Photo: Calgary Flames defensive prospect Rushan Rafikov is currently playing for HC Ryazan in Russia’s VHL, where he has two assists in five games (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
It was a busy off-season for Calgary Flames prospect Rushan Rafikov as he first had to deal with visa problems which prevented him from taking part in the Flames’ prospect camp. Then he skated with Team Russia at the national team’s summer tournament in Canada, where he posted three assists in four games. Read more »
Photo: Defenseman Brian Dumoulin is expected to see a fair amount of time in the NHL in 2014-15. Dumoulin spent the majority of the 2013-14 season in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
The Pittsburgh Penguins will begin a new era in 2014-15, with a new coach, new management team, and an overhauled roster at the NHL and minor league levels. For the first time in a while, the organization is deep at every position and there should be a lot of competition within the prospect pool for the remaining open spots on the NHL roster.
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Photo: Chicago Blackhawks prospect Ryan Hartman appeared in nine AHL games at the end of the 2013-14 season, producing three goals and four assists for the Rockford IceHogs (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
Ryan Hartman, the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2013 first-round selection, missed out on a summer of development last year. Healthy and ready to go, this year the Illinois native is looking to make an impact in his first full season as a pro. Read more »
Photo: Boston Bruins forward prospect Seth Griffith is heading back to the AHL’s Providence Bruins to start the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
As NHL clubs continue the pruning of their rosters in preparation for the 2014-15 season, the inevitable result is more ice time for veterans tuning up for the coming campaign which leads to fewer opportunities to shine for the younger NHL prospects. So, while there was still a busy slate of 2014 NHL preseason games played between Friday and Sunday, there were not as many notable prospect performances to choose from as there had been in the earliest days of the preseason. Read more »
Photo: Joey Hishon is Colorado’s top professional prospect and has hopes of making the opening night NHL roster. (courtesy of Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
When Patrick Roy took over as the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, the team was presented with an opportunity for a new start. Together, the team and coach took the NHL by surprise and captured the Central Division title with 112 points in the regular season. It followed up that performance by taking the Minnesota Wild to seven games in the 2014 playoffs but ultimately lost in overtime of the final game.
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Photo: Forward Vladislav Namestnikov is one of several Tampa Bay Lightning prospects expected to have a big season in 2014-15. (courtesy of Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect pool is flush with skilled and intriguing prospects worth following at every prominent level of hockey. From already-signed players Jonathan Drouin, Andrey Vasilevskiy, to offensively-talented but question riddled CHL prospects Adam Erne and Anthony DeAngelo.
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Photo: Brett Bulmer will look to stay healthy and earn a contract for 2015-16. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
The Minnesota Wild organization does things just a little differently than other teams. Rather than relying heavily on the CHL or the European leagues, the Wild has drafted many players bound for U.S. colleges in recent years. This affords the team additional flexibility with contracts and salary while also potentially yielding professional assets who may have had a longer developmental timeframe (Erik Haula is the big success story so far).
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Photo: Niagara IceDogs forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Carter Verhaeghe returned to the IceDogs prior to the start of the Maple Leafs’ 2014 preseason slate (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
Playing in juniors with the Niagara IceDogs, Carter Verhaeghe knows all about the world that awaits him as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 2013 third round draft pick said it’s a dream come true to be selected by his favorite NHL team, but he knows that dream is going to take some work. Read more »
Photo: Marco Roy has recovered from a wrist injury and looks to bounce back offensively in 2014-15. (courtesy of Steven Alkok/Icon Sportswire)
After strong performances at the 2014 Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, British Columbia where the team went 2-1 (which is a drastic improvement from last year’s 0-3 performance) and a 4-2 victory over the CIS National Champions, the University of Alberta Golden Bears, in an exhibition game, it is clear that the impressive crop of Edmonton Oilers prospects will be exciting to follow in the upcoming 2014-15 season.
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Photo: Ottawa Senators prospect Matt Puempel is looking to build off of a solid AHL rookie season in which he scored 30 goals and 48 points for the Binghamton Senators (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
The Ottawa Senators’ Matt Puempel has always been an offensive force on his team. And while he put 30 pucks in the net last year in the AHL, it took him awhile — and it took learning some lessons — to get there. Read more »