As the 2017-18 season kicks off the San Antonio Rampage will go through a bit of change. With the expansion of the NHL and the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights, there is a shortage of AHL teams for this next season.
With the Knight partnering with the Chicago Wolves, the St. Louis Blues have to spread 16 prospects between multiple affiliates. The Blues announced today that starting in the 2018-19 season they will start a five-year affiliation with the San Antonio Rampage.
So heading into this next season MMH will be looking at what the Rampage’s roster could possibly look like next season by position.
We start with left wing.
Left wing is currently where the Rampage is the most stacked - with seven left wings listed on the roster. Let’s break those seven down.
First is Troy Bourke.
Bourke is listed on the roster but is currently an unrestricted free agent. The most points he has posted in an AHL season is 24 in 74 games. He has yet to see any NHL time. No comment has been made about resigning Bourke, but with the depth of left wings in San Antonio already, the re-signing of Matt Nieto, the addition of both Nail Yakupov and Colin Wilson to the Colorado Avalanche, and the possibility of a LW or two coming over from the Blues it seems safe to say the forward may not return.
Shaw played only 6 games with the Rampage last season after being loaned to the team from the University of Vermont. He registered no points for those 6 games. He was signed to an Amateur Tryout Agreement with the Colorado Eagles in March. He posted 77 points in 142 games while at UVM.
Elson was signed to the Detroit Red Wings so he will probably move to the Grand Rapid Griffins who are the most recent Calder Cup Champions - though he is currently listed on the Rampages website. He was limited to only 13 games in the 2016-17 season due to injury. He posted 3 points in those 13 games.
Ranford is one of the most recent signings for the Avalanche/Rampage. He spent the past AHL season split between three teams the Rampage, the Tucson Roadrunners, and the Texas Stars. He recorded no points with the Roadrunners but notched 34 points in 57 games split between the other two teams. Ranford was a good depth addition to the AHL if he can keep up the production he found with the Rampage and the Stars.
Greer is one of the top prospects for the Avalanche when it comes to left wing so he will definitely see time to grow this season in the AHL. In his first season with the Rampage Greer tallied 38 points in 63 games. It was his first pro season after playing two seasons at Boston College. This will certainly be a growth year for the forward with the possibility of a call up if there are injuries with the Avalanche. He has played 5 games at the NHL level this past season.
Bourque was signed to a one year deal worth $750,00. He has spent the past six years bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the AHL with the Nashville Predators and their AHL affiliate the Milwaukee Admirals and the Avalanche and Rampage. Last season with the Rampage he had 33 points in 61 games. He will provide a veteran presence to the team.
After four seasons with St. Cloud State, Storm joined the Rampage for 7 games last season. He had zero points in that span. He has never had an NHL contract. The Avalanche could sign him to an ELC this upcoming season.
The Blues could possibly send a left wing or two to the Rampage but it seems they are more likely to send their top offensive prospects to the Wolves. Depending on how camp goes there is the possibility of one or two prospects coming up from the system into the AHL.