UTICA COMETS

2014-15 Regular Season Record: 47-20-7-2 (103 pts) — 1st in North Division

2015 Calder Cup Playoffs Results: Won in 1st round over Chicago 3-2; Won in 2nd round over Oklahoma City 4-3; Won in 3rd round over Grand Rapids 4-2; Lost Calder Cup Final to Manchester 4-1

Key Addition: For a team that preaches defense first, Taylor Fedun will bring a solid two-way style with him. With 34 points and a plus-12 in 65 games with Worcester, Fedun will be able to make up for the loss of Bobby Sanguinetti.

Key Loss: Along with the top-scoring defenseman in Sanguinetti, Cal O’Reilly, the top-scorer for the Comets, moved onto Rochester. His 61 points was 18 points higher than the next top Comet, Brandon DeFazio— who has also left the Comets.

What to Watch For: The loss of their two top scoring forwards and Jacob Markstrom (22-7-2) going to the NHL, the Comets will have a lot of work ahead of them to get back to the Calder Cup Final. Joe Cannata will be the replacement for Markstrom, while the Comets will look at Hunter Shinkaruk to build off his 16-goal rookie campaign to assist Alexandre Grenier (17g, 26a) in the scoring department.

TORONTO MARLIES

2014-15 Regular Season Record: 40-27-9-0 (89 pts) — 2nd in North Division

2015 Calder Cup Playoffs Results: Lost in 1st round to Grand Rapids 3-2

Key Addition: After a solid season in Finland (11g, 10a in 41 games), Kasperi Kapanen will add to the highly touted forward prospects that the Marlies have. Kapanen had a goal and assist in four regular season games and three goals and five points in seven playoff games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Key Loss: Defenseman Brendan Mikkelson leaves for Sweden after a 23-point output last season for the Marlies. A solid two-way defenseman, Mikkelson was the leading scorer on the blueline before T.J. Brennan was acquired late in the season.

What to Watch For: The young talent will be on display with Kapanen and William Nylander (14g, 18a in 37 games) being the bigger names for the youth movement. Leading scorer Connor Brown will look to build off his 21-goal and 61-point rookie season. In net, Antoine Bibeau and Garret Sparks will share the duties, with Sparks trying to prove he belongs in the AHL full-time.

BINGHAMTON SENATORS

2014-15 Regular Season Record: 34-34-7-1 (76 pts) — 3rd in East Division

2015 Calder Cup Playoffs Results: Did Not Qualify

Key Addition: In the last two seasons, Eric O’Dell registered 31 goals and 71 points in 79 games with St. John’s. With Shane Prince getting a spot in Ottawa, O’Dell should be able to pick up the slack for where last year’s team leading scorer left off.

Key Loss: Derek Grant was tied for the team lead in power play goals with nine alongside Prince, but Grant was also one of three B-Sens to crack the 20-goal plateau. With an ability to play in all situations, the versatility of Grant will be the thing most missed in the Binghamton line-up.

What to Watch For: Two players with NHL experience, Mark Fraser and Colin Greening, will start the season in Binghamton, which should add to the experience of the team. Chris Driedger will start the season as the top goalie while Matt O’Connor is filling in as back-up for Andrew Hammond. Once O’Connor gets back, he and Driedger will platoon until of them becomes a clear-cut starter.

SYRACUSE CRUNCH

2014-15 Regular Season Record: 41-25-10-0 (92 pts) — 2nd in Northeast Divison

2015 Calder Cup Playoffs Results: Lost in 1st round to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3-0

Key Addition: Matt Taormina’s NHL experience will be a solid addition to the blueline for the Crunch. Not only will he bring veteran leadership to the young core of defenders, but his 11 goals and 38 points from last year will give the Crunch much more production from the point than they had a season ago.

Key Loss: His stay-at-home play and longevity in the AHL allowed Jean-Philippe Cote to be effective for the Crunch. His departure to Germany will hinder a defense that gave up the second most goals of any Calder Cup Playoff team last season.

What to Watch For: Once Andrei Vasilevskiy returns from injury, it’ll be interesting to see if he will move to Syracuse or stay with Tampa. As it stands, Kristers Gudlevskis (25-14-4) will be the top goalie in Syracuse, but Adam Wilcox will be pushing as hard as he can to get some valuable time in net. Jonathan Marchessault (24g, 43a) will return and hope to build off his 67-point outing last year, as will Yanni Gourde, who led the team with 29 goals in 2014-15.

ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS

2014-15 Regular Season Record: 34-29-12-1 (81 pts) — 3rd in North Division (as Hamilton Bulldogs)

2015 Calder Cup Playoffs Results: Did Not Qualify

Key Addition: Joel Hanley will come to St. John’s to pick up where Davis Drewiske left off last season. Despite only two goals and 17 points in Portland, Hanley will be a nice compliment to help Morgan Ellis getting his game more balanced.

Key Loss: After posting 60 points last season, T.J. Hensick has moved on from the organization. Hensick potted 19 goals and only one came on the power play. Hensick will be on his fourth team in as many seasons with this move to Charlotte.

What to Watch For: The feeling in St. John’s is that with the Canadiens coming in as an affiliate, there will be plenty of exciting players to watch grow. Adding speedy rookie Michael McCarron to center the energy line with Charles Hudon (19g, 38a) and Gabriel Dumont (20g, 25a) centering the first two lines, the IceCaps have the potential to have three scoring lines every game. The goaltending is a three-headed monster at the moment with the demotion of Dustin Tokarski joining Eddie Pasquale and Zach Fucale. No word of when or if the IceCaps will move one of the goalies to the ECHL.

ALBANY DEVILS

2014-15 Regular Season Record: 37-28-5-6 (85 pts) — 4th in Northeast Division

2015 Calder Cup Playoffs Results: Did Not Qualify

Key Addition: Always one to push another goalie, Yann Danis will try to be a goalie whisperer for Scott Wedgewood and the Devils. Only going 12-7-4, Danis was a main cog in getting Hartford to the playoffs and getting them to the Eastern Conference finals.

Key Loss: After leading the team in scoring the four seasons he was in Albany, Joe Whitney moves to the Islanders organization. Since 2011-12, Whitney netted 86 goals and 122 points in 266 games and is coming off his third straight 20-goal season.

What to Watch For: The loss of Whitney will leave a big hole in the offense, leaving Paul Thompson to fend for himself after his career-high 33-goal season. Mike Sislo will be looked at to be a huge factor as he, Whitney, and Thompson were the only 20-goal scorers on the team. The blueline will be controlled by Brandon Burlon and Raman Hrabarenka, who combined for 17 goals and 46 assists last year.

ROCHESTER AMERICANS

2014-15 Regular Season Record: 29-41-5-1 (64 pts) — 5th in North Divisions

2015 Calder Cup Playoffs Results: Did Not Qualify

Key Addition: After his third straight 20-goal campaign with the Phantoms, Jason Akeson will join the Amerks to help provide offense for a team that didn’t produce one last season. With eight power play goals, Akeson’s contribution will aide in the Amerks’ 23rd ranked power play.

Key Loss: In only 43 games, Mikhail Grigorenko posted 14 goals and 22 assists, but was a solid contribute for the Amerks. With him departing to the Colorado organization, the Amerks will miss the speed and playmaking abilities that Grigorenko had provided for them.

What to Watch For: Goaltending was an issue with the Amerks, as they used seven last season. The hope is that the Sabres can stay healthy, while Andrey Marakov and Nathan Lieuwen can stay in Rochester to provide some kind of stability. Along with Akeson, Phil Varone (15g, 29a) and Tim Schaller (15g, 28a) will give the offensive pop on the top line, but secondary scoring will be an issue. The Amerks will look to Jerry D’Amigo and Justin Bailey to provide beyond the top-three.

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