Prospect Impressions: Panarin, Eichel shine at IIHF Worlds, more highlights from the OHL, AHL

by David Hahn
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Artemi Panarin - Team Russia - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

Photo: Former SKA St. Petersburg forward and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Artemi Panarin signed his first NHL contract fresh off winning the 2015 Gagarin Cup, the KHL’s championship trophy (courtesy of Matej Divizna/Getty Images)

Artemi Panarin, the newest Chicago Blackhawk appears ready for the NHL, but before he gets there, an appearance at the 2015 IIHF World Championship is on tap. Likewise, top prospect Jack Eichel is playing in the tournament, and performing well at that. The human highlight reel strikes again for the Erie Otters, as Connor McDavid creates another present for the hockey world. The Washington Capitals are headed to Game Seven soon, but they wouldn’t have made it there if not for McDavid’s former teammate in Erie, Andre Burakovsky. The Los Angeles Kings may not have made the playoffs this year, but their AHL team is in the midst of a nice run towards the Calder Cup thanks in part to two of the Kings’ prospects. Read more»

The Top Five goalies not affiliated with NHL teams…yet

by Craig Fischer
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Joel Lassinantti - Lulea Hockey - Champions Hockey League Quarter Final

Photo: Lulea goaltender Joel Lassinantti won the Honken Trophy this season as the SHL’s Goalie of the Year (courtesy of Lulea Hockey/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)

You only have to look as far as the NHL playoffs to see how important a goalie is. Every time a team harmlessly bumps into an opposing netminder, it’s the NHL equivalent to World War 3. Read more»

Off The Radar: Trio of international skaters, Kootenay standout, and oft-injured goaltender push for NHL attention

by David Hahn
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Ahti Oksanen - Boston University

Photo: Boston University junior forward/defenseman Ahti Oksanen was ranked 66th among European skaters for the 2012 NHL Draft, but was never drafted (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

Front offices in the National Hockey League withhold many secrets, none that garner more speculation than why respective member clubs pass on draft-eligible players. Whether it’s concerns over size, injuries, production, or their interest level in playing in the league, there’s always an opportunity for a player to overcome those shortcomings in order to earn a chance the second time around. Read more»

2015 U18 World Championship: Guryanov’s offensive exploits not enough to help Russia avoid elimination

by Chapin Landvogt
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Team Russia - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship

Team Russia won all four of their preliminary round games to finish atop Group A before being eliminated in the playoff round by Switzerland at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship.

Each U18 tournament brings an upset or two, and the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship has been no different. Probably the biggest upset took place in a quarter-final game today, with host country Switzerland eliminating Russia in a shocking 5-0 win. The Swiss had not beaten the Russians at this tournament since 1999, which was the first year for the U18. Read more»

(Video) 2015 U18 World Championship: Rudolfs Balcers, Latvia

by Chapin Landvogt
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Rudolfs Balcers - Team Latvia - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship

Photo: Stavanger Oilers forward Rudolfs Balcers has competed in Norway since the 2011-12 season, and he is currently competing in Norway’s top league (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt)

Although they are tied with Switzerland for the bottom position in Group B at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, Team Latvia’s performance at this tournament has not been without its good points. The team has generally been competitive in each of their games, and they did manage to produce six goals against Canada. Read more»

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