Saturday was a jam-packed night in the world of hockey prospects. The American Hockey League (AHL) and Western Hockey League (WHL) are both nearing the end of their regular seasons. The postseason is in full swing for both the Quebec Major Junior Hockey (QMJHL) and United States Hockey League (USHL), while the IIHF U18 World Championships are going on in Texas.
Today we will check in on a Minnesota Wild prospect who remains red hot in the WHL. Saturday’s AHL schedule provided big moments for members of the Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes pipeline.
Adam Beckman Keeps on Scoring
We have written a lot about Beckman in this column since the WHL season got underway, and rightfully so. The Wild’s 2019 third-round pick (75th overall) scored his second straight hat trick last night as the Spokane Chiefs put up a season-high eight goals in an 8-3 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Beckman lit the lamp twice during the Chiefs’ four-goal second period and finished off the hat trick with this shorthanded breakaway in the third period.
The 19-year-old left wing now has 15 goals and 24 points in 16 games for Spokane. This came after playing seven games in the AHL for the Iowa Wild, where he scored two goals and picked up an assist. Beckman is currently fourth in goals and tied for 25th in overall WHL scoring with Dylan Guenther and Connor Zary. He led the entire league with 48 goals and 107 points last season. In fact, he was the only player to have 100 points when the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mads Sogaard Makes Professional Debut
The Belleville Senators welcomed one of their parent club’s top prospects to the ice on Saturday afternoon. Sogaard made his professional debut by starting in goal against the Toronto Marlies. He made 24 saves in a 5-3 victory to capture his first AHL win.
He earned high praise from his head coach Troy Mann following the game:
“I thought he was excellent. He’s (big) and he covers a lot of the net. That’s something you love to see as a coach, he’s very athletic and his ability to play the puck was certainly a pleasant surprise. He was able to make some plays to our defense as well.
“He was in control the whole game, he was square to the puck. I thought of really good performances but specifically, Sogaard was excellent.”From “SNAPSHOTS: Mads Sogaard looks solid in his AHL debut with Belleville” by Bruce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 5/1/21
This was the 6-foot-7 goaltender’s first game on North American soil since the end of the 2019-20 season with the Medicine Hat Tigers. He played 16 games for Esbjerg Energy in Denmark’s top pro league, where he posted a 10-5-1 record, a 2.58 goals-against average (GAA), and a league-high .922 save percentage (SV%). Ottawa drafted Sogaard in the second round (37th overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. They signed him to a three-year, entry-level contract back on April 13.
Jan Jenik Has a Career Night
The Tucson Roadrunners have not had a great season in the AHL as they entered Saturday’s match-up with the San Diego Gulls with a record of 11-17-2-0 record. They are sitting in last place of the Pacific Division, the only division in the AHL that will be having a postseason tournament to crown a champion.
Even though they were big underdogs, they had a huge 9-2 victory thanks in part to a big night from Jenik. He opened the scoring with a power-play goal late in the first period. He followed this up with an assist in the second period and another goal in the final frame for his first career three-point night in the AHL.
Jenik now has four goals and 11 points in 27 games during his first professional season. The Coyotes drafted him in the third round (65th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. After this, he made the trek to North America from his native Czech Republic and played two seasons with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He had 35 goals and 86 points in his 54 career OHL games.