Photo: Among the players competing at the 2014 Traverse City Prospects Tournament are 2014 first round picks Sam Reinhart (L), Robby Fabbri (C), and Sonny Milano (R) (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images – Terry Wilson/OHL Images – Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
A selection of prospects from eight NHL teams have descended on Traverse City, MI for the 2014 edition of that city’s annual prospects tournament. Futures from the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues will battle it out for prospect supremacy at the biggest of the NHL prospects tournaments. Read more»
Photo: Jack Campbell helped lead the Texas Stars to a Calder Cup championship in 2013-14. He was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
With already one of the league’s finest prospect pools, the Dallas Stars left the 2014 NHL Draft with the first bluechip defensive prospect they have had in quite some time. In all, four 2014 draftees make the list, three of which man the blueline. After such a defense-heavy draft, the prospect pool is becoming more balanced and deep at all positions.
Photo: Finnish blueliner Julius Honka, the Stars’ 14th overall selection, led rookie WHL defensemen in scoring with 56 points in 62 games for Swift Current (courtesy of Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
With nine selections in hand, the Dallas Stars went to work and did not step too far out of their comfort zone. An organizational need was addressed in the first round, and nearly every subsequent round after, as the Stars selected seven defensemen, one goaltender and one forward. Read more»
Photo: Despite having a shoulder injury needing repair, the Vancouver Canucks made Calgary Hitmen forward Jake Virtanen their top pick at the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Derik Hamilton/Icon SMI)
The Vancouver Canucks figure to have a new look in the coming years with new general manager Jim Benning and a new head coach in Willie Desjardins. The makeover in Vancouver started on Friday afternoon even before the 2014 NHL Draft began when the Canucks engineered a series of trades — one of which sent veteran Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks in a multi-player deal.
Photo: Plymouth Whalers goaltender and former Belle Tire player Alex Nedeljkovic was chosen in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes (courtesy of Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
It's no secret that youth hockey in the United States has made great strides the past few decades.
Players from more geographical locations continue to appear on the rosters of major junior teams in Canada, as well as USHL and NAHL clubs in the U.S. The National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, MI and the squads at the northeastern private schools and NCAA college teams also have more American players than ever.