The field is set for the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, and eight teams in the Eastern Conference are ready to battle it out for the AHL’s ultimate prize – the beloved Calder Cup.
While teams like Toronto, Albany, Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton cruised into the postseason in the final months, the other half of the conference’s playoff teams had some work to do to get where they are now as the AHL’s ‘second’ season gets underway. Read more»
At last year’s IIHF U18 World Championship, Switzerland finished the tournament supported by a partisan home crowd in Zug, ultimately placing fourth. It was the second time the Swiss finished a championship at home in the top-4 of the world. The core of that group, who snuck into the medal round with a last minute overtime win against Latvia, was built around the 97-class, which was one of the strongest and deepest Switzerland has ever produced. Read more»
After a big silver medal win in Finland at the 2014 U18 IIHF World Championship, where players such as David Pastrnak and Jakub Vrana had the scouting community licking their chops, last spring’s Czech Republic squad proved to be competitive but bland despite featuring players such as Pavel Zacha and Jakub Zboril, both of whom ended up being first round draft picks. Despite making the playoffs rather handily, the team was stopped dead in its tracks by eventual gold medalist Team USA, getting spanked by a 7-2 score. Read more»
The Tampa Bay Lightning have primarily gone to the CHL in making draft selections over the past two drafts. 12 of the team’s 16 picks were taken from the top junior league in Canada, two were drafted out of Europe (though one is now playing in the CHL) and while the other two players, Kris Oldham and Ryan Zuhlsdorf, had commitments to NCAA schools, so they will not join the collegiate ranks until next season.