Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #5 Zach Werenski

Garret Hohl
June 25 2015 03:55PM

The common opinion goes that there are two tiers of defenders in the first two rounds. There is Noah Hanafin, Ivan Provorov, and Zach Werenski, and then there is the rest of the bunch.

Zach Werenski is a pretty special player. What he has done in the NCAA for his age is not only special, but essentially unprecedented.

This is why Werenski sits at number five for our Nation Network prospect rankings.

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Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #6 Noah Hanifin

Rhys Jessop
June 25 2015 12:00PM

At this point in the draft, we're really splitting hairs about who's better than whom. Noah Hanifin is a great player. The guy we have at #5 is a great player. The guys sitting at 4th and 3rd  are also great players. After McDavid and Eichel, there's really no "wrong" way to order these next four players. Still, we have to prefer some guy, and perhaps a little controversially, that guy isn't Noah Hanifin.

And that's the most negative thing you'll read in this profile because the kid is one hell of a hockey player.

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #3 - Cody Franson

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 25 2015 06:00AM

Photo Credit: Jake Roth/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! 

When the Nashville Predators acquired Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli in February, everybody thought it was a match made in heaven. After all, the team was getting two quality players that they were familiar with, without giving up any present assets. Theoretically, it was the type of move that should've taken a good team to greatness, but instead, it was a bust.

David Poile was quick to admit that the team was forcing a square peg into a round hole. After all, the Predators are very adament about following shot handedness with their defencemen, and they already had three quality righties. As such, Franson didn't recieve the necessary playing time, didn't fit in, and will now hit free agency. But what will he command?

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Thomas Drance's NHL Awards Ballot

Thomas Drance
June 24 2015 08:00PM

Photo Credit: Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports

This was my first hockey season as a member of the PHWA, and I had the mixed blessing of casting an NHL Awards ballot. It was an honour, but it was also a heavy burden.

After years of slamming NHL awards voters for this, that and the other thing, actually having a ballot this season changed my perspective. I agonized for weeks over my selections, researched deserving candidates for each award heavily, re-streamed game video, and talked to a variety of industry people whom I trust before allowing my vote to be tallied. 

Some of these decisions were decided by a wafer thin margin. I'd wake up one day thinking that Erik Karlsson was my pick for the Norris, and I'd go to sleep that night thinking that 'really, P.K. Subban was the most valuable two-way defender in hockey this season.' Then I cast my first place Norris vote for neither player.

Anyway, in the interest of transparency and because these sorts of hockey conversations are pertinent and fun, I'd like to present my 2014-15 NHL Awards ballot for your scrutiny, consideration and entertainment. 

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Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #7 Kyle Connor

money puck
June 24 2015 06:30PM

Let's make no mistake about it, the 2015 draft class is ridiculous. When there is so much top end talent available, it's easily to overlook a player who is slightly off radar, playing in North America's 4th best junior league, especially when said player wasn't showcased in the top scouting circuit tournaments. 

Kyle Connor hasn't received as much exposure as many of the other top names in this draft, and as a result this potential future star could slip out of the top 10. I'll break down his draft year after the jump.

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