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Columbus Blue Jackets rookies get into lineup during disappointing season

by Chris Roberts
on
Columbus Blue Jackets rookies get into lineup during disappointing season

Photo: William Karlsson has graduated from Hockey’s Future prospect status after completing his first full season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. (Courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

What was supposed to be a promising, playoff-bound season for the Columbus Blue Jackets turned into a disappointing, tumultuous year. Once pegged as the franchise’s star center, Ryan Johansen was dealt to the Nashville Predators in a swap for Seth Jones and the team exercised a goaltending carousel of Sergei Bobrovsky, Curtis McElhinney and rookie Joonas Korpisalo. Oh, and Todd Richards was fired in the first month of the season and his replacement was the much-maligned John Tortorella. Read more »

2015-16 season brings major changes to Chicago Blackhawks Top 20

by Anthony Lyen
on
2015-16 season brings major changes to Chicago Blackhawks Top 20

Photo: Nick Schmaltz was one of the top playmakers in the 2016 World Juniors, helped lead North Dakota to the NCAA Frozen Four, and becomes the top Blackhawks prospect (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

In just one year, the Chicago Blackhawks have seen the top end of the prospect pool experience a transition period. Since last spring’s Top 20, the Blackhawks’ top prospect, Teuvo Teravainen, and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk are now both full-time members of the club, while two skaters, Stephen Johns and Michael Paliotta, were sent out in trades. Furthermore, Philip Danault and Marko Dano, who were featured in the Blackhawks’ Fall Top 20 for the 2015–16 season, were sent out at the trade deadline, and surefire Calder Trophy finalist Artemi Panarin has graduated.

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Trio of New Jersey Devils prospects heading to Frozen Four with Boston College

by John Iadevaia
on
Trio of New Jersey Devils prospects heading to Frozen Four with Boston College

Photo: Miles Wood and Boston College will compete in the Frozen Four on April 7th. (Courtesy of John Crouch/Icon Sportswire.)

The New Jersey Devils have a few number of prospects in the NCAA, but many of them are playing impactful roles with their respective teams. The college pipeline has greatly benefited the franchise under Lou Lamoriello. That will likely remain the same under the guidance of General Manager Ray Shero and Head Coach John Hynes, both of whom had previous experiences in the college ranks and internationally with Team USA. Read more »

Vancouver Canucks have future stars playing in NCAA

by Curtis Coulter
on
Vancouver Canucks have future stars playing in NCAA

Photo: Vancouver Canucks prospect Adam Gaudette deserves credit for helping Northeastern University clinch its first Hockey East title since 1988 (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

The Vancouver Canucks have two of the best players in all of US college hockey in Thatcher Demko and Brock Boeser. Both players have Canucks fans excited about the future of the franchise. With the Canucks on pace for their worst finish since the late 90s, the timing of Boeser and Demko’s emergence is a great relief to management and the fan base. Read more »

Condors’ pairing of Musil, LaLeggia could be glimpse of the future for Oilers

by Sean Shapiro
on
Condors’ pairing of Musil, LaLeggia could be glimpse of the future for Oilers

Photo: Bakersfield Condors defenseman and Edmonton Oilers prospect Joey LaLeggia, shown here in 2015 preseason action with the Oilers, produced 49 goals and 82 assists in 156 NCAA games for the University of Denver (courtesy of Jose Quiroz/Icon Sportswire)

It’s all about potential when it comes to prospects.

And for the Edmonton Oilers, the second defensive pairing for their AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, is oozing with potential between Joey LaLeggia and David Musil. Read more »

Hartford’s defense-first style plays to Graves’ strengths

by Tony Androckitis
on
Hartford’s defense-first style plays to Graves’ strengths

Photo: Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman and New York Rangers prospect Ryan Graves, shown here in 2015 preseason action with the Rangers, competed at the 2015 Memorial Cup Tournament with the Quebec Remparts before turning pro (courtesy of Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)

As April approaches and the final three weekends of the 2015-16 regular season play out, the Hartford Wolf Pack find themselves just two points out of the final playoff spot in the AHL’s Eastern Conference. Despite going 22-12-1-0 since the beginning of the 2016 calendar year, however, the New York RangersAHL affiliate still find themselves one win away from being in a playoff position. Read more »

Gostisbehere takes top spot among Philadelphia Flyers top 20 prospects

by Jashvina Shah
on
Gostisbehere takes top spot among Philadelphia Flyers top 20 prospects

Photo: Shayne Gostisbehere will receive consideration for Rookie of the Year after an unexpected season in which he set an NHL record for points in consecutive games by a rookie defenseman (15). (Photo: Courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

There weren’t many changes to the Philadelphia Flyers top 20 prospects. But there is a new number one, with Shayne Gostisbehere taking the lead because of his impact at the NHL level. Other prospects saw jumps, including Merrick Madsen, Cooper Marody and Travis Konecny. Read more »

Sorokin leads small but growing group of NHL-drafted goaltenders competing in Russia

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
on
Sorokin leads small but growing group of NHL-drafted goaltenders competing in Russia

Photo: CSKA Moscow goaltender and New York Islanders prospect Ilya Sorokin turned in a strong 2015-16 regular season, and has duplicated that effort in the KHL playoffs with a 1.17 goals-against and .949 save percentage (courtesy of Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

In recent years, Russia has become a better producer of quality goaltenders. Proof of that is the number of NHL-drafted netminders competing in the KHL and minor leagues, which is in a modest growth trend. Many young, Russian goalies are experiencing an upward career progression, and almost all the goaltenders drafted in the last few years have an excellent chance of becoming solid NHL players, with the exception of Sergei Kostenko, who was a seventh round pick of the Washington Capitals in 2012. Read more »

Mazanec-Saros tandem has Admirals looking strong in goal for AHL playoffs

by Sean Shapiro
on
Mazanec-Saros tandem has Admirals looking strong in goal for AHL playoffs

Photo: Milwaukee Admirals goaltender and Nashville Predators prospect Marek Mazanec currently sports a 2.34 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage along with an 18-14-5 record in 2015-16 (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Sometime soon, Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason is going to have to make a difficult decision.

You have two talented young goalies, both playing at an extremely high level. So whom do you start when the AHL playoffs kick off next month? Read more »

(Podcast) Ruopp leading developing Prince George squad

by Glen Erickson
on
(Podcast) Ruopp leading developing Prince George squad

Photo: Prince George Cougars defenseman and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sam Ruopp has captained the Cougars for the past two seasons (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

At some point, every hockey team determines who will wear the “C”. Whether it is a coach’s decision or one made by the players, a team captain plays an important leadership role both on and off the ice. For Sam Ruopp, the honor and responsibility came at a rather young age during his WHL career. Read more »

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