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After Larkin, Detroit Red Wings European and NCAA prospects a mixed bag

by Chris Roberts
on
After Larkin, Detroit Red Wings European and NCAA prospects a mixed bag

Photo: Detroit Red Wings prospect Mike McKee brought a physical edge for Western Michigan this season. (courtesy of Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)

The prize of the Detroit Red Wings prospect pool is University of Michigan forward Dylan Larkin, who seems likely to sign an NHL contract sooner rather than later despite being in just his first season of collegiate hockey.

Outside of Larkin, the majority of the Wings’ top prospects play in the AHL or CHL, but there is a decent group of potential future Red Wings playing in the NCAA and Europe this season.

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Tampa Bay Lightning carrying a small but promising group of collegiate prospects

by Chris Roberts
on
Tampa Bay Lightning carrying a small but promising group of collegiate prospects

Photo: Brian Hart is enjoying a solid junior year with Harvard University. (Courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s most prominent prospects are either playing junior hockey or have already established themselves as pros in the AHL; yet, the organization still has five prospects in their junior or senior NCAA seasons. Andrey Vasilevskiy is no longer the prospect to watch overseas in the Lightning organization, but a breakthrough year for Nikita Gusev has the skilled Russian winger amongst the Bolts Top 20 ProspectsRead more »

Prospect Impressions: Highlight reel goals from Miami forwards, other NHL prospect highlights

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Impressions: Highlight reel goals from Miami forwards, other NHL prospect highlights

Photo: Miami University senior forward and captain Austin Czarnik could be a highly-sought NCAA free agent once his team’s 2014-15 season is completed (courtesy of Tim Zechar/Icon Sportswire)

Two Miami University forwards helped the Redhawks win an NCHC title, thanks to two spectacular plays. One Erie Otters forward wins the OHL scoring title, and it’s probably not who you’re expecting. Meanwhile, other noteworthy highlights from the WHL, NHL, and the NCAA are featured in this week’s Prospect Impressions. Read more »

Bjorkstrand, Virtanen the top NHL-drafted wingers in the WHL

by Glen Erickson
on
Bjorkstrand, Virtanen the top NHL-drafted wingers in the WHL

Photo: Portland Winterhawks forward and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand had a late-season, 5-game scoring streak totaling 15 points that helped to the 2014-15 WHL scoring crown (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Many of the WHL’s top players achieve success due in part to their versatility, as most forwards will take a spin from time to time at the center position.

The following ranking includes wingers that are currently property of a National Hockey League team. A total of eight are signed NHL entry-level contracts. Our ranking consists of five Canadians, one American and four imports with six currently toiling in the WHL’s Western Conference. Additionally, our ranking contains a couple pairs of potential NHL teammates. Read more »

Kings’ Euro and NCAA prospects feeling the growing pains in 2014-15

by Jason Lewis
on
Kings’ Euro and NCAA prospects feeling the growing pains in 2014-15

Photo: Los Angeles Kings first-rounder Adrian Kempe starred for Team Sweden at the World Juniors but did not stand out on a struggling MODO squad. (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Hockey is a tough sport with a lot to think about and a lot of moving parts on the ice. There is the physical aspect as well as the mental aspect that players have to develop. In the early stages of their career it is not uncommon to see one fall a step behind the other. The Kings have six prospects playings in the NCAA ranks and overseas, and most of them have endured seasons of struggles with a steep learning curve. Some, like Nikolai Prokhorkin, are battling mental challenges, while others like Adrian Kempe are battling the physical challenges. Either way it has made for a year filled with growing pains that will hopefully better these players as they move forward in their careers.

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NHL Prospect Signings: Bailey, Morrison off the market after signing NHL deals

by Ken McKenna
on
NHL Prospect Signings: Bailey, Morrison off the market after signing NHL deals

Photo: Former Western Michigan defenseman and Calgary Flames prospect Kenney Morrison finished his NCAA career with 16 goals and 38 assists for 54 points in 115 games (courtesy of Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)

The pace of NHL prospect signings has picked up over the past few days. Included among those newly-minted pros are two high-profile NCAA free agents, a Russian free agent, and a handful of previously drafted players. Read more »

Harvard’s Vesey tops among NHL-drafted forwards competing in the NCAA

by DJ Powers
on
Harvard’s Vesey tops among NHL-drafted forwards competing in the NCAA

Photo: Harvard University forward and Nashville Predators prospect Jimmy Vesey is currently ranked third overall in NCAA scoring with 55 points in 35 games (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

The 2014-15 NCAA hockey season has featured a number of excellent forward prospects, especially among the underclassmen.

This year’s ranking of NHL-drafted forwards competing in D1 hockey features 11 players (two are tied for 10th) representing nine NCAA programs and nine NHL teams. Among the NCAA teams, Miami and Michigan each have two players in the top 10, while the Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks are tops among NHL teams with each club having two prospects on this year’s list. Read more »

Philadelphia Flyers’ collegiate prospect pool still strong on defense

by Jashvina Shah
on
Philadelphia Flyers’ collegiate prospect pool still strong on defense

Photo: Mark Friedman is enjoying a standout freshman season on the blueline with Bowling Green State University. (Courtesy of Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

Despite Shayne Gostisbehere’s departure to the professional ranks, the Philadelphia Flyers still possess a number of solid defensive prospects at the collegiate level, including Nick Luukko, Reece Willcox and Mark Friedman. Read more »

Buchnevich, Slepyshev top NHL-drafted wingers competing in the KHL

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
on
Buchnevich, Slepyshev top NHL-drafted wingers competing in the KHL

Photo: Severstal Cherepovets forward and New York Rangers prospect Pavel Buchnevich represented Russia at the 2015 World Junior Championship, scoring one goal and five assists in seven games (courtesy of Terry Wilson/CHL Images)

Forward is traditionally the position that is most productive for Russia, as evidenced by the success rate of Russian-born NHL forwards and the recent good performances at the World Junior Championship. Read more »

Vancouver Canucks Top 20 deep in blueline prospects

by Peter Prohaska
on
Vancouver Canucks Top 20 deep in blueline prospects

Photo: Vancouver Canucks first-rounder Jared McCann is pivotal to his team’s playoff chances. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Vancouver has iced very good rosters for a long time now. Despite having not yet won the Stanley Cup, the Canucks accomplished a lot in the 2000s on the strengths of Daniel and Henrik Sedin’s puck possession skills, Ryan Kesler’s defensive game, the goaltending of Roberto Luongo, and teams that were composed from top to bottom with strong talents who could drive play. The Sedins will be 35 years old when the 2015-16 season starts, Kesler and Luongo are gone, and though the team has performed well this season, it is no longer among the President’s Trophy favorites. Management has not had the luxury of lottery picks to build around, but there are several prospects in the system who will help ease the transition to a post-Sedin era, whenever that arrives.

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