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2015 NHL Draft: Rantanen the class of Finland’s 2015 crop at midseason

by Tony Piscotta
on
2015 NHL Draft: Rantanen the class of Finland’s 2015 crop at midseason

Photo: TPS Turku forward and 2015 prospect Mikko Rantanen was the top scorer for Finland at the 2015 World Junior Championship with four goals in five games (courtesy of Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

 

The trend of top junior talent heading to Canada has continued to skim some of the top talent from the junior level in Finland. In recent years that exodus has also seen players heading to the USHL. But with many of the top pro players heading to other leagues, some of the nation’s top draft-eligible prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft are gaining experience playing against men in the country’s top pro league, Liiga. Read more »

Injuries creating opportunities for several Columbus Blue Jackets prospects

by Richard Greco
on
Injuries creating opportunities for several Columbus Blue Jackets prospects

Photo: Columbus forward Alex Wennberg has not been overly productive in his rookie NHL season but has done enough to maintain a regular spot on the Blue Jackets roster. (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)

 

Due to an injury plagued start to the season, the Columbus Blue Jackets looked to their prospects to fill out the depth chart. While quite a few of the youngsters called up did not stick around for too long, Michael Chaput and Alexander Wennberg have both taken advantage of the opportunity and have skated in over 30 games with Columbus.

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Vancouver Canucks’ organizational depth means a strong squad in Utica

by HF Staff
on
Vancouver Canucks’ organizational depth means a strong squad in Utica

Photo: Vancouver Canucks fifth-round pick Frank Corrado is making a case for more NHL games. (Courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

 

Led by standout performances from AHL veterans Jacob Markstrom, Dustin Jeffrey, Bobby Sanguinetti, and Cal O’Reilly, the Utica Comets hit the All-Star break in third place in the Western Conference but have games in hand on all competing teams. The Comets feature a combination of experience and young talent, creating a balanced roster that looks ready to push for a Calder Cup.

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2015 NHL Draft: Svechnikov fitting in nicely in Cape Breton

by Chris Roberts
on
2015 NHL Draft: Svechnikov fitting in nicely in Cape Breton

Photo: Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward and 2015 prospect Evgeny Svechnikov competed for Team Cherry at the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

“I don’t have plans for KHL. I have plans for NHL,” a rather loose Evgeny Svechnikov exclaimed during a Sunday morning interview, prior to a clash with the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Russian, who was picked second overall in the 2013 KHL Draft by Ak Bars Kazan, is in his first season with the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. With 49 points in 38 games, he is one of the team’s leading scorers, and has been one of the more dynamic players in the league this season. Read more »

2015 NHL Draft: Competing in North America a goal for Eisbaren Berlin defender Muller

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2015 NHL Draft: Competing in North America a goal for Eisbaren Berlin defender Muller

Photo: Eisbaren Berlin defenseman and 2015 prospect Jonas Muller earlier this month competed for Germany in his first U20 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

 

Having gone a bit under the radar in recent years in German hockey has been the quiet but steady development of defenseman Jonas Muller. Born in Berlin, he’s developed almost entirely with the Eisbaren Berlin organization, a subsidiary of the same Anschutz Group that owns the Los Angeles Kings. Read more »

Several Tampa Bay Lightning prospects making names for themselves at NHL level

by Chris Roberts
on
Several Tampa Bay Lightning prospects making names for themselves at NHL level

Photo: Forward Jon Drouin has been solid in his rookie NHL season, producing 19 points in 38 games. Drouin was picked third overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

 

With expectations comes pressure; pressure to succeed and meet said expectations. So far, the young Tampa Bay Lightning squad has met and surpassed most expectations, proving last year’s playoff appearance was no fluke—far from it.

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Spitfires’ Soberg building momentum in bid to earn NHL contract

by Jason Menard
on
Spitfires’ Soberg building momentum in bid to earn NHL contract

Photo: Windsor Spitfires forward and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Markus Soberg has played in 40 games for the Spitfires this season, posting nine goals and 22 points in his first OHL season (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

 

Though a three-year sojourn in Sweden saw Norwegian-born Markus Soberg get drafted, the 19-year-old Oslo native is hoping that the path to the NHL is more direct through the Ontario Hockey League. Read more »

2015 NHL Draft: Svechnikov, Meier highlight solid crop of QMJHL prospects

by Chris Roberts
on
2015 NHL Draft: Svechnikov, Meier highlight solid crop of QMJHL prospects

Photo: Halifax Mooseheads forward and 2015 prospect Timo Meier turned in a strong performance for Team Orr at the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, notching a goal and two assists in his team’s 6-0 win (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

Defense and high-scoring Europeans make up the majority of the QMJHL’s top prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft. Four defenders sit in the top 10, as well as forwards born in three different European countries – Russia, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Read more »

Prospect Impressions: Domi does it again, other NHL prospects show their skill

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Impressions: Domi does it again, other NHL prospects show their skill

Photo: Calgary Hitmen forward and Vancouver Canucks prospect Jake Virtanen was one of a pair of Team Canada players to score highlight reel goals this past weekend (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

Team Canada teammates Max Domi and Jake Virtanen returned to their junior teams and produce highlight reel goals this week, while a current Michigan Wolverine and another future talent display their unique offensive ability in this week’s Prospect Impressions feature. Read more »

Russian duo among Lightning prospects pushing Crunch to the top of AHL standings

by Tony Androckitis
on
Russian duo among Lightning prospects pushing Crunch to the top of AHL standings

Photo: Tampa Bay Lightning forward prospect Vladislav Namestnikov has split his time this season between the Lightning and their AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch (courtesy of Jerome Davis/Icon Sportswire)

 

The Syracuse Crunch sport the third-best record in the American Hockey League (26-11-5-0, 57 points) through the first half of the 2014-15 season. Despite a 10-game winning streak last month, the Crunch find themselves in a battle with the Springfield Falcons for the top spot in the Northeast Division. Read more »

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