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Wallmark enjoying the journey to an NHL career

by Ken McKenna
on

Lucas Wallmark - Team Sweden

Photo: Team Sweden forward and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Lucas Wallmark has represented his country in international competition the past four seasons, and is likely to make it five when he suits up for the 2015 WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

Despite the fact that Carolina Hurricanes prospect Lucas Wallmark hails from Umea, a small but growing city in the otherwise sparsely populated northern Sweden region, competing at USA Hockey’s National Junior Evaluation Camp in New York’s more rural and mountainous Adirondack region didn’t necessarily remind him of home. Read more »

Wolves’ Baptiste impressing with his versatility

by Ken McKenna
on

Nick Baptiste - Sudbury Wolves

Photo: In 195 OHL games so far, Sudbury Wolves forward and Buffalo Sabres prospect Nick Baptiste has produced 74 goals and 90 assists for 164 points to go along with 145 penalty minutes (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

 

Late in the first period of Team Canada’s 6-3 exhibition win over Russia last Thursday night, Canadian forward Nick Baptiste displayed a great burst of speed on the penalty kill to swoop in for a shorthanded chance that was stopped by Russian goaltender Ilya Sorokin. After the whistle, Baptiste tangled with a Russian player along the boards, an encounter that ended with Baptiste receiving a face-wash from his opponent. Read more »

Reinhart leads deep, promising group of prospects in Buffalo Sabres’ 2014 Fall Top 20

by Jason Chen
on

Sam Reinhart - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Selected second overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, forward Sam Reinhart comes to the Buffalo Sabres with high expectations. Reinhart managed 36 goals and 69 assists with the Kootenay Ice of the WHL last season. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

There is little doubt that the future is very exciting for the Buffalo Sabres. With one of the league’s deepest pool of prospects already and another five picks in the first two rounds of the 2015 NHL Draft, general manager Tim Murray is aggressively laying down the foundations for the rebuilding Sabres.

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Beyond Tomorrow: The Class of 2016

by Chau Vo
on

Auston Matthews - U.S. NTDP

Photo: Team USA forward Auston Matthews is considered to be a top prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

With the 2016 NHL Draft just a little under two years away, there is still a lot to be learned about these late-1997 and 1998-born players. There is no overwhelming consensus as to who will be picked first overall like there is for the 2015 draft, but Dmitry Sokolov is one of a few favorites as well as Sean Day, the fourth player to be granted “exceptional player status” by the Ontario Hockey Federation. Read more »

Wolverines’ Downing working on rounding out his game

by Ken McKenna
on

Michael Downing - University of Michigan

Photo: University of Michigan defenseman and Florida Panthers prospect Michael Downing posted two goals and 10 assists along with 60 penalty minutes in his freshman season with the Wolverines (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)

 

At the midpoint of the first period in the USA’s first post-cutdown game at the 2014 National Junior Evaluation Camp, Team USA defenseman Michael Downing took a pass from University of Michigan teammate J.T. Compher and fired a point shot past Sweden goaltender Jonas Johansson to score the opening goal in what would be a 7-1 romp for the U.S. squad. Read more »

Laughton remains top prospect in Philadelphia Flyers’ 2014 Fall Top 20

by Jashvina Shah
on

Scott Laughton - Philadelphia Flyers

Photo: Scott Laughton is one of several strong two-way forwards in the Philadelphia Flyers’ prospect pool. Laughton was picked 20th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

 

 The Philadelphia Flyers have gone to lengths the past few seasons to address their defensive depth and now have five very solid blueliners among their top 10 prospects.

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Yale’s Hayden camping his way towards an NHL career

by Ken McKenna
on

John Hayden - Yale University

Photo: Yale University forward and Chicago Blackhawks prospect John Hayden had a productive freshman season for the Bulldogs in 2013-14, scoring six goals and adding 10 assists in 33 games (courtesy of Steven Ryan/Icon SMI)

 

While it has been a summer of camping for current Yale University forward and Chicago Blackhawks prospect John Hayden, it hasn’t been a case of fun and frolic in the great outdoors as it is for most people. Read more »

2014 NHL Draft: USHL draft review

by Chapin Landvogt
on

2014 NHL Draft - Joshua Jacobs - New Jersey Devils

Photo: Indiana Ice defenseman and New Jersey Devils prospect Joshua Jacobs was the first defender chosen from the USHL at the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

It came as little surprise that USHL prospects once again dotted the seven rounds of the NHL Draft last month in Philadelphia. A total of 18 players were taken from the United States’ top developmental league (excluding the NTDP players), with only one of them being a goalie. Of the remaining 17 players, 13 were forwards. Ironically, the Midwest archrivals Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues each selected three USHL players, more than any other team. Read more »

2014 NHL Draft: OHL draft review

by Jason Menard
on

2014 NHL Draft - Sam Bennett - Calgary Flames

Photo: The Calgary Flames made Kingston Frontenacs center Sam Bennett the top forward chosen out of the OHL when they nabbed with the fourth pick overall at the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

The Ontario Hockey League is not shy about professing itself as the premier route to “The Show”. And with nearly 20 per cent of this year’s drafted players coming out of the OHL — including 10 first-rounders — it’s clear that the “O” is not planning to relinquish its crown. Read more »

2014 NHL Draft: Florida Panthers draft review

by Brian Fogarty
on

Aaron Ekblad - Florida Panthers

Photo: Defenseman Aaron Ekblad was the top selection in the 2014 NHL Draft. Ekblad is the second defenseman in Panthers franchise history to be drafted first overall, the other being Ed Jovanovski in 1994. (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has been steadily building a team geared for long-term NHL success by building through the NHL Draft, making key trades and signing stop-gap free agents to meet salary needs.

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