Photo: Team Russia forward Pavel Buchnevich celebrates his clinching goal in the 2014 WJC quarterfinal match vs. Team USA, a game won by the Russians, 5-3 (courtesy of ANDREAS HILLERGREN/AFP/Getty Images)
For the second year in a row, Team Russia came back home from the World Junior Championship with a bronze medal, once again beating Canada to earn that medal. If this can’t be considered a disaster, it cannot be considered a great success, either.
Photo: Dylan McIlrath has gradually developed into a dependable and physical defensive defenseman. The New York Rangers selected McIlrath 10th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
It seems like a distant memory now, but just six or seven years ago, the New York Rangers had few homegrown players on their NHL roster. Big name free agents were the norm for this original six team, with few of the team's prospects ever appearing in more than one or two games on Broadway.
Photo: Blueliner Calle Andersson is one of the only true offensive defensemen in the Rangers system. Andersson was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Of the 30 prospects in the New York Rangers' system, 19 are professional hockey players as of the beginning of the 2013-14 season. With only five prospects selected by New York in the 2013 NHL Draft and four in 2012, there are fewer younger players in the system than there have been in many years.
Photo: Forward Oscar Lindberg is expected to make his NHL debut in 2013-14. Lindberg was acquired in a trade with Phoenix in 2011. (courtesy of Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)
The upper portion of the New York Rangers Top 20 has not changed for several cycles. Chris Kreider remains the premier player among a very talented group, while Danny Kristo, obtained in a July 2013 trade with Montreal, now occupies the number two position.
Photo: Traktor Chelyabinsk forward and Washington Capitals prospect Yevgeni Kuznetsov will be celebrating goals in Russia for one more season before likely moving over to the NHL (courtesy of Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
The sixth KHL season is underway and, as usual, the past summer was very busy on all fronts. There were quite a few bold moves, with of course the biggest of them all being the sensational return to Russia of Ilya Kovalchuk, who signed a 4-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg.