Photo: Seattle Thunderbirds forward and New York Islanders prospect Mathew Barzal had his best offensive season in his WHL career in 2015-16, posting 27 goals and 88 points in 58 games (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
There are many different kinds of centers; those who primarily excel offensively and those who contribute in other ways to the success of their respective teams. One of the biggest challenges across major junior hockey is taking into consideration the versatility of many top forwards. It is not uncommon for the best players down the middle to take a few turns on the wing on a regular basis. Read more »
Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Kasperi Kapanen (#24) scored one of the bigger goals in international play in 2015-16, as he netted the overtime winner to give Finland the gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of MARKKU ULANDER/AFP/Getty Images)
The top plays of the year continues with ridiculous efforts from Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov in the shootout, a young Swedish defenseman, and a goal that united a country. The second-best save of the season is also featured, and it might be a bit unconventional, but that’s okay with us! Read more »
Photo: Daniel Carr was a surprise contributor with the Montreal Canadiens this season. The undrafted free agent appeared in 23 games with the big club, scoring six goals and adding three assists. (courtesy Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
There isn’t one guy who really stands out among the Montreal Canadiens prospects. General Manager Marc Bergevin hasn’t hit one out of the park so to speak just yet, although that could be coming with the ninth pick in June’s NHL Draft. But if we are going with the baseball analogy, he has hit a lot of singles and doubles. Read more »
Photo: London Knights forward Christian Dvorak (R) begins the celebration after Matthew Tkachuk’s goal in overtime gave the Knights a 3-2 victory over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies at the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Red Deer, AB (courtesy of Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
After nearly eight minutes of frantic back-and-forth action, Matthew Tkachuk (2016) cemented himself into London Knights – and Canadian Hockey League – history with an overtime goal to give the OHL franchise their second Memorial Cup. Read more »
Photo: The Columbus Blue Jackets found tremendous success with their first selection, 37th overall, in the 2011 draft, taking eventual 30-goal scorer Boone Jenner (courtesy Philippe Bouchard/Icon Sportswire).
After missing the playoffs for a second consecutive season and looking to turn the corner as a franchise, the Columbus Blue Jackets made the biggest splash at the 2011 NHL Draft, acquiring Jeff Carter from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Jakub Voracek, the eighth overall pick in 2007, and the team’s first and third round selections in 2011. Read more »
Photo: Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has been the definition of a draft steal while prompting other teams to take a chance on skill over size (courtesy of Jose Quiroz/Icon Sportswire)
In 2011, Jay Feaster was overseeing what would be his first draft as the newly anointed General Manager of the Calgary Flames. Taking over for Darryl Sutter in December of 2010, and having been officially named GM later on in May, the former Tampa Bay Lightning man had a lot of work to do. Read more »
Photo: Philadelphia Flyers prospect Ivan Provorov was the top defenseman in the WHL this season and is likely to jump directly to the NHL next season.
Many of the Philadelphia Flyers prospects who performed well this past season came from the most recent draft class. There was Ivan Provorov, expected to be the team’s top defensive prospect, and Travis Konency, who proved his first-round selection was a good decision by the Flyers.
There were several other players who had good seasons, including goaltender Merrick Madsen and little-known sixth-round pick Cooper Marody. While it was a successful year for many of Philadelphia’s prospects, some of them struggled.
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Photo: Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin had just seven points in the regular season but three in the playoffs, showing the skill level that has been too often muted in his young career (courtesy of David Berding/Icon Sportswire)
The 2011 NHL Draft was held in the Minnesota Wild’s own yard, which put a little bit of pressure on the scouts and managers not to fumble things. It remains to this day an open question whether Chuck Fletcher took that opportunity to put his mark on the Wild in a positive or negative way. His tenure as General Manager had already gotten off to a rocky start when he sent the Wild’s 2009 first-rounder Nick Leddy off to Chicago in exchange for Cam Barker, who put up five points in 52 games in the 2010-11 season for the Wild and was out of the NHL soon thereafter. Read more »
Photo: Undrafted free agent signing Noel Acciari had a productive first season with the Boston Bruins organization, playing in 19 games with the big club (courtesy Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire).
The early days of the Claude Julien era in Boston were highlighted by a wave of young players breaking into the lineup, a group headlined by the likes of Brad Marchand, Johnny Boychuk, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Adam McQuaid. The group was instrumental in the Bruins winning the 2011 Stanley Cup. Read more »
Photo: One of the biggest risers among the New York Rangers prospects, Adam Huska was the USHL’s top goaltender this season (courtesy Green Bay Gamblers).
Going to at least the Eastern Conference Final round in three of the past five seasons does not come without some collateral damage. For the New York Rangers, and many other teams in contention, it has come at the cost of some prospects and draft picks. Read more »