Photo: Oshawa Generals forward and Montreal Canadiens prospect Mike McCarron (L) goes head-to-head against Kingston Frontenacs forward and Calgary Flames prospect Sam Bennett (R) in a marquee NHL prospect matchup this weekend (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Jam packed with intriguing NHL prospect matchups, this week’s Prospect Faceoff is one you don’t want to miss.
In the OHL, Oshawa and Kingston meet for the eighth time this season, where one of the league’s premier power forwards meets a top draft pick returning from injury. Also, read on as top teams in the QMJHL and WHL battle for playoff positioning with a handful of games left. In the SHL, the playoffs are already underway and two promising young players need to step it up to help their teams advance. Finally, the NCHC wraps up their playoff tournament this weekend, a tournament that features a rematch from last year’s championship game. Read more»
Photo: Calgary Flames prospect Rushan Rafikov is an intelligent and calm defenseman playing in Russia’s second tier league. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The NCAA continues to be a quality source of promising prospects for the Calgary Flames with six currently represented in the system. Leading the way is a trio of Providence Friars which includes Jon Gillies, Mark Jankowski, and John Gilmour. Matt Deblouw and Tim Harrison have returned to their respective schools with stronger seasons, while freshman Brandon Hickey has stepped in and elevated his play as a defender for Boston University.
Photo: Quebec Remparts goaltender and Montreal Canadiens prospect Zach Fucale was the starter in 5 of 7 games for the gold medal-winning Team Canada squad at the 2015 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
There are just six NHL-drafted goaltenders playing in the QMJHL this season, a relatively low number for the league once known for producing some of the top goaltenders in the NHL. At most, there is three netminders with some combination of pedigree and talent, while the others are unlikely to advance far in pro hockey. Read more»
Photo: Florida Panthers rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad has displayed the same maturity and talent level in his first NHL season that he was known for during his junior hockey days with the OHL’s Barrie Colts (courtesy of Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad has played a key role in his team’s surprising push for the final wild card playoff spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference and as a result has all but closed the gap with Nashville Predators‘ left wing Filip Forsberg — the leading scorer among rookies — in the February Hockey’s Future Calder Trophy poll. Read more»
Photo: Providence College has maintained a presence in the top 15 of the NCAA Hockey rankings, with goaltender and Calgary Flames prospect Jon Gillies playing a big part in the team’s success in 2014-15 (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)
Fifteen NHL-drafted goaltenders are playing in the NCAA this season. Hockey’s Future takes a closer at the top five, all of whom are among the nominees for this year’s Mike Richter Award that was recently announced. This ranking is based on season performance, overall developmental progress and NHL potential. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of Feb. 28th. Read more»