The 2015 NHL Draft saw six defensemen from Finland selected for only the second time since the draft was reduced to seven rounds in 2004. Though none of those players were selected in the top two rounds — as current Pittsburgh Penguin Olli Maatta was in the 2012 draft class that was previously the largest — the 2015 draft class has increased the number of NHL-drafted defensemen playing in Liiga. This has helped to expand this list to a top 10 after listing just five players last year. Read more»
Although the top prospects in the Nashville Predators organization currently skate for AHL affiliate Milwaukee, there are many players competing at the NCAA level or in European leagues this season.
Finland as a nation has produced several young defensemen in recent years. With many of those players now beginning to make their way in North America, including Dallas Stars‘ rookie Jyrki Jokipakka and St. Louis Blues prospect Petteri Lindbohm, the number of those players still plying their trade in the domestic Liiga has dwindled. Read more»
The Milwaukee Admirals have one of the youngest lineups in the American Hockey League — with nine first-year pros and 15 players 23 years of age or younger, including both goaltenders. Three of those rookies are among the scoring leaders for the Admirals while both goalies have been impressive at times.