Photo: Colorado Avalanche 2015 first round pick Mikko Rantanen signed an entry-level deal with the team in July (courtesy of Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Entering the 2015 NHL Draft, there was much uncertainty regarding the prospects coming out of Finland. TPS Turku center Mikko Rantanen was the top-ranked European skater according to Central Scouting, but after that it was anybody’s guess as to how things would go in Sunrise, Florida. Read more»
Photo: Metallurg Magnitogorsk goaltender and Washington Capitals prospect Ilya Samsonov was the only goaltender chosen in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
After a few years in which drafting Russians was considered a risky practice, NHL teams turned their attention back to that country, selecting 18 Russian players at the 2015 NHL Draft, including 10 playing in the different Russian leagues. Read more»
Photo: Dallas Stars prospect Denis Guryanov, selected 12th overall at the 2015 NHL draft, projects as a top scoring threat at the NHL level (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
After making nine picks per draft for the previous three drafts, the Dallas Stars may have felt as if they had some room to play with their 2015 picks. They came into the weekend a touch shorthanded due to previous trades and then exchanged their seventh round choice for the rights to goaltender Antti Niemi. All told, the Stars made five selections. With the 12th pick, they provided probably the first real surprise of the draft when they selected Russian winger Denis Guryanov.
Photo: Dallas Stars prospect Julius Honka, taken 14th overall at the 2014 NHL Draft, made the jump to the AHL and had a solid rookie season (courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)
It was no doubt a frustrating season for Dallas Stars staff and fans alike. A roster in some degree of transition already was further complicated by early, long-term injuries to future star Valeri Nichushkin and hulking Swedish defenseman Patrik Nemeth. Bouts of inconsistent play overall and the inability of goaltender Kari Lehtonen to come to their rescue as he did the previous season led to the Stars being denied a playoff berth in 2014-15.
Photo: 2015 NHL Draft prospects (front l-r) Mitch Marner and Lawson Crouse, and (back I-r) Noah Hanifin, Jack Eichel, Connor McDavid, and Dylan Strome are players expected to be chosen at the top of the draft being held in Sunrise, FL on 6/26 & 27 (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Just like that, another year is over. The Chicago Blackhawks have won their third Stanley Cup in six years, elevating the team’s exciting roster to dynasty status. For the rest of the league, the 2015 NHL Draft now looms large on the calendar, taking place June 26th and 27th at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Read more»