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Colts’ Blackwood the best of slim OHL group of NHL goaltending properties in 2015-16

by Jason Menard
on
Colts’ Blackwood the best of slim OHL group of NHL goaltending properties in 2015-16

Photo: Barrie Colts goaltender and New Jersey Devils prospect Mackenzie Blackwood ranked sixth in the OHL in goals-against average and tied for first in save percentage in 2015-16 (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

The NHL-drafted goaltending ranks are fairly slim in the Ontario Hockey League, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality – at least with the top three netminders. While there is some talent at the lower end, the goaltending prospects are certainly more promising at the top of the list. Read more »

Heinen gets brief taste of pro game in Providence after successful NCAA campaign

by Tony Androckitis
on
Heinen gets brief taste of pro game in Providence after successful NCAA campaign

Photo: Providence Bruins forward and Boston Bruins prospect Danton Heinen competed at the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four with the University of Denver, with the Pioneers dropping their semi-final game to eventual champion North Dakota (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

While it was only a short stay in the AHL for Boston Bruins forward prospect Danton Heinen, the first taste of pro hockey for the University of Denver standout could prove invaluable in his continued development. Read more »

Mikko Rantanen did not disappoint as the Colorado Avalanche’s top prospect this season

by Chau Vo
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Mikko Rantanen did not disappoint as the Colorado Avalanche’s top prospect this season

Photo: 2014 7th-rounder Julien Nantel is part of a trio of Colorado Avalanche prospects seeking a QMJHL title with Rouyn-Noranda, starting tonight (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The Colorado Avalanche missed the playoffs for the second season in a row in Patrick Roy’s third season behind the bench. Just like last year, it was their slow start that hurt them down the stretch as they missed the final wild card spot by a mere few points. There are obvious weaknesses in their NHL lineup but they have several prospects who could play integral roles in the 2016-17 season.

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Johnson one of a trio of NHL-drafted Frolunda forwards to star in 2015-16

by Chapin Landvogt
on
Johnson one of a trio of NHL-drafted Frolunda forwards to star in 2015-16

Photo: Frolunda Gothenburg forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson (R) won an SHL championship last month as Frolunda defeated perennial contender Skelleftea in the SHL finals (courtesy of Frolunda Gothenburg/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)

The SHL often features a plethora of NHL-drafted forwards who play an important role for their team. This year, two of those forwards, namely Andreas Johnson (TOR) and Lucas Wallmark (CAR), have been absolutely key contributors. Johnson actually finished sixth overall in league scoring and continued adding to his point collection in the playoffs. The playoffs also were a showcase for Wallmark who, after just eight goals in the regular season, scored seven in nine postseason contests. Read more »

AHL Western Conference Notebook, April, 2016: Western, Midwest series include notable prospect performers

by Sean Shapiro
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AHL Western Conference Notebook, April, 2016: Western, Midwest series include notable prospect performers

Photo: Lake Erie Monsters goaltender and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Joonas Korpisalo was a top performer for the Monsters in their opening round sweep of the Rockford IceHogs in the 2016 AHL playoffs (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Four teams remain in the AHL Western Conference playoff race that kicks off Thursday in California and in Cleveland.

The two matchups feature teams that met several times in the 2015-16 season, so both series could potentially go the full seven games. Read more »

Nashville Predators prospects ready to build on success in 2015-16

by Tony Piscotta
on
Nashville Predators prospects ready to build on success in 2015-16

Photo: Nashville Predators prospect Vladislav Kamenev quietly had a terrific rookie campaign as a teenager in the AHL, with 37 points in 57 games (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Following the Nashville Predators’ Game 7 win over the Anaheim Ducks in the opening round of the NHL playoffs, Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne talked about how the team won with a mix of experienced “old guys” and some exciting and talented younger players. The Predators have some fairly prominent prospects on the way as well. But it is looking more and more likely that their Prospect of the Year in 2015-16 may never wear a gold and navy uniform. Read more »

2016 NHL Draft: Otters’ DeBrincat proving success from last season not a fluke

by Jason Menard
on
2016 NHL Draft: Otters’ DeBrincat proving success from last season not a fluke

Photo: Erie Otters forward and 2016 prospect Alex DeBrincat was second in scoring for the Otters in the 2016 OHL playoffs, scoring eight goals and 19 points in 13 games (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Back-to-back 100-point seasons, two lengthy playoff runs in the ever-tough OHL, and an OHL Rookie of the Year award under his belt – but the one thing that Erie Otters’ forward Alex DeBrincat doesn’t have is prototypical size. Read more »

Colts’ Andersson the best of the NHL-drafted defenders in the OHL in 2015-16

by Jason Menard
on
Colts’ Andersson the best of the NHL-drafted defenders in the OHL in 2015-16

Photo: Barrie Colts defenseman and Calgary Flames prospect Rasmus Andersson had a productive 2016 playoff, posting two goals and 15 points in 15 games for the Colts (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

While the elite quality of OHL defensemen from the 2015-16 season may not resemble the ranks of the past – or even what we are likely to see next season – there is a solid roster of depth defensemen that can bring some quality and value to NHL ranks. Read more »

Chicago Blackhawks find quantity, quality in NCAA and European prospects

by Anthony Lyen
on
Chicago Blackhawks find quantity, quality in NCAA and European prospects

Photo: Chicago prospect Gustav Forsling hit 100 shots on goal in 48 SHL games this season despite playing second-pairing minutes for Linköping (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

To say the Chicago Blackhawks have a fondness for developing players in Europe and at the collegiate level is an understatement. 23 prospects laced up either overseas or in college for the 2015-16 season, and a handful had standout seasons for their respective teams. This route of developing talent has become a recent trend in Chicago, with Jonathan Toews, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Teuvo Teravainen being just a few success stories for the Blackhawks. Read more »

Florida Panthers prospects help club to first playoff berth in four years

by Chris Roberts
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Florida Panthers prospects help club to first playoff berth in four years

Photo: Rocco Grimaldi scored five points through 20 games with the Florida Panthers this season. (Courtesy of Tim Larson/Icon Sportswire)

The Florida Panthers made it into the NHL playoffs for the first time in four seasons and it’s thanks to a growing young cast of budding NHLers. General Manager Dale Tallon has built a strong core, while still allowing for the team’s prospects to develop at their own pace. Read more »

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