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(Video) 2016 U18 World Championship: Sweden heads into quarterfinal match on a high note

by Ken McKenna
on
(Video) 2016 U18 World Championship: Sweden heads into quarterfinal match on a high note

Photo: Team Sweden forward and 2017 prospect Lias Andersson saw his first SHL action with HV71, appearing in 22 regular season and four playoff games for that club in 2015-16 (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

After a somewhat wobbly start to their 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship, Team Sweden finished the preliminary round of the tournament strongly, outscoring their final two opponents by a 13-2 count. The most recent win came against Russia, a convincing 5-1 victory that has the Swedes primed for their quarterfinal match against Slovakia. Read more »

(Video) 2016 U18 World Championship: Russia stumbles into quarterfinal match against Finland

by Ken McKenna
on
(Video) 2016 U18 World Championship: Russia stumbles into quarterfinal match against Finland

Photo: Team Russia defenseman Mikhail Sergachev is a top defensive prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft after a strong rookie season with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Team Russia wrapped up its preliminary round schedule with a 5-1 loss to Sweden at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship. The hastily assembled team has had trouble developing into a cohesive unti to this point of the tournament with a tough quarterfinal matchup against Finland on the horizon. Read more »

Columbus Blue Jackets stockpile back end with NCAA and European talent

by Chris Roberts
on
Columbus Blue Jackets stockpile back end with NCAA and European talent

Photo: 6’5 stay-at-homer Ryan Collins registered four assists and spent 35 minutes in the sin bin this season. (Courtesy of David Berding/Icon Sportswire)

Since Jarmo Kekäläinen took over the general manager duties for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the organization has shown a fondness for European prospects, particularly in the later rounds. The 2015 NHL Draft was a prime example of that when the Jackets went overseas for five of their nine draft picks, and given the success of some of those picks already it’s a trend that could be expected to continue. Read more »

Wide range of possibilities for Dallas Stars prospects playing European or college hockey

by Mike Farkas
on
Wide range of possibilities for Dallas Stars prospects playing European or college hockey

Photo: the Michigan Wolverines will have to score and defend with a team mentality next season, and Dallas Stars prospect Joseph Cecconi will be an important part of the blueline (courtesy of Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

With the playoffs underway, the Dallas Stars have proven adept at acquiring top-shelf NHL talent under General Manager Jim Nill, who has now been at the helm for three years. Other avenues of procurement have yet to pay such immediate dividends, but the Stars have some good players in every major league – including college hockey and the European leagues. Although some of the players are off the radar for the casual fan – and perhaps even management – others put together some encouraging work in the 2015-16 season.

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McCarron and Fucale among many Montreal Canadiens prospects recalled in 2015-16

by Jessica-Lyn Saunders
on
McCarron and Fucale among many Montreal Canadiens prospects recalled in 2015-16

Photo: Zachary Fucale sat on the bench in a backup role for three games in Montreal this season, but failed to take the ice. (Courtesy of Graig Abel/Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens made 16 recalls from the St. John’s IceCaps in the second half. Their scoring woes, which started at the beginning of December after the loss of Carey Price, have given the team one of their worst slumps since the 2001-02 season with a record of 32–30–6. While the loss of their most valuable player has had a significant impact on their play, their goal drought has had its upsides, giving a few young prospects a chance to get a taste of the NHL experience. Read more »

(Video) 2016 U18 World Championship: Canada holds off hard-working Slovakia squad

by Ken McKenna
on
(Video) 2016 U18 World Championship: Canada holds off hard-working Slovakia squad

Photo: Team Canada forward and 2016 prospect Brett Howden scored 24 goals and 64 points in 68 regular season games for the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2015-16, then added 15 points in 10 playoff games (courtesy of Ben Nelms/Getty Images)

Team Canada faced off against a pesky Slovakia squad that kept the game interesting until the end, with Canada coming away with a 3-1 win to maintain their unbeaten status at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship in Grand Forks, ND. Read more »

(Video) 2016 U18 World Championship: Switzerland overcome by Sweden’s impressive offensive display

by Ken McKenna
on
(Video) 2016 U18 World Championship: Switzerland overcome by Sweden’s impressive offensive display

Photo: Switzerland defenseman and 2016 prospect Livio Stadler saw his first National League A action for EV Zug this season, picking up an assist in 13 games in Switzerland’s top league (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

In what started off as a fairly tightly-played contest, Team Switzerland watched Sweden pull away in the final two periods to take an 8-1 win from the Swiss on Day 5 of the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship. Read more »

(Video) 2016 U18 World Championship: Nylander powers Sweden to win over Switzerland

by Ken McKenna
on
(Video) 2016 U18 World Championship: Nylander powers Sweden to win over Switzerland

Photo: Team Sweden forward and 2017 prospect Marcus Davidsson played in 45 games for Djurgarden’s SuperElit club, posting 17 goals and 40 points in 2015-16 (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

Team Sweden picked up their first regulation win of the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship, beating Switzerland by an 8-1 score on Day 5 of the tournament. The win leaves the Swedes tied with Russia in Group A as they head into their showdown on the final day of the preliminary round, but neither team can displace Team USA at the top of Group A. Read more »

Edmonton Oilers hope for a steal among their NCAA and Euro prospects

by Kady Hobbins
on
Edmonton Oilers hope for a steal among their NCAA and Euro prospects

Photo: Edmonton Oilers prospect William Lagesson is a Frölunda product and UMass freshman who has shown intriguing amounts of offense in his young career (courtesy of Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The Edmonton OilersNCAA and European prospect pool is not a large one, made even smaller by Finnish goaltender Eetu Laurikainen joining the Bakersfield Condors in 2015-16 and Bogdan Yakimov making his return to North American hockey after a brief hiatus in Europe. The team also added former Minnesota Wild prospect Jere Sallinen out of the Finnish Liiga to its pro ranks. The remaining crop of players consists of mid- to late-round picks, many of whom are longshots for NHL success. Nevertheless, there are some intriguing standouts, such as in the case of Russian defender Ziyat Paygin who has pleasantly surprised many with his 2015-16 season numbers. Tyler Vesel continues to lead the way as the de facto leader of the NCAA prospect group. See the full breakdown below.

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Calgary Flames Prospect Awards raise expectations for next season

by Jason Lewis
on
Calgary Flames Prospect Awards raise expectations for next season

Photo: Calgary Flames 2012 first-rounder Mark Jankowski put up six points in his first eight games with the Stockton Heat after turning pro this season (courtesy of Jack Lima/Stockton Heat)

While the Calgary Flames’ NHL season did not end on much of a positive note, and their AHL affiliate Stockton Heat also missed a playoff berth, it is still a franchise very much in transition and trending the right direction. Despite a difficult year as an organization in the standings, there are a number of young talents to be excited about at all levels. When you go over the list of prospects and young players the Flames currently have in the fold, the feeling is that these difficult years are being put behind them. It has been an altogether difficult season for some, but for others there is recognition that is deserved.

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