Photo: Barrie Colts goaltender and New Jersey Devils prospect Mackenzie Blackwood will play an important part in any success the Colts might have in the 2015-16 season (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Hockey’s Future preview of the 2015-16 season in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) moves to that league’s Central Division, a division that holds perhaps the top club for this season. Read more»
Photo: Top Colorado Avalanche prospect Mikko Rantanen has over 100 professional games on his resume already (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Defense wins championships and that is what Patrick Roy returned to Denver to accomplish. Despite his team taking a step back in his sophomore season behind an NHL bench, Roy is confident the lessons learned will only help the team going forward. In addition to his role as head coach, Roy holds a second title as Vice President of Hockey Operations, giving him a voice in all player personnel decisions. The new philosophy as to how the team will be constructed both now and in the future is trending towards an emphasis on size, character, and skills. Roy has also shown he is open to drafting and signing free agents from Europe’s top leagues, something that occurred less frequently in the years prior to his return.
Photo: Colorado Avalanche prospect Troy Bourke has proven capable of bringing a complete game at the AHL level (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
As is the tradition, Hockey’s Future hands out some hardware to the Colorado Avalanche prospects who made an impression this season for better, or in some cases, for worse. Although it was a struggle of a season for the NHL club, several younger players in various developmental leagues stood out as hopeful signs of incoming help.
Photo: Colorado Avalanche prospect Chris Bigras is expected to bolster the Avs’ defense next season. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Avalanche prospect pool isn’t exactly ripe with players ready to make the jump to the NHL. However, there are a few underrated prospects who could blossom into future stars for the team if their development continues on the same track.
Photo: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defenseman and Edmonton Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse won gold with Team Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championship, and he is poised to make a run at the OHL championship with the Greyhounds (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images
The OHL has long been known for providing elite offensive forward talent to the NHL. Defensemen facing that type of player on a regular basis should result in a comparable coterie of elite defensive prospects whose talents have been honed by facing such formidable opposition. Read more»