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Pittsburgh Penguins possess newfound depth at forward

by Ian Altenbaugh
on

Jean-Sebastien Dea - Pittsburgh Penguins

Photo: Jean Sebastien Dea is part of a large group of forwards who are beginning their professional career with the Penguins organization. Dea was signed as a free agent in 2013. (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)

 

When Jim Rutherford took over the general manager job for the Pittsburgh Penguins last June, he inherited an organization that was shallow at forward, from the NHL level all the way through the prospect rankings. Rutherford did not take long to address the problem, first picking four forwards in the 2014 NHL Draft, then augmenting the Penguins NHL roster with several talented veteran players.

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Los Angeles Kings have greatest depth in areas of need

by Jason Lewis
on

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

Photo: Brayden McNabb has received significant ice time with the Kings in 2014-15 and looks to have found a home on the Los Angeles blue line. (courtesy of Harry How/Getty Images)

 

Without having too many high selections in recent drafts, the Los Angeles Kings have done quite well in growing their pipeline in areas of need. While the graduation of Martin Jones does hurt the goalie pipeline, they continue to stock up on useful centers and defenseman. While the wings might not be top-tier, there are some role players and quality players peppered throughout.

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(Video) First NHL Goal: Griffith, Lowry net first career markers in Tuesday wins

by Ken McKenna
on

Adam Lowry - Winnipeg Jets

Photo: Winnipeg Jets rookie forward Adam Lowry notched 33 points (17G, 16A) in 64 games for the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps in 2013-14 (courtesy of Terrence Lee/Icon Sportswire)

 

Two NHL rookies netted their first career goals on Tuesday night, while another newcomer scored one on the weekend that had been previously overlooked. The Boston BruinsSeth Griffith and the Winnipeg JetsAdam Lowry each registered their first NHL goal on Tuesday while the St. Louis BluesJori Lehtera netted his in a Saturday win. Read more »

2014-15 AHL Preview: No clear favorite in talented Midwest Division

by Tony Androckitis
on

Marek Mazanec - Nashville Predators

Photo: Milwaukee Admirals goalltender and Nashville Predators prospect Marek Mazanec had a taste of NHL action during the 2013-14 season, playing well in a 25-game stint with the NHL club (courtesy of John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

The AHL’s Midwest Division features several talented incoming rookies including Rockford’s Teuvo Teravainen and Grand Rapids’ Anthony Mantha, as well as several key prospects entering their second pro season such as Chicago’s Ty Rattie and the duo of Miikka Salomaki and Colton Sissons in Milwaukee. Read more »

Defense and right wing positions hold lots of promise for Toronto Maple Leafs organization

by Ed Dermit
on

Tom Nilsson - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Defenseman Tom Nilsson is one of several prospects who are in their first year with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ minor league organization. (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)

 

Over the last few years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have utilized the NHL Draft to build depth across all positions within their prospect ranks. While the question of how much of an impact that depth will have on the parent club is hard to gauge, the Leafs most recent training camp showed that depth is translating into competition for roster spots at the NHL level.

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Nashville Predators feature high-end talent at forward

by Tony Piscotta
on

NHL: SEP 23 Preseason - Predators at Lightning

Photo: Colton Sissons, who spent time with Nashville in 2013-14, is one of the organization’s top AHL goal scorers. (courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)

 

The Nashville Predators figured to make changes once long-time coach Barry Trotz was replaced and Peter Laviolette was hired. If the addition of veterans like James Neal, Mike Ribeiro, Olli Jokinen and Derek Roy has changed things in the current lineup, the impact that some of the prospects in the pipeline will have could make things really interesting.

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2015 NHL Draft: Schemitsch adapting well to defensive duties

by Jason Menard
on

Thomas Schemitsch - Owen Sound Attack

Photo: Owen Sound Attack defenseman and 2015 prospect Thomas Schemitsch is the brother of Geoffrey Schemitsch, a former draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning now playing for Acadia University (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

 

It was only a couple of years ago that Owen Sound Attack defender Thomas Schemitsch made the switch to the blueline. And now he finds himself on Central Scouting’s coveted “Ones to Watch” list for the 2015 NHL Draft. Schemitsch hopes to continue his ascent up the draft boards by doing the little things right. Read more »

Arizona Coyotes feature well-balanced prospect pool

by Pat Paeplow
on

NHL: SEP 23 Preseason - Coyotes at Ducks

Photo: Louis Domingue used an impressive 2013-14 season to solidify himself as the starter for the AHL’s Portland Pirates in 2014-15. (courtesy of John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)

 

The Arizona Coyotes have actively addressed the composition of their prospect pool since the 2013-14 trade deadline. A year ago, there was a logjam of talented defensemen throughout their pipeline. At the deadline, general manager Dave Maloney traded David Rundblad to the Chicago Blackhawks. At the 2014 NHL Draft, the Coyotes grabbed seven forwards while only selecting two defensemen, both in the late rounds.

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Many New Jersey Devils prospects ready to take the next step

by John Iadevaia
on

Reid Boucher - New Jersey Devils

Photo: Forward Reid Boucher is one of the more promising forwards in the New Jersey Devils prospect pool. Boucher started the 2014-15 season in the AHL, but should be among the first forwards recalled by the Devils in case of injury. (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

 

Since the 2004 lockout, the New Jersey Devils system has not produced the same quality of prospects they were known for during their glory days. This is a result of different issues, like lack of picks, location on the draft board, or losing the magic touch to find late-round gems. But over the past seven years, management has slowly restocked the prospect pool where depth and quality are now returning NHL ready players.

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(Video) First NHL Goal: Hayes bags first in win over Sharks

by Ken McKenna
on

Kevin Hayes - New York Rangers

Photo: New York Rangers rookie forward Kevin Hayes signed with the NHL club in August after the team that drafted him, the Chicago Blackhawks, was unable to come to terms with Hayes (courtesy of David Hahn/Icon Sportswire)

 

While his former college linemate was scoring his first goal of the season a half a continent away, New York Rangers forward Kevin Hayes netted his first of the 2014-15 season, and of his fledgling NHL career. Hayes’ goal was the fourth in a 4-0 win for the Rangers over the San Jose Sharks. Read more »