Predators, the 6-2 Kamenev is a dynamic scorer who can also make his linemates better. He’s not expected to be up long this time, although it’s an opportunity to show he’s improved his focus and defense. Russia’s captain in the 2016 WJC earned the callup with 24 points in 31 AHL games and improving to plus-9 from minus-5 in his 57-game North American pro debut.

 The San Jose Sharks assigned D Tim Heed to the San Diego Barracuda (AHL). The Swede was returned to the minors without playing for the Sharks in a brief callup. A converted forward, Heed has parlayed agility and a potent shot to pile up 9G and 22A for 31 points in 28 games during his North American pro baptism. Only 5-11 and 176 pounds, he needs work on his defense and must prove he can overcome his lack of size to function in the NHL. The former Anaheim fifth-rounder remains an intriguing offensive prospect on the back end.

The Montreal Canadiens recalled RW Nikita Scherbak from the St. John’s Icecaps (AHL). Replacing RW Brendan Gallagher (broken hand) on Montreal’s roster, the hitherto-inconsistent Russian might get a shot to convince the Habs they were wise to draft him 26th overall in 2014. So far this season, he has 10G and 10A in 27 AHL games.

The Chicago Blackhawks reassigned D Gustav Forsling to the Rockford Icehogs (AHL) after just one goal and three assists in 32 NHL games. At 5-11 and 183 pounds, the Swede is an undersized new-age puck-mover with a high panic threshold. He was stolen from the Canucks for D Adam Clendening, who’s with his third NHL organization since leaving Vancouver.

The Edmonton Oilers assigned D Jordan Oesterle to the Bakersfield Condors (AHL) without him playing in an NHL game during a brief callup. The smallish undrafted American has intriguing, below-radar potential. While he lacks ideal NHL size and strength, the six-foot, 182-pounder is a dependable puck-mover with some upside, hinted at by eight points in 14 earlier games with Bakersfield.

The Boston Bruins recalled G Zane McIntyre from the Providence Bruins (AHL) while demoting G Anton Khudobin. Although only a lowly sixth-rounder back in 2010, McIntyre could conceivably overcome inconsistency and become Tuukka Rask’s backup because the Bs are dissatisfied with Khudobin and Malcolm Subban.

The Carolina Hurricanes claimed RW Ty Rattie off waivers from the St. Louis Blues. The disappointing 2011 second-round pick has a chance to salvage a pro career limited to just 31 NHL games so far in four seasons. So-so skating and sub-standard strength persuaded the Blues to give up on the six-foot, 179-pounder, although he already has one assist in two games with the ‘Canes.

 

Mark Allan