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Prospect Faceoff: Familiar Hockey East foes meet, 2016 hopefuls Laberge and Dineen in CHL action, Drouin returns to Syracuse

by David Hahn
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Prospect Faceoff: Familiar Hockey East foes meet, 2016 hopefuls Laberge and Dineen in CHL action, Drouin returns to Syracuse

Photo: UMass Lowell forward C.J. Smith, and Boston University forward and San Jose Sharks prospect Danny O’Regan renew the rivalry between their two schools this weekend in the Hockey East Tournament (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

The Hockey East quarterfinals are underway this weekend, and two familiar faces re-ignite a rivalry as Boston University and UMass Lowell meet in the Hockey East playoffs again just one year removed from meeting in the finals. The CHL’s regular season is winding down, and all three leagues are in action again as two top 2016 draft-eligibles get another last chance to impress before the draft. Finally, Jonathan Drouin’s infamous story will have a new chapter written in Syracuse as the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect is back in the AHL after an attempted trade request, finishing off a stacked edition of Prospect Faceoff. Read more »

2016 NHL Draft: Hronek, Solensky the top prospects competing in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2016 NHL Draft: Hronek, Solensky the top prospects competing in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Photo: HC Litvinov forward and 2016 prospect Kristian Reichel competed for the Czech Republic at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge where he picked up a goal and three points in four games (courtesy of Tim Bates/OJHL Images)

With the regular season for European clubs having wrapped up and the playoffs having begun, a feel for the NHL Draft prospects available this summer has led to a fairly clear ranking for the neighboring countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Read more »

Stolarz making strides in second pro season with Lehigh Valley

by Tony Androckitis
on
Stolarz making strides in second pro season with Lehigh Valley

Photo: Lehigh Valley Phantoms goaltender and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Anthony Stolarz is ranked in the top 10 in minutes played by AHL goaltenders in the 2015-16 season (courtesy of Nina Weiss/THN)

It is no secret that goaltender Anthony Stolarz has made significant strides in his development in his sophomore season with the Philadelphia FlyersAHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Read more »

Honka leads a deep blueline group among the Dallas Stars Top 20 prospects

by Mike Farkas
on
Honka leads a deep blueline group among the Dallas Stars Top 20 prospects

Photo: Julius Honka, who has become an established AHLer before being able to buy a beer in Texas, is no shock as Dallas’s top prospect (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

The Dallas Stars have been a finely-tuned offensive machine in the 2015-16 season, which is good because the prospect pool is a little short on elite-level talent. Nor is the situation helped by the loss of Brett Pollock to Calgary in the Kris Russell trade, and the graduation of Mattias Janmark. A good mix of intelligent players and useful depth players make up most of the pipeline. Standout players like Julius Honka and power forward Brett Ritchie do provide impact upside.

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NCAA Prospects Notebook, February, 2016: “CCM” line continues tear, Roy finding game at right time

by DJ Powers
on
NCAA Prospects Notebook, February, 2016: “CCM” line continues tear, Roy finding game at right time

Photo: University of Denver forward and Boston Bruins prospect Danton Heinen is off his scoring pace of last season but has still produced 15 goals and 37 points in 34 games for the Pioneers in 2015-16 (courtesy of Patrick Green/Icon Sportswire)

With the 2015-16 NCAA hockey regular season now in the books, schools now turn their attention to conference postseason showdowns and NCAA Tournament bids. As always, a number of NHL prospects will play a big role in their school’s quest for postseason success. Read more »

Andrei Vasilevskiy retains top spot on Tampa Bay Lightning top 20

by Chris Roberts
on
Andrei Vasilevskiy retains top spot on Tampa Bay Lightning top 20

Photo: Andrei Vasilevskiy would be leading the AHL in save percentage (.935) if the Lightning hadn’t decided that he was ready to become an NHL goaltender midway through the season. (Courtesy of Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire)

Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman has maintained a fine balance between keeping a competitive team on the ice with Stanley Cup aspirations, while still having a strong prospect group. The team’s top five scorers were all drafted and developed in-house and there’s a wave of prospects in Syracuse of the AHL that could be ready to fill voids left by departing free agents next season. Read more »

Zhukenov adjusting well to new surroundings with playoff-bound Sagueneens squad

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
on
Zhukenov adjusting well to new surroundings with playoff-bound Sagueneens squad

Photo: Chicoutimi Sagueneens forward and Vancouver Canucks prospect Dmitry Zhukenov was a productive player for Russia at the 2015 U18 World Championship, posting three goals and six points in five games (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

There will always be a debate about the best development track for European – and especially Russian – hockey players: is it better to develop at home or in North America? While it is not possible to get a one-size-fits-all reply, there are some stories of success and failure in both cases. Read more »

Colorado Avalanche trade deadline moves mean less depth in the Top 20

by Chau Vo
on
Colorado Avalanche trade deadline moves mean less depth in the Top 20

Photo: The Colorado Avalanche’s top prospect, Mikko Rantanen, has shown elite pro ability in two leagues now and might be key to helping the Avalanche into a playoff berth (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

The Colorado Avalanche’s top five prospects are as good as any other team’s in the league but after fifth-ranked Nicolas Meloche the level of talent begins to wane and big question marks appear. The front office targeted defense as a weakness a few years ago, putting emphasis on improving that area at the expense of the forward group. The lack of success in the mid- to late-rounds has not helped the team’s situation.

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Prospect Impressions: Nylander, Soshnikov first NHL goals, McDavid tops Eichel, Kamloops goes old school

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Impressions: Nylander, Soshnikov first NHL goals, McDavid tops Eichel, Kamloops goes old school

Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs rookie forward Nikita Soshnikov had produced 28 points in 50 AHL games for the Toronto Marlies before his current call-up to the NHL (courtesy of Nick Turchiaro/Icon Sportswire)

Prospect Impressions is on fire this week, with a pair of first NHL goals from the Toronto Maple Leafs and the first battle in the McDavid vs. Eichel throwdown. College hockey’s undisputed top line produced two highlight-worthy goals this week, and we have plenty more coverage of all three CHL leagues. Read more »

Lyon, Nelson and Tanev lead this season’s NCAA free agent group

by DJ Powers
on
Lyon, Nelson and Tanev lead this season’s NCAA free agent group

Photo: Providence College senior forward Brandon Tanev scored the championship-winning goal at the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four, and is a team leader for the fourth-ranked Friars in 2015-16 (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

As the 2015-16 NCAA season winds down, NHL teams begin to descend on the college hockey landscape in hopes of stockpiling their pipelines with collegiate free agents. Hockey Future takes a closer look at 10 players (listed alphabetically by last name) who have all drawn considerable NHL interest and could soon be headed to an NHL organization near you. Read more »

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