Prospect Need to Know: Alex Nylander is ripping it up in Mississauga

Alex Nylander (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Canada’s world junior camp roster is out and there weren’t a lot of surprises. The biggest was previewed by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who revealed on the weekend that St. Louis Blues prospect and star Providence College defenseman Jake Walman was deemed ineligible for Team USA by the IIHF. Walman is a dual citizen and will now try his luck with Canada.

“We’re excited to have him,” said Ryan Jankowski, Hockey Canada’s director of player personnel. “It gives us another element on the blueline, with his ability to score goals. He’s got a nice shot.”

Otherwise, the Canucks are once again going with just two goalies at camp – New Jersey pick Mackenzie Blackwood and Calgary prospect Mason McDonald. With no other competitors, these two can now spend camp fighting for the starter’s role. This is the third year in which Canada has gone into camp with just two netminders, but it’s not a snap decision – rather a strategic one.

“We take their whole body of work into account from the past two or three years,” Jankowski said. “Historically it’s been tough to make decisions on goalies based on the CIS (exhibition) games, so this streamlines the process.”

Canada is always deep in terms of talent, so there will be hard decisions to make, though I also believe there are plenty of roster spots yet to be locked up here, making for an interesting camp (which begins next Thursday).

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the world of prospects, as per custom:

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Rumor Roundup: Six big-name players most likely to be traded this season

Eric Staal (Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

Heading into the American Thanksgiving long weekend, USA Today’s Kevin Allen listed six NHL players most likely to be traded this winter. The candidates are New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic, Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal, San Jose Sharks left winger Patrick Marleau, Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Trevor Daley and Calgary Flames rearguard Dennis Wideman.

Of this group, the closest to a certainty is Hamonic. The 25-year-old requested a trade during the off-season for family reasons and Isles GM Garth Snow is trying to accommodate him. A Manitoba native, Hamonic’s preference is Winnipeg or another Western Canadian NHL city. The Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche are also possible destinations.

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Rumor Roundup: Travis Hamonic expands list of trade destinations to Wild, Avalanche

Lyle Richardson
Travis Hamonic. (Getty Images)

The New York Islanders’ efforts to honor defenseman Travis Hamonic’s trade request continues to dominate the NHL rumor mill. There’s growing consensus among the pundits that it could take time for GM Garth Snow to find a suitable deal.

While the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets are considered the likely destinations for Hamonic, finding the right return is another matter. Snow’s asking price is believed to be a comparable defenseman.

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Rumor Roundup: Lots of interest in Travis Hamonic but getting deal done proving difficult

Lyle Richardson
Travis Hamonic (Al Bello/Getty Images)

News of New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic requesting a trade to a Western Canadian NHL club is dominating the NHL rumor mill. A native of St. Malo, Man., Hamonic told reporters on Thursday a family matter is behind the request.

Islanders GM Garth Snow doesn’t intend to just give Hamonic away, as it’s believed he wants a comparable blueliner in return, not draft picks and prospects. Ken Campbell handicapped the 25-year-old’s preferred destinations of the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks, suggesting the Oilers as the best fit.

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Go west young man: Handicapping Travis Hamonic’s preferred trade destinations

John Tavares (left) and Travis Hamonic  (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Travis Hamonic is 25 years old. He’s a mobile, physical defensemen who can munch minutes and has a reasonable amount of offensive potential. He’s a steal against the salary cap, currently leads all defensemen in hits, is a right-shot defenseman and has favorable numbers when it comes to analytics. And his best years as an NHL player could very well be in front of him.

So from the standpoint of New York Islanders GM Garth Snow, there could never be a better time to trade him. But when the player not only asks for a trade, but limits his destination to one of four teams, any leverage Snow had over his possible trade partners is wiped out. There’s nothing the drops a player’s trade market value more dramatically than a desperate need to move him and a limited number of destinations.

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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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How angry Islanders fans on Long Island swayed the results of an election

Stu Hackel
The New York Islanders celebrate a victory over the Detroit Red Wings (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Islanders fans have not forgotten and not forgiven. Last Tuesday, they used election day to get revenge on the politician they most identified with the failure to keep their team in Nassau County.

Islanders fans are being credited with helping Madeline Singas defeat Kate Murray for Nassau County District Attorney. Murray had been the Town of Hempstead Supervisor who presided over demise of Islander owner Charles Wang’s Lighthouse Project.

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Islanders captain John Tavares remains sidelined with undisclosed illness

Jared Clinton
John Tavares (Getty Images)

New York Islanders captain John Tavares won’t be in the lineup Tuesday when his club takes on the New Jersey Devils, and it will be the third time in three games that Tavares is out with an illness.

Before a game against the New Jersey Devils this past Saturday, the Islanders announced Tavares would be out and said they would an offer an update on the center post-game. The update was to say that Tavares was sidelined and day-to-day, but the nature of whatever is ailing Tavares has yet to be specified.

The 25-year-old was held out of practice Monday before being ruled out for Tuesday’s game. Following practice Monday, Islanders bench boss Jack Capuano told media that he didn’t expect Tavares back for, “a little bit.” Read more