Nation Network Prospect Profiles #20: Travis Konecny

Thomas Drance
June 21 2015 12:00PM

Ottawa 67s forward Travis Konency comes from a family of hockey players - Vancouver Canucks centre Bo Horvat is a second cousin - and despite being small of stature, plays a hard-nosed game. He's also been rather productive at the OHL level, and could represent significant value in the latter part of the first-round.

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Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #24 Mitchell Vande Sompel

Thomas Drance
June 20 2015 12:00PM

High scoring Oshawa Generals swingman Mitchell Vande Sompel is one of the biggest wild cards among this 2015 class of first time draft eligible players. 

The undersized, skilled and extremely versatile skater has lined up as a forward and a defenseman for the Generals, and would often play up front and on the back-end in the same game. During the postseason, for example, the Generals penalty kill saw Vande Sompel lineup at forward. He fared extremely well there, but he'd shift back to defense for shifts at evens and on the power play.

For a variety of reasons, even beyond his positional curiosity, Vande Sompel is one of the most polarizing and toughest to peg players in this draft class. 

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #5 Paul Martin

Thomas Drance
June 18 2015 11:00AM

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Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports

This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy!

Paul Martin, 34, is getting a bit long in the tooth, but he remains a sturdy defensive defender with the ability to transition the puck and win the territorial matchup against top-of-the-roster competition. If you're sensing that the theme of our unrestricted free agent countdown is "he's useful, but kind of old!" then you're catching on.

The American-born Martin will be among the best blue liners available on July 1, and has the ability to significant improve the complexion of a club in need of an upgrade on the back end in the short-term. He's 34 though, and we might reasonably expect him to begin to incur diminishing returns going forward (and there's reason to believe he might already be on the down swing).

Read on past the jump for more.

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Top-10 UFA countdown: #8 - Martin St. Louis

Thomas Drance
June 10 2015 09:00AM

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Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy!

Over the course of Martin St. Louis' Hall of Fame worthy career the 5-foot-8 winger has won a Hart Trophy, a Stanley Cup, an Olympic Gold Medal and two Art Ross trophies (including one as a 37-year-old). His resume is beyond reproach. 

Built like a bumper car, St. Louis has accomplished everything a hockey player can accomplish. And as much as hockey's trend watchers are fawning over undersized players now, St. Louis has been doing Tyler Johnson-like things for more than a decade. So how can a future Hall of Fame immortal find himself ranked eighth on our countdown of the top unrestricted free agents? 

It's simple really: age catches up to everyone, even the best among us, and St. Louis will turn 40 this month. Thanks to a variety of advances in the field of human performance, players are remaining effective for longer, and no one doubts St. Louis' work ethic or ability to be an outlier, but St. Louis' advancing age combined with his least productive offensive season in 13 years is sure to dampen the enthusiasm with which he's pursued on the free agent market this summer. 

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NATION DRAFTS 2015 CHARITY PLAYOFF POOL UPDATE

Thomas Drance
June 03 2015 11:00AM

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The Nation Network isn't accustomed to playoff success. What else do you expect from a blog network based out of Edmonton?

We're experts in the draft lottery though, and we know a thing or two about playoff pools - particularly the Nation Drafts charity playoff pool that we run annually. With the puck set to drop on the 2015 Stanley Cup Final this evening, let's, look back at rounds one, two and three, and check out the progress that the Nation Network's poolies are making in the competition!

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