Detroit Red Wings 2015 NHL Draft Preview

by Ryan Womeldorf
on
Dylan Larkin - Detroit Red Wings

Photo: Detroit Red Wings prospect Dylan Larkin, selected 15th overall at the 2014 NHL Draft, turned pro after his freshman season, played for Team USA at the U20 and Men’s levels, and had five points in six AHL playoff games (courtesy of Robert Hradil/EQ Images/Icon Sportswire)

The 2014-15 season represents something of a crossroads for the Detroit Red Wings. With another 100-point season, the Wings clinched their 24th consecutive playoff appearance, the longest such streak in all four major professional sports. Despite that success, the Red Wings were once again bounced from the playoffs in the first round, losing in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Eastern Conference representative in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Wings have since lost their long-time head coach Mike Babcock and replaced him with Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill. Read more»

2015 NHL Draft Preview: Eichel leads bumper crop from the NCAA ranks

by DJ Powers
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Jack Eichel, A.J. Greer, and Brien Diffley - Boston University

Photo: Boston University players Jack Eichel (L), A.J. Greer (C), and Brien Diffley (L) could make it a hat trick of selections for the Terriers at the 2015 NHL Draft (all courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

Following a draft that saw no players chosen directly out of an NCAA program in the first round, the 2015 NHL Draft class from the collegiate ranks could well be one of the strongest classes ever. As many as three NCAA prospects could be chosen in the top 10 of the first round, quite a turnaround from last year’s quiet showing. Read more»

Minnesota Wild 2015 NHL Draft Preview

by Peter Prohaska
on
Alex Tuch - Minnesota Wild

Photo: Minnesota Wild prospect Alex Tuch, taken in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft, led Boston College in scoring as a freshman (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

The Wild seemed to take a step forward in 2014-15 though it took nearly the whole season to clinch its wild-card berth in a very tough division and conference. The team overcame, individually and collectively, a series of obstacles that could have devastated men of less character. The Wild managed to beat a St. Louis Blues team many thought capable of winning it all, but faltered against an experienced Chicago Blackhawks squad whose top talent overwhelmed the Wild’s in a clean sweep en route to its third Stanley Cup in six years.

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2015 NHL Draft Preview: Czech Republic draft crop led by Spacek, Vladar

by Chapin Landvogt
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Michael Spacek - Czech Republic - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship

Photo: Pardubice forward and 2015 prospect Michael Spacek (#21) played most of the 2014-15 season in the Czech Extraliga, posting five goals and 12 points in 44 games (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

The 2015 NHL Draft is looking like a pretty decent one for players born and raised in the Czech Republic, although some of the best didn’t actually spend the season playing in their native country. Read more»

Winnipeg Jets 2015 NHL Draft Preview

by Patrick Allen
on
Nikolaj Ehlers - Winnipeg Jets

Photo: Winnipeg Jets prospect Nikolaj Ehlers, drafted ninth overall at the 2014 NHL draft, led the QMJHL playoffs in scoring despite playing only two rounds (courtesy of Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

Since the move from Atlanta after the 2011 NHL season the Jets organization has fully committed to a slow and steady process of building up a young nucleus of players through the draft.

The franchise’s playoff berth this year, earned by outlasting the defending Stanly Cup champion Los Angeles Kings to clinch the 8th and final playoff spot in the difficult Western Conference is definitely a sign that this arduous process is finally coming to fruition.

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