It was the most obvious choice, but there was also a pretty good reason for it. Team Canada named Sidney Crosby captain of the upcoming World Cup of Hockey squad, with Jonathan Toews and Shea Weber earning ‘A’s on their sweaters as alternate captains. So what went into the decision?
Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.
Givani Smith didn’t have an enviable situation in his draft year. The physical left winger played for literally one of the worst teams in all of major junior – the Guelph Storm – and watched coach Bill Stewart walk out on his troops after Guelph won just two of its first 27 games. But scouts saw Smith’s unique combination of brawn and skill and knew he’d be a good one. Detroit nabbed him in the second round this summer and now he’s already impressing NHLers.
The Dallas Stars were one of the most exciting shows on ice last season, but keeping the puck out of their net proved too onerous in the end. Dallas bowed out to St. Louis in the second round and although goaltending will continue to be a question this season, there will be one huge upgrade when the Stars take up arms on opening night: Tyler Seguin will be back.
Summertime in the hockey world means foes become friends again. For Washington’s Tom Wilson, it means getting reacquainted with Wayne Simmonds, his on-ice rival from Philadelphia, but also a player who means a lot to the Capitals youngster.
In a way, Connor McDavid delivered exactly as we thought he would as an NHL rookie: his sublime skill set and hockey mind propelled him to more than a point per game, making him one of Edmonton’s top scorers. But a shoulder injury deprived him of nearly half the season and perhaps the Calder Trophy. So we’ve seen McDavid, but we also know there is more to come. Entering his sophomore campaign, the Oilers phenom is feeling positive about his team’s chances.
The Ontario League has announced big rule changes for the 2016-17 campaign, with fighting one of the biggest targets.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed free agent center Thomas Di Pauli to a two-year entry-level contract, adding an asset to an organization that does not have a deep prospect pipeline right now. But here’s the thing: the Pens are staying in the NHL’s top echelon without a traditional building strategy and Di Pauli is part of that.
It takes a lot of work to become an NCAA hockey player and because of the organization’s strict rules, sometimes just getting to campus with your eligibility intact can be a challenge. The most recent example is a report from Jeff Cox of SB Nation that goaltender Tyler Johnson has lost his eligibility appeal to the NCAA and will play for the OHL’s London Knights this season instead of the University of Maine.
Now, you could do a lot worse than playing for the defending Memorial Cup champions, but Johnson’s case shines the spotlight on the tricky waters that teens must navigate en route to college hockey.