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2014 NHL Combine Video: Sam Bennett, Kingston Frontenacs

by Ken McKenna
on

2014 NHL Combine - Sam Bennett - Kingston Frontenacs

Photo: Kingston Frontenacs center and 2014 prospect Sam Bennett, shown here taking part in the 2014 NHL Combine, is ranked fourth overall for the 2014 NHL Draft by ISS Hockey (courtesy of Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

There is varied opinions as to which player is the top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft. Some NHL scouts feel that Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad is the top player by a tiny margin, while the independent scouting service ISS Hockey ranked Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart as their top prospect. But NHL Central Scouting hasn't wavered in their belief that Kingston Frontenacs center Sam Bennett is the best of this year's crop.

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Colorado Avalanche 2014 NHL Draft preview

by Chau Vo
on
Spencer Martin - Mississauga Steelheads

Photo: Goaltender Spencer Martin, selected 63rd overall in 2013, played the most minutes in the OHL in 2013-14 with 64 appearances for the Mississauga Steelheads (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

 
The rejuvenated Colorado Avalanche franchise took the NHL by surprise this past season and defied all expectations by finishing at the top of the Western Conference’s tough Central Division.

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Tampa Bay Lightning prospect pool had many standout playoff performances in 2014

by Chris Roberts
on

Cedric Paquette - Tampa Bay Lightning

Photo: Forward Cedric Paquette was one of several young Tampa Bay Lightning players who made their NHL Playoff debut in 2014. Paquette was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

As has been the case for the past few seasons now, the Tampa Bay Lightning had some breakthrough performances from prospects this year. Many of those strong performances carried over into the postseason, with several prospects positioning themselves well for the future.

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2014 NHL Combine Video: Brendan Lemieux, Barrie Colts

by Ken McKenna
on

2014 NHL Combine - Brendan Lemieux - Barrie Colts

Photo: Barrie Colts forward and 2014 prospect Brendan Lemieux, shown here during the testing portion of the 2014 NHL Combine, is ranked 28th among North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft by Central Scouting (courtesy of Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

With a father that is a four-time Stanley Cup winner, Barrie Colts left wing Brendan Lemieux certainly has a tough act to follow as he pursues his NHL dream. Lemieux's first step towards filling those big skates comes at the end of June when his name is likely to be called at the 2014 NHL Draft.

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Several Montreal Canadiens prospects enjoyed long and productive postseasons

by David Thicke
on

Dustin Tokarski - Montreal Canadiens

Photo: Goaltender Dustin Tokarski made his NHL playoff debut on May 19th, 2014, starting in place for an injured Carey Price. Though the Canadiens lost in six to the New York Rangers, Tokarski was solid, managing a 2-3 record and a 2.60 goals against average. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With the Hamilton Bulldogs failing to capture an AHL playoff spot, the Montreal Canadiens recalled a large group of prospects, including Nathan Beaulieu and Dustin Tokarski, as the Black Aces practice squad. Michael Bournival and Jarred Tinordi were already playing at the NHL level at the end of the NHL regular season and were part of Montreal's playoff roster.  

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Phoenix Coyotes prospects missed out on playoff exposure in 2013-14

by Pat Paeplow
on

Max Domi - Phoenix Coyotes

Photo: Max Domi led London scorers with two points in a meager offensive showing from the Memorial Cup host Knights (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

Prospects in the Phoenix Coyotes pool received very little playoff exposure in 2013-14. The Coyotes, as well as the AHL Portland Pirates and the ECHL Gwinnett Gladiators, all had down years and failed to qualify for postseason action.

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2014 NHL Combine Video: Michael Dal Colle, Oshawa Generals

by Ken McKenna
on

2014 NHL Combine - Michael Dal Colle - Oshawa Generals

Photo: Oshawa Generals forward and 2014 prospect Michael Dal Colle is ranked fifth among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

There is a handful of top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft that have held their top-5 ranking over the course of the 2013-14 season. One of those steady performers is Oshawa Generals left wing Michael Dal Colle, the highest ranked forward out of the OHL this season.

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2014 NHL Combine Video: Leon Draisaitl, Prince Albert Raiders

by Ken McKenna
on

2014 NHL Combine - Leon Draisaitl - Prince Albert Raiders

Photo: Prince Albert Raiders forward and 2014 prospect Leon Draisaitl, shown here during the testing phase of the 2014 NHL Combine, competed for Germany at the 2014 World Championship (courtesy of Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

It has been 13 years since a player that developed primarily in Germany was chosen in the first round of the NHL Draft. That drought seems as if it will come to an end at the 2014 edition of the draft when center Leon Draisaitl's name is called from podium.

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Columbus Blue Jackets prospects Bjorkstrand, Rychel finished 2013-14 season with strong playoff performances

by Richard Greco
on

Oliver Bjorkstrand - Columbus Blue Jackets

Photo: Winger Oliver Bjorkstrand led the WHL in playoff scoring with 16 goals and 17 assists through 21 games. (Courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

When the Columbus Blue Jackets took their best shot at the Pittsburgh Penguins this postseason, their roster was littered with home-grown players like Boone Jenner and Ryan Murray. While the recently graduated prospects were getting a chance to take on one of the NHL's best teams, there were a handful of players making statements in their own respective league's playoffs.

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Winnipeg Jets prospects playing key roles in deep playoff runs

by Charlie Beattie
on

Scott Kosmachuk - Guelph Storm

Photo: Guelph winger Scott Kosmachuk tied for third on the team with three goals and five points as the Storm came within one win of a Memorial Cup Championship (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

While the parent club still seeks the right formula in terms of making the playoffs, several Winnipeg Jets prospects not only led their teams to postseason, but put up big numbers when the lights were brightest.

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