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Pittsburgh Penguins prospect depth tested early and often through first half of season

by Ian Altenbaugh
on
Pittsburgh Penguins prospect depth tested early and often through first half of season

Photo: After failing to breach the 10-game milestone for consecutive seasons, Brian Dumoulin is with Pittsburgh to stay. (Courtesy of Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

The Pittsburgh Penguins may not be going through the injury problems they have endured in previous seasons, but they have nonetheless had to test their depth fairly often. The early retirement of Pascal Dupuis and injuries to veterans such as Nick Bonino and Marc-Andre Fleury opened spots on the roster and provided an opportunity for multiple rookies to make their NHL debuts. Read more »

(Podcast) 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Skilled Steel has Pats in the hunt for playoff return

by Glen Erickson
on
(Podcast) 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Skilled Steel has Pats in the hunt for playoff return

Photo: Regina Pats forward and 2016 prospect Sam Steel is second in scoring on the Pats’ roster with 17 goals and 45 points in 48 games in the 2015-16 season (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)

It has been some time since the Regina Pats have experienced post-season success, and players of Sam Steel’s dynamic skill inject instant optimism. Creative and crafty with the puck, the diminutive forward from the Edmonton area possesses the kind of talent that can bring fans out of their seats. When at his best, Steel is certainly capable of moving the needle in a city that is craving a return to its WHL glory days. Read more »

(Podcast) 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Steelheads’ Day using TPG appearance as benchmark

by Glen Erickson
on
(Podcast) 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Steelheads’ Day using TPG appearance as benchmark

Photo: Mississauga Steelheads defenseman and 2016 prospect Sean Day has scored three goals and 14 points in 37 games in the 2015-16 campaign (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

When a player arrives in the Ontario Hockey League as a 15-year-old, courtesy of its “exceptional status” label, the pressure is naturally both immediate and intense. The label is there for the duration, heady stuff for any young teenager looking to make his mark in major junior hockey. Read more »

(Podcast) 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Silvertips’ Hart carries strong second half of 2014-15 season into draft year

by Glen Erickson
on
(Podcast) 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Silvertips’ Hart carries strong second half of 2014-15 season into draft year

Photo: Everett Silvertips goaltender and 2016 prospect Carter Hart’s 27 wins is the most for any WHL goaltender so far in the 2015-16 campaign (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

When Carter Hart basically took over as the number one goaltender with the Everett Silvertips midway through last season, the unflappable keeper was only 16 years old. While he led the Silvertips into the post-season, where Everett fell to the Portland Winterhawks in the second round. Read more »

Dallas Stars pushing toward playoffs with minimal rookie support

by Mike Farkas
on
Dallas Stars pushing toward playoffs with minimal rookie support

Photo: With less than ten total AHL games on his resume, Dallas Stars prospect Mattias Janmark has found a way to thrive in a support role in the NHL this season (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

With a glut of players developing in their farm system but Stanley Cup dreams abounding, the Dallas Stars have found little use for their prospects over the course of this season – with one exception, Mattias Janmark. Otherwise, the call-ups have been generally short in nature but have yielded some promising early returns. Esa Lindell has not played many games but the added experience could come in handy as reinforcements are needed, while Devin Shore had his excellent season cut short by injury. Read more »

On the Rush, January 2016

by HF Staff
on
On the Rush, January 2016

Photo: Michael Spacek has 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists) during his first season overseas with the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels. (Courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Welcome to the January 2016 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various levels of competition who are either exceeding expectations or falling behind. Read more »

Prospect Impressions: Omark’s on fire, Leipsic gets creative in overtime, plus a must-see puppy goal

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Impressions: Omark’s on fire, Leipsic gets creative in overtime, plus a must-see puppy goal

Photo: Toronto Marlies forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Brandan Leipsic is currently fourth in scoring for the Marlies with 13 goals and 31 points in 42 games this season (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Sticks are both figuratively and literally on fire in this week’s edition of Prospect Impressions. Andrew Mangiapane and Brendan Leipsic score impressive goals, joining a trio of players in Europe who provided creative entries of their own. Make sure to check in this week to see why Bobby Ryan’s snipe will forever be known as the “puppy goal!” Read more »

2016 WJC Review: Czech Republic’s tournament begins well but ends with a whimper

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2016 WJC Review: Czech Republic’s tournament begins well but ends with a whimper

Photo: Kamloops Blazers forward and 2016 prospect Jiri Smejkal (C) was one of the more effective forwards for the Czech Republic at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, posting two goals and two assists in five games (courtesy of MARKKU ULANDER/AFP/Getty Images)

The Czech Republic entered the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship looking to shock everyone from a position of anonymity. Not looked at as a favorite, the team nonetheless featured some very solid players who also happened to be NHL-drafted prospects, including New Jersey Devils recent sixth overall selection, Pavel Zacha. The team even got a huge boost when the Boston Bruins allowed last season’s rookie sensation David Pastrnak to join his native country on a sort of reassignment after an injury-plagued first half of the season. Read more »

San Antonio Rampage experiencing the growing pains of housing Colorado Avalanche prospects

by Chau Vo
on
San Antonio Rampage experiencing the growing pains of housing Colorado Avalanche prospects

Photo: After half a season of pro hockey, Colorado 2013 second-round pick and former Owen Sound star Chris Bigras has advanced to NHL duties (courtesy of John Rivera/Icon Sportswire)

The San Antonio Rampage did not lose in regulation until November 7th against their rival, the Texas Stars. The month-long hot streak included six regulation wins and four overtime losses. They continued to rack up wins and stay atop the Pacific Division until December when they proceeded to lose seven in a row and a staggering 15 losses in 20 games. Colorado Avalanche General Manager Joe Sakic has emphasized the need to establish a winning culture in their minor league system but knows such changes cannot be accomplished overnight.

Read more »

Solid group of Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen proving their worth in Syracuse

by Chris Roberts
on
Solid group of Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen proving their worth in Syracuse

Photo: Adam Erne joined the Syracuse Crunch last fall after scoring 21 goals in 22 games in the 2015 QMJHL playoffs, for which he earned the Playoff MVP Award. (Courtesy of Graig Abel/Getty Images)

Unlike in years past, Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate does not boast a large group of young, talented forwards. Instead, the bulk of the Syracuse Crunch’s offense has come from aging veterans, and the team has been mediocre in the first half of the season. Read more »

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