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Kulich Named To American Hockey League’s Top Prospects Team For Second Straight Year


Forward made NHL debut with Sabres, led the Amerks in goals for second consecutive year and captained Czechia to a bronze medal at 2024 World Junior Championship last season

(Rochester, NY) – The American Hockey League announced today that Rochester Americans forward Jiri Kulich has been named to the AHL Top Prospects Team for the 2023-24 season.

Determined by the league’s hockey operations department in conjunction with AHL general managers as the AHL Top Prospects Team recognizes three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender projected to be the best future NHL players.

To qualify for the AHL Top Prospects Team, skaters must have been 22 years old or younger on the first day of the regular season and must have played at least 36 regular-season games in the AHL and no more than 30 regular-season games in the National Hockey League during 2023-24. Goaltenders must have been 23 or younger on opening night and have played at least 25 AHL games and no more than 20 NHL games during the regular season.

After being named to the inaugural Top Prospects Team last year, Kulich followed up with another standout season in 2023-24. Kulich, who turned 20 in April, scored a career-high 27 goals – including seven power-play goals, a shorthanded tally, five game-winners and two hat tricks – and finished third on the team with 45 points in 57 games while leading the Amerks back to the postseason for the second straight year.

Kulich, who represented Rochester at the 2024 AHL All-Star Classic, was the first Amerk to score 20 or more goals in back-to-back seasons since Cole Schneider and Justin Bailey both did so in 2015-16 and 2016-17 and also became the first Rochester player to lead the team in goals in consecutive seasons since AHL Hall of Famer Jody Gage in 1991-92 and 1992-93.

He also made his NHL debut for Buffalo on Nov. 25 at New Jersey and went on to captain Czechia to a bronze medal at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship. Kulkich finished tied for the tournament lead with 12 points (6+6) in seven games, including a pair of four-point outings and two game-winning goals to earn a selection to the tournament All-Star Team.

The native of Kadan, Czechia, was a first-round pick (28th overall) by the Sabres in the 2022 NHL Draft.

2023-24 AHL Top Prospects Team

Goaltender Yaroslav Askarov, Milwaukee Admirals

Defenseman Brandt Clarke, Ontario Reign 

Defenseman Simon Edvinsson, Grand Rapids Griffins

Forward Jiri Kulich, Rochester Americans

Forward Logan Stankoven, Texas Stars

Forward Shane Wright, Coachella Valley Firebirds

(Photos Provided by Rochester Americans Hockey Team)