He missed being eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft by two days, but that may have been to Auston Matthews benefit as he enters the 2015-16 season as the top-ranked prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft according to ISS Hockey. Read more»
The Kelowna Rockets and Portland Winterhawks have been the class of the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference for the past few seasons, but there is some strength building in the U.S. Division. The Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds appear poised to challenge the Winterhawks and Rockets. Read more»
Prospect Faceoff returns to Hockey’s Future with a pair of recently re-assigned Philadelphia Flyers prospects kicking off their junior season in style. In Ottawa, Travis Konecny goes one-on-one against one of 2015’s breakout stars in Andrew Mangiapane. Another Flyers prospect recently returned to his junior team, Travis Sanheim, goes against a steady performer in Luke Philp. The QMJHL is already underway, and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Dmytro Timashov’s playmaking abilities will be tested against Nicolas Meloche. Finally, the USHL kicks off their regular season this weekend and two late-round European prospects should see a lot of each other in a prime weekend venue. Read more»
The WHL’s Eastern Conference was the – slightly – more competitive conference last season, and that should ring true again in 2015-16.
Last season in the East it took 73 points to make the playoffs, while in the West three teams qualified with less than 73 points. The East also featured the league-leading Brandon Wheat Kings, who finished the season with 114 points, two more than the Kelowna Rockets. The Wheat Kings may have lost a couple of pivotal 20-year-olds from last year’s team, as well as Ryan Pilon (NYI), who has taken an indefinite leave from hockey, but the team still boasts depth better than any organization, with a wealth of young, up-and-coming stars. The Wheat Kings, in fact, have landed atop the CHL 2015-16 preseason rankings. Read more»