Photo: Five top prospects for the 2016 NHL Draft were the guests of the NHL during the Stanley Cup Final, with forwards (L-R) Pierre-Luc Dubois, Auston Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, Patrik Laine, and Alexander Nylander taking Game Four in San Jose (courtesy of Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
While the 2016 NHL Draft lacks some of the drama that was provided leading up to last year’s draft, when Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel vied for the right to go first overall, there is nevertheless some very good talent to be had at the top of this year’s event. And even beyond the top 5, NHL clubs drafting in the first round should be able to land some good talent that will almost certainly suit up for NHL action in the not too distant future. Read more»
Photo: London Knights defenseman and Dallas Stars prospect Chris Martenet improved his plus/minus from a +4 in 2015-16 to a +44 this season (courtesy of Rob Wallator/CHL Images)
The London Knights dangerous top line – Mitch Marner (TOR), Christian Dvorak (ARI), and Matthew Tkachuk (2016) – was the story of the Canadian Hockey League this season. The trio was troublesome for opposition defenders en route to a Memorial Cup win, but they alone weren’t responsible for a national championship. Read more»
Photo: Dallas Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak split his time between the NHL and AHL in 2015-16, appearing in just 19 games for Dallas and eight games for the Texas Stars (courtesy of Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Dallas Stars went to St. Paul, Minnesota looking at physical tools and going after players with size in the 2011 NHL Draft.
Dallas drafted a pair of tall defensemen (Jamie Oleksiak and Troy Vance) that each topped 6’5″, while they also loaded up on a pair of power forwards in Brett Ritchie and Matej Stransky. Read more»
Photo: Karpat Oulu forward and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Sebastian Aho (#16) turned in a strong 2015-16 season, winning gold at the U20 World Junior Championship and finishing among the top scorers in Liiga (courtesy of Karpat Oulu/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)
If there was a theme to the season in Liiga in 2015-16 it can best be described by the old adage, “Youth shall be served.”
Much of the attention focused on 17-year-olds Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi — who barring any major surprises will be among the top three players picked in the 2016 NHL Draft. In terms of drafted forward prospects, three of their teammates on the gold medal champion U20 team also had big seasons and could be signing NHL contracts in the near future. Read more»
Photo: Dallas Stars prospect Radek Faksa, the 13th pick of the 2012 Draft, was brought along slowly but emerged during the playoffs (courtesy of Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire)
Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill believes that it’s best to have prospects “over ripen” and over develop in the AHL. Although Dallas fell short in this season’s Stanley Cup playoffs, the patience paid off as AHL players made instant impacts for the NHL club.