It’s either Winnipeg or Europe for Nikolaj Ehlers this season

Nikolaj Ehlers

In terms of drafted prospects, few teenagers could top the season that Nikolaj Ehlers is coming off. The incredibly talented Halifax Mooseheads left winger put up approximately two points per game in the regular season, then paced The Herd with 31 points in just 14 QMJHL playoff games. He also helped Denmark win its first-ever game at the world juniors and was the most electrifying player in the entire tournament.

So what does he do for an encore?

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Owen Sound center Jeff Gilligan retires at 19 due to heart condition

Jared Clinton
Jeffrey Gilligan (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

With the OHL season approaching, Owen Sound Attack center Jeff Gilligan announced some gut-wrenching news: he’ll be forced to retire from the game he loves at 19 due to a heart condition.

Gilligan, who was drafted by Owen Sound in the eighth round of the 2012 OHL draft, has spent the past two seasons with the Attack. Sadly, however, his 58-game campaign in 2014-15 will be his last at a competitive level.

“Unfortunately I will no longer be able to play hockey,” Gilligan announced via his Twitter account. “I have been diagnosed with a heart condition that will prevent me from playing. I will miss everything about the game especially the past two years spent in Owen Sound! I wish nothing but the best to the organization and my team mates and I am very thankful for being a part of the team.” Read more

Futures mailbag: Marner vs. Nylander, one nasty Avs prospect and more

Mitch Marner (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Welcome back to the THN futures mailbag, where I answer all things prospect and draft related. I’m really getting a good crop of questions coming in, so keep that momentum going, folks (hit me up at @THNRyanKennedy with the hashtag #thnfutures). With the major junior season around the corner and the Traverse City prospects tournament also coming up, I may save some questions until the action begins, for accuracy’s sake. So hold tight if you don’t see your submission right away. Let’s get to it:

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Futures mailbag: Dylan Larkin, Alex DeBrincat’s uphill battle and more

Dylan Larkin (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

After a week off for vacation, the mailbag returns in full force. The volume of questions is beginning to get fatter and that’s awesome, so keep them coming by hitting me up on Twitter with the hashtag #thnfutures. If your question isn’t answered this week, check back next time. Let’s get to it!

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Alexander Burmistrov ready for his return to Winnipeg

Ryan Kennedy
Alexander Burmistrov (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

The one thing I’ll always remember about Alexander Burmistrov during his Barrie Colts days is how skinny he looked. He was a perfect example of a prospect who had great tools; you just had to forecast what he would look like once a couple years in the weight room kicked in.

But the Atlanta Thrashers needed talent right away and the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft went straight to the NHL, where he survived and contributed. Then the team moved to Winnipeg, where all the good vibes of NHL-starved Manitoba fans couldn’t push an underdeveloped squad into the post-season under coach Claude Noel. And Burmistrov certainly didn’t thrive under the conditions, either.

So the lanky young Russian returned to his homeland, playing two years in the KHL for Ak Bars Kazan, his local squad.

Now he’s back.

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OHL’s Steelheads vs. AHL’s Griffins: which new logo is better?

Jared Clinton
The Mississauga Steelheads and Grand Rapids Griffins unveiled new logos Tuesday. (via Twitter/

It’s not often that two teams unveil new logos on the same day, but Tuesday both the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads and AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins debuted brand new primary marks.

Trouble for the Steelheads is there’s a clearcut winner and it’s certainly not the OHL club. While the new Mississauga crest stays true to what the club has worn over the past three seasons, it’s not enough of a departure to really even feel like a new logo. All the updated features are ones that were included previously, and the only thing removed was the Steelheads word mark.

Previously, the logo had the trout leaping across the top of the Steelheads name, with a small bar underneath reading “Mississauga.” The ‘A’ of the Steelheads word mark contained a maple leaf as a nod to Canada. The updated logo dropped the Steelheads name and placed Mississauga in a rounded border with a maple leaf after the city. Read more