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(Page 15 of 17)
AHL Update

Springfield's Moore developing two-way game

Thursday, 01.06.2011 / 12:15 PM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

Springfield Falcons defenseman and top Columbus Blue Jackets prospect John Moore spent last summer living and training in Columbus in preparation for his rookie season, and several items were on the to-do list.

The former first-round draft pick hoped to build up his strength and endurance, become comfortable with the organization's conditioning program, familiarize himself with the pro lifestyle and living on his own, and learn how to cook.

Three out of four isn't bad, but that last one didn't go over quite so well.

"It was pretty ugly at first," Moore said. "I was cooking some things where you kind of plug your nose and force it down your throat, but I've gotten better. I'm still no culinary expert, but I get the job done."

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Tangradi embracing ability as power forward

Thursday, 12.30.2010 / 9:17 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward Eric Tangradi may only be 21 years old, but he's already experienced a rollercoaster ride's worth of emotions in his young hockey career.

For someone who was raised just outside of Philadelphia and grew up as a Flyers fan, not least among those emotions was the February 2009 trade which sent him from the Anaheim Ducks organization to the Flyers' bitter cross-state rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It isn't easy getting people back home to turn in their Flyers orange for Penguins black and gold, but Tangradi is giving it his best shot anyway.

"My parents and family were pretty easy to turn over to the Pittsburgh side, but my friends in Philly, I still haven't gotten them on board quite yet," he said. "Hopefully if I can make Pittsburgh a permanent home, that might get them to change their minds."
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Five AHL rookies to participate in World Juniors

Thursday, 12.23.2010 / 9:00 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

The holiday season is one to give thanks and enjoy the happiness that comes with spending time with family and friends. For a handful of young American Hockey League players, though, this holiday season also brings with it the opportunity to show off their skills on an international stage.

The annual World Junior Championship begins in Buffalo on Dec. 26, and five AHL rookies are set to represent their countries in the prestigious tournament.

Four of the five will suit up for the United States: Jerry D’Amigo from the Toronto Marlies; Nick Leddy and Jeremy Morin of the Rockford IceHogs; and the Syracuse Crunch’s Kyle Palmieri. In addition, Binghamton Senators goaltender Robin Lehner has been named to Sweden’s squad.

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Butler's hockey career is a family affair

Thursday, 12.16.2010 / 9:13 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

"All in the Family" most commonly is known as the title of a famous 1970's television show, but Bobby Butler could take that phrase and apply it directly to his progression as a hockey player.

The 23-year-old Butler is making quite an impact through the first two months of his pro career with the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators, leading the club with 15 goals -- tied for third in league -- and adding eight assists through 26 games.

Among first-year AHL players, his 15 goals rank first and his 23 points second. It's been an impressive beginning, to be sure.

As the son of a longtime Massachusetts high school hockey coach, though, sticks and skates have been in his blood from the start.

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Life-long love of hockey has driven Pirri to succeed

Thursday, 12.09.2010 / 9:00 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

Like many kids from the Toronto area, Brandon Pirri grew up watching the legendary Don Cherry and the rest of the Hockey Night in Canada crew as his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs took the ice on Saturday nights during the winter.

And while Brandon's rooting interest had to change once he became a second-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009, it might not be too long before he's the one earning attention from Cherry and other high-profile media types.

"My parents have told me that I was walking around the house holding a mini-stick almost all the time when I was little," Pirri said. "And then once I was able to start skating, they had a pretty good idea that this is what I wanted to do."

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Peoria goalie Allen taking AHL shooters to school

Wednesday, 12.01.2010 / 4:43 PM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

School has been in session for Jake Allen over the past two months, and for a guy who wound up missing high school graduation to attend his NHL draft day in 2008, he's got this education thing down pretty well.

Allen, a rookie goaltender with the AHL's Peoria Rivermen and promising top prospect of the St. Louis Blues, is learning the ropes as a professional with remarkable early returns.

The 20-year-old posted a 36-save shutout in his second outing of the season on Oct. 23, followed that up with three more whitewashes over his next six outings and currently sits with a league-high four shutouts through only nine appearances overall.

Named the Reebok/AHL Goaltender of the Month for November on Wednesday, he's 8-1-0 on the season and also leads AHL netminders in both goals-against average (1.27) and save percentage (.962).

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Pacioretty happy to keep developing in Hamilton

Wednesday, 11.24.2010 / 1:38 PM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

In a season already shaping up to be full of positive developments, Hamilton Bulldogs forward Max Pacioretty won't soon forget his 22nd birthday.

Pacioretty, a third-year left wing, entered the Bulldogs' Nov. 20 contest at the rival Toronto Marlies already averaging nearly a point per game on the AHL season, but broke out in a big way with three consecutive goals in regulation and another in the shootout, although the Bulldogs ultimately dropped a 4-3 decision.

It marked Pacioretty's first professional hat trick, and near as he could remember, the first one of his hockey career, period.

"It was a good feeling to finally score some goals, and even more special that it came on my birthday," he said. "It might have been the first hat trick in my life."

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Colborne growing into professional game

Wednesday, 11.17.2010 / 9:58 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

There was a time not too long ago when forward Joe Colborne stood as the Boston Bruins' unquestioned top prospect, and with very good reason.

Drafted with the 16th pick of the 2008 Entry Draft following an impressive two-year stint with the  Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Colborne continued to improve his game during two seasons at the University of Denver, including a 2009-10 campaign in which he led the Pioneers with 22 goals in 39 games.

Colborne concluded last season by playing six games with the AHL's Providence Bruins, his first taste of pro hockey.

Then, the second pick of the 2010 Draft fell into Boston's lap, and all of a sudden 18-year-old forward Tyler Seguin became the Bruins' new can't-miss prospect.

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Adam's fast start has earned him two call-ups

Thursday, 11.11.2010 / 11:25 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

"Obviously you've been able to see a level of talent that Luke has with his God-given assets, which are his size and strength. He's a hard-working kid that continues to work at his stickhandling, his shooting and the rest of his skill set. It makes it easy when success follows."
-- Portland coach Kevin Dineen

Only five weeks into his professional hockey career, Luke Adam hardly could be blamed if he needed a few moments to catch his breath.

The Portland Pirates rookie center and top Buffalo Sabres prospect has shot out of the starting blocks as one of the American Hockey League's top offensive threats, let alone one of its top rookies. He's already earned two NHL call-ups, and he's probably accrued enough air miles in the process to qualify for frequent-flier status.

But for a player who seemingly holds a future one-way ticket to the National Hockey League in his back pocket, Adam certainly won't begrudge the process involved in getting there.
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Wings prospect Smith making adjustment to AHL

Wednesday, 11.03.2010 / 10:27 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

Grand Rapids Griffins rookie defenseman Brendan Smith has figured for a while that he wanted to pursue a professional sports career.

For a time, though, the specific sport wasn't entirely clear.

The middle of three boys, Smith grew up in suburban Toronto, and he and his brothers split time pretty evenly between lacrosse and hockey. In fact, older brother Rory wound up sticking with lacrosse all the way through and currently is suiting up for the National Lacrosse League's Minnesota Storm.

"We were always big into lacrosse, even with my little brother," Brendan said. "For a time up until I was about 15 or 16, I was probably better at lacrosse than I was at hockey. That was always a route if hockey wasn't going to work out."

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