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.
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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.
It will be hard for some of the Los Angeles Kings prospects to top their respective 2014-15 seasons. There was a Calder Cup Championship, a Memorial Cup Championship, a Slovak Extraliga title, and a number of other MVP-worthy and team-leading performances spread across the pipeline.
The Kelowna Rockets and Portland Winterhawks have been the class of the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference for the past few seasons, but there is some strength building in the U.S. Division. The Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds appear poised to challenge the Winterhawks and Rockets. Read more »
The Buffalo Sabres have quickly transitioned from a desperate, broken hockey club to one full of potential and promise—and not just because of Jack Eichel. After some daring moves by GM Tim Murray during the offseason, it’s clear that the team has made it a priority to ensure its young star is surrounded with talent as he grows into an elite franchise center.
The Hockey’s Future 2015-16 preview of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) continues with a move over to the Eastern Conference and look at the East Division. This division includes the reigning OHL and CHL champions, the Oshawa Generals, who won their first OHL title since the 1996-97 season, and their first Memorial Cup since 1989-90. Read more »
The Dallas Stars continue to exhibit a very balanced prospect group where a good variety of player types abound. They have a veritable cornucopia of players designated as prospects by Hockey’s Future’s standards – 42 in all, including 18 defensemen (not including Jamie Oleksiak and Jyrki Jokipakka). As a result, some very noteworthy players such as bulky winger Brett Ritchie, QMJHL champion goalie Philippe Desrosiers and the Swedish defense duo of Patrik Nemeth and Mattias Backman will not be mentioned below.