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2016 NHL Draft: Big Finns Puljujarvi, Laine amongst top 2016 European prospects

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2016 NHL Draft: Big Finns Puljujarvi, Laine amongst top 2016 European prospects

Photo: Karpat forward Jesse Puljujarvi (L) and Omsk forward Dmitri Sokolov (R) are among the top forwards out of Europe for the 2016 NHL Draft (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images and Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

The 2015 NHL Draft has come and gone. While most NHL teams and their fans are still pondering the possibilities of their new assets heading into the future, the next draft class from Europe is preparing itself for a big 2015-16 season, which at the moment has a number of extremely fascinating talents that scouts are very excited to see starting next month at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Bratislava, Slovakia and Breclav, Czech Republic. While some of these players may eventually wind up in North America as soon as this winter, fans may just see U.S. wunderkind Auston Matthews in a pro European jersey this winter, as well. Read more »

2015 NHL Draft: Carolina Hurricanes draft review

by Cory Lavalette
on
2015 NHL Draft: Carolina Hurricanes draft review

Photo: The Carolina Hurricanes hope that Hanifin, their 5th overall draft choice in 2015, will be able to jump directly into the pros. (Courtesy of Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

From the Carolina Hurricanes’ perspective, things could not have gone much better for them in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft. While the top two picks were signed, sealed and delivered when Edmonton won the NHL Draft Lottery, how the rest of the top 10 would shake out was very much a mystery. Read more »

Penguins’ Murray anxiously awaits next challenge

by Ian Altenbaugh
on
Penguins’ Murray anxiously awaits next challenge

Photo: Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins goaltender and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Matt Murray led the AHL in three categories in his rookie season (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

Expectations were tempered for Pittsburgh Penguins goaltending prospect Matt Murray. Heading into the 2014-15 season, his first year as a pro, Murray was expected to compete with veteran Jeff Zatkoff for starts in the AHL. Instead, the first-year goalie finished the 2014-15 season as AHL Goaltender of the Year, AHL Rookie of the Year, and led the league in goals-against average, shutouts, and save percentage. Read more »

2015 NHL Draft: New York Islanders draft review

by Christian Litscher
on
2015 NHL Draft: New York Islanders draft review

Photo: Islanders 16th overall pick Mathew Barzal had 57 points (12 goals, 45 assists) in 44 games for the Seattle Thunderbirds in 2014-15. (Courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

After five top-five selections in the previous six NHL Drafts, the New York Islanders made strides this season to avoid another draft lottery situation. Read more »

2015 NHL Draft: Vancouver Canucks draft review

by Peter Prohaska
on
2015 NHL Draft: Vancouver Canucks draft review

Photo: Minnesota native Brock Boeser was one of the most dangerous scorers in the 2015 draft class (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Vancouver Canucks prospects pool might be the least of the franchise’s worries at this moment in time. Ranked right in the middle of the league prior to the 2015 NHL Draft, the group boasts some areas of strength but fails to inspire much confidence on the whole. There is some quality (especially at center) and some quantity (especially on defense) and the Canucks added more of both to the prospect pool. Read more »

2015 NHL Draft Review: White, Roslovic top NTDP draft selections

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2015 NHL Draft Review: White, Roslovic top NTDP draft selections

Photo: Ottawa Senators first round pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, forward Colin White, will move on from the U.S. NTDP program to play for Boston College starting in the Fall (courtesy of Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Despite yet another gold medal at the U18 World Championship, this time around in Zug, Switzerland, the U.S. NTDP saw relatively few players taken at the 2015 NHL Draft. To a degree that can be accredited to having a number of key players on the team who will first be eligible for the 2016 draft, including no less than captain Luke Kunin, top scorer Auston Matthews, Matt Tkachuk, Clayton Keller, Chad Krys, and Jamie McAvoy. As many as three of these players are looking like surefire first round picks for next summer’s draft. Read more »

Zacha impresses Devils staff at development camp

by John Iadevaia
on
Zacha impresses Devils staff at development camp

Photo: The New Jersey Devils top pick from the 2015 NHL Draft, center Pavel Zacha of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting, took part in the Devils’ development camp this past week (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

It seemed like the moment the entire crowd at the AmeriHealth Pavilion were anticipating at Saturday’s Red-White scrimmage. Pavel Zacha, the New Jersey Devils‘ 2015 first round pick, retrieved a loose puck at center ice and appeared to have a clear breakaway on goal. Suddenly the whistle blew to signal an offside on one of Zacha’s teammates who was still in the offensive zone. While the fans serenaded the referee with a chorus of boos, Zacha bent over disappointed with a smirk on his face. Read more »

2015 NHL Draft: Washington Capitals draft review

by Ryan Womeldorf
on
2015 NHL Draft: Washington Capitals draft review

Photo: Russian-born Ilya Samsonov was the top-ranked goaltender in the 2015 NHL Draft. (Courtesy of Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Another year, another successful regular season for the Washington Capitals. Led once again by superstar winger Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals were a little less flashy than in past years, but no less difficult to play against. They nearly got over the hump in the post season, but wound up relinquishing a 3-1 series lead to the New York Rangers. Read more »

2015 NHL Draft Review: Czech Republic goaltenders in demand at this year’s draft

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2015 NHL Draft Review: Czech Republic goaltenders in demand at this year’s draft

Photo: Kladno goaltender and Boston Bruins prospect Daniel Vladar was one of four goalies chosen out of the Czech Republic in the 2015 NHL Draft (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Despite a year that didn’t see the Czech Republic get much done internationally at the junior level, the 2015 NHL Draft saw a total of 11 Czech players taken by NHL teams, albeit the top three of Pavel Zacha (6th overall), Jakub Zboril (13th), and Filip Chlapik (48th) having spent this past season strutting their stuff in North America. Read more »

2015 NHL Draft: Chicago Blackhawks draft review

by Anthony Lyen
on
2015 NHL Draft: Chicago Blackhawks draft review

Photo: Chicago Blackhawks prospect Graham Knott, the team’s first selection of the 2015 NHL Draft, brings defensive ability in a power winger’s frame (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

As General Manager Stan Bowman, Senior Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelley and the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks brass headed to the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Florida, it was no secret that Blackhawks upper management were about to have not only a busy draft, but a busy summer as well. Read more »

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