2016 WJC Preview: Team Belarus hoping to avoid one-and-done scenario in return to top junior level

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
Stepan Falkovsky - Ottawa 67's

Photo: Ottawa 67’s defenseman and draft-eligible Stepan Falkovsky will be a towering presence for Team Belarus at the 2016 World Junior Championship (courtesy of CHL Images)



The Belarusians are back in the elite division at the World Junior Championship after making their last appearance at the 2007 WJC tournament, when the team’s stars were Sergei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Stefanovich. This time around, Team Belarus does not have such stars in their lineup, but instead has more depth down the roster. But the ultimate goal is the same: to avoid relegation at all costs. Read more»

2016 WJC Preview: Mix of good goaltending and forward depth could be medal recipe for Russia

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
Evgeny Svechnikov - Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

Photo: Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward and Detroit Red Wings prospect Evgeny Svechnikov is expected to be a main offensive cog for Russia at the 2016 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)



After returning home with a silver medal last year, Team Russia will make another strong push at a medal this year in Helsinki, Finland at the 2016 World Junior Championship. Head Coach Valeri Bragin will have only three returnees from last year’s tournament, but the Russians are nevertheless expected to be in the group of gold medal contenders, especially due to excellent goaltending options and great offensive depth. Read more»

2016 NHL Draft: Spitfires’ Sergachev proving to be a quick study both on and off the ice

by Jason Menard
Mikhail Sergachev - Windsor Spitfires

Photo: Windsor Spitfires defenseman and 2016 prospect has produced offense from the blueline in 2015-16, posting nine goals and 18 points in 29 games to go along with a +7 rating (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)



If anything, Windsor Spitfires defenseman Mikhail Sergachev has proven that he is a quick study – whether it is picking up offensive notes from the coaches or picking up a new language, the Russian defenseman is showing that he can not only grasp new concepts, but run with them and do it successfully. Read more»

Prospect Impressions: Mistele, Marner beckon the bears, Sparks makes history, QMJHL goals from Fontaine, Garland, and Veleno

by David Hahn
Garret Sparks - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs rookie goaltender Garret Sparks has had an eventful year, spending time in the ECHL and AHL before getting his first NHL win and shutout in his first NHL start last week (courtesy of Peter Llewellyn/Icon Sportswire)



Prospect Impressions is packed full of highlight-reel plays this week. Matt Mistele and Mitch Marner sent teddy bears flying with their goals, while Garret Sparks made history in his first NHL start. Three goals from the QMJHL highlight a great weekend of play in La belle province, plus goals from unexpected sources in minor hockey and Europe, including one perpetrator caught in the act of embellishment. Read more»

2015-16 Calder Poll: Red Wings’ Larkin leads the way in November

by Tony Piscotta
Dylan Larkin - Detroit Red Wings - HF Calder Poll, November, 2015

Photo: Detroit Red Wings rookie forward Dylan Larkin has made a smooth transition so far from NCAA hockey last season to the NHL in 2015-16 (courtesy of Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)



A clavicle injury to Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, the first player taken in the 2015 NHL Draft, has sidelined the 18-year-old until mid-January at the earliest. With McDavid — the leader in the initial Hockey’s Future Calder Trophy staff poll last month — out of action, the Detroit Red WingsDylan Larkin and Chicago BlackhawksArtemi Panarin are out in front of the field after putting up big numbers in November. Read more»

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