The Nashville Predators have not been as dominant this season as they were to start the 2014-15 season — due in part to injury — but the team is once again in the thick of what is a very competitive Central Division race.
One encouraging sign is the success of the club’s two minor league affiliates. Both the AHL‘s Milwaukee Admirals and the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL have had to shuffle their lineups at times but no matter who is in the lineup those players seem to be contributing.
With their first playoff appearance after just six years removed, the Calgary Flames continue to develop in the right direction with their current system of prospects, coaches and management in place. One bright spot this past season was Micheal Ferland, who was one of six players picked by Calgary in the 2010 NHL Entry draft. Ferland provided a physical presence during the first round of the playoffs, along with timely offensive contributions to help eliminate the Vancouver Canucks.
Along with Ferland, the Flames selected Max Reinhart, John Ramage, and Bill Arnold in the 2010 draft class, which is developing into a hard-working group of prospects that are starting to contribute and make an impact at the NHL level.
After completing an exceptional regular season and never giving up, the Calgary Flames have found a way to win and return to the playoffs after six years without a post-season appearance. Coincidentally, Lance Bouma and TJ Brodie were drafted the last time the Flames were in the playoffs. Since then the Calgary Flames have stockpiled a group of talented prospects which includes Michael Ferland, Markus Granlund, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and most recently, Sam Bennett. Collectively, they have been an integral part of the team and the success found this season.