Coming off of last year’s breakout season the Nashville Predators went into the 2015-16 with their roster largely intact. With much of the lineup from last year intact, and free agents Cody Hodgson and defenseman Barret Jackman added in the offseason, there were few opportunities for rookies to crack the Predators lineup.
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.
For a team that has drilled a message of patience, new Toronto Maple Leafs management has been able to restock the prospect cupboard rather quickly. Players with high-end skill successfully acquired through trade, via the draft and by signing undrafted free agents. Equally positive news was that a majority of the top prospects already in the Maple Leafs system metor exceeded expectations in 2014-15.
The second NHL Draft for the Toronto Maple Leafs under President and General Manager Brian Burke saw the team make seven selections in the draft, however only two of the picks were originally theirs. In a whirlwind of activity, Burke traded five of their original picks and re-acquired five in a series of player trades and transactions to move the Leafs up or down in the draft.
At the dawn of the 2014-15 season, the Leafs featured a number of skilled forward prospects who were looking to either build on past success or transition to the next level of hockey. While most of this group consists of players small in stature, there were no major setbacks among their elite offensive forwards as they made successful transitions to the minor pro ranks or improved statistically over their previous season. Read more»