2015 NHL Draft Preview: Provorov, Barzal lead solid group of WHL prospects

by Glen Erickson
Ivan Provorov - Brandon Wheat Kings

Photo: Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman and 2015 prospect Ivan Provorov turned in a strong 2014-15 season in the WHL, and further helped his draft stock with good showings at the 2015 World Junior Championship and 2015 CHL Top Prospects Game (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

Here’s a look at our top 10 prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft from the Western Hockey League, with the consensus top four rather apparent.

Our list contains six forwards and four defensemen. A total of six players toiled in the Western Conference. Only the Brandon Wheat Kings managed two players in our ranking. There is a definite Canadian presence in our ranking, with seven canucks on the list. Two Americans and one Russian round out the ranking. All 10 were invited to the NHL Combine. Read more»

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

by David Hahn
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»

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

by David Hahn
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
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
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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