Photo: Winnipeg Jets prospect Nikolaj Ehlers, drafted ninth overall at the 2014 NHL draft, led the QMJHL playoffs in scoring despite playing only two rounds (courtesy of Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
Since the move from Atlanta after the 2011 NHL season the Jets organization has fully committed to a slow and steady process of building up a young nucleus of players through the draft.
The franchise’s playoff berth this year, earned by outlasting the defending Stanly Cup champion Los Angeles Kings to clinch the 8th and final playoff spot in the difficult Western Conference is definitely a sign that this arduous process is finally coming to fruition.
Photo: 2015 NHL Draft prospects (front l-r) Mitch Marner and Lawson Crouse, and (back I-r) Noah Hanifin, Jack Eichel, Connor McDavid, and Dylan Strome are players expected to be chosen at the top of the draft being held in Sunrise, FL on 6/26 & 27 (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Just like that, another year is over. The Chicago Blackhawks have won their third Stanley Cup in six years, elevating the team’s exciting roster to dynasty status. For the rest of the league, the 2015 NHL Draft now looms large on the calendar, taking place June 26th and 27th at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Read more»
Photo: Winnipeg Jets prospect Alex Burmistrov had enough NHL production early in his career to tantalize fans but he may be happier home in Russia (courtesy of Terry Lee/Icon Sportswire)
The 2010 NHL Draft was the final draft for the Atlanta Thrashers organization before their move to Winnipeg. The draft overall was a failure for the organization, with no players selected in the draft on the current Jets roster.
Photo: Pittsburgh Penguins forward prospect Kasperi Kapanen had a somewhat disappointing 2014-15 season in Finland’s Liiga but finished well competing for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL playoffs (courtesy of Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)
Liiga has steadily seen some of the top young forward prospects in Finland head elsewhere rather than pursuing careers in the nation’s top domestic pro league. That happened once again in 2014-15 as two of the heroes from the 2014 World Juniors — KalPa Kuopio left wing Artturi Lehkonen (Montreal) and Teuvo Teravainen (Chicago), Liiga’s sixth-leading scorer skating for Jokerit in 2013-14 — are no longer playing in Finland. Read more»
Photo: Calgary Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau followed up his selection as the Hobey Baker winner in 2014 by turning in a performance in his NHL rookie season that is likely to earn him the NHL’s Calder Trophy in 2015 (courtesy of Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
The late-season playoff push in places like Calgary, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Florida — all teams that were not expected to be in the playoff hunt — pushed several rookies into the spotlight. While all but the Florida Panthers made the playoffs, the fact that all had key contributions from first-year players made for an interesting Calder Trophy selection the 2014-15 season. Read more»