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.
Photo: Defenseman Aaron Ekblad (left) and forwards Sam Reinhart (center) and Sam Bennett (right) will learn where they begin their professional careers at the 2014 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images and Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Now that the Los Angeles Kings have hoisted their second Stanley Cup in three years, the hockey world can now focus on the 2014 NHL Draft that will take place on June 27th and 28th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo: Winger Remi Elie was traded from London to Belleville early in the 2013-14 season. The Stars’ 40th overall selection in 2013 was a point-per-game player following the trade (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
One might argue that this group is a year ahead of schedule. A not-yet-fully-formed Dallas Stars team, with a defense that is in transition, ended up making the postseason and taking a strong Ducks team to the bitter end of game six.
Photo: Texas Stars rookie forward and Dallas Stars prospect Brett Ritchie had a productive postseason for the Calder Cup champion Stars, posting seven goals and four assists in 13 playoff games (courtesy of John Rivera/Icon SMI)
The American Hockey League concluded its 2013-14 season Tuesday night as the Texas Stars defeated the St. John’s IceCaps in overtime for the third straight game of the Calder Cup finals, claiming the championship in five games – the AHL Stars’ first Calder Cup Championship in franchise history.