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Toronto Marlies add Solar Bears forward Hunter Fejes on a PTO

The scoring forward is very good in the ECHL. Does he have it in the AHL?

Christian Bonin|TSGphoto.gom

The Toronto Marlies are giving a temporary promotion to one of the best Orlando Solar Bears forwards for a tour of the AHL.

Fejes is 23 and is listed at 6’1” and 190 lbs, and is a left-shooting left wing. He was drafted in 2012 by the Coyotes, and he has an interesting history. From Alaska originally, he attended the famous Shattuck St. Mary’s prep school and then moved on to Colorado College after he was drafted. He scored a lot in high school, but it dried up in college.

Still, the Coyotes gave him a shot with 10 scoreless games on their AHL affiliate in Springfield after he did his four years in the NCAA. They next year, last season, their AHL affiliate was in Tucson and he played in 19 games there before he was sent down to the ECHL where the points started to pile up like the good old days.

This season, he started out in Wheeling in the ECHL on a free agent signing, where he had 16 goals and 11 assists in 32 games. He was traded to Orlando on January 2 and notched a hat trick with his second game on the Solar Bears. Since then he has 11 goals and 17 assists in 33 games. He’s really obviously solved the ECHL level of hockey. But can he move up?

The Tucson Roadrunners last year were a not very good new franchise, and that’s a very different story to the Toronto Marlies. This is a very good opportunity for Fejes, and is what the Marlies and Kyle Dubas have been saying the ECHL is for. Many of the AHL-contracted players on the Solar Bears have made trips north, and several of them have seen game action, but this is the first ECHL-contracted forward to make the trip. The Marlies took a look at defenders Sam Jardine and Nolan Valleau this season. They offered Jardine an AHL contract just after training camp, while Valleau has been loaned to both the Chicago Wolves and the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL, but is now back in Orlando.

At .85 points per game played, Fejes ranks 117th in the ECHL, with a lot of one- and two-game wonders ahead of him, but in total points, he’s 20th on a team that isn’t exactly the best in the league. They aren’t the worst either, so he has good players to play with. He’s scoring at a better rate than Martins Dzierkals, so it’s a good idea to see what he’s got.

Don Money, who covers the Solar Bears at Pro Hockey News, had this to say about Fejes:

Hunter Fejes has turned into one of the best acquisitions Orlando head coach and general manager Drake Berehowsky has made all season. He arrived with a reputation as a goal scorer and point producer, having led Wheeling with 16 goals and 27 points in 32 games prior to heading to the Solar Bears. Since joining the Solar Bears, his natural talents - speed, quick hands, grit and attention to detail - have made him a fan favorite. Many of his 11 goals and 28 points have come at key times (two of his goals are game winners) and his +8 rating is second best on the roster, making him valuable in every situation possible.

The Marlies have clinched a playoff spot and are leading the AHL by points percentage. They also have a packed schedule with 12 more games to play by April 15. They may not be done adding players on tryouts.