Photo: KalPa Kuopio forward and Montreal Canadiens prospect Artturi Lehkonen played on Finland’s top line at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Like Sweden's SHL and the Czech and Slovak Extraligas, Finland's Liiga has been hit hard by the defection of top young players to the KHL for bigger contracts.
Photo: Severstal Cherepovets forward and New York Rangers prospect Pavel Buchnevich was a scoring star for Russia’s bronze medal-winning squad at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Yury Kuzmin/KHL Photo Agency via Getty Images)
In spite of the bad performance at the recent Winter Olympics, Russia keeps on producing good players at a good rate, as confirmed by the recent good showing of the WJC squad.
Photo: Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu leads the Montreal Canadiens Spring Top 20. Beaulieu has spent the 2013-14 season split between the AHL and NHL. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The Montreal Canadiens have a wide variety of players in their talent pool, many of whom possess a great deal of upside. There are players with offensive skills, speed, size, and physicality, as well as ones known more for their character or leadership.
Photo: University of Minnesota backstop Adam Wilcox, a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, and the Gophers hold the top spot in the Big Ten going into the final weeks of the NCAA regular season (courtesy of Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)
Welcome to the February 2014 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various levels of competition who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind.
Photo: Forward Louis Leblanc was selected 18th overall in 2009 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. Leblanc is currently in his third season as a pro. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The 2008-09 NHL season was one of disappointment, turmoil, and failure for the Montreal Canadiens. After a first place finish the previous season, the team barely slipped into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and were swept in the first round by their longtime rivals, the Boston Bruins.