Photo: Miikka Salomaki plays a rambunctious style of hockey, but next season should see his offensive game grow (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
The Nashville Predators entered the 2011 NHL Draft without a first-round pick – having dealt their pick to Ottawa late in the 2010-11 season. Even considering just the short-term gain — Mike Fisher, obtained from the Senators, was Nashville’s third-leading scorer and helped the Predators win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history — that trade would have to go down as one of the best in franchise history.
Photo: Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman and New York Rangers prospect Ryan Graves appeared in 74 games for the Wolf Pack in 2015-16, posting nine goals and 21 points in his AHL rookie season (courtesy of Graig Abel/Getty Images)
The real excitement for the New York Rangers organization in terms of prospects is in Europe and at the junior level, where several goalie and forward prospects are having outstanding seasons. Read more»
Photo: Providence Bruins forward and Boston Bruins prospect Austin Czarnik s currently second in scoring among AHL rookies with 12 goals and 33 points in 37 games (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)
The 2016 AHL All-Star Classic is in full swing in Syracuse, New York, with several of the AHL’s brightest stars taking part in the festivities. But the All-Star break also provides the remaining AHL players a few days off to regroup and prepare for the stretch run. Read more»
Photo: Magnus Hellberg is part of a deep stable of New York Rangers goaltenders developing below the NHL level. (Courtesy of Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)
The New York Rangers have had a regular, steady graduation of excellent prospects to the NHL over the last five to seven years, which has accounted in part for the competitiveness of the team. When combined with free-agent pickups who are in or just past their prime, the prospects have helped make the team a Stanley Cup contender for the last several years. The goal of every organization is to win a Cup, and every player on the team has a window of opportunity to do so. Certainly, star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is within his window, and the Rangers have surrounded him with the players to win either this season or in the next two or three. Read more»
Photo: Lake Erie Monsters forward and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Markus Hannikainen will start the 2015-16 season with the Blue Jackets’ new AHL affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The Central Division isn’t home to as many radical changes as the Pacific Division, but it is part of the American Hockey League’s new landscape.
The Manitoba Moose have returned, while the Lake Erie Monsters have a new affiliate — switching from Colorado to the Columbus Blue Jackets — and the rest of the division is ripe with talent. Read more»