Photo: Sarnia Sting forward and 2015 prospect Nikita Korostelev was chosen by Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in the first round, ninth overall, of the 2014 KHL Draft (courtesy of CHL Images)
The NHL Draft Primer series continues with a look at players ranked between 74 and 50 for the 2015 NHL Draft.
Moving past the projections that place players in the middle rounds of the draft, we start to come upon players who might very well sneak into the first round of the draft. Most of these players have a certain pedigree, be it a family connection, coaching assistance, or draft position. Read more »
Photo: Machester Monarchs defenseman and Los Angeles Kings prospect Kevin Gravel spent his first pro season in the AHL, posting six goals and 15 points in 58 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
In 2010, the Los Angeles Kings started trending in the right direction. It is not surprising that we started to see far fewer draft selections, as the team started giving up picks to acquire useful roster players for a deeper NHL lineup. 2010 marked an extreme departure for the franchise, as they had just five overall selections in the 2010 NHL Draft. That is half of what they had in 2009, and four fewer than in 2008. Be that as it may, the Kings were measured in their selection, and still covet all of these selections within their organization in one form or another. Some have made huge impacts at the NHL already and a few others are on the cusp of being impact players. Let’s take a look.
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Photo: Calder Trophy nominee Aaron Ekblad scored 39 points during his rookie season, helping the Florida Panthers become the most improved team in the NHL. (Courtesy of Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)
The 2014-15 season may not have ended the way the Florida Panthers wanted it to, but they boast a wealth of prospects who are on the cusp of breaking through with the big club. Among them, Aaron Ekblad is an obvious choice to win a number of awards, but I’m limiting him to one category—allowing others the opportunity to shine. Read more »
Photo: Erie Otters forward and 2016 prospect Alex DeBrincat posted 104 points in 68 games in 2014-15, then followed that with 16 points in 20 games in the OHL playoffs (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
If Erie Otters forward Alex DeBrincat goes on to have a successful NHL career, his story should be turned into a book. While he could have written an alternate chapter through the USHL and ultimately the NCAA, a chance meeting that almost didn’t happen spurned a storybook OHL season. Read more »
Photo: Petr Mrazek emerged this season as Detroit’s de facto number one goaltender and the best in the 2010 Draft (so far). (Courtesy of Scott Grau/Icon Sportswire)
As with seemingly every Detroit Red Wings draft class, five years is almost too early to evaluate its success; that said, the Red Wings 2010 draft may have been the organization’s most successful since 2005, when the team took long-term contributors Justin Abdelkader, Jakub Kindl and Darren Helm.
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Photo: Team Switzerland forward and Nashville Predators prospect Kevin Fiala (#21) appeared in 33 games for Nashville’s AHL farm team, the Milwaukee Admirals, where he scored 11 goals and 20 points in 2014-15 (courtesy of Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Dallas Stars prospect Esa Lindell is coming off a career year in which the 6’3”, 200 pound defenseman put up 14 goals and 35 points in 57 games. This was good enough to not only earn him a spot on Team Finland at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, but also got him a cup of coffee with the AHL’s Texas Stars to conclude the season. Read more »
Photo: Victoria Royals forward and 2015 prospect Tyler Soy doubled his point total from the 2013-14 season, posting 63 points in 69 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Among North American skaters rated in the middle rounds of the 2015 NHL Draft, there are a number of interesting defensemen available that have not yet garnered a consensus opinion over where they will be selected. The confusion is for good reason, as the mix features puck-movers, defensive defensemen, and steady, two-way players who control the game from the blueline. Read more »
Photo: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Brandon Gormley has played in 32 NHL games to date, picking up two goals and four points in those games (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
They had not yet formulated as the Arizona Coyotes in 2010, and their scouting staff was geared more towards drafting for immediate need, rather than best player available. Often a time of renewal and hope, the 2010 NHL Entry Draft originally presented the Coyotes with only four picks, and adding prospects to a depleted prospect pool became their focus.
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Photo: LA Kings prospect Jordan Weal leads the Manchester Monarchs in playoff scoring (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
The Los Angeles Kings have an older group of prospects, most of whom have progressed into the AHL. For that reason, the Monarchs have been a force this season. The squad clinched the Atlantic division and the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They now move into the Eastern Conference Finals of the Calder Cup playoffs in an effort to erase last year’s disappointing first round bow-out.
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Photo: Team Latvia forward and 2015 prospect Rodrigo Abols (#18) didn’t register any points at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, but he did play a part in helping his country avoid relegation to a lower level (courtesy of Martin Rose/Getty Images)
At 19, Latvian forward Rodrigo Abols was one of the youngest players participating at the 2015 IIHF World Championship the past three weeks in the Czech Republic. Although he didn’t get on the scoreboard, he did dress for all seven games and gained valuable playing experience. Read more »