Over the course of two off-seasons, the San Jose Sharks have vastly improved their prospect ranks. The once small and meager prospect pool has quietly evolved into a massive, shark-infested ocean.
While still lacking in true blue chip talent, this is without a doubt the strongest crop of players the Sharks have had in their system in the last ten seasons. But that comes as no surprise with the decline of the NHL roster and its recent playoff failings. After all, prospect pools and winning are typically inversely proportional.
Yes, Mike Gillis did attend the draft. Apparently not liking the looks of things in the first round, the Vancouver Canucks‘ General Manager sent the 25th overall pick, along with Michael Grabner and Steve Bernier, to Florida in exchange for Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich. The Panthers took Quinton Howden, who has yet to become a full-fledged NHL player, but the Canucks might have taken a gamble on a player still on the board like Evgeny Kuznetzov, Brock Nelson, or Emerson Etem who have done so. Read more»
Vancouver’s prospect pool is largely a professional group this season. Though the Canucks have looked to the United States college path as a developmental course with great success in the past (Ryan Kesler, Cory Schneider, R.J. Umberger, Adrian Aucoin), the last significant draft selection was 2009’s first round pick used on Jordan Schroeder, who disappointed as a Canuck. Boston College’s Thatcher Demko will look to reverse that trend.
The 16 schools that make up the field for the 2015 NCAA Hockey Tournament have been chosen, with the regionals that makeup the tournament getting underway beginning today. Two of those regionals, the Northeast and West, go off today and were previewed by Hockey’s Future yesterday. The East and Midwest regionals begin tomorrow, and are previewed below. Read more»