With less than a month to go in the regular season, the only true rookies in the AHL’s Eastern Conference are those joining AHL teams on amateur tryout contracts from Canadian junior leagues and the NCAA ranks. Most first-year players have 50-65 games under their belt now and are either gearing up for a postseason run, or looking to leave a final impression before heading into the offseason. Read more»
Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman has maintained a fine balance between keeping a competitive team on the ice with Stanley Cup aspirations, while still having a strong prospect group. The team’s top five scorers were all drafted and developed in-house and there’s a wave of prospects in Syracuse of the AHL that could be ready to fill voids left by departing free agents next season. 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»
The Tampa Bay Lightning have done a tremendous job at drafting and developing since Steve Yzerman took over the general manager position in 2010. The team has more hits than misses in the early rounds and has found quality late-round players that have since filled significant roles with the team. Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov are two that immediately come to mind and both players were selected in 2011, the first draft that Yzerman and his staff had a full year to prepare for. It might also end up as the team’s best in the past decade-plus. Read more»
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