Photo: Nick Schmaltz was one of the top playmakers in the 2016 World Juniors, helped lead North Dakota to the NCAA Frozen Four, and becomes the top Blackhawks prospect (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)
In just one year, the Chicago Blackhawks have seen the top end of the prospect pool experience a transition period. Since last spring’s Top 20, the Blackhawks’ top prospect, Teuvo Teravainen, and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk are now both full-time members of the club, while two skaters, Stephen Johns and Michael Paliotta, were sent out in trades. Furthermore, Philip Danault and Marko Dano, who were featured in the Blackhawks’ Fall Top 20 for the 2015–16 season, were sent out at the trade deadline, and surefire Calder Trophy finalist Artemi Panarin has graduated.
Photo: CSKA Moscow goaltender and New York Islanders prospect Ilya Sorokin turned in a strong 2015-16 regular season, and has duplicated that effort in the KHL playoffs with a 1.17 goals-against and .949 save percentage (courtesy of Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
In recent years, Russia has become a better producer of quality goaltenders. Proof of that is the number of NHL-drafted netminders competing in the KHL and minor leagues, which is in a modest growth trend. Many young, Russian goalies are experiencing an upward career progression, and almost all the goaltenders drafted in the last few years have an excellent chance of becoming solid NHL players, with the exception of Sergei Kostenko, who was a seventh round pick of the Washington Capitals in 2012. Read more»
Photo: Red Deer Rebels forward and Boston Bruins prospect has been a point-per-game player following his trade to the Rebels, posting 12 goals and 39 points in 37 games (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The number of names that have taken Drake Caggiula off his feet this season is an awfully short one, and an unlikely source tagged him behind the net while North Dakota was in the midst of advancing to the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four. Quinnipiac also earned a berth with a pair of highlight-reel goals, and JT Compher’s no-look pass is a must-see. Also in this week’s Prospect Impressions, the CHL playoffs are underway, and a pair of veterans unleashed furious shots to put their teams ahead in the clutch. Read more»
Photo: While his team is in tough to make the AHL playoffs, San Antonio Rampage forward and Colorado Avalanche prospect Mikko Rantanen has been one of the top rookies in the AHL in 2015-16 (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The American Hockey League’s Western Conference playoff picture is going to solidify itself over the next couple weeks.
Teams have less than a dozen games remaining and a handful of key races have developed as the AHL turns its attention to the final four weeks. Read more»
Photo: Chicago Blackhawks rookie forward Artemi Panarin’s 25 goals is three more than Buffalo Sabres rookie Jack Eichel in the 2015-16 NHL rookie goal-scoring standings (courtesy of Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire)
Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin — the leading scorer amongst all rookies — takes over the top spot from the Detroit Red Wings‘ Dylan Larkin in the Hockey’s Future Calder Trophy poll for February. But the big development is the scoring exploits of pre-season favorite Connor McDavid and Philadelphia Flyers‘ defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, which have made the race a four-player contest. Read more»