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On the Rush, March 2014

by HF Staff
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Nicolas Kerdiles - Anaheim Ducks

Photo: Anaheim Ducks prospect Nicolas Kerdiles has been outstanding in his sophomore season with the University of Wisconsin. A second round pick the 2012 NHL Draft, Kerdiles has compiled 15 goals and 22 assists through 27 games this year. (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)

Welcome to the March 2014 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various levels of competition who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind.

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Phoenix Coyotes late-round draft picks making their mark in NCAA

by Pat Paeplow
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Jedd Soleway - Wisconsin Badgers

Photo: Wisconsin freshman Jedd Soleway, a top-nine and power play contributor this year for the Badgers, fits the Phoenix Coyotes mold of big, hard-nosed forwards (courtesy of Dan Sanger/Icon SMI)

The Phoenix Coyotes have made a habit of hoarding big, physical hockey players throughout all levels of their organization. This trend holds true in their pool of college hockey prospects. It is a player-type they clearly value.

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Los Angeles Kings NCAA seniors look to finish careers in style

by Jason Lewis
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Michael Mersch - Wisconsin Badgers

Photo: Senior Michael Mersch, who led Wisconsin with 22 goals during the 2013-14 regular season, scored both Badger goals in their semifinal win over Penn State in the Big Ten tournament (courtesy of Dan Sanger/Icon SMI)

 
In recent years, the Los Angeles Kings have grown into one of the better organizations at scouting and recruiting in the NCAA. Despite losing highly regarded forward Hudson Fasching to the Buffalo Sabres via trade, they still boast an incredibly deep and talented group of NCAA prospects.

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Perseverance has paid off for Greyhounds’ Gaudet

by Jason Menard
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Tyler Gaudet - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Photo: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward and Phoenix Coyotes prospect Tyler Gaudet played in 99 regular season games over two seasons for the Soo, totaling 69 points over those two seasons (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

He wasn't drafted by the OHL. He was passed over by every NHL team in two entry drafts. But by signing a three-year, entry-level contract earlier this year with the Phoenix Coyotes, Tyler Gaudet is a wonderful example of how hard work, dedication, and persistence can pay off.

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Balance and talent still present in Anaheim Ducks Top 20 despite graduations

by Chris Phifer
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John Gibson - Anaheim Ducks

Photo: Goaltender John Gibson, who has found success as a rookie pro this season for Norfolk in the AHL, takes over the top spot in the Ducks Top 20 update (courtesy of Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

The spring edition of the Anaheim Ducks Top 20 list features five new faces following the graduation of Emerson Etem, Devante Smith-Pelly, Jakob Silfverberg, and Hampus Lindholm to the NHL and the loss of Peter Holland in a trade to Toronto.

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Subban leads deep group of Boston Bruins prospects

by Richard Murray
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Malcolm Subban - Boston Bruins

Photo: Goaltender Malcolm Subban has made a smooth transition to professional hockey, and has a 2.39 goals against average through 26 AHL games. Subban was selected 24th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)

There are not too many significant changes to the Boston Bruins Spring Top 20. There were a couple notable graduations however, led by former number one prospect Dougie Hamilton.

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AHL Eastern Conference notebook, March, 2014

by Tony Androckitis
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Tobias Rieder - Portland Pirates

Photo: Portland Pirates forward and Phoenix Coyotes prospect Tobias Rieder is tied for third in rookie goal-scoring with 23 so far in the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

It is getting down to the last dozen or so games in the 2013-14 season and still many things are left undecided in the AHL's Eastern Conference, with at least 10 teams still vying for a chance at the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs.

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Ritchie leading Petes to the playoffs while following brother to NHL

by Jason Menard
on

Nick Ritchie - Peterborough Petes

Photo: Peterborough Petes forward and 2014 prospect Nick Ritchie led the Petes in scoring for the 2013-14 regular season, producing 74 points in 61 games for the playoff-bound Petes (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Peterborough Petes forward Nick Ritchie has played a key role in leading the Petes back into the OHL playoffs. But when it comes to finding a way to the podium at the 2014 NHL Draft, the 18-year-old has someone much closer to home to help show him the way.

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Fucale heads solid group of goaltending prospects in the QMJHL

by Kevin Forbes
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Antoine Bibeau - Val-D'Or Foreurs

Photo: Val-d’Or Foreurs goaltender and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Antoine Bibeau was dealt from the Charlottetown Islanders to the Foreurs in late December, with Bibeau assuming the starting role with his new club (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

"Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years…"

Although the QMJHL is a long way from its 1990's heyday, when it regularly knocked out similar junior leagues when it came to the development of NHL goaltending prospects, the league currently boasts nine netminders who have been drafted or signed by NHL clubs. This number was bolstered by a bumper crop of five current QMJHL goalies drafted in the 2013 NHL Draft.

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Calgary Flames prospects making an impact at NCAA level

by Brian Jung
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Johnny Gaudreau - Boston College Eagles

Photo: Boston College winger Johnny Gaudreau leads a deep and talented group of college prospects in the Flames system. Notre Dame upset Gaudreau and the Eagles in the Hockey East tournament last weekend (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)

The NCAA has been a source of quality talent for the Calgary Flames. With a group of eight highly skilled NCAA players, the Flames are stocked with prospects developing and preparing to graduate to new levels in their careers.

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