Photo: HPK Hameenliina goaltender and Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros backstopped Finland to the gold medal at the 2014 WJC and is likely to be a key player for that country at this year’s WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
In part two of the 2014-15 Liiga preview, Hockey’s Future takes a look at the remaining teams from Finland‘s top hockey league not covered in part one. Included in the second part is Liiga newcomer Vaasa Sport, the team selected to replace arguably the league’s most heralded organization, Jokerit, who is now a part of Russia‘s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Read more»
Photo: Winger Remi Elie was traded from London to Belleville early in the 2013-14 season. The Stars’ 40th overall selection in 2013 was a point-per-game player following the trade (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
One might argue that this group is a year ahead of schedule. A not-yet-fully-formed Dallas Stars team, with a defense that is in transition, ended up making the postseason and taking a strong Ducks team to the bitter end of game six.
Photo: Alex Guptill will turn pro in 2014-15 following a junior season in which he posted a career-low 25 points in 31 games for Michigan (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
The Dallas Stars may have gotten away from the NCAA route a little bit more now than Joe Nieuwendyk is no longer at the helm. On the other side of the coin and ocean, the Stars always seem to be actively seeking out European defensemen no matter who is running the show.
Photo: HPK Hameenlinna goaltender and Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros turned in a stellar performance at the 2014 World Junior Championship, helping to lead Finland to their first gold medal at the U20 WJC since 1998 (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
No country has had as much success developing goaltenders in recent years as Finland.
But with 14 Finland-trained goalies playing in North America and another nine playing in Europe in either the KHL or in Sweden's SHL, the number of drafted prospects playing in Finland's Liiga has dwindled to just five.
Photos: After putting up 120 points in his draft year, Nicolas Petan is on pace to surpass that mark in 2013-14 while averaging over two points per game for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Welcome to the December 2013 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various levels of competition who are either exceeding expectations or are falling a little behind.