Thursday, July 18, 2013

Prospect Profile: Jason Akeson

Jason Akeson 

Jason Akeson is somewhat of a curious case, as he started the season in the ECHL and ended it in the NHL. After leading the Phantoms in scoring during the 2011-2012 season, Akeson probably felt a bit blindsided when he was demoted to play for the Trenton Titans of the ECHL at the start of the next year. But newly appointed coach Terry Murray may have been sending Akeson to Trenton for good reason, to give him a wake up call.

Akeson is a very gifted offensive player, he was over a point per game in 3 seasons in the OHL and posted 108 points as an overager in Kitchener during the 2010-2011 season. He has great offensive awareness, smooth hands, and a nice shot, which make him an attractive option for the power play unit. He may be able to hang with the best offensively, but Akeson struggles with the defensive aspects of the game, and this was the likely reasoning behind his demotion at the start of the season. But it didn't take long for his return to Adirondack. Akeson played 14 games for the Titans, posting 10 points, before getting recalled. The Phantoms got off to a terrible start and had some serious issues with scoring goals, something Akeson could help with.

Akeson again impressed with his play in the AHL, leading the Phantoms in scoring with 20 goals and 33 assists in 62 games. On April 27th, he made his NHL debut in the Flyers last game of season against Ottawa. He played on a line with Claude Giroux and potted his first goal on only his second shift of the game.  Akeson showed improvement with his two-way game after a season under the defensive minded Terry Murray, but still has work to do in that department. He'll also need to continue to get stronger if he wants a chance to become an NHL regular. He'll be a key player for the Phantoms next year unless he can turn some heads in training camp.

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