Stefan Noesen Leads Chicago Wolves to AHL’s Best Record

The American Hockey League is not only the NHL’s top development league, but it also has one of the highest competitive leagues in the world. The franchises strive to find the perfect balance between preparing the players for their next steps and winning the Calder Cup. The Chicago Wolves have always been at the top of the standings.

The Wolves have been able to successfully balance the needs of both young and old players throughout their history. AHL teams need veterans who can not only play on the ice but also manage the locker room. Stefan Noesen falls into this category as he is an integral part one of the top lines in the league and a role model for many young players starting their professional career.

Chicago: The Long Road to Chicago

Noesen was born in Plano (Texas) and began hockey in the suburbs around Dallas. He was a friend of several of his teammates. Blake Coleman. He was a star with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He was selected 21 after scoring 34 goals and 77 point during the 2010-11 season.stOverall by Ottawa Senators with their first-round draft pick from the Nashville Predators to Mike Fisher.

Noesen was selected in the first round of 2011’s NHL Draft. (Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

Although he signed his entry level contract with the Senators Dec. 29, 2011, he never played for them. Noesen was traded with forward Jakob Silfverberg to the Anaheim Ducks. Noesen also received a first round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut on April 3, 2015. His first career goal was scored on Dec. 7, 2016, during his third game.

The New Jersey Devils claimed Noesen off waivers midway through 2016-17 season. His best NHL season came the next season when he scored 13 goals and 27 point in 72 games. He dressed in four playoff games and scored one goal during the Devils’ first-round defeat of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

After failing to make the Dallas Stars roster out of training camp in 2019, he signed an AHL deal with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He was able to play well enough to secure an NHL contract for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He also scored in six games before the San Jose Sharks claimed him off their waivers.

Stefan Noesen San Jose Sharks
Noesen was part of two seasons with the Sharks. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers

Noesen scored six goals and had eight points in 39 games with the Sharks. He was also part of the trade that sent Nick Foligno and Noesen to the Toronto Maple Leafs, April 11, 2021. He was a regular-season player for the Maple Leafs. He signed a 2-way contract With the Carolina HurricanesHe was a part of the Wolves lineup in August. He was able to play in two NHL games in December while the Hurricanes dealt COVID issues. However, he has been an important part of the Wolves lineup throughout the majority of the season.

A Big Cog in the Wolves’ Wheel

The Wolves are the best! The AHL has the best recordAt 23-5-1-1 heading into Saturday. You don’t get a .800 points percentage without a complete team effort, but the Wolves have benefitted from a dynamic top line. Noesen was a member of a line that included center Andre Poturalski, left winger C.J. Smith, for much of the season. Smith. Together, they have scored 41 goals and 104 point this season. Ryan Warsofsky was promoted to head coach. Sam Miletic has scored five goals and one assist in the three previous games.

“Our team is rolling,” Noesen said after a recent victory. “Our line is probably one of the best in the league. Our line had nearly 100 points, which was quite impressive going into the Christmas break. We’ve started up again right where we’ve left off.”

Stefan Noesen Chicago Wolves
Noesen is an important reason why the Wolves are at the top of the AHL Central. (Jenae AndersonThe Hockey Writers

Noesen & Poturalski have been a dynamic duo in Chicago. Poturalski and Michael Mersch, of the Rochester Americans, are tied for 16 league goals. Noesen has been involved in eight of those goals. On the flipside, Poturalski has assisted on nine of Noesen’s 15 goals.  

“He works his ass off,” Poturalski said of his linemate. “He’s always the first one in there on pucks. His willingness to do the dirty work makes my life so much easier. To have a guy like that on my line and just to know he’s going to give 100% every night is great. Playing with him is a lot of fun.”

Related – Wolves’ Poturalski, A Perfect Choice for Captain

The 28-year-old winger impressed while he was in Carolina this preseason, but had to start the new season in Chicago. The veteran has made the best of his situation.

“I thought I had a really good camp and had a chance to make the team,’ said Noesen. “You never want to get that call saying you’re going down, but it was all positive. They told them to come down, have fun, and enjoy being here. Be a leader and get these guys going the right way.”

Warsofsky is grateful for the contributions of Noesen to his young squad.

“Whether it’s his play with the puck or without it, his body language, his energy on the bench, our younger guys watch him,” he said. “He needs to be aware of that.”

Stefan Noesen Chicago Wolves
Noesen sets a tone for the Wolves. (Jenae Anderson/ The Hockey Writers

Noesen has received that message and has accepted his responsibility to do the hard work on the Ice and set an example.

“There’s no blunt way to put it; my game is very meat and potatoes,” admitted Noesen. “Our line, as a whole, we feed well off each other. I’m able to go out and make room for the skilled men. The guys love to see me leading others. That’s what I pride myself on.”

The Wolves boast one of the most respected teams in AHL. Chicago will be very difficult to beat in the Calder Cup Playoffs, this spring, with Noesen as a veteran.