2015-16 AHL Preview: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton enters season with strong Atlantic Division squad

by Tony Androckitis
Madison Bowey - Washington Capitals

Photo: Washington Capitals defensive prospect Madison Bowey received some playing time with the NHL club during the 2015 NHL preseason, but will start his pro career in the AHL with the Hershey Bears (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The American Hockey League has switched its conference format for the 2015-16 season as there are now two divisions in each conference. In the Eastern Conference, it’s now the Atlantic and North Divisions – with the Manchester Monarchs, Worcester Sharks and Norfolk Admirals no longer AHL franchises. All three have re-located west as the league has added five teams in California as part of the AHL’s western expansion. Read more»

2015-16 AHL Preview: A new beginning for several teams in the Pacific Division

by Sean Shapiro
Manchester Monarchs Calder Cup Celebration - 2015

Photo: The Los Angeles Kings’ top farm club in 2014-15, the Manchester Monarchs, raised a championship banner last season, but many of the players from that team have moved cross-country to compete for the Kings’ new AHL team, the Ontario Reign, in 2015-16 (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

The American Hockey League vastly changed the hockey universe’s landscape when it moved five teams to California for the start of the 2015-16 season. And the Pacific Division will be ground zero for the experiment, where the California five will share a division with the two Texas-based franchises. Read more»

Phantoms’ Leier Looking To Make NHL Debut in 2015-16

by Tony Androckitis
Taylor Leier - Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Photo: Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Taylor Leier competed for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL before turning pro in the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Nina Weiss/The Home News)

It was a tale of two seasons for Philadelphia Flyers forward prospect Taylor Leier in his rookie season of professional hockey with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Read more»

2015 Prospect Tournaments: Bjorkstrand leads Blue Jackets to second straight Traverse City championship

by Sean Shapiro
Oliver Bjorkstrand - Columbus Blue Jackets

Photo: Columbus Blue Jackets forward prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand wrapped up his WHL career in 2014-15 with a WHL scoring title, posting 63 goals and 118 points in 59 games (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)

The cupboard is well stocked for Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.

The Blue Jackets have one of the deepest prospect pools in the NHL, and a winning culture is already starting to take hold amongst those players. Read more»

2015 Prospect Tournaments: Rangers’ Andersson set to run with the WolfPack this season

by Sean Shapiro
Calle Andersson - EV Zug - Champions Hockey League

Photo: New York Rangers defensive prospect Calle Andersson split his time between EV Zug and HC Lugano in the Swiss National League A last season, totaling six goals and 20 points in 48 games (courtesy of Hannu Rissanen/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)

Calle Andersson knows there are going to be ups and downs this season.

The New York Rangers prospect is making the move from Europe and it’s larger expansive ice surface, to North America where he’s expected to play with the Hartford WolfPack in the American Hockey League. Read more»

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