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: Anthony Mantha scored 120 points in 2013-14, his final QMJHL season. He was selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
The Fall 2014 edition of the Detroit Red Wings Top 20 contains a few new names, but offensive dynamo Anthony Mantha and unorthodox but effective goaltender Petr Mrazek retain their spots atop the list. Additionally, four players make their first ever appearance in the Top 20.
Photo: Detroit drafted Michigan native Dylan Larkin, committed to play for the University of Michigan, with the 15th overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
If it was not already clear what position the Detroit Red Wings felt needed to be addressed in their organization it certainly became so after the 2014 NHL Draft. Detroit used six of their seven picks on sizable centers. Read more»
Photo: The Buffalo Sabres added to their already deep draft pool with nine selections at the 2014 NHL Draft, including first round pick Sam Reinhart (L) and second round selection Brandon Lemieux (R) (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The NHL's Western Conference currently has the bragging rights to league supremacy as a a result of the Los Angeles Kings five-game Stanley Cup final win over the New York Rangers. While the results from the 2014 NHL Draft may not alter the current lock the West has on the NHL's most prized trophy, at least one team in the Eastern Conference might be offering a ray of hope for the future.
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.