With several players making their jumps to the AHL level, the St. Louis Blues have plenty of prospects moving forward in their hockey careers. The Chicago Wolves will be stacked with Blues prospects, many who are considered their very best, and there is a good chance a few of them will see NHL action by season’s end. Read more »
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How times have changed in a year’s span. Last season the New Jersey Devils were a veteran laden team fighting to get back to the postseason. That push was derailed by the team’s inefficient offense and ineffective powerplay. The Devils would miss the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, ushering in a massive overhaul in personnel and management over the summer. New general manager Ray Shero and new head coach John Hynes will rely on the franchise’s prospects to bring the Devils back to the model franchise they once were. Read more »
You could forgive the new Hamilton Bulldogs’ OHL franchise for hoping – at least when it comes to drafting Stromes – that the third time truly is the charm. After all, considering the success older brothers Ryan and Dylan have had in the OHL, there is plenty of anticipation and expectation for 16-year-old Matthew. Read more »
This offseason the Minnesota Wild faced the problems of a contending team. Veteran players are key to winning in the NHL but their salaries can make for tough salary-cap decisions elsewhere in the roster. Veterans also tend to decline in performance at some point. To offset any drop in performance, the team relies on young and relatively inexpensive talent whose growing pains can sometimes be costly. Could this be the season that the young guys and the older guys hit the perfect balance and propel the team to the Finals? It presents a tough situation for the player who has yet to establish himself.
Back in early August at USA Hockey’s National Junior Evaluation Camp, Team USA forward Auston Matthews was asked about whether a decision had been made regarding the team he would compete for in the 2015-16 season. Matthews elected not to let the cat out of the bag, instead simply stating that a decision would be made after the completion of the NJEC. Read more »
For a team that has drilled a message of patience, new Toronto Maple Leafs management has been able to restock the prospect cupboard rather quickly. Players with high-end skill successfully acquired through trade, via the draft and by signing undrafted free agents. Equally positive news was that a majority of the top prospects already in the Maple Leafs system metor exceeded expectations in 2014-15.
The 2015-16 season preview for the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) wraps up with the Midwest Division in the league’s Western Conference.
The defending division champs, the Erie Otters, won the division going away in 2014-15, racking up 104 points which was 20 points more than the runner-up London Knights. Of course, that team featured at attack that included Connor McDavid and Dylan Strome, the first and third picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. At least one of those two will not be back in the fold in 2015-16, and a loss of both could make a second straight division title a difficult proposition. Read more »
Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy have used the last three drafts and two summers to turn a once dismal prospect pool into an underrated one. The key to continued success in the NHL is to have good depth and cheap replacements: two things a strong pipeline provides. Before the duo took over the front office, the team depth had been hurt by immediate graduation of top picks and lack of success in the later rounds in addition to free agency duds.