1. Scott Wilson
After a fairly productive 2014–15 professional debut hampered by injury at the midway point, left winger Scott Wilson looked to be a top player in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. So far, so good. Wilson ranks second in the AHL with 10 goals and in the top 10 with 17 points in 14 games. UMass-Lowell product notched two goals, including the eventual game winner, in a 5-3 win over the Albany Devils on Saturday to keep the Penguins atop the AHL with a 13-2-0 record.
2. Conor Sheary
Earning a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins after leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in points last season, undrafted Conor Sheary started 2015–16 a little slow, but managed to climb back to the top of the scoring leaders list for the Penguins with a pair of four-point games in early November and two assists in the 5-3 win over the Devils, including a secondary helper on the Wilson winner.
3. Jean-Sebastien Dea
Another undrafted forward, Jean-Sebastien Dea played well for Pittsburgh in the preseason and kept the momentum going after being assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Dea currently ranks fourth on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with 12 points in 15 games and opened the scoring against Albany on Saturday with a goal in the second period.
1. Nikita Pavlychev
Granted, the 2015 seventh rounder out of the USHL comes without a lot of offensive hype, the 6’7” center extended a pointless streak to eight games over the weekend and boasts only six points in 18 games on the year. Committed to Penn State University next season, Pavlychev, despite playing on the last place Des Moines Buccaneers, needs start playing with a higher degree of consistency.
2. Reid McNeill
Though not expected to contribute significantly on the offensive side, defenseman Reid McNeill ranks last on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with a -3 plus/minus rating, along with zero points, in 11 games. The minus rating looks concerning on a team with a +30 goal differential (+16 when factoring in special teams). McNeill benefits from a lack of depth on the blueline.
3. Sean Maguire
After missing the entire 2014–15 season recovering from surgery, Sean Maguire hoped to return to the Boston University lineup and backstop the Terriers to another NCAA tournament appearance. However, after two iffy outings, Maguire ultimately lost the starting job to sophomore Connor LaCouvee after giving up four goals on 10 shots in a late October game against Merrimack College. A former third rounder with impressive freshman and sophomore stats, Maguire likely still needs to shake off some rust after missing last season, but hopes to quickly return to form.
Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Penguins