Photo: Eric Comrie is one of several talented goaltending prospects in the Winnipeg Jets organization. Comrie is currently representing Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championships. (courtesy of Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Welcome to the second installment of On the Rush for the 2014-15 season. This month we feature a diverse group of players, including two goalies from the same pipeline, an outstanding young Swiss league player, and a junior talent who has overcome health concerns. Several prospects who are currently representing their countries at the 2015 World Junior Championships are also featured this month.
Photo: Nashville Predators rookie forward Flip Forsberg scored nine of his 12 goals in the month of November (courtesy of Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire)
For the second straight month, two players dominated the Hockey’s Future Calder Trophy monthly poll for the 2014-15 season. But this month’s top rookies – Filip Forsberg of Nashville and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau – are not the same two rookies who were nearly unanimous choices for the first and second spots in our November poll. Read more»
Photo: Finnish forward Juho Lammikko is in his first season of North American hockey, playing for the Kingston Frontenacs. Lammikko was picked in the third round of the 2014 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Under general manager Dale Tallon, the Florida Panthers have been among the foremost practitioners of drafting college-bound players and thereby gaining an extra two years of development before having to make decisions on their futures. As such, the number of Florida’s prospects playing junior hockey is relatively limited. In fact, the team currently has only four players in the Canadian major junior leagues, and two more playing in the USHL before they too go off to college.
Photo: Florida Panthers prospect Rocco Grimaldi played in two leagues in one day last week, playing an early game in the AHL for the San Antonio Rampage, then suiting up for the Panthers in a game against the Los Angeles Kings (courtesy of Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire)
Florida Panthers rookie forward Rocco Grimaldi set the stage for his team’s late comeback against the Nashville Predators, scoring his first NHL goal in what ended up being a 3-2 shootout loss for the Panthers. Read more»
Photo: Forward Rocco Grimaldi is amidst his rookie season of professional hockey. Grimaldi was a second round pick from the 2011 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)
The Florida Panthers organization looks much different now than it did even two years ago. General Manager Dale Tallon’s rebuilding of the prospect system and the relative patience that his staff has shown in allowing those prospects to mature has started to bear fruit. Several players have moved through the pipeline to become NHL regulars or AHL players on the verge of graduating to the big leagues.