Hockey’s Future 2016 NHL Prospect of the Year: Connor’s strong NCAA season a springboard to NHL career

by Chris Roberts
on
Kyle Connor - University of Michigan

Photo: University of Michigan forward and Winnipeg Jets prospect Kyle Connor was a runner-up for the 2016 Hobey Baker Award after a strong freshman campaign with the Wolverines (courtesy of Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

A few different considerations go into deciding the Hockey’s Future NHL Prospect of the Year – performance, expectation, and of course showing up on the monthly list throughout the season. There were standout players at every level of hockey this season, but nobody fit the criteria more than University of Michigan’s Kyle Connor (WPG). Read more»

Columbus Blue Jackets prospect awards dominated by the young pros

by Chris Roberts
on
Oliver Bjorkstrand - Columbus Blue Jackets

Photo: The Lake Erie Monsters have been dominant to start the Calder Cup playoffs, bolstered by Blue Jackets prospects like Oliver Bjorkstrand (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Despite a horrendous start to the 2015-16 campaign that the team simply couldn’t recover from, a number of young players received quality playing time with the Blue Jackets this season and get to continue their seasons now. It might be hard to hear for a fanbase that was expecting playoffs this season, but a bright future in Cleveland means good things for the Columbus Blue Jackets. A deep playoff run builds crucial experience for young players and instills winning habits. But beyond the pro level, the organization has had impressive prospect performances at both the junior and amateur level, as well as overseas.

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2016 IIHF World Championship: Laine, Matthews faceoff in anticipated matchup of draft-eligibles

by Derek O'Brien
on
Patrik Laine - Team Finland - 2016 IIHF World Championship

Photo: Team Finland forward and 2016 prospect Patrik Laine (#29) makes his presence felt in the game between Finland and Team USA at the 2016 IIHF World Championship (courtesy of ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

 

In a tournament seemingly full of highly anticipated games, this one may have been the most anticipated: USA vs Finland, Auston Matthews vs Patrik Laine, the two leading candidates to be taken No. 1. overall in this year’s NHL Draft. Read more»

Organizational progress highlighted in New Jersey Devils’ 2015-16 prospect awards

by John Iadevaia
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John Quenneville and Pavel Zacha - New Jersey Devils

Photo: New Jersey Devils prospects John Quenneville (#47) and Pavel Zacha (#37) will be two important players for the Devils as they work their way towards the NHL (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Despite missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, the New Jersey Devils are on the right path back to being a winning organization. Not only did the NHL club enjoy unexpected success, but the majority of their prospects enjoyed their own developmental success in their respective leagues. Read more»

Impressive drafting results in monster 2015-16 season for St. Louis Blues prospects

by Suraj Sukumar
on
Austin Poganski - St. Louis Blues

Photo: St. Louis Blues prospect Austin Poganski was fifth in scoring for NCAA national champion North Dakota, and will be part of a group capable of defending its title next season (courtesy of Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)

Going into the year, it was unclear who would step up this season but several St. Louis Blues prospects have made a huge splash in 2015-16. The most notable names are Robby Fabbri, Colton Parayko and Joel Edmundson. While Fabbri and Parayko were highly-touted as the season progressed, Edmundson took advantage of his opportunity and has been a mainstay on the Blues’ blueline. With all three players graduating this season, the 2016 Prospect Awards opens the door to new up-and-coming names in the Blues’ prospect pool heading into the NHL Entry Draft.

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