AHL Farm Rankings: #3 Swackers

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AHL Farm Rankings: #3 Swackers

Post by Cheapthief » Sat May 08, 2021 12:09 pm

#3 Swackers

There were a lot of factors that went into evaluating a players value in the AHL, including age of the prospect, salary, and progression. A younger prospect is given more leeway in terms of production than an older player who has yet to produce at the pro level. The level of competition was also factored.

We broke down the teams into 5 tiers:

Tier 1: PPG potential for a $3.00 forward, 50 point potential for a dman. This group will also have some players with lower base salaries that have high upside, but they aren’t held to quite that standard. For a $1.00 3rd rd pick he needs to have 60+ point upside to be in this elite tier. Most every top prospect drafted in 2020 is given serious consideration of being in this tier.

Tier 2: This is where you will find the very good prospects, some $3.00 players who have regressed a little, and some cheaper players on the uptick production wise.

Tier 3: With the players in this group, their trajectory could go either way and the jury is still out. Typically there is potential at reaching tier 2, but just as likely to fall to the bottom.

Tier 4: They are still considered prospects, but their days are numbers and they don’t have a lot of time left to break out.

Tier 5: These are the duds. The only reason any of them should be on a farm is because there is extra space. There is no upside.

In ranking the farms, the entire farm depth was looked at, with extra weight given to high end talents, especially those already producing at the NHL level.

For each report we will cover the average age of the group, number of players drafted by round, and finally, the number of players on in the NHL now. Within the summary write up for every team, we will also include what their draft pick status for the next 3 seasons.


Coming off a season where they landed the #1 pick in Alexis Lafreniere, the team has done incredibly well to add depth behind this superstar prospect. It started slow for Lafreniere, but he came on in the second half of the season and it’s important to remember he is just a teenager playing in the NHL. Plenty of high picks culminating in a farm with 7 first round picks and will add another this off season to an already impressive farm.

What’s interesting about this farm is most all of its top prospects are already getting their feet wet in the NHL. Kirby Dach broke into the league in his rookie season in impressive fashion, Kyrou producing in St.Louis on a cheap contract, and Janne Kuokkanen is getting top line minutes in NJ. The list goes on and, with 7 farmies in the NHL.

The LA Kings are a young, building team so it’s no surprise that the Swackers are loaded with Kings. At the forefront, and in the NHL now, is Gabriel Vilardi, followed by some longer term prospects in Sameul Fagemo and Alex Turcotte who hasn’t put all the pieces together quite yet and falls to a tier 2 prospect because of the price tag. This farm isn’t simply a top heavy first round pick only farm, its balanced with some 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks in the tier 2 group, in some cases, as a result of their contract. Alexander Romanov, for example, hasn’t done much in the NHL but he is a 21 year old dman playing regularly in the NHL and is just a .50 flier. All in all, GM Randall gets high marks for the farm he has put together.

So when can we expect the Swackers to turn it around and be among the top contenders? It might be a while. Sure, there are a group of farmies in the NHL now, but the core on the roster is relatively weak. Not a young defenseman worthy of a long term deal, and some mediocre forwards with some upside:

Pavel Zacha 24 $1.25 FA- May be in for a raise this off season, not sure if he is resigned and for how long

Sam Bennett 24 $0.75 FA- Move to Florida was huge for this guy
Alex Formenton 21 $0.25 Aho eligible- More cheap pickups like this will help

Maxime Comtois 22 $0.25 FA- No longer Aho eligible, a solid value for a proven point producer in the NHL

Tyson Jost 23 $0.25 FA- looking like a career bottom 6 player despite being 10th overall pick in 2016

Yegor Sharangovich 22 $0.25 Aho eligible- The prized waiver pickup many went all in for

Some decent long shot Aho type players, but no star power in this core and its unlikely any of them will be. The team does have a full $60 cap to spend each of the next three years, so in theory, it could build a competitive team in the playoff hunt, but it may make sense to give some of the young farmies more time to cook before making a run for it.

In terms of picks, this already loaded farm has plenty of great picks over the next three years. In 21-22 its owns Shooters 1st and it’s own second. In 22-23 he acquired a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd to go along with his own 2nd, but the real prize is the 23-24 draft. He owns his own 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, but has the holy grail of first round picks, (maybe Conor Bedard) the coveted and valuable Mustangs 1st round pick. The price of a Mustangs 1st round pick goes up faster than DOGE or Bitcoin. The demand is high.

Average Age: 21.1

Currently in the NHL: 7

1st rd picks: 8

2nd rd picks: 5

3rd rd picks: 7

4th rd picks: 2

Tier 1:

Alexis Lafreniere 19 F NYR $3.00 NHL 44 7-6=13
-Unfair to judge any 19 year old NHLer, but Lafreniere has tremendous upside as a #1 overall pick
Jordan Kyrou 22 F STL $1.50 NHL 42 10-16=26
-Excellent development this season and excellent value at just $1.50, still plenty of upside as well
Kirby Dach 20 F CHI $3.00 NHL 10 1-4=5
-Dazzled as a rookie before an unfortunate injury in year 2, but sky is the limit for this young stud
Janne Kuokkanen 22 F NJ $1.50 NHL 38 6-14=20
-Having a breakout season on a bad NJ team, great value at $1.50, skilled player with upside as NJ improves offensively
Cole Perfetti 19 F WPG $3.00 AHL 24 6-11=17
-Excellent start to pro career in the AHL, his stock has risen since the draft

Tier 2:

Gabriel Vilardi 21 F LAK $3.00 NHL 40 6-9=15
-Just 21 and a regular on a young Kings team, he is starting to show signs as to why he was picked at #11
Denis Gurianov 23 F DAL $2.00 NHL 42 8-14=22
-Will slide just under a forced Toews rule call up for another year, and has been rather productive since arrival in Dallas
Nicolas Beaudin 21 D CHI $1.00 AHL 9 2-8=10
-Split time in AHL/NHL this season and has been fantastic, over a PPG in the AHL, great value at $1
Samuel Fagemo 21 F LAK $1.00 AHL 22 7-6=13
-Solid rookie season for the speedster in the AHL, there is upside here
Brendan Brisson 19 F VGK $2.00 Big-10 24 10-11=21
-Loads of upside here, I like the pick both by the VGK and Swacker Dave, he could be a solid NHLer with offensive upside
Lukas Cormier 19 D VGK $1.00 QMJHL 38 16-35=51
-Massive jump in 3rd year in the Q, progressing nicely in his post draft season
Jack Drury 21 F CAR $1.00 SweHL 41 10-20=30
-Steady offensive progression each season from college to the SweHL
Alex Turcotte 20 F LAK $3.00 AHL 23 2-11=13
-High expectation for a 5th overall pick and so far he is underperforming in his rookie AHL season
Alexander Romanov 21 D MTL $0.50 NHL 40 1-4=5
-Numbers aren't there yet, but a 4th rd flier getting regular NHL time at 21 is promising
Benoit-Olivier Groulx 21 F ANA $0.50 AHL 31 8-11=19
-Solid rookie AHL season after 5 seasons in the Q, answering the bell that he can produce at the pro level

Tier 3:

Nils Lundkvist 20 D NYR $1.00 SweHL 52 14-18=32
-Similar numbers last two seasons in SweHL, will need to step it up to have a real shot at NHL
Alexander Alexeyev 21 D WSH $1.00 KHL 55 8-8=16
-Still in the mix, what I'd call good numbers in the KHL and will return to AHL action soon
Henrik Borgstrom 23 F CHI $2.50 SML 30 11-10=21
-Trending down after a promising 18-19 NHL season, choosing to play in the SML this year, but expect him to return next year

Tier 4:

Barret Hayton 20 F ARI $3.00 AHL 16 2-3=5

-A curious pick at 5th overall by ARI, the concern was a lack of offensive output and he hasn't done anything to change that
German Rubtsov 22 F PHI $2.50 KHL 46 3-8=11
-I wouldn't try making a living analyzing KHL data on young players, but he appears to be regressing after a solid AHL start

Tier 5:

Dylan Sikura 25 F VGK $2.00 AHL 25 11-8=19
-Decent production at the AHL level but thats where its gonna end
Vladislav Kamenev 24 F COL $1.00 KHL 21 5-0=5
-Very few duds on this farm, but Kamenev may stay in the KHL even post Covid

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