After returning home with a silver medal last year, Team Russia will make another strong push at a medal this year in Helsinki, Finland at the 2016 World Junior Championship. Head Coach Valeri Bragin will have only three returnees from last year’s tournament, but the Russians are nevertheless expected to be in the group of gold medal contenders, especially due to excellent goaltending options and great offensive depth. Read more»
The Nashville Predators have not been as dominant this season as they were to start the 2014-15 season — due in part to injury — but the team is once again in the thick of what is a very competitive Central Division race.
One encouraging sign is the success of the club’s two minor league affiliates. Both the AHL‘s Milwaukee Admirals and the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL have had to shuffle their lineups at times but no matter who is in the lineup those players seem to be contributing.
The Nashville Predators organization has undergone quite a transformation in the nearly 17 months since Peter Laviolette took over as the second coach in franchise history. That transformation figures to continue as some of the veterans brought in to revive the franchise eventually retire or are moved to make room for the young prospects coming up through the system.
As might be noticed in international competition, the center position is often an area that Russia has some trouble filling with younger prospects, as that country instead fills with veterans like Pavel Datsyuk or Evgeny Malkin because of the apparent lack of production from younger, less established players. But recently, there have been some signs of trend inversion as there have been some centers drafted by NHL teams out of the KHL. Read more»