NHL Draft Primer: Samsonov tops among European goalies, fan favorites not far behind

by David Hahn
on
Denis Godla - Team Slovakia

Photo: HK Orange 20 goaltender and 2015 prospect Denis Godla led his country to a bronze medal at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship, where he was named that tournament’s Best Goaltender (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

As the focus shifts to European goaltending, there are a bevy of top talents available, but a few lingering fan favorites may have an opportunity to hear their name called at the 2015 NHL Draft. Among them, Ilya Samsonov leads the pack, with a pair of talented Czechs not far behind him. Those who attended or watched the 2015 World Junior Championship should recognize fan favorites George Sorensen and Denis Godla, two of a strong list of European options in net in this week’s NHL Draft Primer. Read more»

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

by David Hahn
on
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»

Role expanded for Hagg as season progressed with Lehigh Valley

by Tony Androckitis
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Robert Hagg - Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Photo: Lehigh Valley Phantoms defenseman and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Robert Hagg (L) posted two assists in seven games for Sweden at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Corey Silvia/Icon Sportswire)

With his first regular season of AHL hockey now completed, Robert Hagg will have 79 AHL games under his belt (including 10 games from 2013-14). While he’s showed flashes of brilliant play in the offensive zone, Hagg seemed to spend the second half of the season really focusing on expanding his identity to a two-way defender who can shut down opposing team’s scorers as well. Read more»

(Video) 2015 U18 World Championship: Joel Eriksson Ek, Sweden

by Chapin Landvogt
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Joel Eriksson Ek - Team Sweden - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship

Photo: Farjestad forward and 2015 prospect Joel Eriksson Ek posted four goals and six points in 36 SHL games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt)

Team Sweden is averaging four goals per game at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, but they are also averaging four goals against after the four preliminary round games. After winning just one game in the opening round, Sweden will face Canada in a quarter-final match that will take place Thursday in Lucerne, Switzerland. Read more»

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