July 4th, 2012 changed the Minnesota Wild’s course for the foreseeable future. Twin 13-year contracts for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter switched the Wild into win-now mode: an expensive and risky move that is easier announced than accomplished. Three seasons later, the team has qualified for the post-season in each season and won two playoff series total. Read more»
Sweden once again proved to be the hottest European commodity at the NHL Draft. This is a trend that began in 2011, when Sweden saw an outstanding and record-setting 28 players taken, eight more than the year before. In 2012, another 22 were selected. In 2013, that number increased slightly, seeing another 25 Swedes taken. Then it 2014, it became 31, 28 of whom were Swedish-born. Read more»
Coming into the 2015 NHL Draft the Minnesota Wild‘s prospect pool was one of the league’s weakest thanks to a combination of graduations, misses at the 2011 NHL draft, bewildering picks in other recent draft classes, valuable picks (especially the 2013 first-rounder) sent away for established players, and lack of late-round successes lately. The team needs to win more than one playoff round to justify such costly gambles, but it seemed to readjust its prospect development strategy for this draft. Moving away from drafting players with limited ability and upside is a major step in the right direction.
Just like that, another year is over. The Chicago Blackhawks have won their third Stanley Cup in six years, elevating the team’s exciting roster to dynasty status. For the rest of the league, the 2015 NHL Draft now looms large on the calendar, taking place June 26th and 27th at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Read more»
In a draft class as pumped up and anticipated as this year’s is, it should come as no surprise that Sweden will likely be the producer of over 20 players taken by NHL teams over the course of the 2015 NHL Draft. For several years now, Sweden has established itself as the third-largest provider of NHL-drafted talent, coming in after Canada and the USA. Read more»