Wednesday showcased more hopeful prospects as the NHL preseason continued. Fighting to get noticed by their respective coaching staffs, these players were thrown into game action with the chance to impress the organizational decision makers.
While one good game doesn’t mean they permanently earn themselves a roster spot. Instead, they are mentioned in the game recaps and mentioned in prospect rankings. Meanwhile, for the remainder of the NHL preseason, The Hockey Writers will continue to focus in on some of the top young performers every day.
Wednesday’s games included many big performances by NHL prospects. But in this edition of the three stars mini-series, we’ll look at a Toronto Maple Leaf forward and a former World Junior Hockey Championship goalie.
Jack Campbell, G, Dallas Stars
He wore the American colours in the WJHC from 2009 to 2012 where he won 10 of his 14 games played. On Wednesday, Jack Campbell put a Dallas Stars uniform to backstop the club in its preseason affair against Florida.
While Campbell didn’t play the entirety of the game, he did save all 11 shots he faced in just under 32 minutes in net. He was pulled halfway through the game in place of former Maple Leaf Jussi Rynnas, but his perfect save percentage helped his Stars to a 4-3 win in a shootout.
While the 22-year old certainly has a history of winning, he’ll have to find his way past Kari Lehtonen and Anders Lindback on the Stars’ depth chart if he hopes to crack the lineup in the near future.
Bogdan Yakimov, C, Edmonton Oilers
At Oilers camp, a lot of focus has been placed on their young defensemen and what they hope will be a comeback year for Nail Yakupov. However, on Wednesday night, it was Bogdan Yakimov who made his presence known within the Oilers organization.
In his teams 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets, Yakimov enjoyed a two-point night with one goal and one assist in just under 14 minutes of play. He sent three shots on the Winnipeg net and won 44% of his draws.
While he’s not the most recognizable name at Edmonton’s camp, the youth movement that the Oilers are currently taking part in leaves the doors wide open for the team’s prospects to steal a roster spot. So could Yakimov see the NHL ice in 2014-15? Maybe not, but one Wednesday he was certainly one of their best players.
Sam Carrick, C, Toronto Maple Leafs
Sam Carrick is a wild card in the Maple Leafs organization. He’s certainly put his name on the organizations short list of possible call-ups. On Wednesday, the story was the same. Carrick recorded a goal and an assist in over 15 minutes of ice time.
Carlyle said that he was impressed with Sam Carrick. Should be one of the first call-ups if there is a need for a 3rd or 4th fourth-line C
— Michael Traikos (@Michael_Traikos) September 29, 2014
But Carrick’s also shown his ability to play on the penalty kill, racking up just under two minutes of shorthanded ice time. He may seem like a small guy, but the six-foot tall forward plays a tough game. While the organization doesn’t feel that he is quite ready to make the jump to the big club, Carrick could be a possibility if injuries hamper the organization in the coming season.
NHL Preseason: Three Stars From Day 1 (Sept. 21)
NHL Preseason: Three Stars From Day 2 (Sept. 22)
NHL Preseason: Three Stars From Day 3 (Sept. 23)
NHL Preseason: Three Stars From Day 5 (Sept. 25)
NHL Preseason: Three Stars From Day 6 (Sept. 26)
NHL Preseason: Three Stars From Day 7 (Sept. 27)
For more, follow Andrew on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes or his column at @Tape2TapeTHW.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.