Photo: New York Islanders prospect Ryan Strome has appeared in 19 NHL games so far in 2013-14, posting two goals and five assists in those outings (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
When the New York Islanders re-assigned rookie forward Ryan Strome to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport before the NHL went on a two-week break for the Olympics, the message to Strome was pretty simple, at least how Strome relayed what he was told to the inquiring media in Philadelphia after the Sound Tigers win over the Adirondack Phantoms.
Photo: Rockford IceHogs forward and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Jeremy Morin has spent most of the season with the AHL’s IceHogs, but has appeared in 15 games for the Blackhawks in the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Chris Austin/Icon SMI)
While the top nine teams in the East have separated themselves from the pack, the AHL's Western Conference is still wide open heading down the stretch.
Photo: Binghamton Senators forward and Ottawa Senators prospect Mike Hoffman has turned in a strong season in the AHL after having his 2012-13 campaign shortened by an injury (courtesy of Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
With the NHL on a two-week Olympic hiatus, several top prospects were sent down to their respective AHL teams, with several teams in the Eastern Conference receiving reinforcements.
For some clubs, the quick spike in depth provided almost instant results. For others, the "better on paper" lineup caused a downgrade in the team's on-ice performance.
Photo: Goaltender Eric Comrie is the Hockey’s Future Prospect of the Month for January after posting an 8-2-0-1 record and 1.35 goals against average. Comrie was selected in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft by the Winnipeg Jets. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Tri-City Americans goaltender and Winnipeg Jets prospect Eric Comrie is the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Month for January. Comrie is coming off a dominant month of hockey in January, where he went 8-2-0-1 in 11 appearances while allowing only 15 goals.
Photo: Toronto Marlies forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Spencer Abbott is currently ranked fifth in scoring in the AHL with 42 points in 40 games (courtesy of David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
With the American Hockey League season passing the midway point, a great deal of young prospects have already made some noise with their respective NHL clubs while others continue to adjust to the pro-style game.