Editor’s Desk, August 2006

By Ken McKenna

After spending the past month watching salary insanity return to the “new and improved” NHL, the need for solid prospect depth in NHL organizations, particularly the depth charts of small market teams, seems more important than ever. Players could be coming and going at an accelerated rate, so younger, cheaper talent will be called on to fill the void left when an expensive veteran moves on.

Of course, keeping our readers informed of the talent in their favorite teams’ pipeline is very much what we do at Hockey’s Future. If there are changes coming to a NHL roster, our readers should have a pretty good idea of the talent moving up to the big club.

One of the features HF is offering this month is very much in keeping with the concept of roster replenishment. I’m referring, of course, to the updates of the top 20 prospects for each of the NHL clubs. Each of our NHL writers will make their best prognostication of where the talent falls in their respective organizations for the coming season. Some of those articles have begun appearing at HF, so you can visit the home page to see the latest offerings.

The preseason top 20 articles are always a popular feature at HF, especially for fantasy GM’s that may have a league draft approaching. The better informed a GM is the better chance he or she will have to get a leg up on the competition, so we at HF are only too glad to help. Mostly, though, we are looking to inform the average fan of the developing talent that could one day make it to the “Big Show” in the NHL, and I think our staff does an excellent job of this.

Also this month, freelance writer Simon Richard will be providing reports from the 2006 USA National Junior Evaluation Camp. The camp has just begun in Lake Placid, NY, with two reports from Simon already having been posted at the home page. So be sure to check those two articles out, as well as the other insightful reports brought to us by Simon over the course of this week.

Another feature to look for in the near future is HF’s preseason Calder Trophy Poll. Essentially, the staff votes on the players they feel will contend for the NHL trophy awarded to the Rookie of the Year, with those votes being used to create a final, definitive list. Choosing this season’s Calder winner could prove to be more challenging than divining the 2005-06 winner (essentially a choice between Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby), so we’ll see how our staff fares this time around.

And, if you get tired of the digitized word, don’t forget HF Radio, our audio offerings. Every Thursday at 9 PM Eastern, HF Radio webcast host Dustin Nielson talks to newsmakers in the world of hockey prospects, including players, scouts, media, and sometimes even you, our dear readers. And from time to time, listening to the live presentation of the webcast can literally be rewarding for the listener, as Dustin has been known to give away prizes. So, you can be informed and have a little fun in the process – you can’t beat that with a composite stick!

The webcast isn’t the only feature at HF Radio, as Dustin also presents podcasts that can be downloaded Monday through Friday. Many of these podcasts feature original material that is not a part of the webcast, so this is even more great information to satisfy your hockey cravings.

So, even though these are the dog days of the hockey season, you can still find plenty of original and interesting information at Hockey’s Future. And with NHL training camps just a month away, we at HF will be pleased to update you on the progress of your favorite club’s prospects.

See you in September!

Ken McKenna

Managing Editor, Hockey’s Future

P.S. And while I’m thinking of it, don’t forget to send your questions for the HF Mailbag feature, which appears monthly. If you’d like to find out some info about a certain prospect, league, organization, etc., our staff will be happy to provide those answers for you. Just send your question via e-mail to hfmailbag@hockeysfuture.com.