Welcome to the January 2016 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various levels of competition who are either exceeding expectations or falling behind. Read more»
What began so well, became so empty. Despite losing key forward William Nylander (TOR) in the very first game of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship – a player who many expected to be the absolute star of the event – Sweden managed to battle and convincingly earn its way to an undefeated first place finish in preliminary round play with a clear 8-3 win over Switzerland and 5-0 victory over Denmark, as well as two very special victories over the North American contingent with a 1-0 victory over the U.S. and a confident 5-2 win over the Canadians. Read more»
There will be fireworks this holiday season at the 2016 World Junior Championship in Helsinki, and hockey pundits are certain: Team Sweden will be responsible for many of them!
For the national program itself, it is time to clear the slate after Finland crashed Sweden’s home country party at the 2014 World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden, where Finland triumphed on a Rasmus Ristolainen overtime goal in the gold medal game. Read more»
After a big move from the east coast to the west coast, and a name change, not much else has changed. The newly-branded Ontario Reign are coming into this season as defending champions of the AHL, and they are playing like it early on. Part of the reason is that the Los Angeles Kings have a pretty loaded group of AHL prospects. While other systems may have a high amount of CHL or college prospects, most of the Kings’ picks from years past are now at the AHL level. Surprisingly though, only one of the players is a first round selection (Adrian Kempe).
The Kings have a fairly large group of CHL representatives this year, many coming out of the 2014 and 2015 NHL Entry drafts. While they have a large numbers of players, they have few upper-round picks representing the team. They also are strictly limited to just two leagues of the CHL: the WHL and the OHL. With eleven players currently playing in the CHL, only two are from the first three rounds of the draft. The Kings are going to need some late rounders to blossom (and they have a few on their way) to really make the best out of a group full of outliers and depth players.