“When you go from the amateurs to the pro level, that’s a pretty big jump. When you go from the AHL to the NHL, that’s another big jump. The speed of play, the skill of play. It’s amazing what Step and Mac (McDonagh) did.”Christensen scored 108 points in his third season in the WHL. He had 62 final season, 27 in his first season in the AHL and then 46 in 48 games in his second.
Some guys handle it better than others. I think that for a guy like Ryan Bourque, jumping straight to the NHL may be too much for him and he should cut his teeth playing against bigger and more mature players in the AHL first. Carl Hagelin has better size and excellent skating and could definitely be a factor in the bottom six. It's all about consistency though. Derek Stepan had his ups and downs last season after coming straight to the NHL. Matt Gilroy probably would have benefited from starting in the AHL like Ryan McDonagh did.