Photo: Karpat Oulu forward and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Sebastian Aho (#16) turned in a strong 2015-16 season, winning gold at the U20 World Junior Championship and finishing among the top scorers in Liiga (courtesy of Karpat Oulu/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)
If there was a theme to the season in Liiga in 2015-16 it can best be described by the old adage, “Youth shall be served.”
Much of the attention focused on 17-year-olds Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi — who barring any major surprises will be among the top three players picked in the 2016 NHL Draft. In terms of drafted forward prospects, three of their teammates on the gold medal champion U20 team also had big seasons and could be signing NHL contracts in the near future. Read more»
Photo: The Nashville Predators have invested a lot of assets in European players like prospect Joonas Lyytinen over the years, but the returns have been somewhat sluggish (courtesy of Atte Rissanen/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)
The Nashville Predators have one of their top prospects playing in the NCAA ranks — though Jimmy Vesey’s ultimate destination has been a source of much conjecture. The other five prospects playing college hockey are less established at this point.
Photo: Nashville Predators prospect Anthony Richard had 91 points in his draft season and now forms part of a formidable offensive attack for the Val d’Or Foreurs (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
The bulk of the Nashville Predators prospect pool is now skating at the pro level — either with the Predators, the AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals, or in Europe. The club has seven players currently skating at the junior level — including Gatineau Olympiques teammates Yakov Trenin and defenseman Alexandre Carrier.
Photo: Gatineau’s Yakov Trenin, the Predators’ first pick of the 2015 Draft, got a late start on the QMJHL season due to training camp but can provide steady offense for his club (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)
The Nashville Predators organization has undergone quite a transformation in the nearly 17 months since Peter Laviolette took over as the second coach in franchise history. That transformation figures to continue as some of the veterans brought in to revive the franchise eventually retire or are moved to make room for the young prospects coming up through the system.
Photo: Karpat Oulu forward and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Sebastian Aho and his Karpat teammates will be going for their third consecutive Kanada Cup championship (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
With the addition of former Mestis club KooKoo, Finland’s Liiga in 2015-16 will feature 15 teams for the first time in league history. But, while the Kouvola-based squad should enjoy an intense rivalry with neighboring SaiPa Lappeenranta in southeastern Finland, things aren’t likely to change at the top of the league standings. Read more»