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Prospect Faceoff: McDavid vs. Nurse, more intriguing prospect matchups

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Faceoff: McDavid vs. Nurse, more intriguing prospect matchups

Photo: Likely future NHL teammates Connor McDavid (L) and Darnell Nurse (R) are going head-to-head for the right to move on to the 2015 OHL Championship series (courtesy of Aaron Bel/OHL Images and Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

In the final Prospect Faceoff for the 2014-15 season, we feature a matchup too good to be true, as Connor McDavid looks to close out the OHL Western Conference Final against Darnell Nurse and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Meanwhile, the semi-finals continue in the WHL as top prospects collide. In the AHL, two forwards clash in a make-or-break Game Five. Read more »

San Jose Sharks prospects could help the franchise get back to winning ways

by Craig Fischer
on
San Jose Sharks prospects could help the franchise get back to winning ways

Photo: San Jose second-round pick Noah Rod had nearly as many points in the playoffs as he did all season for his club, suggesting he may enjoy a breakout campaign in 2015-16 (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

As the 2014-15 hockey season comes to a close, the San Jose Sharks are heading into uncharted waters. Their ten year consecutive playoff streak came to an end this season on the heels of what can best be described as a hopeful youth movement. With few monumental changes to the guard, the Sharks’ focus shifts heavily towards change from within. The Sharks have always had an ability to churn out prospects to fill organizational needs, and with an emerging crop of talented and underrated prospects on the horizon, they look poised to quickly get back to the high seas of success.

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Prospect Impressions: Aho wins Liiga for Karpat, U18 highlights, more from the CHL

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Impressions: Aho wins Liiga for Karpat, U18 highlights, more from the CHL

Photo: Rimouski Oceanic forward and 2015-eligible Anthony DeLuca has scored nine goals and 14 points in 12 playoff games that is poised to move on to the QMJHL championship series (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

In this week’s Prospect Impressions, a Finnish forward scores a dream goal to win the Liiga championship for his team. In the QMJHL, a pair of forwards score overtime winners of their own in clutch situations. The U18 World Championship has wrapped up, but two draft-eligible forwards had big performances in the final opportunity to raise their draft stock. The OHL playoffs are in the semi-finals, and one lesser-known Buffalo Sabres prospect is in the mood to win. Meanwhile, a former OHL forward has transitioned into the AHL successfully, paired up with a fellow forward who faced similar questions about his game. Read more »

Role expanded for Hagg as season progressed with Lehigh Valley

by Tony Androckitis
on
Role expanded for Hagg as season progressed with Lehigh Valley

Photo: Lehigh Valley Phantoms defenseman and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Robert Hagg (L) posted two assists in seven games for Sweden at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Corey Silvia/Icon Sportswire)

With his first regular season of AHL hockey now completed, Robert Hagg will have 79 AHL games under his belt (including 10 games from 2013-14). While he’s showed flashes of brilliant play in the offensive zone, Hagg seemed to spend the second half of the season really focusing on expanding his identity to a two-way defender who can shut down opposing team’s scorers as well. Read more »

Barbashev, Gauthier are tops among QMJHL centers

by Chris Roberts
on
Barbashev, Gauthier are tops among QMJHL centers

Photo: Moncton Wildcats forward and St. Louis Blues prospect Ivan Barbashev, shown here playing for Russia at the 2015 WJC, has produced 24 points in 15 games for the Wildcats in the 2015 QMJHL playoffs (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The QMJHL might house the lowest amount of future NHL players among the three Canadian junior leagues, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an abundance of quality prospects – particularly in the middle of the ice. A total of nine NHL-drafted centers played in the ‘Q’ this season, while recent signing Danick Martel rounds out a formidable Top 10. Read more »

(Video) 2015 U18 World Championship: Auston Matthews, Forward, and Evan Sarthou, Goaltender, USA

by Chapin Landvogt
on
(Video) 2015 U18 World Championship: Auston Matthews, Forward, and Evan Sarthou, Goaltender, USA

Photo: Team USA forward and 2016 prospect Auston Matthews totaled 18 points in 12 games while competing for the U.S. teams at the U20 and U18 tournaments this season (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt)

Team USA received contributions from all over the lineup in their march to a second consecutive gold medal at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. But one U.S. player stood out a little more than the others, a player whose name will soon be bandied about in much the same way that the names McDavid and Eichel have been discussed over the past few months. Read more »

(Video) 2015 U18 World Championship: Tyler Benson, Forward, and Zach Sawchenko, Goaltender, Canada

by Chapin Landvogt
on
(Video) 2015 U18 World Championship: Tyler Benson, Forward, and Zach Sawchenko, Goaltender, Canada

Photo: Moose Jaw Warriors goaltender and 2016 prospect Zach Sawchenko appeared in 49 games for the Warriors in 2014-15, where he posted a 3.32 goals-against average and .896 save percentage (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

While the outcome for Team Canada at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship wasn’t what they hoped to accomplish, that country did get a preview of some of the players that could represent the country at next year’s tournament. Read more »

Toronto Maple Leafs show patience with NCAA and European prospects

by Ed Dermit
on
Toronto Maple Leafs show patience with NCAA and European prospects

Photo: Casey Bailey scored his first NHL goal after signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs at the end of his junior NCAA season. (Courtesy of Dan Hamilton/Icon Sportswire)

The Toronto Maple Leafs had five drafted prospects playing in the NCAA and three playing in Europe during the 2014-15 season. At this stage, most are still questionable as potential pros, although Andreas Johnson and Dominic Toninato had impactful seasons that separated them from the pack. The Leafs also signed a pair of promising free agents in Casey Bailey (NCAA) and Nikita Soshnikov (KHL), following the completion of their respective seasons. They will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact in 2015-16. Read more »

(Video) 2015 U18 World Championship: Colin White, Forward, USA

by Chapin Landvogt
on
(Video) 2015 U18 World Championship: Colin White, Forward, USA

Photo: Team USA forward Colin White was all smiles after scoring the gold medal-winning goal in overtime in the Americans’ 2-1 win over Finland at the 2015 U18 World Championship (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt)

Team USA faced a game Finland squad in the gold medal game at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, but the U.S. had just enough in the tank, plus an overtime hero, to come out on top, 2-1. Forward Colin White scored the gold medal-winning goal for the U.S. a day after netting a hat trick against Team Canada in the semifinals. Read more »

(Video) 2015 U18 World Championship: Anthony Beauvillier and Glenn Gawdin, Forwards, Canada

by Chapin Landvogt
on
(Video) 2015 U18 World Championship: Anthony Beauvillier and Glenn Gawdin, Forwards, Canada

Photo: Swift Current Broncos forward and 2015 prospect Glenn Gawdin was the scoring star for Canada in the U18’s bronze medal game, where he scored two goals in Canada’s 5-2 win over Switzerland (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt)

The semifinal showdown with Team USA didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to, but Team Canada did manage to take home a bronze medal from the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship after defeating host Switzerland, 5-2, at Brassard Arena in Zug, Switzerland. Read more »

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