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2015 U18 World Championship Preview: Canada hopes to peak at right time in quest for gold

by Jason Menard
on
2015 U18 World Championship Preview: Canada hopes to peak at right time in quest for gold

Photo: Saginaw Spirit forward and 2015 prospect Mitchell Stephens will be an important offensive player for Team Canada at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

In many ways, it’s the tournament that Canada forgets — and, as evidenced by its early returns, it appears that Team Canada may have passed over the beginning of the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in Zug and Lucerne, Switzerland. Read more »

2015 U18 World Championship Preview: Question marks at defense, in goal could hamper Finland’s medal aspirations

by Tony Piscotta
on
2015 U18 World Championship Preview: Question marks at defense, in goal could hamper Finland’s medal aspirations

Photo: Karpat Oulu forward and 2016 prospect Jesse Puljujarvi will be a player of interest for NHL scouts at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The 2014-15 season has been a difficult one for Finland‘s U18 team. Both at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August and in the most recent Five Nations Tournament, the squad has been uncharacteristically charitable in giving up scoring opportunities and have left their goaltenders out to dry at times. Read more »

2015 U18 World Championship Preview: For the USA, no goal but gold

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2015 U18 World Championship Preview: For the USA, no goal but gold

Photo: U.S. NTDP forward and 2016 prospect Auston Matthews will lead the way for Team USA at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

When it comes to USA Hockey’s U18 team, coming off gold in Belarus, gold in Germany, gold in the Czech Republic, silver in Russia and then gold again in Finland, there is little the program accepts other than excellence at the U18 level. Read more »

2015 U18 World Championship Preview: Germany hopes to avoid relegation playoff

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2015 U18 World Championship Preview: Germany hopes to avoid relegation playoff

Photo: Team Germany’s entry at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship will be looking to avoid the fate that befell that country’s U20 squad, namely relegation to Division I Group A (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Two years ago in Sochi, Russia, forward Leon Draisaitl was the reason many were very excited about seeing Team Germany play. And despite having to carry an unsuspecting cast on his back, just getting Germany to the playoffs, where they bowed out to host Russia in the first round with an 8-4 loss, was something he practically did on his own. Read more »

Prospect Faceoff: CHL, USHL playoffs continue as top NHL prospects go head-to-head

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Faceoff: CHL, USHL playoffs continue as top NHL prospects go head-to-head

Photo: Oshawa Generals forward and Ottawa Senators prospect Tobias Lindberg and Niagara IceDogs forward and New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang go head-to-head in OHL playoff action this weekend (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

The CHL playoffs continue this weekend, with second round action on tap. In the OHL, an import forward and one of the most dynamic players in the league go head-to-head. The QMJHL matchup features two international players with rare hockey backgrounds in an interesting look at teams putting the pieces together. Meanwhile, in the WHL, a slumping power forward is hoping to put a few past an underrated goaltender playing behind a powerful offense. Finally, the USHL playoffs continue as two rivals an interstate apart clash for the first time in four years. Read more »

2015 U18 World Championship: Sweden should be in the hunt for a medal

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2015 U18 World Championship: Sweden should be in the hunt for a medal

Photo: Brynas forward and 2015 prospect Jens Looke was a part of Sweden’s 2015 U20 squad, and he’ll also compete for his country at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

In the spring of 2014, Team Sweden headed to the homeland of archrival Finland with visions of grandeur, knowing full well that their blueline of redwoods would provide lots of support for not only a cast of hardworking forwards, but all-in-one weapon William Nylander, their all-star and a go-to guy like no other available to them for that U18 World Championship. Read more »

2015 U18 World Championship: Russia hoping to better U20 silver medal showing

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
on
2015 U18 World Championship: Russia hoping to better U20 silver medal showing

Photo: Team Russia settled for a silver medal at the U20 World Junior Championship, but will be looking to earn gold at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

Team Russia has recently had much more success at the U20 World Junior Championship level than at the U18, with the last U18 medal being a bronze in 2011 in Germany when the team was led by players like Nikita Kucherov (TBL), Mikhail Grigorenko (BUF), and Nail Yakupov (EDM). Read more »

2015 U18 World Championship Preview: Slovakia looks to build off of U20 success

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2015 U18 World Championship Preview: Slovakia looks to build off of U20 success

Photo: HC Kosice forward and 2015 prospect Radovan Bondra is hoping to bring some of the success of the U20 Slovakian team to the U18 squad competing at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in Switzerland (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

A little miracle took place for Slovakia on the last night of the U20 World Junior Championship this past winter. The bronze medal obtained by Slovakia at this year’s WJC practically rejuvenated an ice hockey nation that was feeling as if its best days were eternally behind it. The tournament darlings made that bronze medal game victory over Sweden feel as if they’d won the Stanley Cup. Read more »

2015 U18 World Championship Preview: Latvia among candidates for relegation round

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
on
2015 U18 World Championship Preview: Latvia among candidates for relegation round

Photo: Team Latvia will bring another group of hard-working players to the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, but will be challenged to avoid the relegation round (courtesy of ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

After a promotion following their first-place showing at last year’s U18 World Championship Divsion I Group A tournament held in Nice, France, Team Latvia will fight for survival in Switzerland at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship to avoid relegation back to that lower level. Read more »

Skilled Toronto Maple Leafs prospects are developing according to plan

by Ed Dermit
on
Skilled Toronto Maple Leafs prospects are developing according to plan

Photo: Frederik Gauthier will attempt to lead the Rimouski Oceanic all the way to the Memorial Cup this spring. (Courtesy of Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

At the dawn of the 2014-15 season, the Leafs featured a number of skilled forward prospects who were looking to either build on past success or transition to the next level of hockey. While most of this group consists of players small in stature, there were no major setbacks among their elite offensive forwards as they made successful transitions to the minor pro ranks or improved statistically over their previous season. Read more »

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