Minnesota Wild NCAA and European prospects savor playoff hockey

by Peter Prohaska
on

Alex Tuch - Minnesota Wild

Photo: Minnesota Wild first-round pick Alex Tuch led Boston College in points as a freshman. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

For any organization dedicated to the near-term goal of a Stanley Cup, having the bulk of the team’s prospects in colleges or European leagues is sound policy. The young men get their chances to grow as people, the team’s contract status is unaffected, and there is less rush to decide on a player’s future. The pressures of pro hockey in Europe are real, especially for younger players, but so is the NCAA Tournament atmosphere. Both make for excellent developmental opportunities.

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Hitmen’s Sanheim using opportunities to fast-track his game

by Glen Erickson
on

Travis Sanheim - Calgary Hitmen

Photo: Calgary Hitmen defenseman and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Travis Sanheim was the top offensive defender in the WHL in 2014-15, posting 65 points in 67 games (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

It’s an issue that has been considered in past years among aspiring hockey players and their families, and also an issue that will be considered many times over in the future. Read more»

Off the Radar: Gardiner, Baillie continue working towards NHL dream

by David Hahn
on

Tyson Baillie - Kelowna Rockets

Photo: Kelowna Rockets forward Tyson Baillie had his best WHL season to date in 2014-15, scoring 37 goals and adding 39 assists for 76 points in 68 games (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

The road to the NHL isn’t always a straight one, often times winding down paths that have been less traveled. Two WHL veterans have taken different routes towards redemption after not hearing their name called at the NHL Draft. Read more»

After Larkin, Detroit Red Wings European and NCAA prospects a mixed bag

by Chris Roberts
on

Mike McKee - Detroit Red Wings

Photo: Detroit Red Wings prospect Mike McKee brought a physical edge for Western Michigan this season. (courtesy of Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)

The prize of the Detroit Red Wings prospect pool is University of Michigan forward Dylan Larkin, who seems likely to sign an NHL contract sooner rather than later despite being in just his first season of collegiate hockey.

Outside of Larkin, the majority of the Wings’ top prospects play in the AHL or CHL, but there is a decent group of potential future Red Wings playing in the NCAA and Europe this season.

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Tampa Bay Lightning carrying a small but promising group of collegiate prospects

by Chris Roberts
on

Photo: Brian Hart is enjoying a solid junior year with Harvard University. (Courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

Photo: Brian Hart is enjoying a solid junior year with Harvard University. (Courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s most prominent prospects are either playing junior hockey or have already established themselves as pros in the AHL; yet, the organization still has five prospects in their junior or senior NCAA seasons. Andrey Vasilevskiy is no longer the prospect to watch overseas in the Lightning organization, but a breakthrough year for Nikita Gusev has the skilled Russian winger amongst the Bolts Top 20 ProspectsRead more»

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