Photo: Arizona’s 2011 first-round pick Connor Murphy has developed into an NHL defender, as well as a consistent blueliner for Team USA (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
The 2010-11 season produced a playoff berth for the Phoenix Coyotes, but one that ended poorly, in a sweep at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. With that bitter defeat in mind, and having conceded 18 goals in those four games, toughness seemed to be the foremost goal at the draft table. The offensive flair the Coyotes have added in recent years is missing, but some of these players have indeed gone on to help the franchise’s cause.
Photo: Harvard goaltender and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Merrick Madsen emerged as a starter in his sophomore season and finished eighth in the nation with a .931 save percentage.(courtesy John Crouch/Icon Sportswire).
The Flyers have a crop of prospects playing in both the NCAA and European levels, including almost all their goaltending prospects. A couple of netminders showed improvement this year, while some played few games and others – namely Matej Tomek – didn’t play at all.
Photo: San Jose Sharks prospect Alex Schoenborn finished second on the Winterhawks in scoring and earned an entry-level contract (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
2015-16 was a strong development season for many of the San Jose Sharks’ best prospects. Up front the Sharks look to have a few more top-six potential players in their midst than previously thought, and on the back end the team looks poised to continue its steady stream of mobile, puck-moving, bottom-pairing defenders. In net there are still major questions, but with the confident play of Martin Jones up in San Jose, the organization can manage to take its time. Collectively it was a great season for the Sharks prospects.
Photo: Niagara IceDogs goaltender and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Alex Nedeljkovic turned in a strong season in the OHL once he was moved from the troubled Flint Firebirds club to Niagara (courtesy of CHL Images)
In this special edition of Prospect Impressions, we kick off the first of our “Best of the Year” series with some of the best saves of the season. Goaltenders were featured heavily throughout the season, with a number of fine saves making their way into our highlight articles in 2015-16. There were a number of special efforts, including one goalie who made a save on his stomach, another who stymied a 2-on-0 breakaway, and a few glove saves that should be investigated for robbery. Read more»
Photo: In leading the Seattle Thunderbirds to the WHL finals, Mathew Barzal was the New York Islanders prospect of the year. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The 2015-16 season has been a season of optimism for the Islanders faithful. The organization has now made the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 2004-05 lockout and advanced to the second round for the first time since 1993.
The team’s best days are ahead of them as they have a surplus of bluechip prospects waiting in the wings: Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Michael Dal Colle. Read more»