Anyone who watched Shane Prince on some of the high-powered 67's teams of past years knew he was skilled. Although some were always going to question just who was driving whose point totals. Now I can't say I was ever a 67's season ticket holder, but I did catch a few games when Prince was on the team, and personally I was always impressed – partcularly by how hard on the puck he could be, despite being a small guy…oh and he can shoot it.
Coming off seasons of 88 and 90 points may have unfairily raised expectations for his rookie AHL campaign. With a lockout in full effect Binghamton was loaded for bear when training camp opened last September. Between veterans and players who would have been at Ottawa's camp, the opportunity for minutes was going to be extremely competitive. And while Prince is a well regarded and promising prospect in Ottawa's system your Silfverberg's and Zibanejad's can trump that.
Naturally it took him some time to find his way at the professional level. But with half the Bingo roster in Ottawa (more or less *sigh*), Prince is getting more minutes, and he seems to be making the most of it:
While 0.5 pts/gm may not seem like much – keep in mind that Binghamton doesn't score that much, they're not a Syracuse who have 6 players over .75 pts/gm. Until last weekend Silfverberg was still the leader scorer. Next to Grant's 17 goals, Prince's 15 is the most on the team, and he sits 6th on the team in points despite missing October's slate of games to injury.
His last 10 games in particular have been excellent, 5 goals, 4 assists, 3.5 shots per game.
Moreso than the points, the boost in his shot rate is what catches my eye. If you look at some fellow 20-year-old prospects who were called up from the AHL this year and stuck, a pretty consistent marker is that they were producing around 3.0+ shots/gm in the American League; Zucker, Gallagher and Saad were all at this level. Granlund was only putting up 1.90 in the AHL, and was reassigned to Houston on Tuesday.
If Prince can continue on this upwards track and perhaps finish the year approaching 2.5 shots/gm, that would be a very positive signal going into next year.