Photo: Texas Stars defenseman and Dallas Stars prospect Esa Lindell is a veteran of international play, and will represent Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Esa Lindell will represent Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.
The Dallas Stars prospect and 21-year-old defenseman was confident his play at the 2015 IIHF World Championship combined with his first season with the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars was enough to impress the Finnish brass. Read more»
Photo: Julius Honka, who has become an established AHLer before being able to buy a beer in Texas, is no shock as Dallas’s top prospect (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The Dallas Stars have been a finely-tuned offensive machine in the 2015-16 season, which is good because the prospect pool is a little short on elite-level talent. Nor is the situation helped by the loss of Brett Pollock to Calgary in the Kris Russell trade, and the graduation of Mattias Janmark. A good mix of intelligent players and useful depth players make up most of the pipeline. Standout players like Julius Honka and power forward Brett Ritchie do provide impact upside.
Photo: Texas Stars forward and Dallas Stars prospect Brett Ritchie appeared in 31 NHL games in the 2014-15 season but is still waiting for his call-up in the 2015-16 campaign (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
Two of the best power forwards in the AHL’s Pacific Division are constantly communicating.
Sometimes it is via text, other times it is a quick call. When they don’t directly communicate, one is often watching the other’s game online or checking the box score on the AHL website. Read more»
Photo: JyP Jyvaskyla defenseman and Winnipeg Jets prospect Sami Niku (R) is one of a trio of defensive NHL prospects that competed for Finland in their gold medal run at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of MARKKU ULANDER/AFP/Getty Images)
The 2015 NHL Draft saw six defensemen from Finland selected for only the second time since the draft was reduced to seven rounds in 2004. Though none of those players were selected in the top two rounds — as current Pittsburgh Penguin Olli Maatta was in the 2012 draft class that was previously the largest — the 2015 draft class has increased the number of NHL-drafted defensemen playing in Liiga. This has helped to expand this list to a top 10 after listing just five players last year. 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»