by PuckStopsHere on 04/13/13 at 10:21 PM ET
Slightly over two weeks ago when I last looked at the AHL scoring race nothing was clear. There was a three-way tie atop the race between Gustav Nyquist of the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wing affiliate), Jeff Taffe of the Hershey Bears (Washington Capital affiliate) and TJ Hensick of the Peoria Rivermen (St Louis Blue affiliate). Three more players were within two points of the threesome.
Nyquist has been removed for the scoring race since he has been in the NHL. Taffe and Hensick remain among the top scorers but another player has taken the lead. Brandon Pirri of the Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawk affiliate) has taken the lead. He has fourteen points in his seven April games to date. A big part of that was accomplished in his six point night against the Chicago Wolves (Vancouver Canuck affiliate) yesterday. This gives Pirri 70 points on the season and a five point lead over Jeff Taffe.
Pirri is a 22 year old with six career NHL games (though none yet this year). He was the Blackhawks second round draft pick in 2009. He is in his third AHL season after a one year stay in the NCAA. He has some potential as an NHL player and may get a chance as the Blackhawks expand their roster in the playoffs. He has built a lead in the scoring race with his recent hot streak. Since there are only a few games left per team, he will be hard to catch for anyone and it is only recently he became a serious candidate to win the scoring race.
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