When it comes to the Rochester Americans during the lockout, hockey fans in Western New York have had their eyes on the big names - Foligno, McNabb, Hodgson. But it's probably time to add TJ Brennan and Brian Flynn to that list.
"We've got a lot better depth here right now, and that really helps all the players on our team, especially the young prospects," said head coach Ron Rolston.
Brennan is an emerging offensive defenseman. He had 16 goals in 50 games for the Amerks last year, and has seven so far this year. The franchise record is 18.
The leagues are getting so good, and everyone is offensive now a days, so you really have to do little details to separate yourself from everyone, and there's just a lot of responsibility involved," said Brennan.
Flynn is an intriguing prospect at center. He was undrafted, but was highly sought after following a 48-point senior season in 40 games at Maine. The 24-year-old has 11 points in 14 games for the Amerks and is on a seven-game point streak.
"To be honest, when I was draft eligible there I had no business getting drafted. I was too small, wasn't good enough at the time. But, to go play four years at a great school with some good coaching and some hard work, I've been able to get better every year," Flynn said.
Of course, Flynn is among a number of players the Amerks are grooming at the center position - the most notable being Cody Hodgson.
As for Hodgson, he's back on the ice with his teammates but unable to grip a stick with that hand injury. He told us that he's recovering, and it gives him a chance to work on his power skating.
As for the Americans, they're back on home ice Friday night against the Albany Devils.