Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospect William Nylander was chosen 13th overall in the CHL Import Draft by the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ 18-year-old first-rounder William Nylander may be young in NHL years, but he’s got a wealth of NHL experience behind him. And that confidence, along with a copious amount of talent, may propel him to the big-league roster as early as this season. Read more»
Photo: Forward Josh Leivo is one of several Toronto Maple Leafs prospects who are expected to take the next step in their development. Leivo was a third round pick in 2011. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)
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.
Photo: Anaheim Ducks prospect Marcus Pettersson was the top Swedish defenseman chosen at the 2014 NHL Draft, going 38th overall to the Ducks (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
The 2014 NHL Draft has come and gone and as expected, a number of young talents who were both born and raised in Sweden, or are ranked as Swedish prospects because they’ve spent at least the last season in Sweden, have now become the property of an NHL team. All in all, it was a total of 31 players chosen, 28 of whom are Swedish-born. This ties the record number set at the 2011 NHL Draft. Read more»
Photo: William Nylander was one of five forwards the Toronto Maple Leafs selected in the 2014 NHL Draft. Toronto drafted Nylander eighth overall. (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs‘ director of amateur scouting, Dave Morrison, used the 2014 NHL Draft to select players with a strong competitive demeanor and good offensive upside.
Photo: Plymouth Whalers goaltender and former Belle Tire player Alex Nedeljkovic was chosen in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes (courtesy of Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
It's no secret that youth hockey in the United States has made great strides the past few decades.
Players from more geographical locations continue to appear on the rosters of major junior teams in Canada, as well as USHL and NAHL clubs in the U.S. The National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, MI and the squads at the northeastern private schools and NCAA college teams also have more American players than ever.