Photo: HPK Hameenlinna goaltender and Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros turned in a stellar performance at the 2014 World Junior Championship, helping to lead Finland to their first gold medal at the U20 WJC since 1998 (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
No country has had as much success developing goaltenders in recent years as Finland.
But with 14 Finland-trained goalies playing in North America and another nine playing in Europe in either the KHL or in Sweden's SHL, the number of drafted prospects playing in Finland's Liiga has dwindled to just five.
Photo: Rockford IceHogs forward and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Jeremy Morin has spent most of the season with the AHL’s IceHogs, but has appeared in 15 games for the Blackhawks in the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Chris Austin/Icon SMI)
While the top nine teams in the East have separated themselves from the pack, the AHL's Western Conference is still wide open heading down the stretch.
Photo: Sault Ste. Marie captain Darnell Nurse ranks fourth among OHL blueliners with 48 points in 58 games (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
In this spring update, the Oilers’ Top 20 rankings saw the graduations of Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz, leaving future franchise defenseman Darnell Nurse to lead the charge.
Photo: Anton Lander, Oklahoma City Barons captain and part-time Oiler, is one of two players remaining from Edmonton’s 2009 draft clas (courtesy of Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
As we look back at the 2009 NHL Draft, there are a few familiar names that are still active in the Oilers prospect system, but the majority have moved on from their affiliation with Edmonton.
Photo: A consistent contributor at both ends for AHL Oklahoma City, defenseman Martin Marincin debuted with the Oilers in a two-game NHL stint in early December (courtesy of Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Oilers’ minor league prospect pool is an interesting mix of elite-caliber defensemen, a few mid-level picks that are hanging on to the last fringes of their professional career (at least as an Oilers prospect) and a few that could go either direction, depending if they are able to take that next step.