As much as call-ups and send-downs are part of minor league sports, getting loaned to a different organization is a little more rare. But the San Jose Barracuda have loaned a couple prospects out this season to an ECHL team that isn't their affiliate.
Earlier this season, the Barracuda loaned Matt Willows to the Reading Royals. In a much bigger role than he could have had in Allen, Willows has proceeded to score at roughly a point-per-game pace for the Royals.
Just last week, the Barracuda loaned another prospect out. This time it was forward Jake Marchment.
If the name sounds familiar, it should. Jake is the nephew of former Sharks defenseman and current developmental coach Bryan Marchment.
The 21-year-old center was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 6th round (157th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, but was signed as a free agent by the Barracuda on July 11, 2016.
"Marchment will need to address his skating skills to have a shot at playing in the NHL but his willingness to do all of the hard jobs, his strength in tight spaces, and his hockey intellect suggest he can be a lower line center." - Hockey's Future
The 6'4", 220-pound center spent most of the season with the Allen Americans. He seemed to earn quite a bit of playing time, picking up 29 points (11-18=29) and registering a +13 rating in 46 games for the Sharks' ECHL affiliate.
He also appeared in four games with the Barracuda this season, where he racked up 22 penalty minutes.
As Allen Americans head coach Steven Martinson said earlier this season: "We try to give prospects as much time as we can." Unlike in the NHL where everything comes down to winning, it's a minor league team's responsibility to win and develop prospects simultaneously.
With a stacked roster in Allen, and a Barracuda roster overflowing with forwards - especially now with Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier back down, a loan to Indy was probably the most responsible thing to do for his development.
Marchment is still looking to make his mark in Indy, as he's scoreless with a -2 rating in 3 games for the Fuel. But if he can impress in his time, there's no reason to think he can't force his way back into a solid spot in the Barracuda's bottom six next season.
Click here to see the current prospect report.