Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has seen the enormous potential in scouting both European and collegiate players, and nothing shows this more than his recent draft history. In the last two drafts, 12 of Bowman’s 17 selections would skate in either the NCAA or Europe the very next season. There’s clearly no rush to get these young guns to the NHL just yet, so allowing these prospects to perfect their game in their respective leagues has been crucial for their development. Several Blackhawks prospects will also have a chance for an NCAA Championship at the 2015 Frozen Four as well.
The 2014-15 SHL regular season has concluded and, as is usually the case, the cream floated to the top once the final siren rang.
Leksand and Modo were the teams at the bottom of the totem pole, so both will face-off with no less than four teams from the Allsvenskan to try to stick in the SHL. It is widely felt that Leksand, a team that came on strong at the end of the season, thanks in good part to the strong contributions of 22-year-old undrafted defenseman Linus Hultstrom (10-23-33 in 48 games), will have little problem dominating this relegation round. But Modo’s squad will have its work cut out for it, despite having added Donald Brashear and then Marcel Hossa after losing William Nylander to Toronto Marlies. Read more»
Welcome to the February edition of On the Rush. It is getting down to crunch time, and soon the playoffs will commence for the players who have managed to advance. In hockey, momentum can be as much of a deciding factor in the postseason as seed order. This month, Hockey’s Future will have a league-by-league look at who is hot, and who is not—as we head into every hockey fan’s favorite time of the year. Read more»
While Chicago Blackhawks fans are expecting nothing less than a championship parade come June, there is another concern lingering in the back of everyone’s mind. The salary cap is projected to rise only to around $73 million for the 2015-16 season, which means fans should expect to see somebody make their way out of Chicago.
The drama last winter in Sweden at the 2014 World Junior Championship could hardly be topped. Playing at home in front of crowds sized larger than 12,500 per game, Team Sweden defeated one opponent after another with a literal dream team of U20 athletes. Then they faced the tourney’s upstart team, and their archrival, Finland and it seemed the stars were aligned for a victory parade that few Swedish junior teams had ever topped. Winning the WJC in their home country would have been a story ripe for Hollywood. Read more»