Photo: Hamilton Bulldogs forward and Monteal Canadiens prospect Daniel Carr is currently ranked 12th in AHL rookie scoring with 22 goals and 34 points in 65 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
With just 11 games left in what will be the final regular season for the Hamilton Bulldogs as an AHL franchise – Montreal is re-locating their AHL affiliate from Hamilton to St. John’s for the 2015-16 season – the Bulldogs sit one point out of the final playoff position in the Western Conference, tied with the Adirondack Flames at 70 points. The Toronto Marlies currently hold the eighth and final playoff position with 71 points in 64 games. Read more »
Photo: Minnesota Wild first-round pick Alex Tuch led Boston College in points as a freshman. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
For any organization dedicated to the near-term goal of a Stanley Cup, having the bulk of the team’s prospects in colleges or European leagues is sound policy. The young men get their chances to grow as people, the team’s contract status is unaffected, and there is less rush to decide on a player’s future. The pressures of pro hockey in Europe are real, especially for younger players, but so is the NCAA Tournament atmosphere. Both make for excellent developmental opportunities.
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Photo: Calgary Hitmen defenseman and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Travis Sanheim was the top offensive defender in the WHL in 2014-15, posting 65 points in 67 games (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
It’s an issue that has been considered in past years among aspiring hockey players and their families, and also an issue that will be considered many times over in the future. Read more »
Photo: Kelowna Rockets forward Tyson Baillie had his best WHL season to date in 2014-15, scoring 37 goals and adding 39 assists for 76 points in 68 games (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The road to the NHL isn’t always a straight one, often times winding down paths that have been less traveled. Two WHL veterans have taken different routes towards redemption after not hearing their name called at the NHL Draft. Read more »
Photo: Detroit Red Wings prospect Mike McKee brought a physical edge for Western Michigan this season. (courtesy of Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)
The prize of the Detroit Red Wings prospect pool is University of Michigan forward Dylan Larkin, who seems likely to sign an NHL contract sooner rather than later despite being in just his first season of collegiate hockey.
Outside of Larkin, the majority of the Wings’ top prospects play in the AHL or CHL, but there is a decent group of potential future Red Wings playing in the NCAA and Europe this season.
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Photo: Brian Hart is enjoying a solid junior year with Harvard University. (Courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Lightning’s most prominent prospects are either playing junior hockey or have already established themselves as pros in the AHL; yet, the organization still has five prospects in their junior or senior NCAA seasons. Andrey Vasilevskiy is no longer the prospect to watch overseas in the Lightning organization, but a breakthrough year for Nikita Gusev has the skilled Russian winger amongst the Bolts Top 20 Prospects. Read more »
Photo: Miami University senior forward and captain Austin Czarnik could be a highly-sought NCAA free agent once his team’s 2014-15 season is completed (courtesy of Tim Zechar/Icon Sportswire)
Two Miami University forwards helped the Redhawks win an NCHC title, thanks to two spectacular plays. One Erie Otters forward wins the OHL scoring title, and it’s probably not who you’re expecting. Meanwhile, other noteworthy highlights from the WHL, NHL, and the NCAA are featured in this week’s Prospect Impressions. Read more »
Photo: Portland Winterhawks forward and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand had a late-season, 5-game scoring streak totaling 15 points that helped to the 2014-15 WHL scoring crown (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Many of the WHL’s top players achieve success due in part to their versatility, as most forwards will take a spin from time to time at the center position.
The following ranking includes wingers that are currently property of a National Hockey League team. A total of eight are signed NHL entry-level contracts. Our ranking consists of five Canadians, one American and four imports with six currently toiling in the WHL’s Western Conference. Additionally, our ranking contains a couple pairs of potential NHL teammates. Read more »
Photo: Los Angeles Kings first-rounder Adrian Kempe starred for Team Sweden at the World Juniors but did not stand out on a struggling MODO squad. (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Hockey is a tough sport with a lot to think about and a lot of moving parts on the ice. There is the physical aspect as well as the mental aspect that players have to develop. In the early stages of their career it is not uncommon to see one fall a step behind the other. The Kings have six prospects playings in the NCAA ranks and overseas, and most of them have endured seasons of struggles with a steep learning curve. Some, like Nikolai Prokhorkin, are battling mental challenges, while others like Adrian Kempe are battling the physical challenges. Either way it has made for a year filled with growing pains that will hopefully better these players as they move forward in their careers.
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Photo: Former Western Michigan defenseman and Calgary Flames prospect Kenney Morrison finished his NCAA career with 16 goals and 38 assists for 54 points in 115 games (courtesy of Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)
The pace of NHL prospect signings has picked up over the past few days. Included among those newly-minted pros are two high-profile NCAA free agents, a Russian free agent, and a handful of previously drafted players. Read more »