Of the 26 players on the Coyotes roster, 21 of them played at least one game in the American Hockey League en route to the NHL.
Many prospects, past and present, have made a stop in San Antonio, the home of Phoenix’s AHL affiliate, with hopes of earning time in Glendale. Below are the key forwards who played for the Rampage in the 2008-09 season.Chad Kolarik – Forward – San Antonio (AHL)2008-09 Statistics: 76 GP, 20 G, 30 A, 50 P, 47 PIM
In his first full professional season, Kolarik adjusted well to the grind of an AHL season and notched 20 goals and 30 points. Selected in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Kolarik finished the season second on the team in points and two goals behind team-leader Jeff Hoggan.
A natural goal-scorer at the University of Michigan, where he had 30 goals in his senior season, Kolarik tied Hoggan for a team-leading 202 shots on goal and tallied at least 18 goals for a third consecutive season.
“Chad had a good year,” said Sean Burke, the Director of Prospect Development for the Coyotes. “He has a lot of speed. He is not real big, but he learned this year to score some goals from the tough areas. He has a nose for the net and has to continue to get stronger and develop an all-around game. He progressed really well this year.”Brett MacLean – Left Wing – San Antonio (AHL)2008-09 Statistics: 74 GP, 21 G, 19 A, 40 P, 33 PIM
MacLean played his first full season of professional hockey after leaving the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. Selected in the second round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, MacLean scored 21 goals and finished the season with 10 points in his last 10 games.
The native of London, Ontario, earned his first appearance to the AHL All-Star Game in January, in which he had an assist for the Canadian squad.
“He was a big-time scorer in junior and he really made big strides in his battle level,” Burke said. “He has a real nose for the net and good hands. He took it up a notch and focused on his defensive game.”Joel Perrault – Center – San Antonio (AHL)2008-09 Statistics (San Antonio AHL): 46 GP, 18 G, 31 A, 49 P, 46 PIM
2008-09 Statistics (Phoenix NHL): 7 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, 4 PIM
Perrault battled concussion issues at the beginning of the season and did not play in a game until Dec. 4. Once he got back on track, he averaged more than a point per game and doubled his production from last season. The native of Montreal scored 10 goals in his last 15 games, including a five-game goal-scoring streak.
Perrault’s confidence was also seen as he registered at least two shots in every game but four, and finished the season with 169 shots on goal.
Perrault was recalled to the Coyotes in February and, in his only stint with the team, he chipped in two goals and an assist in seven games.Kevin Porter – Center – San Antonio (AHL)2008-09 Statistics (San Antonio AHL): 42 GP, 13 G, 22 A, 35 P, 14 PIM
2008-09 Statistics (Phoenix NHL): 34 GP, 5 G, 5 A, 10 P, 4 PIM
Porter split time between the Coyotes and the Rampage in his first full pro season. He earned steady ice time in San Antonio, playing in all situations and gaining the trust of Head Coach Greg Ireland.
The native of Detroit got off to a slow start with San Antonio, but ramped up his production with 27 points in his last 28 games, including seven points in his final three games. Porter also led the team with a +7 rating.
“He struggled with his confidence at parts of the year,” Burke said. “He always gives you a good effort. He is a leader type of guy and he plays hard every night. He has to continue to work on his offensive skills. He understands the game defensively. He is very close to being a regular in the NHL.”EDITOR’S NOTE:
Check back soon for updates on the Coyotes defensive prospects who played in the AHL in 2008-09, along with the prospects in the Junior leagues and Europe. If you have any questions regarding Coyotes prospects, e-mail Russell.firstname.lastname@example.org