NHL Draft Primer: WHL and QMJHL stars dominate 11-24 group of North American skaters

by David Hahn
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Nick Merkley - Kelowna Rockets

Photo: Kelowna Rockets forward and 2015 prospect Nick Merkley led the WHL Champion Rockets in scoring during the 2014-15 regular season with 90 points in 72 games (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

Among North American skaters ranked 11 through 24 in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2015 NHL Draft, the WHL and QMJHL claim a majority of them. It’s a deep group from the two leagues this year, with a pair of high-end competitors adding to this group from the OHL and USHL. Read more»

Prospect Impressions: Expected top three picks for NHL Draft feature in plays 6 thru 10

by David Hahn
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Connor McDavid - Erie Otters

Photo: Erie Otters center and 2015 prospect Connor McDavid was recently awarded the Red Tilson Trophy as the CHL Player of the Year for 2014-15 (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

For the past few months, Prospect Impressions has spotlighted the top plays performed by NHL prospects from around the globe. The top 10 features some of the best prospects available for the 2015 NHL Draft, including what is currently expected to be the first three skaters off the board. Read more»

NHL Draft Primer: Garland, Mangiapane, Tkachev among re-entry options at the forward positions

by David Hahn
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Andrew Mangiapane - Barrie Colts

Photo: Barrie Colts forward and 2015 prospect Andrew Mangiapane is ranked 85th among North American skaters for the 2015 NHL Draft by NHL Central Scouting (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Approximately twenty percent of players chosen at the NHL Draft over the course of the last few years were selected in their second or third time through the process. It’s a growing trend every season, and one that offers hope for players who did not hear their name called the year before. Read more»

NHL Draft Primer: A look at intriguing North American goaltenders available in 2015

by David Hahn
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Mackenzie Blackwood - Barrie Colts

Photo: Barrie Colts goaltender and 2015 prospect Mackenzie Blackwood was fourth in wins in the OHL with 33 during the 2014-15 regular season, and he added five more in the 2015 OHL playoffs (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

There are a number of quality goaltenders available in the 2015 NHL Draft, with a wide range of prospects available with size, maneuverability, and determination. It’s a particularly strong group from North American junior leagues, with the USHL and NAHL well represented. At the top of the list, a pair of QMJHL goaltenders vie for the top spot, while another from the OHL could be the first goaltender to hear his name called in late June. Read more»

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»

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