The Minnesota Wild‘s struggles this season cost head coach Mike Yeo his job, but a bigger problem than his decision-making threatens the Wild’s future success. The prospect pool lacks star quality. Though there has been plenty of trade babble, young stars and old come at premium prices. Rather than having a budding home-grown star waiting in the wings, the Wild’s recent run of below-average drafting has meant little flexibility for Chuck Fletcher, as well as an AHL team mired at the bottom of the standings.
Now past the midpoint of the 2015-16 season, a relatively healthy and whole Minnesota Wild team is cooling of late. Offense is down, shots for are down, shots against are up, and points have been lost in the NHL’s new 3-on-3 overtime format. The Wild has dropped four in a row while the rival Chicago Blackhawks are on a 12-game winning streak. Read more»
The Hockey’s Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects is a group project that attempts to determine which prospects will go on to have the greatest impact in their NHL careers. This generally means the highest upside in terms of points but – as in the case of some of the defensemen – the overall effect a player like a Duncan Keith can have on a game does not go unnoticed. Read more»
This season, no NCAA hockey conference features more NHL prospects than the Hockey East Association (HEA). 62 drafted players representing all 12 member schools will be in action in the 2015-16 season with Boston College leading all Hockey East teams with 13 prospects, followed by Boston University with 10 and Notre Dame with 9. Read more»
This offseason the Minnesota Wild faced the problems of a contending team. Veteran players are key to winning in the NHL but their salaries can make for tough salary-cap decisions elsewhere in the roster. Veterans also tend to decline in performance at some point. To offset any drop in performance, the team relies on young and relatively inexpensive talent whose growing pains can sometimes be costly. Could this be the season that the young guys and the older guys hit the perfect balance and propel the team to the Finals? It presents a tough situation for the player who has yet to establish himself.