Photo: Seattle Thunderbirds forward Mathew Barzal was ranked as a top-10 talent, but fell to the New York Islanders at 16th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
With the 2015 NHL Draft in the rear-view mirror, hope and optimism abounds among NHL organizations and their fans. It’s truly a great time of year, and with 211 picks in the books, this draft should be remembered for years to come. Read more»
Photo: Team Canada’s line of Sidney Crosby (L), Taylor Hall (C), and Jordan Eberle (R) has been an effective combo at the 2015 IIHF World Championship (courtesy of Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
After a big, 2-0 semifinal win for Canada over the Czech Republic, the Canadians will be duking it out for gold, as most have expected. Taylor Hall scored the first goal, which ended up being the game winner. In total, he’s second in scoring at the 2015 IIHF World Championship with seven goals and 12 points. The Edmonton Oilers forward shared a few thoughts with the media after the win. Read more»
Photo: HC Litomerice forward Martin Prochazka (L) was one of the more effective offensive performers for the Czech Republic at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
At the 2014 World Junior Championship in Malmö, Sweden, the Czech Republic had a simple goal of reaching the quarterfinals, at the least. That mission was accomplished and it was a successful tournament for the Czechs, even though it looked at times like they could have gone farther.
Photo: Kitchener Rangers forward and Dallas Stars prospect Radek Faksa is the most established player on a Czech Republic WJC squad that features mostly younger or unheralded talent (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The 2014 World Junior Championship is set to begin Thursday in Malmö, Sweden with the Czech Republic squad looking to surprise some observers. The Czechs performed well last year in Ufa, Russia, beating Latvia, Switzerland and Finland before being eliminated by the United States in the quarterfinals following a 7-0 victory for the Americans. The Czechs ended last year's WJC in fifth place, but may be hard pressed to equal that accomplishment this year.
Photo: PSG Zlin forward Petr Holik turned in a strong 2012-13 season with the league runner-up, and he is expected to be one of the better young players in the Extraliga this season (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The 2013-14 Czech Extraliga regular season has already begun, with the first game being played on September 11th. The participation of junior-aged hockey players in the league will now be higher than ever. In hopes of lifting Czech draft and Under-20 WJC success and getting the country back to placing among the world's elite, the Czech Ice Hockey Association has introduced a rule that requires every team to dress at least three players born in 1991 or later, and one born in 1994 or later. That means that fans will be able to watch many Czech prospects, including those eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft.