Photo: Colorado Avalanche prospect Anton Lindholm has helped his SHL team into the league semi-finals with two points in a first-round sweep. (courtesy of Skelleftea AIK/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)
With the exception of Will Butcher, it still remains to be seen just where the Avalanche’s NCAA and European prospects fit into the team’s long-term plans.
Butcher is a big part of the University of Denver Pioneers blueline and has had international success with Team USA in junior tournaments. Ben Storm, however, has not seen much more than bottom pairing minutes with his respective NCAA team. Both get the chance to participate in the NCAA Tournament however.
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Photo: Los Angeles Kings rookie forward Nick Shore (#37) tips home a shot by teammate Dustin Brown in the Kings’ 3-2 win over the New York Islanders (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings are making a late-season push to secure a place in the 2015 postseason, with Kings rookie forward Nick Shore making his own contribution to the cause. Shore scored the first goal of the game for the Kings – his first NHL goal – to help get his team moving towards a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders. Read more »
Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs rookie forward Sam Carrick played four seasons in the OHL with the Brampton Battalion before turning pro in the 2012-13 season (courtesy of Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire)
The game may not be memorable for his teammates, but Toronto Maple Leafs forward Sam Carrick won’t likely forget it as he netted his first NHL goal – the only goal of the game for the Leafs – in a 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. Read more »
Photo: Hudson Fasching scored a goal and two assists for Team USA at the World Junior Championships. (Courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
The Buffalo Sabres have a long-term plan, and despite the pain and suffering the team has experienced this season, the team has been continued to lay down the foundation for the next two decades. Read more »
Photo: Boston University forward Jack Eichel and University of North Dakota goaltender Zane McIntyre are two Hobey Baker top 10 finalists competing in the Northeast and West regionals of the 2015 NCAA Hockey Tournament (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire (L) and Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images (R))
This year’s 16-team field for the 2015 NCAA Hockey Tournament features 103 NHL prospects representing 28 of the 30 NHL teams. The Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks lead all teams with seven prospects each in the tournament. The Carolina Hurricanes and the Dallas Stars are the only NHL teams that do not have at least one prospect playing in the tournament. Read more »
Photo: Nashville prospect Vladislav Kamenev had just one goal in the KHL playoffs as Metallurg failed to defend its Gagarin Cup title (courtesy of Terry Wilson/CHL Images)
Although the top prospects in the Nashville Predators organization currently skate for AHL affiliate Milwaukee, there are many players competing at the NCAA level or in European leagues this season.
The distance from North American professional hockey is telling in some cases, but there is no lack of quality prospects in the two different developmental venues.
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Photo: Top AHL rookies Daniel Carr of the Hamilton Bulldogs (L) and Connor Brown of the Toronto Marlies (R) go head-to-head in one of the more interesting NHL prospect matchups this weekend (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
All three CHL leagues begin playoff action this weekend. There are three particularly interesting games on hand, games that feature a mix of high-end prospects and valuable role players as teams in the OHL, QMJHL, and WHL collide. Meanwhile, the NCAA Tournament begins this weekend, and one matchup in particular is worthy of extra attention. In the AHL, two top scorers from far different backgrounds clash as the AHL season starts to wind down. Read more »
Photo: Hamilton Bulldogs forward and Monteal Canadiens prospect Daniel Carr is currently ranked 12th in AHL rookie scoring with 22 goals and 34 points in 65 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
With just 11 games left in what will be the final regular season for the Hamilton Bulldogs as an AHL franchise – Montreal is re-locating their AHL affiliate from Hamilton to St. John’s for the 2015-16 season – the Bulldogs sit one point out of the final playoff position in the Western Conference, tied with the Adirondack Flames at 70 points. The Toronto Marlies currently hold the eighth and final playoff position with 71 points in 64 games. Read more »
Photo: Minnesota Wild first-round pick Alex Tuch led Boston College in points as a freshman. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
For any organization dedicated to the near-term goal of a Stanley Cup, having the bulk of the team’s prospects in colleges or European leagues is sound policy. The young men get their chances to grow as people, the team’s contract status is unaffected, and there is less rush to decide on a player’s future. The pressures of pro hockey in Europe are real, especially for younger players, but so is the NCAA Tournament atmosphere. Both make for excellent developmental opportunities.
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Photo: Calgary Hitmen defenseman and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Travis Sanheim was the top offensive defender in the WHL in 2014-15, posting 65 points in 67 games (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
It’s an issue that has been considered in past years among aspiring hockey players and their families, and also an issue that will be considered many times over in the future. Read more »