ALLEN, TX – As the Allen Americans return to practice today after a 2-0 win in their only preseason game on Saturday, it will be a different environment for sure. Coach Steve Martinson said after the game in Wichita that he would not be keeping any of the tryout players so they will most likely not be at practice this morning and have already been released. With most of the regulars back the emphasis this week will be working on line combinations, system drills, and special teams. Make no mistake there is still plenty of competition going on in training camp, not to see who makes the team but to see who gets the playing time.
– Five players returned to Allen on Friday from San Jose and Chris Crane is on his way back from Chicago where he was in camp with the Wolves. Look for more players to be sent to Allen from San Jose today or tomorrow. Two Allen players (Tanner Eberle & Harrison Ruopp) are still in San Jose on tryout contracts. In addition, several San Jose contracted players will be assigned.
– It is hard to tell the team without a scorecard so as a reminder, here are the players that are now with the Americans and will definitely be at practice this week.
– What is still undecided is what players in San Jose will return this week. The most likely would be Eberle and Ruopp who are on tryout agreements but it is not a certainty. The hard-nosed Ruopp is the most likely to stick because the need in San Jose is greater on defense especially in the short term, as one of their defensemen will start the season on suspension from last season.
– According to the website Elite Prospects, the Barracuda still have 17 forwards in camp so you can expect a minimum of two and possibly three being sent to Allen. I have no idea what players will be assigned but the list includes Nikita Jevpalovs
and Alex Schoenborn
who spent time in Allen last season. Another possibility is Matt Willows
who was the ECHL rookie of the year last season playing for the Florida Everblades. Willows was signed by San Jose as a free agent this summer. Other names I have seen in stories out of San Jose that mention players that may see time in the ECHL include Jonathan Martin
and Rourke Chartier
. No matter which players get assigned they will strengthen the Americans lineup. In addition to the forwards a contracted defenseman may also be assigned to Allen.
– Exactly who gets sent to Allen is difficult to predict because it depends on injuries, how many extra players will be kept in San Jose and who they want to develop by getting more ice time in the ECHL. The answers to these questions should become clearer as the week goes on.
DID YOU KNOW: A lot changes in two years. Here is the Allen Americans opening day roster from just two years ago, 2014-15.
Devin Di Diomete