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 »
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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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
The Edmonton Oilers’ NCAA 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.
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.