Team Russia will arrive at the 2015 World Junior Championship with some momentum after that country’s solid Subway Super Series win last month. The team, led by Valery Bragin, back to the national team after the two-year run by Mikhail Varnakov, features the usual powerful offensive force, very good goaltending and suspect defense. The absence of Buffalo Sabres‘ defenseman Nikita Zadorov will surely affect the team, as he was thought to be a potential first-pairing defenseman. Read more»
Over the last few years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have utilized the NHL Draft to build depth across all positions within their prospect ranks. While the question of how much of an impact that depth will have on the parent club is hard to gauge, the Leafs most recent training camp showed that depth is translating into competition for roster spots at the NHL level.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have featured a lot of high character, two-way forwards in their prospect pool over the years, but few with pure offensive instinct or elite skill. That is changing with the drafting of high-end talent William Nylander and the progress shown last season from the likes of Josh Leivo, Andreas Johnson, Carter Verhaeghe, and others.
As well as acting as the hub for the Kootenay Ice, Cranbrook, BC is widely regarded for its rich railway history which dates back to the turn of the twentieth century. So it’s almost poetic that Rinat Valiev landed there in an effort to get a potential NHL career back on track.