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Ottawa Senators prospects Lazar, Harpur saw long and fruitful postseasons

by Peter Morrow
on

Curtis Lazar - Ottawa Senators

Photo: Forward Curtis Lazar helped the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 2014 Memorial Cup Championship. Lazar was also a standout for the Oil Kings in the WHL Playoffs, posting 10 goals and 12 assists in 21 games. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

While the Ottawa Senators failed to qualify for the postseason, most of the organization's prospects made playoff appearances this spring. CHL prospects Ben Harpur and Curtis Lazar had particularly noteworthy postseasons as they helped their respective teams to the 2014 Memorial Cup.

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2014 NHL Combine Video: Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting

by Ken McKenna
on

2014 NHL Combine - Dan Marr - NHL Central Scouting

Photo: Director Of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr has presided over the past three NHL Combines after being named to his current position in October of 2011 (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

If one were seeking an informed opinion on the prospects available for the 2014 NHL Draft, you could certainly not find a much more well-informed individual than the Director of NHL Central Scouting, Dan Marr.

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CHL prospects take home majority of Winnipeg Jets prospect awards

by Charlie Beattie
on
Eric Comrie - Tri-City Americans

Photo: Goaltender Eric Comrie put together his healthiest season in the WHL in 2013-14 and maintained a .925 save percentage in 60 appearances for Tri-City (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 
The Jets’ prospect pool underwent a turnover when top prospects Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba graduated, removing some of the blue-chip talent from the current crop. The cupboard is far from bare, however, as the next wave of Winnipeg Jets prospects thrived in their current locations, highlighting the overall depth of the system.

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Ryan Spooner finished 2013-14 season with strong postseason performance

by Richard Murray
on

Ryan Spooner - Boston Bruins

Photo: Forward Ryan Spooner led the Providence Bruins in postseason scoring with six goals and nine assists through 12 games. (courtesy of Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

Although none of the Boston Bruins prospects won a championship in their respective leagues, many of them grew a lot over the season and playoffs. Ryan Spooner led the AHL playoff-scoring race through the first two rounds with 15 points, and Alexander Khokhlachev was only one-point behind Spooner.

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Anthony Mantha’s playoff performance most notable among Detroit Red Wings prospects

by Adam Schnepp
on

Anthony Mantha - Val d'Or Foreurs

Photo: Val d’Or winger Anthony Mantha registered 24 goals and 38 points during the QMJHL playoffs, leading the Foreurs to the President’s Cup and a Memorial Cup berth (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

It seemed as though Detroit's much lauded playoff streak would come to an end in 2013-14 until a mid-season influx of young talent bolstered the ranks and reinvigorated a floundering Detroit Red Wings team. Prospects such as Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco were initially called up to fill in for injured NHL players, but they performed at such a high level that they never relinquished their jobs.

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Another wave of talented prospects on the way for Tampa Bay Lightning

by Chris Roberts
on

Kristers Gudlevskis - Tampa Bay Lightning

Photo: Goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis had a strong rookie season in the AHL, winning 18 of 35 starts while posting a 2.68 goals against average. Gudlevkis also represented Latvia at the 2014 Winter Olympics. (courtesy of Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have steadily built a strong group of prospects since the arrival of general manager Steve Yzerman in 2010. This season, their patience paid dividends as they made a surprising playoff appearance. Several prospects – Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Mark Barberio – made key contributions and earned regular NHL roles.

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2014 NHL Combine Video: Sam Reinhart, Kootenay Ice

by Ken McKenna
on

2014 NHL Combine - Sam Reinhart, Kootenay Ice

Photo: Kootenay Ice forward and 2014 prospect Sam Reinhart is the top-ranked prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft according to ISS Hockey, and is ranked third amongst North American skaters by Central Scouting (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

He's had the experience of two brothers before him to learn from, not to mention a father that starred in the NHL, but Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart may ultimately surpass his parent and siblings when it comes to draft position when the 2014 NHL Draft takes place in late June.

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Kings prospects had a taste of deep playoff runs in 2013-14

by Jason Lewis
on

Nick Ebert - Guelph Storm

Photo: Defenseman Nick Ebert, acquired via trade in December, led the Storm defense in scoring during the club’s OHL Championship run and trip to the Memorial Cup final (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

The Los Angeles Kings are in the midst of a deep playoff run, one that is eerily similar to their 2011-12 cup run. Outside of that though, there have been a ton of prospects competing with the Los Angeles Kings prospect tag by their name in all of the playoff competitions across the globe.

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Numerous New Jersey Devils prospects came up big in postseason

by John Iadevaia
on

Ben Thomson - New Jersey Devils

Photo: Forward Ben Thomson played a key part of North Bay’s deep run through the OHL playoffs. New Jersey signed Thomson to an entry-level deal on May 23rd, 2014. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

While the New Jersey Devils missed the 2013-14 NHL playoffs, quite a few of their prospects had impactful postseasons. Their AHL affiliate reached the playoffs for the first time since 2010, giving many pro prospects their first taste of the postseason. Other players at lower levels, such as Damon Severson and Ben Thomson, also had strong playoff performances.

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Pouliot, Jarry among Pittsburgh Penguins prospects who enjoyed long postseasons

by Ian Altenbaugh
on

Derrick Pouliot - Pittsburgh Penguins

Photo: Derrick Pouliot led the WHL in points from a defenseman with five goals and 27 assists. Pouliot and the Portland Winterhawks almost won their second consecutive WHL championship, losing in seven games to the Edmonton Oil Kings. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

After failing to make the Stanley Cup finals for a fifth year in a row, the Pittsburgh Penguins fired longtime general manager Ray Shero. The organization named Shero's former assistant, Jason Botterill, as the interim GM while the organization seeks a permanent replacement. However, it is not all bad news on the playoff front for the Penguins organization. Several prospects, namely Derrick Pouliot and Tristan Jarry, had long and productive postseasons, which should benefit their development down the road.

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