Photo: Vancouver Canucks prospect Patrick McNally has been one of college hockey’s best defensemen when healthy. (courtesy of Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)
Vancouver’s prospect pool is largely a professional group this season. Though the Canucks have looked to the United States college path as a developmental course with great success in the past (Ryan Kesler, Cory Schneider, R.J. Umberger, Adrian Aucoin), the last significant draft selection was 2009’s first round pick used on Jordan Schroeder, who disappointed as a Canuck. Boston College’s Thatcher Demko will look to reverse that trend.
Photo: Top AHL rookies Daniel Carr of the Hamilton Bulldogs (L) and Connor Brown of the Toronto Marlies (R) go head-to-head in one of the more interesting NHL prospect matchups this weekend (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
All three CHL leagues begin playoff action this weekend. There are three particularly interesting games on hand, games that feature a mix of high-end prospects and valuable role players as teams in the OHL, QMJHL, and WHL collide. Meanwhile, the NCAA Tournament begins this weekend, and one matchup in particular is worthy of extra attention. In the AHL, two top scorers from far different backgrounds clash as the AHL season starts to wind down. Read more»
Photo: Portland Winterhawks forward and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand had a late-season, 5-game scoring streak totaling 15 points that helped to the 2014-15 WHL scoring crown (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Many of the WHL’s top players achieve success due in part to their versatility, as most forwards will take a spin from time to time at the center position.
The following ranking includes wingers that are currently property of a National Hockey League team. A total of eight are signed NHL entry-level contracts. Our ranking consists of five Canadians, one American and four imports with six currently toiling in the WHL’s Western Conference. Additionally, our ranking contains a couple pairs of potential NHL teammates. Read more»
Photo: Vancouver Canucks first-rounder Jared McCann is pivotal to his team’s playoff chances. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Vancouver has iced very good rosters for a long time now. Despite having not yet won the Stanley Cup, the Canucks accomplished a lot in the 2000s on the strengths of Daniel and Henrik Sedin’s puck possession skills, Ryan Kesler’s defensive game, the goaltending of Roberto Luongo, and teams that were composed from top to bottom with strong talents who could drive play. The Sedins will be 35 years old when the 2015-16 season starts, Kesler and Luongo are gone, and though the team has performed well this season, it is no longer among the President’s Trophy favorites. Management has not had the luxury of lottery picks to build around, but there are several prospects in the system who will help ease the transition to a post-Sedin era, whenever that arrives.
Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings defenseman and Vancouver Canucks prospect Ashton Sautner was a member of the Oil Kings squad that won the WHL and Memorial Cup championships in 2013-14 (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
After a week of NHL prospect signings that featured activity mostly in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, a pair of Western Conference teams have logged the only signings since the weekend. Read more»