The Western League’s Lethbridge Hurricanes haven’t made the playoffs since 2009, when future NHLers Zach Boychuk, Dwight King, Luca Sbisa and Carter Ashton propelled the Alberta squad to the second round. Since that cohort, only two players have even been drafted by NHL teams – and the latest one now plays for Brandon after a trade request.
But Minnesota pick Reid Duke wasn’t the first to ask out of Lethbridge and the exodus away from the Hurricanes lately has been stunning. Unfortunately, hope for the franchise may still be almost a year away.
World junior camps are approaching and some teams are getting excellent news already. Most recently, Canada found out that New York Rangers rookie Anthony Duclair will be loaned out, giving the host nation another speedy and dangerous offensive weapon in its arsenal. Finland must be happy that Dallas gave its blessing for Julius Honka to return, while Washington’s Andre Burakovsky is still a wait-and-see for Sweden. In the meantime, here are some of the other top prospects making noise in the hockey world.
We are mere weeks away from the World Junior Championship, where Toronto and Montreal will play host to some of the best teenaged players on the planet. Canada and the U.S. announced their final camp rosters last week and now it’s Europe’s turn to shine. Camp rosters are trickling out and there are some big names – and big snubs to consider. Here’s the latest:
On a night when Martin Brodeur was stopping pucks for someone other than the New Jersey Devils for the first time in his Hall of Fame career, the man who drafted him almost a quarter century ago was feeling equal measures of happiness and wistfulness.
“Certainly you have mixed feelings,” Lou Lamoriello told thn.com during the first intermission of his team’s 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night. “But I understand. Marty and I have talked about it quite a bit. He’s been skating at our rink for the last month and this was something he wanted to do.” Read more
It was no surprise when Connor McDavid cracked Canada’s World Junior Championship selection camp roster, announced yesterday. It was even less surprising when Jack Eichel made the U.S. camp roster. Both are viewed as neck-and-neck to go first overall in the 2015 NHL draft, and if McDavid could make his nation’s squad with a broken hand, a healthy Eichel was a lock. Especially with the way he’s torn up the NCAA ranks as a freshman with Boston University.
Fuelled by the U.S. National Team Development Program’s perpetual harvest of great prospects, the Yankees are borderline co-favorites in this year’s tournament. Their 30-man camp roster includes 24 players drafted to NHL teams. The complete list:
Late last season – March 25, to be exact – Teuvo Teravainen debuted for the Chicago Blackhawks. Though he is the most highly touted prospect in the organization since the arrival of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, Teravainen only stuck around for three games.
After playing those few games for the Blackhawks, Teravainen found a seat on the sidelines. Little more than a week later, after being scratched for four consecutive games, he was demoted to the American League’s Rockford Ice Hogs. Teravainen hasn’t been back since. As the wait for his shot back with the big club gets longer, the more it feels like there’s trouble in prospect paradise for the Blackhawks. Read more
The big stories in the prospect world lately have been college related. Specifically, players changing their minds about where they want to go. Brock Boeser was headed to Wisconsin, but the 2015 prospect has re-opened matters. And Notre Dame has been bit twice in the past couple days, first by Matthew Tkachuk (2016) and now by Brent Gates (2015). Will these talented players end up in major junior, or just elsewhere on the college scene? We’ll keep you posted, but for now let’s look at some of the other kids making noise in the hockey world right now.
Tons of attention has gone towards 2015 draft prospect Connor McDavid this season – and rightly so – but with the Erie Otters superstar sidelined with a broken hand, his main rival for that No. 1 slot is making his case for headlines. Boston University freshman Jack Eichel has been terrifying for the Terriers, leading the entire NCAA in offense with 19 points in just 10 games. His latest gem came in overtime against the University of Maine.
With the game on the line, Eichel clearly knows what to do with the puck: