2016 NHL Draft: Wiederer rounding out his game with playoff-bound Wildcats

by Chapin Landvogt
Manuel Wiederer - Moncton Wildcats

Photo: Moncton Wildcats forward and 2016 prospect Manuel Wiederer is currently third in scoring on the Wildcats roster with 24 goals and 56 points in 48 games (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

 

 

Having arrived on the German ice hockey scene at the tender age of 16, Manuel Wiederer made quite a splash, popping in 16 goals and posting 29 points in 44 games for a pro team in the third men’s league. This quickly earned him a role on his nation’s national team for the 2014 U18 World Championship in Finland, where he proceeded to contribute five points in six games, helping Germany retain the class in two close victories over Denmark in the relegation round. (more…)

Anaheim Ducks Top 20 prospects show the benefits of good scouting

by Jason Lewis
Shea Theodore - Anaheim Ducks

Photo: Anaheim’s top prospect Shea Theodore is being developed with patience but his offensive skills definitely have a place in the NHL (courtesy of Jose Quiroz/Icon Sportswire)

If the Anaheim Ducks management and scouts have done one thing right in their recent history, it is that they have made the top end picks count. While every team has its missed opportunities, flops, and top picks that do not live up to expectations, the Ducks have had an enviable success rate. The mid-season Top 20 features 13 players from rounds one through three, while the top ten features eight players from the first and second rounds. They are getting wonderful seasons from their best prospects, and that is one of the many reasons why the Ducks pipeline is considered one of the more promising in the NHL. It is a group whose promise goes even deeper than the twenty names here.

(more…)

Carolina Hurricanes AHL squad makes due without expected contributors

by Cory Lavalette
Photo: Tyler Ganly has split the season between the AHL and the ECHL--with success in both. (Courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Tyler Ganly has split the season between the AHL and the ECHL–with success in both. (Courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

Head coach Mark Morris’ first year with the Carolina Hurricanes AHL affiliate likely doesn’t look as he expected when he took the job last July. When the season opened, the Checkers had defenseman Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin—both first-year pros, but highly regarded prospects—penciled into the blueline, with the possibility that 2015 fifth overall pick Noah Hanifin could need some seasoning in Charlotte. (more…)

HF NHL Prospect of the Month, February, 2016: Hawryluk powers surging Wheat Kings in WHL

by Chris Roberts
Jayce Hawryluk - Florida Panthers

Photo: Brandon Wheat Kings forward and Florida Panthers prospect Jayce Hawryluk got a taste of NHL action in the 2015 preseason, but he is turning in a strong 2015-16 campaign for the Wheat Kings in the WHL (courtesy of Ronald C. Modra/NHL/Getty Images)

 

 

The Brandon Wheat Kings were expected to be a powerhouse in the WHL this season. The team arguably has no weaknesses, boasting a bevy of NHL-drafted prospects as well as several others who will soon be selected by NHL clubs (Nolan Patrick, Kale Clague, Stelio Mattheos). (more…)

Prospect Faceoff: OHL West Division clash, Aho climbs scoring ranks, more college and junior matchups

by David Hahn
Christian Fischer - Windsor Spitfires; Travis Konecny - Sarnia Sting - Prospect Faceoff for 3/3/16

Photo: Windsor Spitfires forward and Arizona Coyotes prospect Christian Fischer (L), and Sarnia Sting forward and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Travis Konecny (R) do battle this weekend in an OHL Western Conference showdown with potential playoff implications (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

 

 

The West Division in the OHL is up for grabs, and two teams in the race are looking towards their top scorers to help secure a division title. In the WHL, Jayce Hawryluk just earned his first professional contract following an unbelievable month, and in the QMJHL, Cody Donaghey is settling into a new home after being traded in two different leagues this season. Also included this week, Hockey East serves up a high-quality matchup, and one rising Finnish superstar rounds out a stellar edition of Prospect Faceoff. (more…)

Detroit Red Wings Top 20 prospects will help continue the winning tradition

by Ryan Womeldorf
Dylan Larkin - Detroit Red Wings

Photo: Although set to graduate from prospect status in short order, Dylan Larkin’s recent struggles show that there is a long road to NHL stardom even for a prodigy (courtesy of Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

 

Despite being in the playoffs for seemingly an eternity (not really, just closing in on three decades), the Detroit Red Wings have managed to find their fair share of high-end prospects in the middle to late parts of the first round and beyond.

(more…)

NHL success for Florida Panthers prospects leads to depleted Top 20

by Chris Roberts
Photo: Mike Matheson is the top Florida Panthers prospect for the third-straight Top 20 ranking article. (Courtesy of Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Photo: Mike Matheson is the top Florida Panthers prospect for the third-straight Top 20 ranking article. (Courtesy of Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

 

 

 

The Florida Panthers prospect cupboard isn’t bare, but it’s not what it used to be—and that’s a good thing. The 2015-16 Panthers have been the surprise of the NHL thanks to contributions from players young and old, especially its in-house developed players like Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov—players that were once top prospects in the organization. (more…)

2016 NHL Draft: Change at top of March ISS rankings as Nylander arrives among the top prospects

by ISS
Alexander Nylander - Mississauga Steelheads - ISS Rankings, March, 2016

Photo: Mississauga Steelheads forward and 2016 prospect Alexander Nylander has a good chance of joining brother William as a top 10 pick in the NHL Draft (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

 

 

While the two players ranked at the top of ISS Hockey’s March rankings for the 2016 NHL Draft remain unchanged from last month’s list, there has been somewhat noteworthy movement elsewhere in the top 10 . (more…)

Vancouver Canucks Top 20 prospects a sign of franchise health

by Curtis Coulter
Jared McCann - Vancouver Canucks

Photo: Although there is plenty of room for improvement in Vancouver prospect Jared McCann’s game, his efforts as a teenager in the NHL have been both courageous and encouraging (courtesy of Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

The Vancouver Canucks’ plan to get younger without going into a total rebuild is in full effect. Gone are veteran wingers Chris Higgins and Brandon Prust, waived and assigned to the farm in Utica. Taking up the extra minutes are youngsters such as Sven Baertschi and recently acquired Emerson Etem. Add in Bo Horvat, Jared McCann and Jake Virtanen and the Canucks have a very respectable group of forwards aged 23 or younger. With up and comers such as Brendan Gaunce and Brock Boeser knocking at the door, the Canucks seem to have most of the answers to their future needs developing in-house.

(more…)

Montreal Canadiens prospects impressing throughout the CHL

by Jessica-Lyn Saunders
Photo: Daniel Audette's 52 points are good for second in scoring among Sherbrooke Phoenix skaters. (Courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

Photo: Daniel Audette’s 52 points are good for second in scoring among Sherbrooke Phoenix skaters. (Courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

 

 

The 2015-16 season may not have been too kind to the Montreal Canadiens lately, but their 6 prospects in the OHL, QMJHL and WHL have shown that they could have a very bright future in the NHL. (more…)