Photo: Stephen Johns is one of Chicago’s many hulking defensemen who likely have a future in the NHL (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
For years, one of the key concerns plaguing the Chicago Blackhawks was the lack of a quality second-line center. While general manager Stan Bowman is hoping his big free agent acquisition, Brad Richards, is a temporary solution for the 2014-15 season, the answer for future seasons may come from within the organization. Bowman and Co. have taken it upon themselves over the past few years to draft a plethora of centers.
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Photo: Erie Otters forward and 2015 prospect Connor McDavid has played as advertised so far in the 2014-15 season, generating offense at a rate of three points per game (courtesy of Aaron Bel/OHL Images)
The competition to become the top selection at the 2015 NHL Draft is almost assuredly a two-horse race between Erie Otters forward Connor McDavid and Boston University forward Jack Eichel. But one of those thoroughbreds already appears to be separating from his main challenger at this early stage of the 2014-15 season. Read more »
Photo: Petteri Lindbohm is making the transition to North American hockey in 2014-15 with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves (courtesy of Brad Rempel/Icon Sportswire)
Last season, the St. Louis Blues looked quite thin down the middle and had very few standout players at other levels of hockey. After the 2014 NHL Draft, the Blues look much better at center with the additions of Ivan Barbashev and Robby Fabbri. They also continue to maintain strong depth at the goaltending position, as both Jordan Binnington and Jake Allen are considered high-level prospects.
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Photo: Carolina Hurricanes rookie forward Victor Rask (#49) celebrates his first NHL goal with teammates Zach Boychuk (#22) and Justin Faulk (#27) in the Hurricanes’ 3-2 win on Sunday night (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire)
Carolina Hurricanes‘ rookie forward Victor Rask netted the first goal of the game – and the first NHL goal of his career – in the Hurricanes’ surprising 3-2 win over the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings. Read more »
Photo: Colorado Avalanche rookie forward Dennis Everberg (#45) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring his first NHL goal in his eighth NHL game (courtesy of Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire)
Colorado Avalanche rookie forward Dennis Everberg got his team off to a good start in their game against the Anaheim Ducks, netting the game’s first goal that also was his first NHL goal and point. But the Ducks came back to take a 3-2 win from the slumping Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Read more »
Photo: Florida Panthers rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad has posted one goal and two assists in nine games to start the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
Nine games into his NHL career, Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad has netted his first NHL goal, and it was an important one, to boot, as the goal stood as the game-winner in the Panthers’ 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Read more »
Photo: Calgary Hitmen forward and Vancouver Canucks prospect Jake Virtanen was chosen sixth overall by the Canucks at the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Injuries are a part of hockey. But after seeing Vancouver Canucks‘ 2014 first-round pick Jake Virtanen launch an unsuspecting opponent over the boards in his third game back, it appears his shoulder is just fine. Read more »
Photo: Sarnia Sting defenseman and 2016 prospect Jakob Chychrun was the first selection overall at the 2014 OHL Priority Selection (courtesy of CHL Images)
Florida may be better known for its sandy beaches, palm trees and resort-like towns, but it is slowly gaining recognition as a hotbed for hockey in the Deep South. To date, it has been the birthplace of four NHL players, with many rising young stars calling the Sunshine State home. Read more »
Photo: Curtis McKenzie, the AHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2013-14, will likely split his time between the AHL and NHL in 2014-15 (courtesy of Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images
The churning out of quality prospects continues for the Dallas Stars organization. General manager Jim Nill will be looked upon to continue to bolster a very strong and deep organizational depth chart that has few glaring weaknesses at this point in time. With the Texas Stars (AHL) contingent set to defend a title and the Dallas team looking to make a bigger playoff push, the pressure is on this impressive group of youngsters.
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Photo: San Jose Sharks rookie defenseman Mirco Mueller (#41) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring his first career NHL goal on Thursday night (courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
It may not have been one for the “Play of the Day”, but San Jose Sharks‘ rookie defenseman Mirco Mueller‘s first NHL goal still counts all the same. Mueller’s goal came in a losing effort, however, as the Sharks dropped a 4-3 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild. Read more »