Prospect Need to Know: Kieffer Bellows is living up to his last name

Kieffer Bellows (photo courtesy Rena Laverty/USA Hockey)

Welcome back to the new iteration of The Hot List, now known as Prospect Need to Know. The NCAA season kicked off in earnest on the weekend and though I’d like a bit more of a sample size before handing out accolades, let it be known that Arizona prospect Maxim Letunov had a hat trick in his first game with UConn. And yes, Calgary Flames fans, Mark Jankowski is off to a hot start with Providence. There’s a lot of goodness to cover off this week, so let’s get right to it:

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AHL announces Cline, Keller, Labbe and Landon as 2016 Hall of Fame inductees

Jared Clinton
AHL Hall of Fame (via AHL)

The AHL has announced its Hall of Fame class of 2016, and Bruce Cline, Ralph Keller, Jean-Francois Labbe — all of whom played for the Hershey Bears — and Bruce Landon will make up the 11th group of inductees into the league’s Hall of Fame.

Cline, 83, was a career AHLer who spent the bulk of his career with three teams in the minor league. He began his AHL tenure with the Providence Reds and spent three seasons with the club before a one-year stint with the Buffalo Bisons. After moving on from Buffalo, Cline spent four years with the Springfield (Mass.) Indians and five with the Hershey Bears before his playing career ended in 1968.

Over his 823 game AHL career, Cline notched 321 goals and 773 points. He was the AHL rookie of the year in 1955-56 and scored three goals and six points in the post-season to help Providence to a Calder Cup victory. In Springfield, Cline helped the team capture three consecutive Calder Cups from 1960 to 1962. Read more

Teen rookie Dylan Larkin is shaking up the Detroit Red Wings

Dylan Larkin (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

There are few certainties in the hockey world, but one of them used to be that the Detroit Red Wings didn’t bring teenagers into the NHL. In fact, it’s been about 15 years since Jiri Fischer pulled the trick, as Chris Peters discovered. But Detroit coach Jeff Blashill confirmed on Monday that Larkin made the final cut for the Wings, so now it’s on to the next challenge for the kid: sticking with the squad full-time.

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Futures mailbag: Adam Erne’s upside, the NHL’s sneaky prospect and more

Adam Erne  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Real hockey is here, folks. Erie’s Alex DeBrincat scored five goals against Niagara Thursday night and he did it without Connor McDavid or Dylan Strome – so he’s got that going for him. A lot of 2015 draft prospects seem to be sticking around for the start of the NHL’s regular season and one of those kids comes up in a question below. If you have a query about prospects and the draft, look me up on Twitter at @THNRyanKennedy and include the hashtag #thnfutures. You may see the answer in the coming weeks. Let’s get to the bag.

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Young kids making a run at St. Louis Blues camp

Robby Fabbri (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

When the timeline on Patrik Berglund’s recovery from shoulder surgery was announced as four months, the St. Louis Blues had to launch a plan of attack. The Swedish center may end up missing half the season, so a band-aid solution wouldn’t do. Fortunately, St. Louis has several options and really, two different ways to go from there.

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Futures mailbag: Which 2015 draft picks are going straight to the show?

Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Welcome back to my mailbag, where all manner of questions on prospects and the draft are answered. If you have something you want to know about, hit me up on Twitter at @THNRyanKennedy and hashtag it #thnfutures. You might see the question here in a couple weeks.

In the meantime, let’s get to the latest round of inquiries, the first of which is very timely:

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Star Wars jerseys in Milwaukee? You better believe it.

Ryan Kennedy
Jonathan Diaby (courtesy of Milwaukee Admirals)

For hardcore followers of THN, you may notice that several of us are in the tank for the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals when it comes to jerseys. The most recent two have been outstanding and the Nashville Predators affiliate now has a fun add-on: for the team’s games on Nov. 27 and 28, the Admirals will be wearing special Star Wars-themed sweaters. Check out the goodness:


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AHL’s Stars unveil beautiful new jerseys and pay tribute to Texas with new logo

Jared Clinton
Travis Morin and Justin Dowling (via Texas Stars)

When the Dallas Stars rebranded in 2013, they went from having some of the worst jerseys in the NHL to an eye-popping new look thanks to their custom ‘Victory Green’ color. Now their farm club, the Texas Stars, are following suit and bringing Victory Green to the AHL.

As part of the opening celebrations of the Stars’ training camp, Texas players Travis Morin and Julius Honka strutted out on stage in the new dudes. Honka, 19, wore the brand new white jersey while Morin, who was also named captain of the AHL’s Stars at the event, sported the Victory Green sweater.

Fans will notice these aren’t one-for-one replications of the big club’s duds, though. In making their own identity, Texas has thrown a different design on both jerseys. Read more