Whatever the reason might be, in his draft year, 5-foot-8, 165-pound Sergey Tolchinksy went undrafted. The Carolina Hurricanes, however, saw something in the undrafted Tolchinsky, brought him to training camp and inked him to a three-year entry-level contract.
As of Wednesday’s Hurricanes prospect camp, we might have an idea what exactly Carolina’s staff saw in the now-20-year-old Tolchinsky: his ability to score absolutely jaw-dropping goals.
During Wednesday’s camp, Tolchinsky scored one of the most awe-inspiring, full-speed breakaway goals you’ll see all season and the off-season has only just begun. Tolchinsky picked up the puck and, with winger Erik Karlsson giving chase, he pivoted backwards, put the puck between his legs and buried the puck past the goaltender. It’s a thing of beauty: Read more
Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are mortal locks to be skating in the NHL this coming season, but the McDavids and Eichels of the hockey world are rarities.
More often than not, the path to the NHL generally leads through the minor leagues or, if a player has the good fortune of being drafted to the Detroit Red Wings, their career path almost definitely sees some seasoning time in the AHL.
Thanks to the salary cap era, player development is at its peak and the competition level in the AHL is quite possibly the best it has ever been. As such, the talent level of the players has more than a handful ready for NHL rosters if they can impress in training camp. They’ll get their chance at a full-time big league job because they’ve proven they’re ready to make the jump or, in some cases, thanks to necessity.
Whatever the case may be, here are 10 players who spent more than half a season in the AHL in 2014-15 that could be spending the upcoming season in the big league: Read more
The Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres have made it very clear – it’s time to flip the switch. The two franchises collected their rewards for a season of ineptitude – two generational talents in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel – 12 days ago at the draft and they’ve been bathing in optimism ever since with an attitude that suggests they’re going to waste no time in getting the teams back into contention. The two teams made some of the biggest moves during the off-season that show they mean just that.
Edmonton traded for goaltender Cam Talbot and added steady defender Andrej Sekera during free agency, while Buffalo got a young, almost-elite center in Ryan O’Reilly to go with their own new goaltender, Robin Lehner. They’re very good moves for both clubs and there’s no doubt that the teams are much better because of it.
Here’s the thing: these two teams were already very bad. In terms of goal difference, Buffalo allowed 113 more goals than they scored while Edmonton allowed 85. Not many teams have put up numbers that atrocious (adjusted to this year’s goal-scoring levels and talent distribution) since the league has expanded and those that have were still pretty bad the next season, too. Read more
It appears the Edmonton Oilers might just have something in this Connor McDavid kid. And if first impressions are any indication, Edmonton’s long wait for an offensive superstar could be over. Soon. As in this coming season.
Yes, it was a scrimmage, played 4-on-4 for most of the game and even 3-on-3 at times, and it was against NHL wannabes, but the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft put on a show at the Billy Moores Cup, the final intrasquad scrimmage of the Oilers six-day prospect development camp Monday night. McDavid scored five goals in the game to lead his team to an 8-6 win in the game.
All right, let’s get one thing out of the way. It gets cold in Winnipeg. Ten months of winter and two months of bad skating. Heh-heh. The day this piece was written in mid-February, it was forecasted to go down to minus-38. Don’t bother with the Celsius to Fahrenheit calculations. When it’s that cold, they’re pretty much the same.
There are bigger cities in the NHL (about 25 of them) that play in bigger arenas (about 29). There are other places where a star can slide right under the radar if he wants. There are places with lower taxes and places where your Bentley won’t get wrecked by road salt. There are places with a few more entertainment options. Read more
Jack Eichel may have signed his entry-level contract with Buffalo first, but folks in Edmonton don’t care because Connor McDavid is officially under contract now.
The top pick in the 2015 draft signed his rookie year deal with the Oilers today, getting the maximum amount possible under the collective bargaining agreement: a base salary and signing bonus that added up to $925,000, plus a bunch of bonuses available that could push his total earnings as a rookie into seven figures.
The magnitude and volume of trades during draft weekend and the first few days of free agency has been impressive. Big names such as Phil Kessel, T.J. Oshie and Milan Lucic were all given new addresses and in all three cases, prospects were part of the return.
In fact, many teams acquired future NHL hopefuls recently, so let’s take a look at some of the more prominent kids involved in this summer’s trade crop.
The first thing fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to get their heads around is that there’s a very good chance Phil Kessel will go to the Pittsburgh Penguins and score 40 goals a year. He might even score more. He could end up being wildly successful with the Penguins and might even win a Stanley Cup there. Kessel could end up being happier and more productive than he ever was in Toronto. And people will have to learn to be perfectly OK with that.
Because that’s very well what might happen here. But the Maple Leafs traded their franchise player on free agent day because they knew he was never, ever going to do those things for them. Kessel was a terrible fit from the day he first signed with the Leafs, cast in the role of the face of the franchise and the undisputed leader by a GM who obviously failed to do his homework on the player. And the problem was perpetuated when his successor signed Kessel to an eight-year deal worth $64 million prior to last season.