by Ryan Loberger | AHL On The Beat
When Martin Kaut walked throughout the stage at American Airways Heart because the sixteenth decide within the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, there was little doubt the right-winger had the potential to play within the Nationwide Hockey League.
As an adolescent leaving the Czech Republic for the primary time, Kaut confirmed rapid promise as a high prospect in his first season within the American Hockey League. The youngest participant on the 2018-19 Colorado Eagles’ roster at 19 years outdated, Kaut completed seventh on the crew in scoring with a 26-point season (12 objectives, 14 assists) in 63 video games performed.
Kaut’s offensive manufacturing continued to enhance the next season as his factors per recreation elevated to above 0.50, recording 18 factors (5 objectives, 13 assists) in 34 AHL video games throughout a shortened season. Kaut skated in his firs NHL recreation on Feb. 19, 2020, and scored his first NHL purpose per week later in a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
That first NHL purpose helped spur a scorching streak to complete off the yr. Earlier than the AHL’s season was lower brief because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kaut discovered consistency in his recreation, scoring 14 factors in 17 video games to complete out the common season.
Now in his third AHL season, Kaut didn’t see a lot motion at first of the yr, being a part of the Avalanche’s taxi squad, then missed time because of an damage. Returning to the Eagles on March 3 and regardless of the obstacles, Kaut presently sits third in crew scoring with 12 factors in 11 video games performed.
The NHL is the last word purpose for each participant, and Kaut’s improvement beneath head coach Greg Cronin and the belief he’s constructed with the remainder of the Eagles’ workers has put him in a spot to make the leap sooner or later.
Kaut’s prowess on the facility play has additionally shined by means of this season. Over his first two seasons, Kaut recorded three objectives on the facility play in a span of 97 video games. He matched that whole in simply eight video games this yr.
Not solely has Kaut produced at a excessive offensively, averaging over a degree a recreation for the primary time since coming to Loveland, however he has continued to develop as a 200-foot participant, exhibiting accountability on each ends of the ice. Kaut has grown into his 6-foot-2 body and is now not a growing prospect enjoying alongside males. Now 20 kilos heavier than his rookie yr, Kaut’s recreation has develop into well-rounded and his confidence on the ice has grown.
The expertise gained over the previous years growing within the AHL has helped Kaut into the top-six ahead the Eagles want proper now as gamers cycle backwards and forwards between Loveland and the Avalanche in Denver. At this level, it appears the query shouldn’t be if however when Kaut will develop into a mainstay on the subsequent stage.