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»
Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Ron Francis enters the second year of his tenure with the team in significantly better shape than it was when he initially took over nearly 15 months ago. He has stockpiled draft picks—the team has a combined 10 picks in the first three rounds of the next two drafts, including two first rounders in 2016—and made good on his promise to stock the organization with bigger players to compete in today’s NHL. Read more»
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»
From the Carolina Hurricanes’ perspective, things could not have gone much better for them in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft. While the top two picks were signed, sealed and delivered when Edmonton won the NHL Draft Lottery, how the rest of the top 10 would shake out was very much a mystery. Read more»