UTICA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The AHL announced their inaugural Top Prospects Team for the past season, and one Utica Comet has been named to the team. The list is intended to showcase the players projected to be the best future players in the NHL.

Defenseman Simon Nemec was named to the team, along with two other fellow North Division prospects – Jiri Kulich of Rochester and David Jiricek of Cleveland. In 62 games this season for the Comets, Nemec scored 34 points on 12 goals and 22 assists. He led all Utica defensemen in goals and was only behind leading defensive point-getter Reilly Walsh in both assists and points scored.

In the playoffs, Nemec was just behind Walsh in points scored by defensemen (4) and was second in assists with three, playing in all six games for the Comets.  

The second overall pick by the New Jersey Devils in 2022, Nemec set an AHL record for goals by a teenage defenseman with 12. This year, he also participated in the IIHF World Championships for Team Slovakia. Last year, the 20-year-old also helped Slovakia earn its first-ever Olympic ice hockey medal – a bronze – after they upset the United States 3-2 in the quarterfinal match.

To qualify for the 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 games in the AHL and no more than 30 in the NHL. Three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender will be named each season to the team.

The full list of members of the inaugural Top Prospects Team is below:

Goaltender: Jesper Wallstedt, Iowa Wild

Defensemen: David Jiricek, Cleveland Monsters; Simon Nemec, Utica Comets

Forwards: Tyson Foerster, Lehigh Valley Phantoms; Jiri Kulich, Rochester Americans; Lukas Reichel, Rockford IceHogs