Wilkes Barre was ousted in Round 2 of the AHL playoffs, falling four games to one to Manchester.
Here’s some buzz coming out of the playoffs on five notable prospects:
Conor Sheary – led Wilkes Barre in playoff scoring with 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in eight games. Has 11 goals and 23 points in 23 career AHL playoff games. The size issue continues to be his biggest obstacle in why the Penguins brass doesn’t look at him as a legitimate NHL prospect but he has a big supporter in Wilkes Barre head coach John Hynes who believes Sheary’s success in the AHL playoffs proves Sheary has a chance to transition to the NHL. Sheary who played on an amateur ATO this season, has put himself in position for a two-way contract and at least a look in camp.
Kasperi Kapanen – Had 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in seven playoff games. Showed great flashes in the first round with 3 goals, 1 assist but as the competition became tougher in round 2 against a very good Manchester team that competes hard, he faded away which has been a theme with him at other levels like the WJC’s. Against Manchester, Kapanen was often out-muscled for pucks and losing 1-on-1 battles, observers say.
Scott Wilson – His injury was a big loss for Wilkes Barre in round 2. Had 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) in three playoff games. Has put himself in great position to compete for a bottom-6 role next season at the NHL level. Has likely reached his ceiling from an upside standpoint but the tools are there to be a bottom-6 contributor at the next level. Scouts wonder if his body will hold up over the grind of an NHL season.
Matthew Murray – Finished the post-season with a 4-4 record, 2.37 GAA, .923 Save percentage and 1 shutout. Was dominant in round 1 with a .965 save percentage, his numbers dipped in round 2, posting a .900 save percentage and 3.26 GAA. Was pulled last night after allowing two goals on six shots but Murray still had a few positive developments in round 1, making 52 saves in a Game 1 overtime loss and with Wilkes Barre down 2-0 in the series, stopped 29 of 30 shots in a Game 3 win.
Bryan Rust – Like Wilson, he’s a player squarely on the Penguins radar to compete for a bottom-6 role next season. Excellent north-south speed, Rust had 2 goals in three playoff games as his stock in the organization rose mightily this season.