The draft year is an exciting time for any hockey player on the road to becoming an NHL prospect. From scouts in the stands to tournaments and rankings, all culminating in the big event in June, the whole year is a whirlwind of activity as players show off their skills and hope to hear their name called.
Cassels. Domi. Mantha. Rychel. They are names that many hockey fans are familiar with, the names of former NHL players. But those names also represent a new wave of talent, still on the way to hopefully making an impact in the pro ranks.
Despite the fact that it is considered one of the "Big Four" major leagues in North America, hockey remains a small sport in many different ways. That size brings a sense of community, where everybody knows one another.
The expectation for Canada is always the same: nothing short of a gold medal. But in recent history, the results have fallen short.
After a pair of silver medals and a bronze over the last three World Juniors, Canada was once again tasked with bringing home the gold at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Jimmy Lodge may have found himself under the microscope early in the season courtesy of the NHL’s Central Scouting preliminary rankings — but inconsistent and tentative play made it hard to see the Downington, PA native on the ice. But through effort and consistency, he’s worked his way to the top of the Saginaw Spirit’s depth chart — and he hopes to parallel that rise up the NHL Draft charts.