Photo: Notre Dame forward and Washington Capitals prospect Thomas Di Pauli was a greatly improved player in his final two seasons of collegiate hockey with the Fighting Irish (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)
Looking at both sides of the pond, the Washington Capitals had long-term projects playing in the NCAA ranks and Europe this past season.
In college Washington a group of forwards that all matured more this season and one prospect who won a national title. In Europe, Washington watched as a group of teenagers started to step up against adult competition, including top-ranked prospect and 19 year old goalie Ilya Samsonov in the KHL.
Photo: Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov and his Team Finland teammates are having good success at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, going 4-0 so far at that tournament (courtesy of JUSSI NUKARI/AFP/Getty Images)
More so than any IIHF World Championship in recent years, this year’s tournament has been all about the young players. With so many high-profile teenagers on the rosters of various teams, 20-year-old Aleksander Barkov – who has three NHL seasons under his belt and has already played in the Winter Olympics and last year’s World Championship – may seem like a veteran. Read more»
Photo: Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman and New York Rangers prospect Ryan Graves appeared in 74 games for the Wolf Pack in 2015-16, posting nine goals and 21 points in his AHL rookie season (courtesy of Graig Abel/Getty Images)
The real excitement for the New York Rangers organization in terms of prospects is in Europe and at the junior level, where several goalie and forward prospects are having outstanding seasons. Read more»
Photo: Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Anthony Cirelli is like many in the system: a highly-skilled player who needs more physical maturity before he is ready for the NHL level (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have had standout performances from a number of prospects this season both at the pro and junior levels. In the CHL, recent draftees Dennis Yan, Anthony Cirelli, Mathieu Joseph and Mitchell Stephens all had impressive campaigns. The organization also got contributions in Tampa Bay from players like Nikita Nesterov – who graduated from prospect status – as well as arriving talents Slater Koekkoek and Joel Vermin.
Photo: University of Michigan forward and Winnipeg Jets prospect Kyle Connor was a runner-up for the 2016 Hobey Baker Award after a strong freshman campaign with the Wolverines (courtesy of Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
A few different considerations go into deciding the Hockey’s Future NHL Prospect of the Year – performance, expectation, and of course showing up on the monthly list throughout the season. There were standout players at every level of hockey this season, but nobody fit the criteria more than University of Michigan’s Kyle Connor (WPG). Read more»