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»
The Buffalo Sabres have quickly transitioned from a desperate, broken hockey club to one full of potential and promise—and not just because of Jack Eichel. After some daring moves by GM Tim Murray during the offseason, it’s clear that the team has made it a priority to ensure its young star is surrounded with talent as he grows into an elite franchise center.
The WHL’s Eastern Conference was the – slightly – more competitive conference last season, and that should ring true again in 2015-16.
Last season in the East it took 73 points to make the playoffs, while in the West three teams qualified with less than 73 points. The East also featured the league-leading Brandon Wheat Kings, who finished the season with 114 points, two more than the Kelowna Rockets. The Wheat Kings may have lost a couple of pivotal 20-year-olds from last year’s team, as well as Ryan Pilon (NYI), who has taken an indefinite leave from hockey, but the team still boasts depth better than any organization, with a wealth of young, up-and-coming stars. The Wheat Kings, in fact, have landed atop the CHL 2015-16 preseason rankings. Read more»
Only a team with a wealth of young talent like the Buffalo Sabres could have put together a package appetizing enough to wrestle Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian away from Winnipeg. Outgoing prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux are promising young players, but the organization has plenty of others—and the best are still in the fold. Read more»