Photo: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Chris Bigras played in 37 AHL games with the San Antonio Rampage this season before receiving his first NHL call-up in January (courtesy of Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
With the game on the line, Jack Eichel was cool, calm, and collected with just seconds left on the clock. Likewise, David Pastrnak wasn’t even looking at the net when he sniped Cam Ward’s water bottle. This time of year provides young players an opportunity in the NHL, and Chris Bigras and Zach Hyman took advantage of it to score their first NHL goals. Plenty of other highlights are included in a jam-packed edition of Prospect Impressions. Read more»
Photo: The Colorado Avalanche’s top prospect, Mikko Rantanen, has shown elite pro ability in two leagues now and might be key to helping the Avalanche into a playoff berth (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The Colorado Avalanche’s top five prospects are as good as any other team’s in the league but after fifth-ranked Nicolas Meloche the level of talent begins to wane and big question marks appear. The front office targeted defense as a weakness a few years ago, putting emphasis on improving that area at the expense of the forward group. The lack of success in the mid- to late-rounds has not helped the team’s situation.
Photo: Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman and Ottawa Senators prospect Thomas Chabot’s points per game average is fifth among defensemen in the QMJHL in 2015-16 (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)
The QMJHL is not exactly known for strong defense, but the league’s defensive corps were heavily repped at the 2015 NHL Draft. All 10 of the defenders chosen at that draft comprise this season’s top-10 QMJHL defenseman—although not in the same order that they were selected last June. Read more»
Photo: The NHL trade deadline will have an effect on AHL clubs, as well, with the Colorado Avalanche sending prospect Colin Smith to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Smith, the third-leading scorer for the Rampage before the trade, will join the powerhouse Toronto Marlies (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The Iowa Wild may be at the bottom of the AHL standings, but the team has been at the epicenter of several NHL headlines in February.
On Feb. 13th, the Minnesota Wild announced that Iowa Wild head coach John Torchetti would replace Mike Yeo as the head coach of the NHL franchise. Read more»
Photo: Texas Stars forward and Dallas Stars prospect Jason Dickinson, and San Antonio Rampage forward and Colorado Avalanche prospect Mikko Rantanen meet this weekend in a top head-to-head AHL matchup of NHL prospects (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire and Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
In this week’s Prospect Faceoff, two OHL players who were traded for each other go one-on-one against their old teams for the first time . We’ll check in with Daniel Sprong and Mikko Rantanen, who both enjoyed valuable time in the NHL this year. The “Battle of Pennsylvania” gets a glimpse of the future when prospects of the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins go head-to-head, and two of the WHL’s finest defenders are heading in different directions.