I'm going to keep this week's installment brief for the most part as we get back into the swing of things.
Ty Conklin - St. Louis Blues
Entering his 9th NHL season (149 games played, 2.58 GAA, .909 save-percentage) Ty began the 2009-2010 season by defeating his most recent ex-employer, the Detroit Red Wings.
Dan Winnik - Phoenix Coyotes
In his third season Daniel Winnik has jumped out much as he did as a rookie, scoring in the Coyotes first game of the year. After a somewhat disappointing sophomore campaign that saw him add just three goals and four assists for a career total of fifteen goals and nineteen assists it looks like he just may return to the form that made him a keeper for the desert dogs.
James van Riemsdyk - Philadelphia Flyers
The rookie has already generated quite a buzz after tallying three assists in his first two games and he credits Coach Umile and the University of New Hampshire for helping him make the leap
Trevor Smith - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Listed fifth on the New York Islanders' depth chart at center, Trevor just missed making this years team but we will likely see more of him in the NHL this year compared to his seven games and one goal last season. In the meantime, look for him to terrorize the AHL ranks, improving upon his thirty goals and thirty-two assists - he has one goal already after his first game of the season.
Jason Krog - Chicago Wolves
Back in the city that saw some of the most dominating AHL play in decades thanks to Jason and his fellow alum, Darren Haydar - Krog will make yet another push for a regular spot in the Atlanta Thrashers line-up.
Darren Haydar - Lake Erie Monsters
Still looking for his first regular stint in the National Hockey League, Haydar joined the Colorado Avalanche but was initially denied and so, returning to what he does best, put up two assists in his first game of the season - seriously, when is someone going to learn and try to put Krog and Haydar on a line together in the NHL?
Garrett Stafford - Texas Stars
Another Wildcat alum that just missed making the cut for his NHL parent club, Stafford will return to his machine-like offensive production for the newly formed Texas Stars.
Kevin Regan - Providence Bruins
Record-setting Wildcat alum netminder has the deck stacked against him in the Bruins organization with two top tier goaltenders who have been groomed for years in front of him and on top of it all the B's manage to land longtime pro and NHL caliber goalie, Danny Sabourin - at least he won't lack for competition!
Matt Fornataro - Houston Aeros
This former Wildcat Captain will be looking to build on a solid AHL rookie year in which he scored ten goals and fifteen assists in just 51 games.
On Their Own
Mike Ayers - Best known for backstopping our Wildcats to two Frozen Fours and his incredible courage to come back and play the next night in Orono after suffering a sever laceration to his glove-hand wrist that left the ice around him covered in blood - Mike Ayers is among the very best in the tradition of excellence represented by the goaltenders who have taken the crease at the University of New Hampshire.
Now after a few years of professional hockey, Mike has begun the MVP Goaltending school
in Minnesota along with taking up positions with the AHL's Iowa Chops as goaltending coach last year and becoming a volunteer coach this season with the St. Cloud State Huskies - a team that Ayers helped eliminate during the Wildcats' run to the 2003 Frozen Four.
Best of luck in your endeavors, Mike!
And since I'm already late getting this edition out, we'll wait until next week to identify those Wildcat Alums in the ECHL and over-seas!