As the 2015-16 season commences, one cannot help but notice the top-heaviness of the Edmonton Oilers’ prospect talent at the professional level. The team’s new farm club in Bakersfield, California is stacked with noteworthy names like Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl, Tyler Pitlick and more, and the number of legitimate prospects fighting for an opportunity to earn a look at the NHL level is much higher than it has been in recent memory. The fact that the Oilers are now deep enough at the top level to afford to let prospects like the ones mentioned earlier spend some time in the minors developing is a sign of systemic improvement, which bodes well for a club that is trying to establish itself as a legitimate playoff contender after years of poor performance.
The QMJHL will be hard-pressed to provide its fans with more excitement than the seven-game series between the Quebec Remparts and Rimouski Oceanic did last season. Although those teams may not find themselves in quite as good a position to entertain in 2015-16, other squads are poised to supplant them at the top of the standings—and many of the league’s best players are back for an encore. Read more»
On September 10th, when the Val-d’Or Foreurs begin their President’s Cup defense and the QMJHL‘s season begins, they will be a very different squad from the team that represented the league last spring at the Memorial Cup. Gone will be CHL Player of the Year Anthony Mantha and starting netminder Antoine Bibeau, with both making the jump to pro hockey. Forward Louick Marcotte and defenceman Ryan Graves have been traded away and team captain Samuel Henley and defensemen Guillaume Gelinas and Randy Gazzola have also moved on. Read more»