by Mike Ries, Staff Writer, AHL Report

(Photo by Robyn Iwaskiw / Brampton Beast)

BRAMPTON, ON. — David Ling is currently in his third stint with the Brampton Beast, and is without a doubt the most experienced player to lace up the skates for the Beast. This season is the 21st professional season for Ling, which is quite an accomplishment on its own.

Ling was originally drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the seventh round (179th overall) in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. In his final season in the OHL after being drafted by the Nordiques, he was named the winner of the Red Tilson Trophy as MVP. He also was second overall in scoring with 135 points, and led the league with 61 goals.

He is a veteran of 93 NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets. As a professional, he has played in 10 different leagues and across the world including Russia, Finland, Switzerland, Italy and numerous stops across North America.

Ling has been a scorer wherever his hockey travels have taken him. This season, the veteran has not disappointed. Appearing in 23 games this season, he has 14 points (8 goals, 6 assists).

Though small in stature, 5-feet-9-inches, his penalty totals over the past two decades show another side to his game that is overlooked. He has accumulated over 200 penalty minutes (PIM) on four different occasions. Though the game has changed, Ling still has that abrasive side to his game and has 22 PIMs this season.

With his extensive experience, the coaching staff has the luxury of using him in many different situations. Most recently, he has quarterbacked the power-play and has looked comfortable doing so.

Depending on the roster on game days, he can be found pencilled in from the top line, all the way down to the tenth forward. Along with the likes of Jordan Henry and Brandon Marino, he is valuable on the bench helping the younger Beast players understanding the nuances of the game.

Although he has lost a step or two over his career, he still has great hockey sense and the ability to find the open spaces in the offensive zone. Even with his diminished speed, he still closes on opposition forwards faster than they expect.

His shot has always been NHL-caliber and remains so. His lightening-quick release from the high slot has netted him many a goal through his career and at the ECHL-level, it is almost automatic. He plays with his head on swivel and anticipates the play very well. Along with his shot, David possesses a good pair of hands and his assist totals over the years are proof of that.

Ling has played with the likes of Saku Koivu, Stephane Richer and Rick Nash through his NHL career. He has also played two seasons in Russia before the formation of the KHL (he did play two seasons in the KHL with Khabarovsk Amur) along with numerous stops across the globe.

The bulk of his career has been in the AHL with 536 games played, with 471 points, and 1357 PIMs. Having played parts of the last two seasons with the Beast, a long playoff run with Brampton would be a fitting way to close out over two decades of professional hockey. That said, don’t expect Ling to call it a career until he is ready. After all, there are more goals in those hands.

Edited by Donna Sim