by PuckStopsHere on 11/27/11 at 03:59 PM ET
A couple weeks ago I noted that TJ Hensick of the Peoria Rivermen (St Louis affiliate) was the top scorer in the AHL. He has been passed last night by Keith Aucoin of the Hershey Bears (Washington affiliate). Aucoin got four assists last night in their 5-4 loss against Lake Erie (Colorado affiliate).
Aucoin has 28 points, with a remarkably low four goals to go with 24 assists. Hensick is one point back at 27. Aucoin’s teammate Chris Bourque is the third serious player in the scoring race with 26 points. Nobody else has more than 23.
Aucoin is a veteran AHLer. He has been in the league since 2002. He has played 75 NHL games in that time. At age 33, he is no longer seen as a prospect to have a serious NHL career, but he is depth in event of injuries.
Hensick is more of an NHL prospect. He is 25 and has been in the AHL since 2007. He has 112 career NHL games.
Chris Bourque is the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque. He has returned to North America after spending last year in Europe (he played in the KHL and in Switzerland). His first AHL game was played in 2005. He is a 25 year old with 33 career NHL games.
All of the AHL top scorers are older than typical NHL prospects. Aucoin is into his thirties, so he is not seen as a player who has a future ahead of him, but he is good enough to lead the AHL in scoring. Hensick and Bourque are younger. Both are 25. It is possible that they could be given an NHL shot. All three have significant talent. All three are significantly smaller than the average NHL player. I think their lack of size is the main reason they are not established NHL players.
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