January 05 2017 05:20PM
It's the last day of World Juniors, which means that after tonight, we'll all have to wait a whole year for the Canadian populace to stake their entire nation's hopes and dreams on the shoulders of a teenaged goaltender.
January 01 2017 06:25PM
It's the most wonderful time of the year! The hectic holiday frenzy is dying down, you've survived another round of extended family visits, and 2017 dawns like a blank canvas full of unlocked potential. More importantly, though, we're done with the group stage of World Juniors and are heading into quarterfinals!
The shocker this year is, of course, Finland in the relegation round. Beyond that, things have shaken out about as we all expected. Sweden, USA, Canada, and Russia are probably the teams that will challenge for the gold, barring a miracle run from one of the other four teams. (If a miracle run happens, no doubt plenty of people would be thrilled if it came from the upstart Danes, who have already captured our hearts with their... visor spray celebrations?)
In any case, one of the best things about World Juniors is the chance to watch top prospects with your own two eyes in glorious high definition, rather than depending on scouting reports or shoddy streams of questionable legality.
In honor of the bracket play starting tomorrow, here's a list of #fun prospects to keep an eye on as we watch a bunch of teenagers. Some have been drafted already, some are draft-eligible this year, and one notable name is eligible in 2018. The only thing they have in common is that they're all skaters. (No goalies, at least not until we have a slightly larger #SampleSize.) Seriously, it's just a bunch of guys you should watch, because they are probably going to be doing cool things.
December 11 2016 10:00AM
Here's a hot take for you: The best pure goal-scorer in the 2016 Draft not named Patrik Laine wasn't taken until the second round. For as much as we bemoan how the Chicago Blackhawks somehow always seem to find ways to win, maybe it's time to acknowledge the fact that the rest of the league seems to let them get away with things like: Drafting a first round-calibre player despite not having a first round pick because Alex DeBrincat got passed over 38 times before the Hawks finally had their first pick of the 2016 Draft.
November 21 2016 12:00PM
A word-for-word transcript of my conversation with NHLN's Managing Editor on Saturday night:
Me: but um, hey, can i write about dylan strome?
Cam: Sure, what are you thinking?
Me: something like "a case for the 29th place Arizona Coyotes to keep Dylan Strome in the lineup for more than one game every week and a half" sort of deal + whether it'd be beneficial for him to be back in Erie after world juniors!
Cam: Yeah sure!
There goes that.
As of Sunday afternoon, the Erie Otters are a heck of a lot stronger -- and they're already the best team in the OHL with a record of 16-5-2, and Strome's return will undoubtedly make them Memorial Cup favorites. This also clears up Canada's World Juniors roster picture and lends them some stability, as they're now certain to ice Strome and Seattle Thunderbirds center Mat Barzal down the middle.
But is this the best move for Strome and the Coyotes?
September 21 2016 06:23PM
Credit: Kevin Sousa of USA TODAY Sports
Exhale, everybody. That was undoubtedly the best game of the tournament so far, and if you were watching, count yourself lucky. It will probably end up being the best game of the tournament, period. With a semifinal berth at stake, Team Sweden and Team North America turned in a high-octane thriller that ended in a fitting fashion: An electrifying 3-on-3 OT with end-to-end rushes, dramatic saves, and a beauty of a game-winning goal.
If you missed this one, you'll want to go ahead and watch a replay of the entire game, because this matchup was one for the ages. Sure, there's no history or bad blood between Sweden and this North America team, but there was a whole lot of skill and talent on the ice between the two teams, and we sure saw plenty of it.