Photo: Syracuse Crunch forward and Tampa Bay lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov is currently tied for second in goals with 13 so far in the 2013-14 AHL season (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
The AHL is nearly at the quarter-pole for the 2013-14 season, with most teams approaching the 20-game mark in their season. Teams are beginning to find their strengths and weaknesses, and some players – like Tyler Toffoli – have already been called up to their NHL affiliate.
Photo: Buffalo Sabres defensive prospect Chad Ruhwedel began his pro career in 2012-13 with the NHL club, but has begun the 2013-14 season with the AHL’s Rochester Americans (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
After a slow start to the 2013-14 season, the Rochester Americans seem to have righted the ship heading into November. A big part of their recent success has been two defensemen that are poised to play at the next level in the very near future.
Photo: Fans of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs hope to see more goal-scoring feats from Los Angeles Kings prospect Tyler Toffoli in the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
In 2010, the year he was drafted 47th overall by the Los Angeles Kings, Tyler Toffoli scored 79 points. Over the next two seasons Toffoli would go on to earn 208 more points in the Ontario Hockey League, including 108 points in a 50-50 season in 2010-11. A bright future was set for Toffoli as he graduated from juniors in 2012, with his sights on the NHL.
Photo: Boston Bruins forward prospect Alexander Khokhlachev apparently nearly landed in the Calgary Flames organization last season, but will instead be an important piece for the Bruins’ AHL farm club In Providence in 2013-14 (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The AHL's Western Conference was home to the Calder Cup champions in 2012-13, but that league's Eastern Conference should offer up at least a couple of legitimate contenders in the 2013-14 campaign. And, with the Western Conference already previewed, Hockey's Future will now take a look some of the teams and prospects to take note of in the AHL's Eastern Conference for this season that is now underway. The NHL team affiliated with the AHL club is indicated in parentheses next to the AHL team name.
Photo: Detroit Red Wings prospect Teemu Pulkkinen got a taste of the Red Wings’ winning ways late last season as he was a part of the Grand Rapids Griffins’ run to the AHL’s Calder Cup championship. Pulkkinen will begin his rookie season with the Griffins in 2013-14 (courtesy of Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
The American Hockey League (AHL) embarks on its 2013-14 campaign beginning this evening with five games on the schedule. Hockey's Future will be previewing both conferences, with an emphasis on the notable NHL prospects that will be competing for each club.