As the focus shifts to European goaltending, there are a bevy of top talents available, but a few lingering fan favorites may have an opportunity to hear their name called at the 2015 NHL Draft. Among them, Ilya Samsonov leads the pack, with a pair of talented Czechs not far behind him. Those who attended or watched the 2015 World Junior Championship should recognize fan favorites George Sorensen and Denis Godla, two of a strong list of European options in net in this week’s NHL Draft Primer. Read more»
The 2014-15 season has been a difficult one for Finland‘s U18 team. Both at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August and in the most recent Five Nations Tournament, the squad has been uncharacteristically charitable in giving up scoring opportunities and have left their goaltenders out to dry at times. Read more»
The trend of top junior talent heading to Canada has continued to skim some of the top talent from the junior level in Finland. In recent years that exodus has also seen players heading to the USHL. But with many of the top pro players heading to other leagues, some of the nation’s top draft-eligible prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft are gaining experience playing against men in the country’s top pro league, Liiga. Read more»
Finland, the host team for the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, finished fifth in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament last summer despite winning three of the four games it played. With a number of key additions — particularly on defense — the U18 team competing in Imatra and Laapenranta should be stronger than the team that skated in Piestany, Slovakia.