Photo: Washington Capitals prospect Philipp Grubauer, shown here playing for the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs, has performed impressively so far in the ECHL (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The ECHL and the ECHL All-Star Game has quietly become one of the top showcases and grooming grounds for upcoming National Hockey League goaltenders.
Just ask the Washington Capitals.
Photo: St. Louis Blues rookie Vladimir Tarasenko, who is ranked second in HF's prospect rankings, is off to a fine start in his NHL career, making him a leading candidate for NHL Rookie of the Year (courtesy of Danny Murphy/Icon SMI)
With the end of the lockout and the abbreviated 48-game season, the opportunities for NHL rookies to make an impression is somewhat limited. Many of the top teams, such as the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, head into the season with their lineups virtually intact from the 2011-12 season.
Photo: Boston Bruins defensive prospect Matt Bartkowski was one of a handful of the team's prospects to be invited to the Bruins' abbreviated training camp last week (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
After being the last player cut from training camp the past two seasons, Matt Bartkowski is more motivated than ever to crack a spot on the Boston Bruins blue line this season.
Photo: Connecticut Whale forward and New York Rangers prospect JT Miller wrapped up his U-20 eligibility in style as a member of the gold medal-winning USA squad (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
While John Gibson, John Gaudreau, and the defensive unit have received a great deal of well deserved credit for Team USA's gold medal win at the 2013 World Junior Championship, forward JT Miller was somewhat of an unsung hero for that team.
Photo: Team Canada defenseman and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Ryan Murphy generated a number of shots on goal, but was not able to generate much offense at the 2013 WJC (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
After a run of 14 years of winning medals at the World Junior Championship, which included a string of five straight gold medals, Team Canada leaves Ufa, Russia empty-handed after losing to Russia 6-5 in overtime in a thrilling bronze medal match.