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Panthers Prospect Report: 12.23.09

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers


Position: D           Shoots: Left
Height:   6-0         Weight: 195
Born: 4/5/83 in Sturgeon Lake, MN
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent on July 2, 2009
The Skinny
Signed in the off-season for depth along the blue-line for the Panthers organization, Clay Wilson has been a steady force for the Amerks.

Wilson currently leads the Amerks defensemen with 20 points on three goals and 17 assists.

The 26-year old also is among the AHL leaders in those stats for defensemen, as he's tied for fourth in points. He's also second in the AHL with 12 power-olay assists.

Wilson had a strong week last week, registering five points.

31 3 17 20 1 24

(20-10-2, 3rd in AHL Western Conference)

Saturday December 26th vs Hamilton (7:05pm)
Sunday December 27th vs Binghamton (5:00pm)

WEEKLY NOTES: With the nation’s biggest and most celebrated holiday just days away, the Rochester Americans will have the opportunity to be home for the holidays. Coming of another winless weekend, the Amerks will be home twice for Christmas weekend as the team continues its fight to remain among the top of the American Hockey League standings. This week, host the Hamilton Bulldogs and Binghamton Senators.

Rochester will be looking for a win as they've dropped their last four games.

TAYLOR REACHES 1,000, MOVES AHEAD OF ‘SHARKY’ AND ROBERTSON: Veteran forward Chris Taylor captured his 1,000th career point in Rochester’s 5-4 loss to the Hershey Bears Saturday night at Giant Center. Taylor recorded a pair of assists, with the latter of the two being his 1,000th career point, assisting on Daniel Steiner’s power-play goal at the 11:21 mark of the second period.

He also continued his ascent up the Amerks’ all-time lists this week, surpassing both Norm “Red” Armstrong and Geordie Robertson into the No.6 spot on the all-time points table. Last night, Taylor scored a pair of goals to move ahead of Craig Charron into the No. 14 spot to tie Gordie Clark on the all-time goals list. Having already slid by Dick Gamble into the No.4 spot on the all-time assist list, the 18-year pro now sits just eight goals and 11 assists away from moving ahead of Ron Garwasiuk and Gerry Ehman for 13th and third on the all-time lists, respectively. Just two games short of 400 career games as an Amerk, Taylor is a mere two games shy of surpassing Les Duff’s benchmark of 399 games and just 24 games away from 1,200 professional games. Lastly, Taylor is also four games away from 500 AHL games and four points away from his 400th as an Amerk.

HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE… NOT SO MUCH THE ROAD: With the first quarter of the season already in the books, home ice advantage has been beneficial for the Amerks. After earning their first regulation loss of the season at home last weekend, the Amerks are now 11-2-2-0 on home ice. Conversely, seven of Rochester’s nine regulation losses thus far this season have been away from the friendly confines of The Blue Cross Arena.

AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (20-9-2-0, 42 points) enters the week currently second in the North Division and fourth overall in the AHL just three points behind the league-leading Manchester Monarchs.

The Amerks have won 19 of their last 28 games, including 11 of the last 14 at home, and have the league’s fourth best winning percentage (.677). Rochester enters the week on a season-high three-game losing streak after dropping two straight to the defending Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears and another last night to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

The Amerks, who are tied for third in the AHL with six shorthanded goals, have outscored their opponents 94-75 in the last 27 games and have allowed the second fewest number of goals in their division with 86. Additionally, their 102 goals for are also the most in the division. Rochester is second in the AHL with a 21.3 power-play percentage and is 15th with an 83.2 penalty-killing percentage.

Veteran forward Jamie Johnson, in his seventh season of professional hockey, currently paces Rochester’s offense with a team-high 13 goals and 30 points after tallying three more points in last night’s 5-4 OT loss to Hamilton. Averaging just under a point per game, Johnson is tied for fifth in the AHL in overall point production after collecting 26 points (13+13) in his last 20 outings. His 13 goals also rank him tied for third in the league. Taylor remains at a close second with 27 points (8+19) and continues to be the team’s top playmaker with 19 assists. His 25 points and 19 helpers presently rank him tied for seventh and fifth in the league, respectively.?

Amerks tough-guy Jimmy Bonneau is first on the team and fifth in the league with a team-high 116 penalty minutes after dropping the gloves 17 times in his last 24 games. Defenseman Clay Wilson (3+17) stands just six points ahead of fellow blueliner Jason Garrison (3+11) in the fight for Rochester’s top scoring defenseman. The duo is currently ranked tied for fourth and ninth in scoring among league blueliners, respectively. Wilson is also second in the AHL with 12 power-play assists, while Garrison, despite presently being on recall with the Florida Panthers, still owns the team’s best on-ice rating with a plus-11.?

First-year goaltender Alexander Salak boasts a league-best 16-4-0 record with 583 saves in 22 games. His 2.33 goals-against average and .927 save percentage are currently 11th and fifth among league netminders, respectively, while his 16 wins are presently a league best. In 22 games, Salak has only allowed 46 goals.

(14-12-4, 7th in ECHL American Conference)
Saturday December 26 at Charlotte (7:00pm)
Sunday December 27 at Gwinnett (4:05pm)
Tuesday December 29 at Gwinnett (7:05pm)

WEEKLY NOTES: Finally. A good week for the Florida Everblades. Florida took two of their three games against the Wheeling Nailers and moved up a spot in ECHL's American Conference playoff picture.

The Blades started out the three-game set with a 5-2 victory as they used a three-goal second period to propel them to the victory. Chris Beckford-Tseu stopped 30 shots in the victory. In the second game, the Nailers earned a 5-3 victory, netting the game-winner 12:31 into the third period. Mike Duffy scored the Blades second goal of the game. In the rubber match, Florida bombarded Wheeling early on their way to a 5-1 win. They scored 11 seconds into the game and had the game-winner 6:47 into the first period. Duffy finished a plus-three in the contest.

After a couple days off for the Christmas break, the Blades take to the road for three games this week. They have a Saturday date in Charlotte before following that up with a contest in Gwinnett on Sunday as well as Tuesday.


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