NHL Draft Primer: Second round littered with potential selections from the U.S.

by David Hahn
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Paul Bittner - Team Orr - 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Photo: Portland Winterhawks forward and 2015 prospect Paul Bittner netted a goal in Team Orr’s 6-1 win over Team Cherry at the 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

Most draft pundits point to the 2016 draft, front-loaded with players from the United States like Auston Matthews, Logan Brown, and Matt Tkachuk, as one that the Americans could dominate early on. But teams won’t have to look too far outside of the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft to find the next wave of U.S. talent pushing for playing time in the NHL. Read more»

NHL Draft Primer: Second and third round options feature family pedigree, high CHL picks

by David Hahn
on
Nikita Korostelev - Sarnia Sting

Photo: Sarnia Sting forward and 2015 prospect Nikita Korostelev was chosen by Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in the first round, ninth overall, of the 2014 KHL Draft (courtesy of CHL Images)

The NHL Draft Primer series continues with a look at players ranked between 74 and 50 for the 2015 NHL Draft.

Moving past the projections that place players in the middle rounds of the draft, we start to come upon players who might very well sneak into the first round of the draft. Most of these players have a certain pedigree, be it a family connection, coaching assistance, or draft position. Read more»

NHL Draft Primer: Middle round options feature dynamic defensemen, impact forwards

by David Hahn
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Tyler Soy - Victoria Royals

Photo: Victoria Royals forward and 2015 prospect Tyler Soy doubled his point total from the 2013-14 season, posting 63 points in 69 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Among North American skaters rated in the middle rounds of the 2015 NHL Draft, there are a number of interesting defensemen available that have not yet garnered a consensus opinion over where they will be selected. The confusion is for good reason, as the mix features puck-movers, defensive defensemen, and steady, two-way players who control the game from the blueline. Read more»

Prospect Impressions: Trio of forwards win championships, “Big Rig” goes down, Hartford’s surprising assist leader

by David Hahn
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Hunter Smith - Oshawa Generals

Photo: Oshawa Generals forward and Calgary Flames prospect Hunter Smith turned in his best offensive season of his OHL career, posting 23 goals and 49 points in 57 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

The month of May is reserved for hockey championships, and this week’s Prospect Impressions takes a look at a trio of players who helped seal their team’s success. The NAHL, OHL, and USHL all concluded play, with a nice mix of top prospects and role players being the catalyst for those championships. In the AHL, one player potentially ready to make the jump to the NHL has been an unexpected beacon of hope for Hartford. Finally, what happens when nearly 500 pounds of mass collide in a hockey game? Prospects from the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames answer that question for you in a collision that has to be seen to be believed. Read more»

2015 World Championship: Interviews with the USA’s Anders Lee and Jack Eichel

by Chapin Landvogt
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Jack Eichel - Team USA - IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships

Photo: Boston University forward and 2015 prospect Jack Eichel finished the 2015 IIHF World Championship as Team USA’s third-leading scorer with seven points in 10 games (courtesy of Robert Hradil/EQ Images/Icon Sportswire)

Despite the late arrival of All-Star Alexander Ovechkin to the 2015 IIHF World Championship, Team USA was able to skate with Russia for almost 50 minutes in their semifinal showdown, often controlling the play over long stretches. But a Sergei Mozyakin wrist shot broke the 0-0 deadlock and opened the floodgates to a 4-0 win for Russia. With that, one of the tournament’s oldest teams beat the tournament’s youngest. Read more»

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