NHL Draft Primer: Second round littered with potential selections from the U.S.

by David Hahn
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Paul Bittner - Team Orr - 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Photo: Portland Winterhawks forward and 2015 prospect Paul Bittner netted a goal in Team Orr’s 6-1 win over Team Cherry at the 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

Most draft pundits point to the 2016 draft, front-loaded with players from the United States like Auston Matthews, Logan Brown, and Matt Tkachuk, as one that the Americans could dominate early on. But teams won’t have to look too far outside of the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft to find the next wave of U.S. talent pushing for playing time in the NHL. Read more»

Prospect Impressions: The 16-20 group in the countdown of the top 20 NHL prospect highlights of 2014-15

by David Hahn
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Radel Fazleev - Calgary Hitmen

Photo: Calgary Hitmen forward and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Radel Fazleev posted 18 goals and 51 points along with a +23 rating in 71 WHL games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

For the past few months, Prospect Impressions has taken a look at the top plays of the week, with numerous players contributing to the series. Now that most teams have completed their seasons, over the next four weeks I’ll count down the top 20 plays of the year from NHL prospects. From big hits to timely saves and the best goals, Prospect Impressions will come to a conclusion with a fine list of tremendous talent. Read more»

NHL Draft Primer: Second and third round options feature family pedigree, high CHL picks

by David Hahn
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Nikita Korostelev - Sarnia Sting

Photo: Sarnia Sting forward and 2015 prospect Nikita Korostelev was chosen by Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in the first round, ninth overall, of the 2014 KHL Draft (courtesy of CHL Images)

The NHL Draft Primer series continues with a look at players ranked between 74 and 50 for the 2015 NHL Draft.

Moving past the projections that place players in the middle rounds of the draft, we start to come upon players who might very well sneak into the first round of the draft. Most of these players have a certain pedigree, be it a family connection, coaching assistance, or draft position. Read more»

Beyond Tomorrow: Unlikely meeting guided Otters’ DeBrincat to OHL Rookie of the Year

by David Hahn
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Alex DeBrincat - Erie Otters

Photo: Erie Otters forward and 2016 prospect Alex DeBrincat posted 104 points in 68 games in 2014-15, then followed that with 16 points in 20 games in the OHL playoffs (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

If Erie Otters forward Alex DeBrincat goes on to have a successful NHL career, his story should be turned into a book. While he could have written an alternate chapter through the USHL and ultimately the NCAA, a chance meeting that almost didn’t happen spurned a storybook OHL season. Read more»

NHL Draft Primer: Middle round options feature dynamic defensemen, impact forwards

by David Hahn
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Tyler Soy - Victoria Royals

Photo: Victoria Royals forward and 2015 prospect Tyler Soy doubled his point total from the 2013-14 season, posting 63 points in 69 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Among North American skaters rated in the middle rounds of the 2015 NHL Draft, there are a number of interesting defensemen available that have not yet garnered a consensus opinion over where they will be selected. The confusion is for good reason, as the mix features puck-movers, defensive defensemen, and steady, two-way players who control the game from the blueline. Read more»

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