The Colorado Avalanche’s top five prospects are as good as any other team’s in the league but after fifth-ranked Nicolas Meloche the level of talent begins to wane and big question marks appear. The front office targeted defense as a weakness a few years ago, putting emphasis on improving that area at the expense of the forward group. The lack of success in the mid- to late-rounds has not helped the team’s situation.
For the first time in team history, the Avalanche left an entry draft without selecting any players from the WHL or OHL. Head coach Patrick Roy’s emphasis on targeting players from Europe and Quebec is a complete reversal from the previous regime’s preference and is just one of many philosophical differences in how he wants to run the organization with General Manager Joe Sakic.
The San Antonio Rampage coaching staff entered the 2015-16 hockey season under a lot of pressure. Not only are they tasked with the development of the top Avalanche prospects but they must win over fans that saw their hockey team win its first-ever division championship then leave for Portland, Maine. Read more»
Can anyone beat Vancouver Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko? Mackenzie MacEachern and the Michigan State Spartans are going to try to break Demko’s second long shutout streak of the season. The CHL Canada Russia Series continues this week, as Ottawa 67’s captain Travis Konecny is hoping to stay hot. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Cody Donaghey will try to slow down Conor Garland’s assault on the scoresheet, while Brendan Guhle will attempt to do the same against Jayce Hawryluk. In the SHL, two of the league’s youngest players go head-to-head in a matchup of a late-round pick versus a 2016 draft-eligible. Read more»
The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge pits two countrymen against each other as the tournament comes to a conclusion this week. There is also a pair of international talents going one-on-one for the first time in their careers in the OHL, while another strong European is leading the way for his squad against one of the most feared forwards in the QMJHL. In the WHL, two of the league’s top defenseman are a big part of their respective team’s success, while a pair of college forwards who once scored in bunches try to re-ignite their games in this week’s Prospect Faceoff. Read more»