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: Barrie Colts defenseman and 2014 prospect Aaron Ekblad is scoring at a point-per-game pace so far in the 2013-14 season, posting 19 goals and 24 assists in 43 games (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
ISS Hockey has released their February rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft, with the upper portion of those rankings looking very familiar.
The top six prospects from last month's rankings are the same six players holding down those slots in this month's list. And in fact, the players are ranked exactly as they were in January, so the ISS view of the draft's top prospects seems to be more settled as the 2013-14 regular season heads towards its conclusion.
Photo: Plymouth Whalers forward and 2014 prospect Connor Chatham changed his development path after the firing of former University of Denver head coach, George Gwodzecky (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Connor Chatham’s path to the NHL Draft was diverted thanks to a coaching change in the U.S. collegiate ranks — and an American team’s success at grooming American players has led to another top U.S. prospect passing through Plymouth en route to the 2014 NHL Draft.
Photo: University of Wisconsin forward and Anaheim Ducks prospect Nic Kerdiles led the way on offense for Team USA at the 2014 World Junior Championship, picking up seven points in five games (courtesy of uce Bennett/Getty Images)
A year after capturing the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Russia, the Americans finished out of medal contention this year with a fifth-place finish. Although Team USA as a whole played well in the tournament, the team couldn’t quite find the same magic at this year's WJC.
Photo: U.S. NTDP forward and 2015 prospect Jordan Greenway played for Team USA at the 2014 World U17 Hockey Challenge, picking up five points in six games for the gold medal squad (courtesy of Tom Sorensen/USA Hockey)
In 1996, JP Parise, father of Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise, was approached to take over a fledgling hockey program for a small but well known boarding school in Faribault, Minnesota. Since then, the program has gone on to win multiple national championships at all levels of minor hockey while attracting the services of young talented stars like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, and Nathan MacKinnon.