Prospect Impressions: Alex Nylander shines, Milano brings Cleveland a championship, Top 5 plays of the year

by David Hahn
Connor McDavid - Edmonton Oilers

Photo: Edmonton Oilers rookie forward is one of three finalists for the 2015-16 Calder Trophy, which is presented to the NHL’s top rookie (courtesy of Chris LaFrance/Icon Sportswire)



The final Prospect Impressions of the year is finally here, and the top five plays of the 2015-16 season have arrived.

The Nylander name is a strong one, with a storied past that includes an NHL veteran, an NHL rookie, and a player sure to hear his name called early in the 2016 NHL Draft. But a most familiar name has provided the top individual effort in the now completed 2015-16 campaign. Read more»

Sprong’s return to Pittsburgh brings his rookie season full circle

by Tony Androckitis
Daniel Sprong - Pittsburgh Penguins

Photo: Pittsburgh Penguins rookie forward Daniel Sprong competed at three different levels of the game in 2015-16, spending time in the QMJHL, AHL, and NHL (courtesy of Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)



It was quite a memorable first season of professional hockey for Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Daniel Sprong.

After starting the season in the NHL with Pittsburgh, being re-assigned back to Charlottetown in the QMJHL and then returning to the pro ranks in the AHL for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ postseason run, Sprong is hoping he has learned enough about going through adversity and taking things in stride to make a run at the NHL next fall. Read more»

AHL Eastern Conference Notebook, May, 2016: Bears winning conference final that on paper favors Marlies

by Tony Androckitis
Connor Carrick - Toronto Marlies

Photo: Toronto Marlies defenseman and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Connor Carrick is the leading scorer in the 2016 AHL playoffs so far with 15 points in 12 games (courtesy of Graig Abel/Getty Images)



The 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs are in the Conference Finals stage, and in the East, it is Atlantic Division champion Hershey against North Division champion Toronto in a best-of-seven series that will see the winner play for the Calder Cup championship against the winner of Lake Erie and Ontario. Read more»

AHL Western Conference Notebook, May, 2016: Reign, Monsters battle for Western supremacy

by Sean Shapiro
Zach Werenski - Lake Erie Monsters

Photo: Lake Erie Monsters defenseman and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Zach Werenski has been impressive in AHL action since turning pro at the end of the 2015-16 NCAA season (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)



Lake Erie Monsters coach Jared Bednar understands the challenge in front of his team as it prepares for the Calder Cup Western Conference Finals against the Ontario Reign.

The Reign are the defending champions, having won the title last season as the Manchester Monarchs, and return 15 players with championship rings. In addition, Ontario is big, physical and plays “Los Angeles Kings-style hockey” that wins in the playoffs. Read more»

Prospect Impressions: Saves of the season featuring Condon, Nedeljkovic, Vasilevskiy, and more

by David Hahn
Alex Nedeljkovic - Niagara IceDogs

Photo: Niagara IceDogs goaltender and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Alex Nedeljkovic turned in a strong season in the OHL once he was moved from the troubled Flint Firebirds club to Niagara (courtesy of CHL Images)



In this special edition of Prospect Impressions, we kick off the first of our “Best of the Year” series with some of the best saves of the season. Goaltenders were featured heavily throughout the season, with a number of fine saves making their way into our highlight articles in 2015-16. There were a number of special efforts, including one goalie who made a save on his stomach, another who stymied a 2-on-0 breakaway, and a few glove saves that should be investigated for robbery. Read more»

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