The Vancouver Canucks have done a fine job of re-stocking their prospect pool over the last few seasons and the good scouting and smart drafting has finally begun to bear fruit. Former CHL stars Bo Horvat, Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann are all now full time NHL players. The wisdom of having Virtanen and McCann in the NHL this season could be debated but they should play important roles for the Canucks for many years to come. Here is a look at the Canucks prospects currently playing in the junior ranks of North America.
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The Buffalo Sabres have their centers for the future in Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and Sam Reinhart, but the organization is hoping to develop talent on the wings to support that trio. One of those wingers looking to complement the likes of an Eichel or a Reinhart is right wing Justin Bailey – one of three second round picks for the Sabres at the 2013 NHL Draft. Read more »
In this week’s Prospect Faceoff, the reigning Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week will try and slow down one of the QMJHL’s most proficient scorers. Two Toronto Maple Leafs prospects will go head-to-head in a Thanksgiving Day matinee, while two ‘A’ rated 2016 NHL Draft-eligible skaters clash in the WHL. In the USHL, a pair of Clark Cup champions go one-on-one, while two of the NCAA’s finest freshmen collide. Read more »
Every year it seems like one or two players in the hockey world pull off a lacrosse-style goal that catches the attention of national media. Tomas Soustal joined the club this weekend, drawing the attention of hockey fans worldwide. Also in this week’s edition of Prospect Impressions, Leon Draisaitl and Teemu Pulkkinen score, plus more from junior hockey and one college play that has coaches taking notes. Read more »
The Kings have a fairly large group of CHL representatives this year, many coming out of the 2014 and 2015 NHL Entry drafts. While they have a large numbers of players, they have few upper-round picks representing the team. They also are strictly limited to just two leagues of the CHL: the WHL and the OHL. With eleven players currently playing in the CHL, only two are from the first three rounds of the draft. The Kings are going to need some late rounders to blossom (and they have a few on their way) to really make the best out of a group full of outliers and depth players.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have one prospect playing at the Canadian major junior level, forward Jaden Lindo. A sixth-round pick in 2014, Lindo is playing in his fourth season in the OHL. The organization also has one player at the junior-A level, the 6-foot-7 behemoth Nikita Pavylchev, who is playing in the USHL for the Des Moines Buccaneers. Read more »
The Arizona Coyotes had a number of prospects who racked up accolades through the first quarter of the 2015-16 season, including quite a few who are playing in the CHL this year. Three Coyotes prospects are among the top 15 scorers in the OHL, another one is in the top-five in the QMJHL, and the team’s WHL contingent has provided valuable leadership.
There are a number of Columbus Blue Jackets prospects off to fast starts in junior hockey. Among them, Paul Bittner is trying to adjust to life without fellow Blue Jackets prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand in Portland. Kole Sherwood is an underrated addition to the London Knights lineup, and Olivier LeBlanc is an exciting prospect plying his trade in Cape Breton. Read more »
For a hockey fan, the arrival of July 1st means the unofficial start to the coming hockey season. The event sparking this fan interest is the start of the NHL’s annual free agency period, where player movement, or more specifically, rumors of player movement tend to dominate the hockey headlines and the news-hungry Twitterverse. Read more »