2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: QMJHL duo dominates in 3-2 Team Orr victory

by Glen Erickson
Pierre-Luc Dubois - Team Orr - 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Photo: Team Orr forward Pierre-Luc Dubois deposits the game-winning goal into the net behind Team Cherry goaltender Zach Sawchenko in Team Orr’s 3-2 win at the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (courtesy of Kevin Light Photography)

 

 

Once the pomp and circumstance came to an end at the Pacific Coliseum, with Bobby Orr and Don Cherry feigning disdain for each other prior to puck drop, a group of 40 prospects from across the CHL were finally allowed to cut loose and play hockey at the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. (more…)

(Podcast) Dan Marr, NHL scouts able to access Major Junior and Junior A showcases just days apart

by Glen Erickson
Dan Marr - Director of NHL Central Scouting

Photo: Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr has had a busy couple of weeks with the release of the CSS Midterm Rankings for the 2016 NHL Draft, as well as the CJHL Prospects Game and CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

 

When Dan Marr was absent from the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game meet and greets on Tuesday evening in Vancouver, it was certainly for good reason. The amicable Director of NHL Central Scouting was busying himself a few miles away in Surrey at the annual CJHL Prospects Game. (more…)

(Podcast) 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Sea Dogs’ Green travels long distance for national spotlight

by Glen Erickson
Luke Green - Saint John Sea Dogs

Photo: Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman and 2016 prospect Luke Green was the first overall selection at the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft (courtesy of Kevin Light Photography)

 

 

If there is anyone participating at the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver who can relate to the feelings associated with highlights on Draft Day, it might very well be Luke Green of the Saint John Sea Dogs. (more…)

Toronto Maple Leafs prospects heavily stocked with blooming CHL talent

by Chris Roberts
Photo: Travis Dermott grew up in Newmarket, Ontario, just a 44-minute drive from his future home in Toronto. (Courtesy of Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

Photo: Travis Dermott grew up in Newmarket, Ontario, just a 44-minute drive from his future home in Toronto. (Courtesy of Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

 

 

When former London Knights assistant coach and general manager Mark Hunter was brought into the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, it was assumed the team would put an emphasis on drafting players out of junior hockey, primarily the CHL. So it was no surprise, then, when the Leafs went to the CHL for six of their nine selections in the 2015 NHL Draft. (more…)

Pacific Coliseum readies for 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

by Glen Erickson
Team Orr Players - 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Photo: Team Orr players look on as the 40 CHL prospects assembled in Vancouver, BC in preparation for the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Thursday night (courtesy of Kevin Light Photography)

 

 

With 40 of the top junior players from the Canadian Hockey League venturing to Canada’s West Coast paradise, also known as Vancouver, for the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, there is a hope that this annual All-Star game of sorts will capture plenty of attention from hockey fans in British Columbia’s lower mainland. (more…)

Winnipeg Jets prospects rising to the challenge as rookies

by HF Staff
Nicolas Petan - Winnipeg Jets

Photo: 2013 second-round pick Nic Petan remains a top prospect for the Winnipeg Jets – the ugly results of his baptism by fire in the NHL earlier this season notwithstanding – and he now sits third on the Manitoba Moose in scoring (courtesy of Terrence Lee/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

The Winnipeg Jets roster is one of the youngest in the NHL this season, and have had six prospects make their NHL debuts already in 2015-16. Few teams are able to rely on the strength of their young guns to the extent of the Jets, with a couple of them earning full-time NHL gigs.

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(Podcast) 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Well traveled DeBrincat brings scoring touch to Vancouver

by Glen Erickson
Alex DeBrincat - Erie Otters

Photo: Erie Otters forward and 2016 prospect Alex DeBrincat is currently ranked sixth in scoring in the OHL with 35 goals and 62 points in 38 games in the 2015-16 campaign (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

 

 

Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters is the smallest player in Vancouver this week at the 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Although the native of Farmington Hills, Michigan checks in at 5’7” and 163 pounds, his performance in the OHL this season has been big time so far. (more…)

Pittsburgh Penguins prospect depth tested early and often through first half of season

by Ian Altenbaugh
Photo: After failing to breach the 10-game milestone for consecutive seasons, Brian Dumoulin is with Pittsburgh to stay. (Courtesy of Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: After failing to breach the 10-game milestone for consecutive seasons, Brian Dumoulin is with Pittsburgh to stay. (Courtesy of Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins may not be going through the injury problems they have endured in previous seasons, but they have nonetheless had to test their depth fairly often. The early retirement of Pascal Dupuis and injuries to veterans such as Nick Bonino and Marc-Andre Fleury opened spots on the roster and provided an opportunity for multiple rookies to make their NHL debuts. (more…)

(Podcast) 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Skilled Steel has Pats in the hunt for playoff return

by Glen Erickson
Sam Steel - Regina Pats

Photo: Regina Pats forward and 2016 prospect Sam Steel is second in scoring on the Pats’ roster with 17 goals and 45 points in 48 games in the 2015-16 season (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)

 

 

It has been some time since the Regina Pats have experienced post-season success, and players of Sam Steel’s dynamic skill inject instant optimism. Creative and crafty with the puck, the diminutive forward from the Edmonton area possesses the kind of talent that can bring fans out of their seats. When at his best, Steel is certainly capable of moving the needle in a city that is craving a return to its WHL glory days. (more…)

(Podcast) 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Steelheads’ Day using TPG appearance as benchmark

by Glen Erickson
Sean Day - Mississauga Steelheads

Photo: Mississauga Steelheads defenseman and 2016 prospect Sean Day has scored three goals and 14 points in 37 games in the 2015-16 campaign (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

 

 

When a player arrives in the Ontario Hockey League as a 15-year-old, courtesy of its “exceptional status” label, the pressure is naturally both immediate and intense. The label is there for the duration, heady stuff for any young teenager looking to make his mark in major junior hockey. (more…)