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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.

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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 »

Belarus teammates Falkovsky, Buinitsky, and Goncharov use World Junior experience as guidepost

by Chapin Landvogt
on
Belarus teammates Falkovsky, Buinitsky, and Goncharov use World Junior experience as guidepost

Photo: Team Belarus defenseman and 2016 prospect Stepan Falkovsky is in his first season of OHL hockey as a member of the Ottawa 67’s (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

Coming into the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, Stepan Falkovsky was about the only Belarusian player known to the international ice hockey community as he currently suits up for the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL. There, the 19 year old sports seven goals, 22 points, and a +11 rating in 37 games in his first season of North American play. Despite a 6’7” and 225-pound frame that he doesn’t shy away from using, Falkovsky plays a rangy game and seems very adept at making solid first passes or firing the puck from the point Read more »

2016 WJC Review: Belarus fails to take preliminary round effort into relegation, drops down to D1A

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2016 WJC Review: Belarus fails to take preliminary round effort into relegation, drops down to D1A

Photo: Team Belarus goaltender Ivan Kulbakov received some help from his teammates during the preliminary round of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, but not so much in the relegation round (courtesy of HEIKKI SAUKKOMAA/AFP/Getty Images)

With only two players in the lineup having played in North America, namely team stalwart Stepan Falkovsky of the Ottawa 67’s and Vadim Malinovski of the Okanagan HC Europe, Belarus traveled to Helsinki for the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship with a team relatively unknown to the international ice hockey community. Read more »

Calgary Flames prospects finding professional identities in the AHL

by Jason Lewis
on
Calgary Flames prospects finding professional identities in the AHL

Photo: Yale University product Ken Agostino has been one of the top pro prospects for the Calgary Flames over the last two seasons, and is a leader for the Stockton Heat in its first season in California (courtesy of Jack Lima)

The struggles of the Calgary Flames in the 2015-16 season have been high-profile. They have failed to build upon a Cinderella run last year that saw the team beat the analytics and crash out after getting to the Division Finals. With struggles coming from the big club, you would like to at least see some good coming from their AHL affiliate in their inaugural season in Stockton, California. Unfortunately, it that has not been the case.

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Portland Pirates’ Rau looking to continue consistency from his college days

by Tony Androckitis
on
Portland Pirates’ Rau looking to continue consistency from his college days

Photo: Portland Pirates forward and Florida Panthers prospect Kyle Rau is ranked 18th all-time in scoring for his alma mater, the University of Minnesota (courtesy of Joel Page/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Kyle Rau was a dynamic player at the University of Minnesota, where he was a point-per-game performer in each of his four seasons, tallying 164 points (67 goals, 97 assists) in 160 games. The Florida Panthers’ third round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft saw some AHL time at the tail end of the 2014-15 season that is paying dividends in his first full year of pro hockey in 2015-16. Read more »

2016 NHL Draft: CSS, ISS take similar view of top prospects with Matthews at #1

by Ken McKenna
on
2016 NHL Draft: CSS, ISS take similar view of top prospects with Matthews at #1

Photo: ZSC Lions forward and 2016 prospect Auston Matthews is ranked third in points per game (1.22) in the NLA, where he has scored 20 goals and 33 points in 27 games this season (courtesy of MARKKU ULANDER/AFP/Getty Images)

At roughly the halfway point of the 2015-16 hockey season, the picture for the upper portion of the 2016 NHL Draft is becoming a bit clearer, in part due to the recently completed World Junior Championship that took place in Helsinki, Finland. Read more »

Prospect Faceoff: USA WJC teammates clash, NCHC showdown, more from the AHL, QMJHL, and WHL

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Faceoff: USA WJC teammates clash, NCHC showdown, more from the AHL, QMJHL, and WHL

Photo: University of North Dakota forward Drake Caggiula and Colorado College forward Hunter Fejes go head-to-head this weekend in a clash of NCHC schools (courtesy of Maddie Meyer/Getty Images and Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

What happens when a high-end goal scorer matches up against one of the brightest young goaltenders in junior hockey? We’ll find out this weekend when Alex Nedeljkovic visits former international teammate Alex DeBrincat and the Erie Otters. Also in this week’s Prospect Faceoff, two seniors lead their college teams in scoring, while key matchups take place in the AHL, QMJHL, and WHL. Read more »

2016 NHL Draft: Knights’ Tkachuk has had little problem adjusting to OHL grind

by Jason Menard
on
2016 NHL Draft: Knights’ Tkachuk has had little problem adjusting to OHL grind

Photo: London Knights forward and 2016 prospect Matthew Tkachuk has been chosen to captain Team Orr at the 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game next week in Vancouver, BC (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Matthew Tkachuk hopes to follow his famous father’s footsteps to the NHL one day soon. And his early march through the Ontario Hockey League in his inaugural season in the league has been – to say the very least – sure-footed. Read more »

AHL Western Conference Notebook, January, 2016: Checkers chasing IceHogs, Rantanen brings gold to San Antonio

by Sean Shapiro
on
AHL Western Conference Notebook, January, 2016: Checkers chasing IceHogs, Rantanen brings gold to San Antonio

Photo: Texas Stars defenseman Esa Lindell received his first NHL call-up to the parent Dallas Stars and played in his first NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings (courtesy of John Rivera/Icon Sportswire)

Back in October, the Charlotte Checkers were homeless.

With renovations ongoing at Bojangles Coliseum, the Checkers didn’t play a home game until mid-November.

“I think we really bonded during that time,” Checkers defenseman Trevor Carrick said. “When you spend that much time playing away from home, it really builds a team.” Read more »

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