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.
We are one week away from the 2016 NHL draft in Buffalo. So now is the time to really bear down and get your knowledge. The following is my top 120 list. That represents about the first four rounds (give or take a compensatory pick) and it’s my hope that you will see all these names on the draft board by the time everything wraps up on Saturday afternoon.
Important note: This is not a mock draft. None of the selections are based on which teams are picking when, because that can (and pretty much always does) change with trades on the floor. This is a ‘Best Player Available’ list, for all intents and purposes. Nearly all the players here are first-time eligible. I try not to speculate on those already passed over unless they’re obvious (Tanner Pearson in 2012, for example), but a couple got through.
Otherwise, enjoy this primer.
Anze Kopitar is officially the new captain of the Los Angeles Kings. And while the news can’t help but cast a spotlight on the former captain, Dustin Brown, GM Dean Lombardi maintains that the move is part of the franchise’s evolution.
By all accounts, Edmonton defenseman Andrew Ference is a good guy. He’s a veteran who sets a good example for teammates off the ice and he’s quite involved with community causes wherever he goes. In terms of actually playing hockey at a high level…that shipped has probably sailed.
So it would make sense that the Oilers would have looked into buying their former captain out this summer, but apparently they’re not allowed.
The world is saying goodbye to Gordie Howe right now, but it isn’t really goodbye, is it? Mr. Hockey will always be a pillar of the sport, both for his incredible talent on the ice and his affable personality off of it.
While many great Howe stories have come to light since his passing, countless others can be shared. The man really had an incredible life. Here are five amazing tales from Gordie himself, from his autobiography, “Mr. Hockey: My Story.”
Randy Carlyle is coming back to Anaheim. That’s the news, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. The fact Carlyle got another NHL job is pretty surprising in itself, but back in Anaheim, with a team in its Stanley Cup window? Let’s see what one of his former players had to say on the matter:
Today probably rots if you’re in San Jose.
The Sharks will wake up with no more hockey to play, no more chances to win the Stanley Cup in 2015-16. And that feeling will linger for awhile, perhaps for the entire summer. Which is too bad, because the Sharks should feel proud of what they accomplished this season.
Ron Mason, the legendary former coach of the Michigan State Spartans, has passed away at the age of 76.
Mason won 924 games behind the bench at Michigan State, Bowling Green and Lake Superior State. He guided the Spartans to the national championship in 1986 and again as athletic director in 2007. But his impact on college hockey went well beyond wins.
PITTSBURGH – The Penguins had a chance to slay San Jose on home ice, but the Sharks had some tricks of their own and now the series is headed back to California. Even though Pittsburgh dominated the possession game, San Jose used opportunistic scoring to down the Pens 4-2. Perhaps most disturbing for Pittsburgh is how exposed the team’s inexperienced defense corps looked at times, particularly in the first three minutes when the Sharks staked themselves to a 2-0 lead.