Another year has come and gone for the U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP) that has once again seen its work culminate in another gold medal at the U18 World Championship, this time around in Lappeenranta, Finland.
The 2014 NHL Draft figures to be an interesting one when it comes to players being selected out of Finland. The general consensus on the draft as a whole is that the talent pool drops off significantly after the first handful of prospects with the next group all very similar with little separating them. The same can be said of the prospects coming out of Finland this year.
After a banner year in 2013 at the NHL Draft, the QMJHL appears to have settled back to more familiar levels when it comes to the draft class of 2014. While there may be no Nathan MacKinnon or Jonathan Drouin to highlight the list of eligible players this year, it is another Halifax Moosehead, Nikolaj Ehlers, who appears set to be the first QMJHL player to hear his name called on Friday night in Philadelphia.
The New York Rangers recent long run through the 2014 postseason took many surprise. A solid team, well coached to highlight its strengths, New York's playoff success was a group effort. The team's top marquee player, Rick Nash, was not very effective during the playoffs, however, the team's speed and signature defense caused opponents quite a bit of trouble.