Photo: HPK Hameenlinna goaltender and Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros turned in a stellar performance at the 2014 World Junior Championship, helping to lead Finland to their first gold medal at the U20 WJC since 1998 (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
No country has had as much success developing goaltenders in recent years as Finland.
But with 14 Finland-trained goalies playing in North America and another nine playing in Europe in either the KHL or in Sweden's SHL, the number of drafted prospects playing in Finland's Liiga has dwindled to just five.
Photo: Portland Winterhawks forward and 2015 prospect Paul Bittner ranks seventh in scoring for the Winterhawks while sporting a +24 rating (courtesy of Bryan Heim/Portland Winterhawks)
Hockey in Minnesota can be traced back to 1883 when Frank Barron introduced the game of ice polo to the town of St. Paul. 15 years later, the first hockey game in Minnesota would be played under the lights of Athletic Park in Minneapolis. The entire state quickly fell in love with the game and to help aid its growing popularity, communities all over the Gopher State began putting up their own ice rinks.
Photo: Rookie Sean Monahan, selected sixth overall at the 2013 draft, leads the Flames with 19 goals on the season (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
While the Calgary Flames are set to miss the playoffs for a fifth consecutive year, there are positive indications the trend will be changing soon with the growing batch of prospects excelling in the system.
Goaltender Philippe Desrosiers is the Hockey’s Future Prospect of the Month for February after posting a 9-0 record and 0.94 goals against average with Rimouski Oceanic. (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Rimouski Océanic goaltender and Dallas Stars prospect Philippe Desrosiers is the Hockey's Future February Prospect of the Month. A second round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Desrosiers went 9-0, allowed only eight goals, and established a new QMJHL record with three consecutive shutouts.
Photo: Quinnipiac University forward Bryce Van Brabant could be an enticing free agent acquisition for an NHL club looking to add a prospect with some size and grit to their organization (courtesy of Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
As the NCAA season winds down, NHL teams begin to descend on the college hockey landscape in hopes of adding available free agents to their pipelines. Hockey Future takes a closer look at ten players (listed alphabetically by last name) who have all drawn considerable NHL interest and could soon be headed to an NHL organization near you. This year’s list features six forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of March 6th.