For the better part of two seasons, when it comes to prospects the consistent names have been Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. Both players stand to be NHL superstars and will almost undoubtedly go first and second overall in some order.
McDavid and Eichel are the type of players teams wait for – the type of player that you “build through the draft” with. But for nearly every team in the league, there’s a selection of undrafted talent that carries some of the load. In certain instances, they’re key cogs. In others, they’re depth players who contribute in ways you can’t find on the score sheet.
For the purposes of cutting out the established NHLers like Martin St-Louis and Mark Giordano, this list of the best undrafted players in the league today are the young guns that have broken into the NHL by unconventional means in the last five seasons: Read more
The big prospect news of the week came with Buffalo sending Sam Reinhart back to junior after a nine-game tryout and one assist. I’m totally on board with this move. Reinhart now gets a chance to do some serious damage at the world juniors for Canada and pull the Western League’s Kootenay Ice out of an early season funk. He’ll get his NHL shot again next year and perhaps one day, the players listed below will, too.
In the history of goalie masks, there haven’t been much more intimidating than that of Gilles Gratton, who wore a ferocious big cat on his old-school mask. However, there might be a new challenger coming out of the NCAA.
Gabe Grunwald, who plays for the NCAA’s University of Wisconsin, has a new, fierce paint job of his own: Read more
Before 1,120 fans, Noora Raty made Finnish hockey history when she became the first Finnish woman to suit up for play in the Finnish second league, Mestis.
A two-time NCAA champion, Raty has arguably been the gold standard of women’s hockey goaltending. Over her time in the NCAA, she set records for career save percentage (.949), all-time wins (114), and wins in a single season (38). Oh, and she also posted 17 shutouts in a single season, 43 over her career, and has an undefeated season under her belt.
Raty was twice named the NCAA female player of the year, and her list of honors is an exhausting read. That’s why it was so shocking when, following Finland’s elimination from medal contention at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the Finnish goaltender let slip that it may have been her last game – not just for the national team, but entirely. Read more
In the aftermath of the unspeakable attack Wednesday in Ottawa that killed a Canadian soldier and terrified the federal parliament and the country itself, the NHL responded admirably to show its support for those affected by the tragedy. An example was found in Pittsburgh, when prior to the Penguins/Flyers game, the fans in attendance and singer Jeff Jimerson sang Canada’s national anthem:
The Buffalo Sabres are bad, epically bad, and they’ll get even worse once they trade away Tyler Myers and Chris Stewart. (To Detroit and Boston, respectively, is our guess.) And while they have a lot of company in the dregs of the NHL standings, their chances of getting one of Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel are looking very, very good.
(Depending on how the New York Islanders do, there’s a chance the Sabres could get a crack at both. And while the early results don’t favor that possibility, remember, it’s the Islanders we’re talking about here.) Read more
The big news in the prospect world right now concerns the class-action lawsuit filed against the CHL and without going into too much detail, I think this could have a dramatic effect on junior hockey. With profits and losses so extreme across the continent, I believe a minimum wage policy would have to be supported by revenue sharing. But let’s get back on the ice, shall we? Because that’s what The Hot List is, a round-up of the kids we can’t wait to see in the NHL one day.
With NCAA hockey officially in full swing, there is action aplenty to watch for in the prospect world. Boston University’s Jack Eichel and Erie’s Connor McDavid already seem to have a fantastic game of anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better going on, but who else should you be watching this season? Here are some of the other names making noise right now.