Photo: Five top prospects for the 2016 NHL Draft were the guests of the NHL during the Stanley Cup Final, with forwards (L-R) Pierre-Luc Dubois, Auston Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, Patrik Laine, and Alexander Nylander taking Game Four in San Jose (courtesy of Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
While the 2016 NHL Draft lacks some of the drama that was provided leading up to last year’s draft, when Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel vied for the right to go first overall, there is nevertheless some very good talent to be had at the top of this year’s event. And even beyond the top 5, NHL clubs drafting in the first round should be able to land some good talent that will almost certainly suit up for NHL action in the not too distant future. Read more»
Photo: London Knights forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mitch Marner (L) produced 16 goals and 44 points in 18 postseason games in the Knights’ run to a Memorial Cup championship (courtesy of Rob Wallator/CHL Images)
The Ontario Hockey League was stocked with talent up front this season and it culminated in a season for the ages for one London Knight. But while Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospect Mitchell Marner may have been the top winger this year, he was not the only show in the league.
The OHL was blessed with a depth of elite-quality, NHL-drafted talent on its wings this season, with the best of that group being ranked below. Read more»
Photo: Minnesota Wild forward prospect Kirill Kaprizov (R) competed for Team Russia at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, where Russia won silver after falling in overtime to Finland in the gold medal game (courtesy of MARKKU ULANDER/AFP/Getty Images)
The KHL continues to produce good players at a good pace, but nowadays there are more players moving to North America than before, therefore leaving the KHL with a slightly inferior number of drafted prospects than before. Read more»
Photo: Andy Andreoff of the Los Angeles Kings fits the team mold of big, strong, smart players who relish a physical style (courtesy of Bob Frid/Icon Sportswire)
2010 started a new trend in drafting for the Los Angeles Kings. Instead of dealing with a heavy amount of picks and prospects, like the 10 selections they had in the 2009 and 2007 NHL Drafts, and the nine they had in 2008, the Kings started drafting fewer prospects. By virtue of success, and win-now trades, the Kings started depleting their cupboard and drafting opportunities in order to be a competitive team at the NHL level. Read more»
Photo: Lake Erie Monsters defenseman and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Zach Werenski has been impressive in AHL action since turning pro at the end of the 2015-16 NCAA season (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
Lake Erie Monsters coach Jared Bednar understands the challenge in front of his team as it prepares for the Calder Cup Western Conference Finals against the Ontario Reign.
The Reign are the defending champions, having won the title last season as the Manchester Monarchs, and return 15 players with championship rings. In addition, Ontario is big, physical and plays “Los Angeles Kings-style hockey” that wins in the playoffs. Read more»