The SHL has in recent years churned out products for NHL bluelines, and the 2015-16 season has been no different. Once again a number of different young veterans and overagers have bloomed to the tune of NHL offers, with former Vancouver Canucks draft pick Henrik Tommernes likely leading the group. Read more»
The Wild’s NCAA prospects form the heart of the team’s developmental system, yet perhaps the team’s best assets are playing in professional leagues in Europe this season. College players have been central to Chuck Fletcher’s developmental approach – perhaps because he himself is a college man – with half of the Spring Top 20 coming out of NCAA programs.
Chuck Fletcher’s name comes up in the discussion for best general manager in the NHL. While his record is not without blemish, and he cannot really claim the title without a championship, the consensus is that he has done a good job of building a contending squad from one that seemed to be running in place. However, some of that success came at the cost of organizational depth. The AHL results have been poor, and misguided drafting takes some blame for the lack of skill in the developmental league.
This offseason the Minnesota Wild faced the problems of a contending team. Veteran players are key to winning in the NHL but their salaries can make for tough salary-cap decisions elsewhere in the roster. Veterans also tend to decline in performance at some point. To offset any drop in performance, the team relies on young and relatively inexpensive talent whose growing pains can sometimes be costly. Could this be the season that the young guys and the older guys hit the perfect balance and propel the team to the Finals? It presents a tough situation for the player who has yet to establish himself.
Parts one and two covered the teams ranked sixth through 14th in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) for the 2015-16 season. Now, part three of this Hockey’s Future season preview looks at the top five teams in the SHL, as ranked by HF. The top five includes 2014-15 league champion, the Vaxjo Lakers, as well as perennial contender Skelleftea. Vaxjo defeated Skelleftea in the finals last season to take the SHL championship. Read more»