Less than a year ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs were in an unenviable place—the prospect cupboard was bare, the AHL affiliate lacked star power, and the big club was in a downward spiral. This year’s version of the Maple Leafs doesn’t inspire much confidence, but the future looks bright thanks to a drastic overhaul and a newfound commitment to drafting and development. Read more»
The North Division name comes over from the American Hockey League’s Western Conference along with three teams from last year’s division – Rochester, Utica and Toronto – in addition to the other three teams from New York state – Albany, Binghamton and Syracuse. The St. John’s IceCaps, who have switched their affiliation from Winnipeg to Montreal, also make up this seven-team division that has several pre-existing rivalries due to the close proximity of most of the teams. Read more»
For a team that has drilled a message of patience, new Toronto Maple Leafs management has been able to restock the prospect cupboard rather quickly. Players with high-end skill successfully acquired through trade, via the draft and by signing undrafted free agents. Equally positive news was that a majority of the top prospects already in the Maple Leafs system metor exceeded expectations in 2014-15.
Coming off a season in which the Nashville Predators exceeded expectations — challenging for the top spot in the Central Division for much of the season and then giving eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago all it could handle in the first round — Nashville entered the 2015 NHL Draft looking to add depth to its core group. Read more»