In case you haven't heard, the Charlotte Checkers have one the best offenses in the American Hockey League. Even after being shutout by the Texas Stars last night, they still have scored more goals than any other team in the league and have been held to three or fewer goals in only five games this season. They are also the only team in the AHL to currently have at least five players with five or more goals, so the scoring has been relatively spread out amongst the forward corps. The NHL and the Hurricanes might be MIA for the time being, but the Checkers are at least doing their job of keeping hockey interesting in the Carolinas.
The start the Checkers are off to has gotten a lot of fans excited about some of the Canes younger prospects, namely Zach Boychuk who has been a point-per-game player for most of the year, but Charlotte isn't the only team in the league with a high-powered offense. The NHL's absence has led to there being a massive talent increase across the entire AHL and many teams are enjoying hot starts thanks to that. Among those teams are the Abbotsford Heat, Springfield Falcons, Oklahoma City Barons, Grand Rapids Griffins and many more.
I've gone over my concerns about the success of the Checkers offense not being sustainable in the long-run because of inflated shooting percentages, but what's to say that they are the only team going through this? For all we know, there are just as many players on Abbotsford, Oklahoma City and Springfield with high shooting percentages that can't be expected to stay where they currently are. Seeing how the Checkers compare to them in that aspect should give us a good idea of how good this team really is.
In addition to that, it would also be nice to know how the Checkers compare to the rest of the AHL in terms of how much of their production is coming from players who have a chance to make the NHL relatively soon. There might be a lot of NHL talent in the AHL right now but there are still quite a number of players who will likely spend the majority of their careers in the minors and gaudy numbers from those players ultimately do not mean much for an organization's prospect pool and future. Seeing how the Checkers rank in this department will give us a better idea of how much their success means to the Hurricanes organization.
After the jump, we will take a look at where the Checkers stand in both areas.no comments