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2017 NHL Draft: Q&A with Team Finland forward Kristian Vesalainen

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2017 NHL Draft: Q&A with Team Finland forward Kristian Vesalainen

Photo: Frolunda Indians forward and 2017 prospect Kristian Vesalainen scored 10 goals and 15 points in 18 games HIFK’s U18 squad in the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

For the 1999-born Kristian Vesalainen, the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament was an opportunity to show the international scouting community just how far he has come in his development. Already measuring in at a huge 6’3” and 203 pounds as a 16 year old, Vesalainen took a regular shift on the strong Finnish side’s second line. Read more »

2017 NHL Draft: Q&A with Team Switzerland forward Nico Hischier

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2017 NHL Draft: Q&A with Team Switzerland forward Nico Hischier

Photo: Bern forward and 2017 prospect Nico Hischier produced 28 goals and 61 points in 22 games for Bern’s U17 squad in the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt)

As an underager who will first be talked about once the 2017 NHL Draft rolls around, young Nico Hischier was recently Switzerland’s most outstanding player at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Pivoting the first line, the 5’11”, 163-pound forward often wowed the crowd with some spectacular goals and strong overall play in a very creative capacity. Having finished the tournament with three goals and six points for the seventh place Swiss entry, Hischier clearly displayed that he will be the most closely watched Swiss prospect over the next two winters. Read more »

2016 NHL Draft: Q&A with Team Slovakia goaltender Jan Koziak

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2016 NHL Draft: Q&A with Team Slovakia goaltender Jan Koziak

Photo: HC Slovan Bratislava goaltender and 2016 prospect Jan Koziak appeared in 34 games for Bratislava’s U18 squad in 2014-15, posting a 2.26 goals-against average and .936 save percentage (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt)

After several Slovak goalies were taken in the most recent NHL Draft, it’s clear that Slovak goaltenders are rightfully getting a good amount of attention from the scouting community. Jan Koziak is widely considered one of the top Slovak goalies heading into next summer’s draft. He played the 2014-15 season with HC Slovan Bratislava’s U18 and U20 teams. Read more »

2016 NHL Draft: Q&A with Team Finland defenseman Tarmo Reunanen

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2016 NHL Draft: Q&A with Team Finland defenseman Tarmo Reunanen

Photo: TPS Turku defenseman and 2016 prospect Tarmo Reunanen produced eight goals and 30 points in 42 games for the U20 team in 2014-15 (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

Defenseman Tarmo Reunanen was a lynchpin as a top four defenseman for a surprisingly good Finnish club at this year’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Never shying away from opposition shots or physical play, Reunanen consistently battled in the corners, came away with pucks, and headily moved them up to his forward teammates. He finished the tournament with one assist along with six penalty minutes in five games. Read more »

Defensive depth evident in Colorado Avalanche Fall Top 20

by Chau Vo
on
Defensive depth evident in Colorado Avalanche Fall Top 20

Photo: Top Colorado Avalanche prospect Mikko Rantanen has over 100 professional games on his resume already (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Defense wins championships and that is what Patrick Roy returned to Denver to accomplish. Despite his team taking a step back in his sophomore season behind an NHL bench, Roy is confident the lessons learned will only help the team going forward. In addition to his role as head coach, Roy holds a second title as Vice President of Hockey Operations, giving him a voice in all player personnel decisions. The new philosophy as to how the team will be constructed both now and in the future is trending towards an emphasis on size, character, and skills. Roy has also shown he is open to drafting and signing free agents from Europe’s top leagues, something that occurred less frequently in the years prior to his return.

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2015-16 Liiga Preview, Pt. 1: Karpat shooting for threepeat as Finland’s top club

by Tony Piscotta
on
2015-16 Liiga Preview, Pt. 1: Karpat shooting for threepeat as Finland’s top club

Photo: Karpat Oulu forward and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Sebastian Aho and his Karpat teammates will be going for their third consecutive Kanada Cup championship (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

With the addition of former Mestis club KooKoo, Finland’s Liiga in 2015-16 will feature 15 teams for the first time in league history. But, while the Kouvola-based squad should enjoy an intense rivalry with neighboring SaiPa Lappeenranta in southeastern Finland, things aren’t likely to change at the top of the league standings. Read more »

2015 draftees set to supplant NHL-ready Boston Bruins prospects

by Jack Choros
on
2015 draftees set to supplant NHL-ready Boston Bruins prospects

Photo: Malcolm Subban had another good year in Providence in 2014-15, finishing with a .921 save percentage and 2.44 goals-against average. (Courtesy of Corey Silvia/Icon Sportswire)

The Boston Bruins will have no shortage of talented young prospects this fall. The team had three consecutive first-round picks in the 2015 Entry Draft, including Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk and Zachary Senyshyn—all of whom rank among the top 20 prospects. Read more »

Dallas Stars Top 20 prospects provide NHL options

by Mike Farkas
on
Dallas Stars Top 20 prospects provide NHL options

Photo: Dallas Stars top prospect Julius Honka had the rare experience of playing in the AHL as a teenager (courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)

Movement abounds in the newest Dallas Stars Top 20 list. The acquisitions of Mattias Backman, Mattias Janmark and, most recently, Stephen Johns all make their respective impacts while two 2015 draft picks make the list as well. Meanwhile, three defensemen graduate the prospects list for regular NHL duty: John Klingberg, Jamie Oleksiak and Jyrki Jokipakka. The Stars also bid adieu to Ludwig Karlsson and 2009 top ten pick Scott Glennie, neither of whom received a qualifying offer.

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Ottawa Senators prospects list flush with surprising additions and improvement

by Kristopher Bras
on
Ottawa Senators prospects list flush with surprising additions and improvement

Photo: The latest speedster defenceman in Ottawa’s system, Thomas Chabot scored 41 points in 66 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs in 2014-15. (Courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Thanks to multiple graduations, rich development and a bountiful turn at the draft table, the Ottawa Senators top 20 list features a number of fresh faces. And the organization’s future is suddenly ripe with potential, despite seeming hopeless and bleak just six months ago. Read more »

Vancouver Canucks Preseason Top 20 shows new patience with prospects

by HF Staff
on
Vancouver Canucks Preseason Top 20 shows new patience with prospects

Photo: Vancouver’s top prospect Jake Virtanen has an abundance of physical tools but needs to refine his mental game to reach his full potential (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Drafting and developing have not been strong suits for the Vancouver Canucks over the last few years. With Jim Benning and Trevor Linden in charge there seems to be efforts being made to rectify years of poor drafting and developing of their own players, though certain moves have not come without controversy.

Read more »

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