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Rebuilding Buffalo Sabres boast deep, talented group of prospects

by Jason Chen
on

Jake McCabe - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Defenseman Jake McCabe is one of several Buffalo Sabres defensive prospects who are pushing for spots in the NHL. McCabe was a second round pick from 2012. (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire)

 

Once the Buffalo Sabres are done collecting their puzzle pieces, it will be a matter of figuring out how they will all fit together. The Sabres have the cornerstones in place with Sam Reinhart at center and Rasmus Ristolainen on defense, but the short-term focus is to make sure that every prospect in the organization takes a step forward.

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Minnesota Wild prospect depth beginning to thin

by Peter Prohaska
on

NHL: FEB 06 Predators at Wild

Photo: Jason Zucker won an NHL roster spot in training camp in part because of his speed and tenacity. (courtesy of Brad Rempel/Icon Sportswire)

 

After five years on the job general manager Chuck Fletcher has made his mark on the Minnesota Wild, swiftly rebuilding a franchise that had lost its way. He has assembled a promising young core of Mikael Granlund, Jonas Brodin, Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle, Jared Spurgeon, Erik Haula, Darcy Kuemper, Matt Dumba, and Christian Folin. With a strong group of veterans brought in via trade and free agency to supplement the few holdovers from the prior administrative regime, this leaves very little room for true prospects at the moment.

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Royals’ Hicketts doesn’t let setbacks block his NHL dream

by Glen Erickson
on

Joe Hicketts - Victoria Royals

Photo: Victoria Royals defenseman and Detroit Red Wings prospect Joe Hicketts was passed over at the 2014 NHL Draft, but the Red Wings signed Hicketts to a contract in late September (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

If we rewind the hockey calendar to the first few weeks of the 2013-14 Western Hockey League season, Joe Hicketts of the Victoria Royals was then a highly-touted defenseman, projected to hear his named called by a NHL team in the early rounds at the 2014 NHL Draft. Read more »

Numerous Ottawa Senators prospects pushing for time in NHL

by Jason Lewis
on

Mark Stone - Ottawa Senators

Photo: Forward prospect Mark Stone began the 2014-15 season in the NHL with Ottawa. Stone was a sixth round pick from 2010. (courtesy of Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

The Ottawa Senators have one of the youngest groups of players currently playing in the NHL. They are the fourth youngest team, with an average age of 26, and have had numerous prospects make the jump to the NHL over the last few years, such as Mika Zibanejad, Patrick Wiercioch, and Robin Lehner.

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Defensive depth greatest strength of Edmonton Oilers prospect pool

by Kady Hobbins
on

San Jose Sharks v Edmonton Oilers

Photo: Laurent Brossoit has strengthened Edmonton’s goaltending depth in the prospect ranks, which was once an area of weakness for the team. (courtesy of Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

While the Edmonton Oilers continue to rebuild and retool their squad at the NHL level, their diverse group of prospects have been flourishing for the most part, with a number taking significant steps under the tutelage of Todd Nelson of the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL).

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2015 NHL Draft: McDavid does not disappoint in Otters win in Buffalo

by Ken McKenna
on

Connor McDavid - Erie Otters

Photo: Erie Otters forward and top 2015 prospect Connor McDavid is currently the leading scorer in the OHL with 29 points in 10 games (courtesy of Bill Wippert/Getty Images)

 

It was another day at the office for Connor McDavid, albeit a much larger office with many more sets of eyes watching he and his Erie Otters’ teammates defeat the Niagara IceDogs, 8-4, at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Read more »

Pittsburgh Penguins possess newfound depth at forward

by Ian Altenbaugh
on

Jean-Sebastien Dea - Pittsburgh Penguins

Photo: Jean Sebastien Dea is part of a large group of forwards who are beginning their professional career with the Penguins organization. Dea was signed as a free agent in 2013. (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)

 

When Jim Rutherford took over the general manager job for the Pittsburgh Penguins last June, he inherited an organization that was shallow at forward, from the NHL level all the way through the prospect rankings. Rutherford did not take long to address the problem, first picking four forwards in the 2014 NHL Draft, then augmenting the Penguins NHL roster with several talented veteran players.

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Los Angeles Kings have greatest depth in areas of need

by Jason Lewis
on

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

Photo: Brayden McNabb has received significant ice time with the Kings in 2014-15 and looks to have found a home on the Los Angeles blue line. (courtesy of Harry How/Getty Images)

 

Without having too many high selections in recent drafts, the Los Angeles Kings have done quite well in growing their pipeline in areas of need. While the graduation of Martin Jones does hurt the goalie pipeline, they continue to stock up on useful centers and defenseman. While the wings might not be top-tier, there are some role players and quality players peppered throughout.

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(Video) First NHL Goal: Griffith, Lowry net first career markers in Tuesday wins

by Ken McKenna
on

Adam Lowry - Winnipeg Jets

Photo: Winnipeg Jets rookie forward Adam Lowry notched 33 points (17G, 16A) in 64 games for the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps in 2013-14 (courtesy of Terrence Lee/Icon Sportswire)

 

Two NHL rookies netted their first career goals on Tuesday night, while another newcomer scored one on the weekend that had been previously overlooked. The Boston BruinsSeth Griffith and the Winnipeg JetsAdam Lowry each registered their first NHL goal on Tuesday while the St. Louis BluesJori Lehtera netted his in a Saturday win. Read more »

2014-15 AHL Preview: No clear favorite in talented Midwest Division

by Tony Androckitis
on

Marek Mazanec - Nashville Predators

Photo: Milwaukee Admirals goalltender and Nashville Predators prospect Marek Mazanec had a taste of NHL action during the 2013-14 season, playing well in a 25-game stint with the NHL club (courtesy of John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

The AHL’s Midwest Division features several talented incoming rookies including Rockford’s Teuvo Teravainen and Grand Rapids’ Anthony Mantha, as well as several key prospects entering their second pro season such as Chicago’s Ty Rattie and the duo of Miikka Salomaki and Colton Sissons in Milwaukee. Read more »