Can anyone beat Vancouver Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko? Mackenzie MacEachern and the Michigan State Spartans are going to try to break Demko’s second long shutout streak of the season. The CHL Canada Russia Series continues this week, as Ottawa 67’s captain Travis Konecny is hoping to stay hot. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Cody Donaghey will try to slow down Conor Garland’s assault on the scoresheet, while Brendan Guhle will attempt to do the same against Jayce Hawryluk. In the SHL, two of the league’s youngest players go head-to-head in a matchup of a late-round pick versus a 2016 draft-eligible. Read more»
The Buffalo Sabres have quickly transitioned from a desperate, broken hockey club to one full of potential and promise—and not just because of Jack Eichel. After some daring moves by GM Tim Murray during the offseason, it’s clear that the team has made it a priority to ensure its young star is surrounded with talent as he grows into an elite franchise center.
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»
In most cases, a winning record and a championship trophy would be considered a triumphant year, but not for the Buffalo Sabres, a rebuilding team more concerned with stockpiling talent. Losing was winning for the Sabres, because each loss meant getting closer and closer to their prize: Connor McDavid. A generational talent, McDavid could single-handedly alter the course of a franchise and provide multiple winning records and trophies for years to come. Read more»