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: Miikka Salomaki plays a rambunctious style of hockey, but next season should see his offensive game grow (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
The Nashville Predators entered the 2011 NHL Draft without a first-round pick – having dealt their pick to Ottawa late in the 2010-11 season. Even considering just the short-term gain — Mike Fisher, obtained from the Senators, was Nashville’s third-leading scorer and helped the Predators win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history — that trade would have to go down as one of the best in franchise history.
Photo: Karpat Oulu forward and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Sebastian Aho (#16) turned in a strong 2015-16 season, winning gold at the U20 World Junior Championship and finishing among the top scorers in Liiga (courtesy of Karpat Oulu/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)
If there was a theme to the season in Liiga in 2015-16 it can best be described by the old adage, “Youth shall be served.”
Much of the attention focused on 17-year-olds Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi — who barring any major surprises will be among the top three players picked in the 2016 NHL Draft. In terms of drafted forward prospects, three of their teammates on the gold medal champion U20 team also had big seasons and could be signing NHL contracts in the near future. Read more»
Photo: Ottawa Senators defenseman Cody Ceci is tied for fourth in scoring by a defenseman at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, posting one goal and four assists in six games for the unbeaten Canadian squad (courtesy of Pavel Bednyakov/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
The next generation of Canadian defensemen.
That’s what they’re saying about the crop of defenders that have come out of the 2012 NHL Draft, and six of those are currently playing for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship in Russia. Read more»
Photo: Lake Erie Monsters goaltender and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Joonas Korpisalo was a top performer for the Monsters in their opening round sweep of the Rockford IceHogs in the 2016 AHL playoffs (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
Four teams remain in the AHL Western Conference playoff race that kicks off Thursday in California and in Cleveland.
The two matchups feature teams that met several times in the 2015-16 season, so both series could potentially go the full seven games. Read more»