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Prospect Faceoff: Premier NCAA matchup in Boston, WJC participants ramp up in CHL action

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Faceoff: Premier NCAA matchup in Boston, WJC participants ramp up in CHL action

Photo: 2016 NHL Draft prospect Alexander Nylander of the Mississauga Steelheads and Olli Juolevi of the London Knights go head-to-head in an OHL match this weekend after both turning in impressive performances at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images and Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Prospect Faceoff returns in 2016 with a huge home-and-home series in Boston, as two of NCAA hockey’s best programs play a pair of games this weekend. With the World Junior Championship now complete, a number of high-end players return to their regular lineups and are ready for a big second half. Among them, two high-end 2016 draft-eligible skaters go head-to-head, a blue-chip Philadelphia Flyers prospect returns to the WHL, and one of Switzerland’s finest has a new home in the QMJHL. Plenty more this week as Prospect Faceoff ramps up again! Read more »

2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Added bulk has boosted offensive game of Lumberjacks’ Pitlick

by Scott Powers
on
2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Added bulk has boosted offensive game of Lumberjacks’ Pitlick

Photo: Muskegon Lumberjacks forward and 2016 prospect Rem Pitlick, currently tied for the USHL scoring lead, was acquired by the Lumberjacks from the Waterloo Black Hawks in an offseason deal (courtesy of Brandon Anderson/USHL)

Rem Pitlick knew he had put on weight before he stepped on the scale during the preseason for the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks.

Pitlick just wasn’t sure how much. He had weighed 169 pounds at the end of the 2014-15 season. His focus in the offseason was adding muscle to his 5-foot-7 frame, but he never bothered to weigh himself. Read more »

2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Musketeers’ Keane honing game in USHL before move to North Dakota

by Scott Powers
on
2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Musketeers’ Keane honing game in USHL before move to North Dakota

Photo: Sioux City Musketeers forward and 2016 prospect Jackson Keane is not a stranger to prospect showcases as he has participated in both the CJHL Prospects Game and this year’s USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (courtesy of Brandon Anderson/USHL)

Jackson Keane has put his dual citizenship in Canada and the United States to use as a hockey player.

Keane utilized his Canadian citizenship by playing at home in Winnipeg for much of his teen years. He especially shined at the 2015 CJHL Prospects Game last year and earned MVP honors as a member of Team West. Read more »

Edmonton Oilers making constructive use of minor pro players

by Kady Hobbins
on
Edmonton Oilers making constructive use of minor pro players

Photo: Edmonton Oilers prospect Anton Slepyshev showed off some slick puck skills while with the NHL club earlier this season, but has to prove consistency at the AHL level (courtesy of Terry Lee/Icon Sportswire)

Unlike the previous article, which detailed the Edmonton Oilers’ mere three junior prospects, the NHL team has a staggering 22 names in its professional pipeline. A number of these pro players are on the verge of graduating as they continue to log NHL minutes, such as Iiro Pakarinen, Darnell Nurse and Brandon Davidson, and for the sake of keeping things concise, this month’s article will focus on those players who have spent the majority of the 2015-16 season at the AHL or ECHL level. Read more »

2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Hoff a scoring star in offensive Lincoln lineup

by Scott Powers
on
2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Hoff a scoring star in offensive Lincoln lineup

Photo: Lincoln Stars forward and 2016 prospect Ludvig Hoff has competed for the Lincoln Stars the past three seasons, but has also represented Norway internationally including the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of the USHL)

The Lincoln Stars were a team divided on and off the ice last season, and their record indicated that.

The Stars finished in last place in the USHL’s Western Conference with an 18-37-1-4 record in the 2014-15 season. A year later, the Stars have addressed their issues, unified and turned their play around. At the USHL’s halfway break, the Stars sat atop the Western Conference with a 19-14-1-0 mark. Read more »

2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Early December win keys surge for Knierim and his Dubuque teammates

by Scott Powers
on
2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Early December win keys surge for Knierim and his Dubuque teammates

Photo: Dubuque Fighting Saints forward and 2016 prospect William Knierim has produced 15 points along with 85 penalty minutes in 26 games in 2015-16 (courtesy of the USHL)

A lot changed for the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints on Dec. 4th.

The Saints were playing the Omaha Lancers on the road on that date. The Saints were on a three-game losing streak, and coach Jason Lammers decided to alter his lineup. He put Nathan Sucese, Shane Kavanagh and Willie Knierim together on a line, and not just that line, but all the lines began clicking. That line scored two goals and combined for 14 shots on net in a 3-2 win against the Lancers. Read more »

Team Rankings: Good depth but lack of stars places Dallas at top of 11-20 group

by HF Staff
on
Team Rankings: Good depth but lack of stars places Dallas at top of 11-20 group

Photo: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is the vanguard of a solid group of defensive prospects that will be joining the Flyers in the coming seasons (courtesy of Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

With top scorers like Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn in hand, the Dallas Stars are not lacking for high-end talent at the NHL level. The story in their prospect pipeline is slightly different, however, as the Stars’ system ends up dropping a couple places in the latest edition of the Hockey’s Future NHL Team Rankings. Read more »

2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Colton’s 5-point night keys Team East win

by Scott Powers
on
2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Colton’s 5-point night keys Team East win

Photo: Team East forward Michael O’Leary beats Team West goaltender Peyton Jones for the first goal of the game at the 2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, a game won by Team East by a 6-2 score (courtesy of the USHL)

Ross Colton wasn’t an unknown among NHL teams before Tuesday, but he certainly motivated scouts to add more notes to his folder after scoring a hat trick and tallying five points in the 2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Read more »

Rungsted’s Rondbjerg looking forward to competing for Denmark at 2017 WJC

by Chapin Landvogt
on
Rungsted’s Rondbjerg looking forward to competing for Denmark at 2017 WJC

Photo: Rungsted IK forward Jonas Rondbjerg competed for Team Denmark at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, where he posted one assist in five games (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

As one of, if not the youngest player at this year’s WJC, Danish forward Jonas Rondbjerg has stood out for more than just his age as he served in a second-line left wing capacity for his nation. Back home in Denmark, he’s currently in the middle of his second season of professional play, where he has accumulated eight goals and 12 points along with a +7 in 25 games. He had four points in 30 games for the same team as a 15-year-old. Read more »

2016 WJC Review: Denmark lives to battle in 2017 after close playoff loss

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2016 WJC Review: Denmark lives to battle in 2017 after close playoff loss

Photo: Team Denmark goaltender Thomas Lillie turned in a good showing at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, helping to keep the Danes in games against some of the bigger hockey powers (courtesy of MARKKU ULANDER/AFP/Getty Images)

For an upstart Team Denmark squad lacking heavily in star power, the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship proved to be a rockingly terrific experience that the small hockey nation will surely be able to build upon. Coach Olaf Eller and his staff were able to bring an unknown quantity together to not only beat Switzerland in their opener, thus setting the stage for their second straight quarterfinal participation, but also push eventual silver medalist Russia to the brink of disaster, seeing a late 3-2 lead turn into a 4-3 overtime Russian victory. Read more »

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