Photo: Adirondack Flames rookie forward and Calgary Flames prospect Emile Poirier has generated some offense for the surging AHL Flames, who currently sit second in the North Division (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
While the Eastern Conference has seen some teams off to hot starts early this season, the best three records in the American Hockey League (AHL) currently belong to the Western Conference – and that doesn’t even include last year’s Calder Cup champion Texas Stars, who are currently just eighth best in the conference. The Midwest Division alone is home to three of the league’s top five teams through the first seven weeks of the season, providing some entertaining hockey to fans out West. Read more»
Photo: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Adam Clendening had played in 163 AHL games before playing in his first regular season NHL game on Thursday night (courtesy of Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
Four minutes into his first NHL game, Chicago Blackhawks rookie defenseman Adam Clendening scored his first NHL goal on his first shot on goal to get the Blackhawks started towards a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames. Read more»
Photo: Buffalo Sabres defensive prospect Rasmus Ristolainen is one of a handful of good prospects at that position. Ristolainen is a part of the prospect group ranked first in HF’s team rankings (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Hockey’s Future presents the top group of the 2014-15 Fall NHL team rankings. The teams are ranked by the overall quality of their prospect pool as voted on by the HF staff. For reference, the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF’s prospect criteria. The ranking is done twice a year, in the Fall and Spring. Each team’s rank from the previous rankings is listed in parentheses.
Photo: Stephen Johns is one of Chicago’s many hulking defensemen who likely have a future in the NHL (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
For years, one of the key concerns plaguing the Chicago Blackhawks was the lack of a quality second-line center. While general manager Stan Bowman is hoping his big free agent acquisition, Brad Richards, is a temporary solution for the 2014-15 season, the answer for future seasons may come from within the organization. Bowman and Co. have taken it upon themselves over the past few years to draft a plethora of centers.
Photo: Milwaukee Admirals goalltender and Nashville Predators prospect Marek Mazanec had a taste of NHL action during the 2013-14 season, playing well in a 25-game stint with the NHL club (courtesy of John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
The AHL’s Midwest Division features several talented incoming rookies including Rockford’s Teuvo Teravainen and Grand Rapids’ Anthony Mantha, as well as several key prospects entering their second pro season such as Chicago’s Ty Rattie and the duo of Miikka Salomaki and Colton Sissons in Milwaukee. Read more»