2015 Prospect Tournaments: Bennett hoping to build off of solid second half of 2014-15

by Jason Menard
Mac Bennett - Hamilton Bulldogs

Photo: Montreal Canadiens defensive prospect Mac Bennett (#9) posted four goals and 12 points in 59 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs in his first AHL season (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

There may have been some tentative steps at the beginning of last season for Montreal Canadiens’ defensive prospect Mac Bennett, but by the end of his first season in the pros, he felt that he found his stride. Read more»

2015 Prospect Tournaments: Habs’ Fucale taking one step at a time towards NHL career

by Jason Menard
Zach Fucale  -Quebec Remparts - 2015 Memorial Cup

Photo: Montreal Canadiens goaltending prospect Zachary Fucale closed out his junior career playing for the Quebec Remparts at the 2015 Memorial Cup Tournament (courtesy of Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images)

Montreal Canadiens’ netminding prospect Zachary Fucale came to the London, Ontario-based Rookie Tournament with something to prove – that he’s ready to make an impact as a pro. Read more»

Penguins’ Murray anxiously awaits next challenge

by Ian Altenbaugh
Matt Murray - Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins

Photo: Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins goaltender and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Matt Murray led the AHL in three categories in his rookie season (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

Expectations were tempered for Pittsburgh Penguins goaltending prospect Matt Murray. Heading into the 2014-15 season, his first year as a pro, Murray was expected to compete with veteran Jeff Zatkoff for starts in the AHL. Instead, the first-year goalie finished the 2014-15 season as AHL Goaltender of the Year, AHL Rookie of the Year, and led the league in goals-against average, shutouts, and save percentage. Read more»

Virtanen gained valuable experience with Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica

by Tony Androckitis
Jake Virtanen - Utica Comets

Photo: Utica Comets forward and Vancouver Canucks prospect Jake Virtanen had a busy 2014-15 season with a stop in the WHL, a gold medal win at the 2015 World Juniors, and his first pro action in the AHL (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

When Jake Virtanen arrived in Utica after his WHL playoff run with the Calgary Hitmen came to an end, he was expecting to come in and practice with the Vancouver Canucks‘ top minor league affiliate, the Utica Comets, to learn about the game at the professional level. Read more»

SHL Prospects Notebook, June, 2015: A new champion, NHL Draft prospects, and more in this 2014-15 wrap-up

by Chapin Landvogt
Axel Holmstrom - Skelleftea AIK

Photo: Skelleftea AIK forward and Detroit Red Wings prospect Axel Holmstrom had a breakout season in the SHL in 2014-15 and was a driving force in Skelleftea’s run to the SHL finals (courtesy of Skelleftea AIK/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)

The 2014-15 season in Sweden wrapped up a good month ago and was quickly followed by an exciting World Championship tournament that featured a Swedish team with a number of SHL, NLA, and KHL-based players – one that couldn’t get further than the quarterfinals, however. Read more»

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