Photo: Team USA forward and 2014 prospect Alex Tuch has been an offensive force for the NTDP squad competing in the USHL, notching 32 points in 26 games in 2013-14 (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Team USA likely entered the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship knowing they would face difficult opponents over the course of the tournament. But it is likely that they didn't expect a major challenge, let alone a tough loss, in their opening contenst against Switzerland.
Photo: Kootenay Ice defenseman and 2014 prospect Rinat Valiev competed for Russia in the 2013 Subway Super Series, posting no points and an even plus/minus rating in his two games vs. the WHL squad (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
As well as acting as the hub for the Kootenay Ice, Cranbrook, BC is widely regarded for its rich railway history which dates back to the turn of the twentieth century. So it’s almost poetic that Rinat Valiev landed there in an effort to get a potential NHL career back on track.
Photo: St. Lawrence University defenseman and 2014 prospect Gavin Bayreuther was passed over in the 2012 and 2013 NHL Drafts but could have his name called at this year’s draft in Philadelphia, PA (courtesy of Tara Freeman/SLU)
The NCAA narrative begins early for most players planning to play collegiate hockey. By Grade 10 the player is being actively recruited and generally takes the next year or two to choose the school they feel will be best suited to their needs. The top recruits – the ones with NHL interest – are typically selected in the NHL Draft prior to even suiting up for their school of choice.
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.