Dominik Hasek, Scott Niedermayer headline 2015 IIHF Hall of Fame

Dominik Hasek IIHF HOF featured

Already members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Scott Niedermayer and Dominik Hasek will enter the IIHF Hall of Fame as part of a seven-member class of 2015.

Other inductees include longtime Czech captain Robert Reichel, Sweden’s Maria Rooth, Fran Rider in the builder category, and Lucio Topatigh, an Italian national rewarded for his play for a non-top hockey nation. Read more

Meet Auston Matthews, the next, next NHL draft phenom

Auston Matthews (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

Team USA has won two of the past five world junior championships and based on the talent available to the team, another title soon wouldn’t be surprising. Part of the challenge will be replenishing the roster when the top recruits join the NHL early and it seems like a foregone conclusion that Jack Eichel will be in The Show next season, rather than chasing gold in Finland. Luckily for America, Auston Matthews isn’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2016 – and he may be just as good as Eichel.

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Team Canada hopeful Lawson Crouse leads off The Hot List

Kingston's Lawson Crouse (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

The world junior picture is beginning to clear up as the holiday classic nears. Sweden won’t get Andre Burakovsky from Washington and Canada won’t get Bo Horvat from Vancouver, but the biggest blow may be to the Russians. That’s because Nikita Zadorov has become too integral to the suddenly-hot Buffalo Sabres. The World Jr. A Challenge also has some great talent this year and it’s going on now, so let’s take a look at some of the young players we’re excited to see in the NHL one day.

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Meet Joe Hicketts, everyone’s favorite Team Canada dark horse

Victoria's Joe Hicketts (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

At 5-foot-8, the deck was always going to be stacked against defenseman Joe Hicketts. But the standout for the Western League’s Victoria Royals is quickly showing the rest of the country what he can do at Team Canada’s world junior camp and the Detroit Red Wings free agent signing is already making the NHL look silly for passing on him at the 2014 draft.

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Connor McDavid has a target return date as Canada’s world junior camp opens

Jared Clinton
Connor McDavid (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

That sound you hear is an entire nation exhaling, as it appears Connor McDavid could be back in time to start the World Junior Championship.

The potential return date for McDavid is Dec. 21, when Canada faces off against Sweden in a pre-tournament game in Ottawa. Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations, told the Toronto Sun that the 17-year-old phenom is actually ahead of schedule.

McDavid had his cast removed this week and, for the first time since breaking his hand on Nov. 11, has been cleared to take part in non-contact practices. Arguably the brightest star in junior hockey, McDavid’s return gives the Canadian squad one of the most legitimate scoring threats in the tournament. Read more

Finland, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland and the Czechs release WJC camp rosters

Pittsburgh's Kasperi Kapanen (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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:

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Oilers already have perfect man to oversee rebuild: Bob Nicholson

Nicholson

So Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was scheduled to meet with the media on Friday morning to “address the Oilers performance through 26 games and take questions.” That promises to be a pleasant exchange of ideas.

By all accounts, MacTavish will not announce either of the two things for which many Oiler fans are clamoring – that he’s firing the coach or he’s making a blockbuster trade to upgrade the roster. In reality, with an 11-game losing streak and the stench of defeat permeating the organization, neither of those would provide much relief. The best thing the Oilers could do now is stay the course and finish in the standings exactly where they are now. That would guarantee them at worst the second overall pick and the best chance at the first, meaning they’d have the opportunity to draft a potential generational superstar in either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. Not even the Oilers could screw that up. Read more