If there was a theme to the season in Liiga in 2015-16 it can best be described by the old adage, “Youth shall be served.”
Much of the attention focused on 17-year-olds Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi — who barring any major surprises will be among the top three players picked in the 2016 NHL Draft. In terms of drafted forward prospects, three of their teammates on the gold medal champion U20 team also had big seasons and could be signing NHL contracts in the near future. Read more»
With the playoffs underway, the Dallas Stars have proven adept at acquiring top-shelf NHL talent under General Manager Jim Nill, who has now been at the helm for three years. Other avenues of procurement have yet to pay such immediate dividends, but the Stars have some good players in every major league – including college hockey and the European leagues. Although some of the players are off the radar for the casual fan – and perhaps even management – others put together some encouraging work in the 2015-16 season.
The Dallas Stars have been a finely-tuned offensive machine in the 2015-16 season, which is good because the prospect pool is a little short on elite-level talent. Nor is the situation helped by the loss of Brett Pollock to Calgary in the Kris Russell trade, and the graduation of Mattias Janmark. A good mix of intelligent players and useful depth players make up most of the pipeline. Standout players like Julius Honka and power forward Brett Ritchie do provide impact upside.
Few nations take as much pride in their national hockey teams — whether at the men’s level or in junior play — as does Finland. After a disappointing seventh-place finish in Canada last year, Suomi is hoping to challenge for the gold medal when it hosts the 2016 World Junior Championship. Read more»