The Buffalo Sabres tend to draft players out of the CHL, and as a result have fewer high-end prospects in Europe and the collegiate levels. Even when the Sabres elected to drafted European-born players with their first round picks, as they did twice in 2012 by taking Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons, both players were playing in North American leagues at the time.
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Although a couple of the Florida Panthers prospects have moved on from the collegiate ranks and begun their professional careers, the organization still has several valuable players in the NCAA and in Europe, including a Hobey Baker finalist. At least two and perhaps as many as four or more players may have already played their final seasons in college. The prospects currently playing in Europe may be a thinner crop, but there are a couple of them who look ready to move to North America.
The top three finalists for this year’s Hobey Baker Award have been announced. Boston College sophomore and Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau, Quinnipiac senior Eric Hartzell and St. Cloud State red-shirted senior Drew Leblanc comprise this year’s “Hobey Hat Trick”. Each year, the award recognizes the top collegiate player who excels both on and off the ice.
While the NHL Draft is still a couple of months away, the advent of April means that it is drafting season in the Canadian Hockey Leagues. The OHL, WHL, and QMJHL will hold their respective entry drafts over the course of the next two months, with the first of those drafts taking place this Saturday, April 6th.
In what is looking like it will come down to a two-player race, Florida winger Jonathan Huberdeau, who continues to lead the disappointing Florida Panthers in scoring, and 20-year-old Brendan Gallagher, who has played a key role for the surprising Montreal Canadiens, have begun to move clear from the rest of the rookie field.
The Spring edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects has been released, but there are always talented prospects who did not make the cut. Whether through recent sub-par performances or various concerns over meeting their potential, these players were considered for the ranking but did not ultimately crack the Top 50.
The final 2012-13 edition of the NCAA notebook takes a look back at some of the month’s memorable performances and fantastic finishes. The notebook also takes a look at a few surprises that took place around college hockey involving a number of NHL prospects playing in college hockey. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of Mar. 31st.
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