2016 NHL Draft: Rubtsov leads interesting group of forwards competing in Russia

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
Artur Kayumov - Team Russia - 2015 World Junior A Challenge

Photo: Team Russia U18 forward Artur Kayumov led the Russian squad in scoring at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge with a goal and six assists in four games (courtesy of Amy Deroche/OJHL Images)

 

 

At the 2015 NHL Draft, Russia had one of its better recent showings with 18 Russians being drafted by NHL clubs. This made for a good jump forward when compared to 2014 with 13 players chosen, and especially 2013 where only eight Russians were selected. (more…)

St. Louis Blues prospects making the most of NHL opportunity this season

by Suraj Sukumar
Joel Edmundson - St. Louis Blues

Photo: St. Louis Blues prospect Joel Edmundson has been an understated stabilizing presence in the lineup this season (courtesy of Scott Grau/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

The St. Louis Blues have had a few prospects at the NHL level due to their injuries woes this season. With significant time missed by Jake Allen, Patrik Berglund, Kevin Shattenkirk, Paul Stastny and Jaden Schwartz, the Blues have turned to some younger players. While some made the most of their limited opportunities, others have been impressing since the very start of the season. Colton Parayko has been the big story out of St. Louis this season and Joel Edmundson has been a welcomed addition to their defensive group.

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Healthy NHL club limits opportunities for New York Islanders prospects

by Christian Litscher
Photo: 2011 second-round pick (34th overall) Scott Mayfield played three games with the New York Islanders this season. (Courtesy of Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: 2011 second-round pick (34th overall) Scott Mayfield played three games with the New York Islanders this season. (Courtesy of Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

The New York Islanders currently sit fifth in a tight Metropolitan Division. Although the Washington Capitals are running away with the division, just eight points separate the second place New York Rangers from the seventh place Philadelphia Flyers. (more…)

2016 NHL Draft: Steelheads’ McLeod receiving encouragement from extended family

by Jason Menard
Michael McLeod - Team Cherry - 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Photo: Mississauga Steelheads forward and 2016 prospect Michael McLeod turned in a strong performance at the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, earning Player of the Game honors for Team Cherry (courtesy of Kevin Light Photography/CHL Images)

 

 

For Michael McLeod, his draft-eligible season is being experienced with all the comforts of home – not only playing for his hometown Mississauga Steelheads, but also playing alongside his younger brother Ryan. (more…)

Well-developed New Jersey Devils prospects failing to make presence felt in NHL

by John Iadevaia
Photo: Reid Boucher has been up and down between New Jersey and Albany for the third-straight year. He has 29 points in 32 games for the AHL Devils. (Courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Reid Boucher has been up and down between New Jersey and Albany for the third-straight year. He has 29 points in 32 games for the AHL Devils. (Courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

The New Jersey Devils have cooled off from their surprising start to the season. For the most part, the veterans have been the ones getting it done in Newark, but there have been a handful of prospects that have received opportunities with the big club. For the most part, the rookies have not taken full advantage of the opportunity presented to them. In the best interest of the franchise, some prospects are on the slow path so they can take on bigger roles in the future. (more…)

IceCaps’ McCarron looking to regain early-season form

by Tony Androckitis
Mike McCarron - Team North Division - 2016 AHL All-Star Classic

Photo: St. John’s IceCaps forward and Montreal Canadiens prospect Mike McCarron competed for the North Division squad at the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic, where he picked up a goal and an assist (courtesy of Scott Thomas Photography/AHL)

 

 

It is hard not to notice Mike McCarron when he is on the ice during a St. John’s IceCaps game. The 6-foot-6, 231-pound forward simply towers over much of his competition at the AHL level. It is not often to see a player with his size have the hands and abilities with the puck that he possesses, and it is that rare combination of size and skill that led the Montreal Canadiens to draft McCarron with their first round pick (25th overall) in 2013. (more…)

Strome using lessons learned at first NHL camp to guide his Erie teammates

by Jason Menard
Dylan Strome - Erie Otters

Photo: Erie Otters forward and Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome leads the Otters in scoring and is currently fourth overall in the OHL scoring race with 73 points in 35 games (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

 

 

Last year, all eyes were on the Erie Otters as the combination of Dylan Strome and Connor McDavid were charging up the OHL standings and the NHL Draft boards. This year, with McDavid in Edmonton and Strome having been drafted by the Arizona Coyotes third overall, it’s a different dynamic – and instead of leading the charge up the draft boards, or leading the scoring race, Strome is putting the pressure on himself to be a leader on his team. (more…)

Prospect Faceoff: Dal Colle hosts old friends, Sprong and Rantanen compete, more from the NCAA, WHL

by David Hahn
Jason Dickinson - Texas Stars; San Antonio Rampage - Mikko Rantanen - Prospect Faceoff for 2/5/16

Photo: Texas Stars forward and Dallas Stars prospect Jason Dickinson, and San Antonio Rampage forward and Colorado Avalanche prospect Mikko Rantanen meet this weekend in a top head-to-head AHL matchup of NHL prospects (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire and Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

 

 

In this week’s Prospect Faceoff, two OHL players who were traded for each other go one-on-one against their old teams for the first time . We’ll check in with Daniel Sprong and Mikko Rantanen, who both enjoyed valuable time in the NHL this year. The “Battle of Pennsylvania” gets a glimpse of the future when prospects of the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins go head-to-head, and two of the WHL’s finest defenders are heading in different directions.

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New York Rangers prospects excelling in junior, despite middling draft positions

by Leslie Treff
Photo: With 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 46 games, Ryan Gropp is scoring at a point-per-game clip for the first time in his junior career. (Courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Photo: With 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 46 games, Ryan Gropp is scoring at a point-per-game clip for the first time in his junior career. (Courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

 

The New York Rangers currently have seven prospects playing junior hockey, including six in the CHL and one in the USHL. Of them, two represented their countries in the World Junior Championships earlier this month (Brandon Halverson and Adam Huska). (more…)

2016 NHL Draft: Development a family affair for Mississauga Steelheads’ Nylander

by Jason Menard
Alexander Nylander - Mississauga Steelheads

Photo: Mississauga Steelheads forward and 2016 prospect Alexander Nylander starred for Sweden at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, where he led the team in scoring with nine points in seven games (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

 

 

For the Mississauga Steelheads’ Alexander Nylander, his draft-eligible year is truly a family affair. And the experience handed down by his father and brother has proven to be rewarding. (more…)