Photo: Having one player with the skills of Patrick Kane can seem like an unfair advantage, but the Blackhawks found another one in KHL standout Artemi Panarin (courtesy of Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
It was well-advertised the 2015-16 season would be a transitional season for the Chicago Blackhawks. After losing several players through trades and free agency, there was no doubt the defending Stanley Cup champions would need their rookies to contribute big time at the NHL level. Not only have these prospects been contributing, but they have become important pieces in Chicago’s title defense, some in unexpected ways.
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Photo: Farjestad forward and 2016 prospect Rasmus Asplund (R) was one of several draft-eligible prospects at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship that stood out at that tournament (courtesy of MARKKU ULANDER/AFP/Getty Images)
For European clubs, the end of the regular season is approaching rapidly, so we will soon be seeing how Sweden’s top prospects perform when push comes to shove in the playoffs. Read more »
Photo: Kelowna Rockets forward and Nashville Predators prospect Justin Kirkland has produced 66 goals and 96 assists in 190 regular season games, and another 16 points in 29 playoff games (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Is the glass half full or half empty?
Justin Kirkland is one of a relatively small number of junior hockey players to be selected in the 2014 NHL Draft. For certain, this is reason to be optimistic. Read more »
Photo: Texas Stars forward and Dallas Stars prospect Brett Ritchie appeared in 31 NHL games in the 2014-15 season but is still waiting for his call-up in the 2015-16 campaign (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
Two of the best power forwards in the AHL’s Pacific Division are constantly communicating.
Sometimes it is via text, other times it is a quick call. When they don’t directly communicate, one is often watching the other’s game online or checking the box score on the AHL website. Read more »
Photo: Two of the USHL’s top scorers, Fargo Force forward Denis Smirnov and Lincoln Stars forward Tanner Laczynski, will go head-to-head this weekend in a top USHL prospect showdown (courtesy of Mitch Highman/MJoy Photography and Brandon Anderson/BA Photos)
This week’s Prospect Faceoff is loaded with powerhouse matchups from around North America. The Ottawa Senators will be interested in the result from a game in Shawinigan this weekend, and scouts from the NHL will be on hand in Fargo as the Lincoln Stars pay them the Fargo Force visit. We’ll check-in with the most recent members of the 100-point club from the OHL and WHL, and an often discussed Calgary Flames prospect is in action as his NCAA career winds down. Read more »
Photo: The Winnipeg Jets’ top prospect, Nikolaj Ehlers, has spent much of this season proving he could create offense with a variety of linemates (courtesy of John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)
After many years of turmoil in Atlanta, the franchise had gotten very few results on the ice, yet their prospect system remained extremely thin. Since their relocation to Winnipeg, the Jets have seen much greater success through the draft.
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Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Josh Leivo is in his second tour of duty with the NHL club in 2015-16, posting three goals in seven NHL games (courtesy of Dan Hamilton/Icon Sportswire)
Currently in his third season of hockey at the professional level – the final year of his entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization – forward Josh Leivo has appeared in NHL games with the Leafs in each of his three seasons, but each time has found himself back in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies. Read more »
Photo: Colin Miller’s stock has increased considerably since he was selected in the 5th round (151st overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. (Courtesy of Philippe Bouchard)
The 2015-16 season has been a campaign of transition for the Boston Bruins. Parting ways with lineup regulars Milan Lucic, Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, Dougie Hamilton, Carl Soderberg, and Reilly Smith has led to a new look for the Bruins, who missed the postseason for the first time in eight years last spring. Read more »
Photo: Rouyn-Noranda Huskies forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Martins Dzierkals is currently fourth in scoring for the Huskies with 21 goals and 54 points in 48 games for the QMJHL’s top club (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
With a number of draft picks taken in prime drafting positions in recent years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been stockpiling their system with loads of skill and speed, regularly showing readiness to take a shot at picking up smaller players with big offensive upside. Read more »
Photo: Calgary Flames top prospect Sam Bennett doesn’t turn 20 until June but has used this season to become a full-time contributor to the offense (courtesy of Jose Quiroz/Icon Sportswire)
The Calgary Flames prospect pipeline is an interesting combination when you look at it top to bottom.There is some exceptional high-end talent coupled with some depth players and role players, who seem like grinders at best. In other words, there may be a lack of middle ground from the high to the low. Nevertheless, the team has on hand some really strong blue-line depth and some reasonable center depth with several individual players having strong years. This is a system bristling with high end talent, but there is some considerable risk as well. There are some big moves and a few surprises in this mid-season rank to boot, so strap in.
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