After the Storm were eliminated a few of their drafted players got the call to join their big clubs AHL affiliates. Some will be back in Storm jersey's while others have likely player their last game in a Guelph jersey. Some of the players have stepped right into their new teams lineups and contributed, while others are still feeling out the faster paced action.
Tanner Richard is currently playing for Tampa Bay's farm team, the Syracuse Crunch. Tanner has suited up in 4 games so far and has chipped in offensively with 3 assists. Sound familiar? It should, this past season Richard racked up a career high 51 assists in 52 games for the Storm. It appears as though he is fitting right in with his new team. Richard was taken in last years NHL draft in the 3rd round, just 1 pick after Guelph teammate Scott Kosmachuk. Richard will likely stick with the Crunch next season too as he recently turned 20 and has probably learned all he can at the OHL level.
Brock McGinn, like Richard was selected in last years draft but Brock was only 18 not 19 like Richard. McGinn was taken in the 2nd round by the Hurricanes. He has joined the Charlotte Checkers and has seen some action, so far 2 games. McGinn has yet to find the score sheet but it will only be a matter of time before he gets his 1st career professional point. He is currently a -2 with no penalty minutes. Once he gets a custom to the quicker pace and higher skill it will only be a matter of time before I send a tweet that he has scored his first point. McGinn will be back next year in a Storm jersey. McGinn currently has 2 brothers in the NHL, Jamie in Colorado and Tye in Philadelphia.
Andrey Pedan packed up his belongings in Guelph and headed to Bridgeport to join the Sound Tigers. Pedan was selected in the 3rd round by the Islanders in the 2011 draft. He has seen action in 4 games now, including a win over Tanner Richard's team. Despite the game that he played in a Storm uniform, where we grew used to seeing him rack up the PIM's. He has yet to be sent to the penalty box in his short professional career. Pedan is a -4. Andrey, like Tanner will likely not wear the Storm jersey again as he will be 20 in July.
Garret Sparks had a monster year for the Storm this past season setting career highs in virtually every goaltending statistic, all while lowering his goals against average too. He was drafted in the same draft as Andrey Pedan, but Sparks was taken by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 7th round. Sparks has only started in one game with the Toronto Marlies since being called up but he made good use of it. He turned aside 21 of the 23 shots that he faced. Sparks finished the game with a save percentage of .920 which helped him collect his first career win at the professional level. Garret Sparks could return as an overage goalie for Guelph but it all depends on what happens with the Marlies. It does not make sense to keep Sparks in the AHL if he has to compete for playing time with Jussi Rynnas, Mark Owuya, and Drew MacIntyre. MacIntyre's contract expires at the end of the year, as does Owuya's and Rynnas. That leaves Sparks as the only signed goalie for the Marlies. If I had to play the guessing game, I would say that it is likely that the Leafs would like to see Sparks as the Marlies backup so that MacIntyre can carry the brunt of the load and still be a mentor for Sparks as his game continues to grow. Only time will tell though.
Assuming all of the 93's listed above (everyone but McGinn) stay in the AHL, the Storm will still have a tough choice to make regarding their overager's. They currently still have 4 93's on their roster. 3 forwards, Patrick Watling, Ryan Horvat and Zack Mitchell. They also have 1 defenceman who is a 93. That being Daniel Poliziani. It'll be interesting to see which one of these 4 gets shipped out, likely for a pick or picks. I don't think Mitchell is going anywhere but for the right price any player is available.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.
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