Photo: Karpat Oulu forward and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Sebastian Aho and his Karpat teammates will be going for their third consecutive Kanada Cup championship (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
With the addition of former Mestis club KooKoo, Finland’s Liiga in 2015-16 will feature 15 teams for the first time in league history. But, while the Kouvola-based squad should enjoy an intense rivalry with neighboring SaiPa Lappeenranta in southeastern Finland, things aren’t likely to change at the top of the league standings. Read more»
Photo: Colorado Avalanche 2015 first round pick Mikko Rantanen signed an entry-level deal with the team in July (courtesy of Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Entering the 2015 NHL Draft, there was much uncertainty regarding the prospects coming out of Finland. TPS Turku center Mikko Rantanen was the top-ranked European skater according to Central Scouting, but after that it was anybody’s guess as to how things would go in Sunrise, Florida. Read more»
Photo: Ottawa Senators first round pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, forward Colin White, will move on from the U.S. NTDP program to play for Boston College starting in the Fall (courtesy of Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Despite yet another gold medal at the U18 World Championship, this time around in Zug, Switzerland, the U.S. NTDP saw relatively few players taken at the 2015 NHL Draft. To a degree that can be accredited to having a number of key players on the team who will first be eligible for the 2016 draft, including no less than captain Luke Kunin, top scorer Auston Matthews, Matt Tkachuk, Clayton Keller, Chad Krys, and Jamie McAvoy. As many as three of these players are looking like surefire first round picks for next summer’s draft. Read more»
Photo: 2015’s 56th overall pick Vince Dunn, top five in scoring on a deep Niagara squad, adds some offensive flair to a solid St. Blues defensive prospect pool (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
After replenishing their prospect pool with ten selections in the 2014 NHL Draft, the St. Louis Blues used the 2015 NHL Draft to beef up their prospect depth at key positions. The Blues only have three goaltenders and three centers in the pipeline, and they used three of their six picks on those positions. Even with goaltenders Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso looking like legitimate prospects, at least, and Ivan Barbashev and Robby Fabbri being two centers who might be ready to make an impact soon, the Blues had plenty of room and reason to add some much needed depth to complement their best prospects.
Photo: St. Louis Blues prospect Robby Fabbri, selected 21st overall at the 2014 NHL Draft, missed time with injury in the 2014-15 OHL season but scored at a 100-point pace (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Judging by the success of the St. Louis Blues both in the NHL and at the NHL Entry Draft, 2015 has very little meaning in terms of prospects. The Blues seemed to do well at the 2014 NHL Draft and have replenished the pipeline in a big way. Not only did they draft ten players last year, but they came away with some of the best potential steals of the draft, including Ivan Barbashev of the QMJHL‘s Moncton Wildcats in the second round (33rd overall).