Photo: Nashville prospect Vladislav Kamenev had just one goal in the KHL playoffs as Metallurg failed to defend its Gagarin Cup title (courtesy of Terry Wilson/CHL Images)
Although the top prospects in the Nashville Predators organization currently skate for AHL affiliate Milwaukee, there are many players competing at the NCAA level or in European leagues this season.
The distance from North American professional hockey is telling in some cases, but there is no lack of quality prospects in the two different developmental venues.
Photo: Harvard University forward and Nashville Predators prospect Jimmy Vesey is currently ranked third overall in NCAA scoring with 55 points in 35 games (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
The 2014-15 NCAA hockey season has featured a number of excellent forward prospects, especially among the underclassmen.
This year’s ranking of NHL-drafted forwards competing in D1 hockey features 11 players (two are tied for 10th) representing nine NCAA programs and nine NHL teams. Among the NCAA teams, Miami and Michigan each have two players in the top 10, while the Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks are tops among NHL teams with each club having two prospects on this year’s list. Read more»
Photo: HPK Hameenlinna goaltender and Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros has appeared in 39 international contests for Finland over the past five seasons (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Finland has consistently produced NHL-caliber goalies in recent years. While some were never drafted and signed after establishing themselves in the domestic Liiiga — such as Chicago’s Antti Raanta or Antti Niemi of San Jose — there have also been some high profile draft picks like Tuukka Rask and Pekka Rinne who are enjoying great NHL careers. Read more»
Photo: Florida Panthers rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad has displayed the same maturity and talent level in his first NHL season that he was known for during his junior hockey days with the OHL’s Barrie Colts (courtesy of Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad has played a key role in his team’s surprising push for the final wild card playoff spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference and as a result has all but closed the gap with Nashville Predators‘ left wing Filip Forsberg — the leading scorer among rookies — in the February Hockey’s Future Calder Trophy poll. Read more»
Photo: Toronto Marlies forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Connor Brown was chosen to take part in the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic in January (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The American Hockey League’s Western Conference will undergo some major re-structuring over the summer as five AHL teams will be playing in California beginning in the 2015-16 season. But before the westward expansion takes place, there are several elite prospects playing in the Western Conference this season looking to make the full-time jump to the NHL. Read more»