Prospect Need to Know: Julien Gauthier gets us pumped up

Julien Gauthier  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Can you sense it, folks? It’s almost world juniors time. Sure, the tournament is a month and a half away, but players need to be making impressions on national team brass all the time and for Canadian hopefuls, the CHL-Russia Super Series can be a big boost – just as Lawson Crouse, who caught eyes last year and turned his efforts into gold.

So far, Russia has been blanked, losing all four games to the WHL and OHL. Now it’s the QMJHL’s turn to defend home turf. One player honored with that duty is in our spotlight today. Let’s take a whirl around the world of prospects.

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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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Sunday Long Read: Pronger and Lidstrom polar opposites as Hall of Famers

Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Pronger shake hands after their 2009 playoff series. Photo by Tom Turrill/NHLI via Getty Images)

During what is now a Hall of Fame career, Nicklas Lidstrom garnered so much respect that he earned the nickname, The Perfect Human. Not The Perfect Hockey Player. Not The Perfect Defenseman. The Perfect Human. People called Chris Pronger lots of things during what is now a Hall of Fame career, too. None of them is suitable for publication on a website that might be viewed by young people. Many of those words begin with the letter ‘F’.

It was not easy to play the game the way Lidstrom did, but he made it look that way. Playing the game and preparing for it the way Lidstrom meticulously did and maintaining a ridiculously high standard on and off the ice presented its fair share of challenges. But it’s also not easy going to the opposing rink from the time you’re a kid and knowing that you’re going to be the most hated guy there. But like Lidstrom, Pronger embraced his role and status. Lidstrom wore the white hat and Pronger donned the black, and both of them managed to do it while becoming two of the most dominant defensemen of their generation.

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Top prospect Matthews on the shelf

Auston Matthews (Photo by Sparta Prague/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)

Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick for the 2016 NHL draft, has reportedly sustained a back injury that is expected to keep him out of an upcoming international tournament.

Matthews, a center with Zurich Lions of the Swiss National League, missed his team’s final game before the international break on Friday because of the back ailment, according to Sportnet’s Damien Cox.

The Scottsdale, Ariz., product now isn’t likely to compete for the United States at the Deutschland Cup, which runs from Nov. 6 to 8.

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Futures mailbag: Ryan Pulock, Panther pride and more

Ryan Pulock (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s about that time again. For all of you who love prospects or just want to know what your NHL team has in the pipeline, the THN Futures mailbag is here for you. If you have any questions relating to the next generation of stars, hit me up on Twitter at @THNRyanKennedy and use the hashtag #thnfutures to make sure I see it.

Let’s get to this week’s questions.

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Anthony Duclair gets first hat trick as Coyote Kids run wild

Ryan Kennedy
Anthony Duclair (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Anton Khudobin had a very, very bad debut for the Anaheim Ducks and a good part of the credit goes to Arizona’s deadly young duo of Anthony Duclair and Max Domi. Duclair, acquired from the Rangers in the Keith Yandle deal last year, scored his first NHL hat trick last night en route to a 4-0 lightning-strike Coyotes win in Anaheim.

The contributions of Arizona’s youngest players were a great sign for the franchise, which has a bright future on the near horizon.

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Teen rookie Dylan Larkin is shaking up the Detroit Red Wings

Dylan Larkin (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

There are few certainties in the hockey world, but one of them used to be that the Detroit Red Wings didn’t bring teenagers into the NHL. In fact, it’s been about 15 years since Jiri Fischer pulled the trick, as Chris Peters discovered. But Detroit coach Jeff Blashill confirmed on Monday that Larkin made the final cut for the Wings, so now it’s on to the next challenge for the kid: sticking with the squad full-time.

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