Prospect Need to Know: Jack LaFontaine is a hidden draft gem in net

Jack LaFontaine (photo courtesy of the NAHL)

The NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau released its latest Watch List today for the 2016 draft and there have been a bunch of movers. This is not surprising, since the early September edition was largely speculative and now the prospects actually have a good sample size of games under their belts, but it is interesting to monitor nonetheless. Also, as I first reported the other day, top 2016 prospect Auston Matthews will return to the ice for Zurich tomorrow in a Swiss Cup game against Ambri-Piotta. Here’s a look at what else is going on in the prospect world:

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Five AHLers ready to make the jump to the NHL this season

Jared Clinton
William Nylander (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

After years bouncing around the minor leagues and Europe, Bud Holloway got his first call up to the NHL Sunday. Holloway was an easy choice to fill in for the Canadiens once Devante Smith-Pelley went down with injury, and he’s one of several AHLers who look like they could make the jump to NHL duty this season.

Before coming to the NHL, Holloway had tallied five goals and 20 points in 18 games for the St. John’s IceCaps, and he was no stranger to being a top scorer. During the 2012-13 Swedish League season, Holloway was the league’s MVP with a 20-goal, 71-point campaign. Whether he translates that to the NHL is to be seen, but Holloway could have very easily been on a list of AHL talent ready to make the jump.

With Holloway in the NHL for now, here are five other AHL players who could be making an impact this season: Read more

Milwaukee Admirals’ Gaudreau scores with gorgeous one-handed move

Jared Clinton
Frederick Gaudreau (via Milwaukee Admirals/YouTube)

The reaching, one-handed breakaway goal was first pulled off by Kent Nilsson and popularized by Peter Forsberg, but both originally pulled the move off in a shootout. In recent years, we’ve seen the move make its way to game action, and the latest to pull it off was AHLer Frederick Gaudreau.

Gaudreau, who’s playing for the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, took a cross-ice pass late in the second frame of Saturday’s game against the San Diego Gulls and had roughly 10 feet of open ice in front of him. With Ducks top prospect netminder John Gibson out to challenge, Gaudreau quickly threw the puck to his backhand and tucked it around the goaltender: Read more

Prospect Need to Know: Julien Gauthier gets us pumped up

Julien Gauthier  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Can you sense it, folks? It’s almost world juniors time. Sure, the tournament is a month and a half away, but players need to be making impressions on national team brass all the time and for Canadian hopefuls, the CHL-Russia Super Series can be a big boost – just as Lawson Crouse, who caught eyes last year and turned his efforts into gold.

So far, Russia has been blanked, losing all four games to the WHL and OHL. Now it’s the QMJHL’s turn to defend home turf. One player honored with that duty is in our spotlight today. Let’s take a whirl around the world of prospects.

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Marlies and IceCaps combine for 17 goals

Dhiren Mahiban
HAMILTON, ON- JANUARY 23  -   William Nylander fires the puck as the  Toronto Marlies play the Hamilton Bulldogs  in Hamilton.  January 23, 2015.        (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The Toronto Marlies and St. John’s IceCaps showed what a game with increased goal scoring could look like on Saturday night.

William Nylander scored the overtime winner giving the Marlies a 9-8 victory in American Hockey League action.

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Prospect Need to Know: Chad Krys has been golden for Team USA

Chad Krys at the All-American Prospects Game (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

It’s a busy time in the prospect world with several events wrapping up and others just beginning. In this week’s Prospect Need to Know wrap, I’ll shed the spotlight on players from the World Under-17 Challenge, the Five Nations under-18 tourney and Four Nations under-20 showdown. So we’re getting into all the age brackets today. Also, the CHL-Russia Super Series kicked off, with the WHL taking Game 1 for the major junior side. That’s a series to watch for the next 10 days, as Canada’s world junior scouts will be grading carefully.


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New mask of Devils’ farmhand Wedgewood features Seinfeld character

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
NEWARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Peter Regin #16 of the New York Islanders scores a third period goal against Scott Wedgewood #50 of the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on September 19, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Islanders defeated the Devils 5-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Forget family, friends or even a beloved family pet. Albany Devils goaltender Scott Wedgewood has the ultimate supporter adorned on his mask.

Wedgewood’s new Dave Gunnarsson design was unveiled by InGoal Magazine on Saturday and it features New Jersey Devils fanatic David Puddy – Patrick Warburton’s lunkhead character on the hit show Seinfeld.

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