Photo: London Knights defenseman and Buffalo Sabres prospect Nikita Zadorov returned to junior hockey in style last week, picking up three assists in Russia’s 5-2 win over the OHL in the Subway Super Series (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Buffalo, NY is just over 230 kilometres away from London, ON — but the distance between the OHL and the NHL is far greater. But when the Buffalo Sabres decided to return 6’5 blueliner Nikita Zadorov to the junior league’s Knights, London’s dreams of a Memorial Cup win just got a whole lot closer to reality.
Photo: Red Wings draft pick Anthony Mantha has torn up the QMJHL and put himself in prime position for a prominent role on Team Canada at the 2014 WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Welcome to the November 2013 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various competition levels who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind.
Photo: Forward Zemgus Girgensons is one of four teenagers to play for the Buffalo Sabres this season. The Latvian-born Girgensons was selected 14th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
Currently amid a full-scale rebuild, the Buffalo Sabres have 43 prospects in their system, including seven first-round picks, giving them both quantity and quality at every position. The Sabres also have many prospects already contributing at the NHL level, including forwards Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Johan Larsson.
Photo: Detroit Red Wings forward prospect Mattias Janmark-Nylen (#24), shown here in action with Sweden at the 2013 Karjala Cup, has been scoring a a point-per-game clip for AIK this season (courtesy of Janerik Henriksson/AFP/Getty Images)
The first quarter of the Swedish Hockey League’s 2013-14 season has come and passed, and there’s plenty to be happy about in the scouting community. The number of young, recently drafted players currently dotting the rosters of both SHL and Allsvenskan (second highest men’s professional league in Sweden) clubs is about as impressive as ever, as professional teams continue to have little concern about going to battle with line-ups that often only feature an average age of 23-25.
Photo: Picked third overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2013 NHL Draft, Jonathan Drouin brings elite skill to an already deep and talented group of Lightning prospects. (courtesy of Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Hockey's Future presents the top grouping of the Fall NHL Team Rankings. The staff's ranking of each NHL team's system is based on the strength of the entire prospect pool. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with this ranking meant to represent the state of the prospect pools in the early stages of the 2013-14 season.