June 22 2015 11:00AM
Swiss-born Halifax Mooseheads power forward Timo Meier had a nondescript age-16 season, and wasn't generating much of any buzz as a prospect nine months ago. What a change a 90 point season can make.
The thick winger exploded onto the scene this season, scoring 44 goals and adding 90 points in 61 games. He continued to pummel opponents in the postseason, adding 21 points in 14 games on the Mooseheads run in the QMJHL playoffs. Meier's production and his heavy physical game have captured the attention of the hockey world, and it's a near certainty that he'll become the third Swiss-born forward to be drafted in the top-half of the first round since 2010 (joining Nino Niederreiter and Kevin Fiala).
June 22 2015 09:00AM
Lawson Crouse has been one of the more interesting draft eligible forward to track this season. Its been well covered by this blog and others that there is a strong correlation between a prospect's point-per-game and NHL games played, which is why many of us has struggled with getting behind the idea of Lawson Crouse as a top 10 pick after his 51 point, in 56 game season with the Kingston Frontenacs.
.. But when you watch him play, it looks like there's so much more to him than what his boxcars suggest. I'll try to get to the bottom of the curious case of Lawson Crouse after the jump.
June 22 2015 08:00AM
Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports
The outcome of the Stanley Cup Final will, in many ways, vindicate Stan Bowman's decisions at the trade deadline this year. He spent big to get Antoine Vermette and Kimmo Timonen (a combined cost of two second-round picks, a first, and a decent prospect) and hadn't, for most of the playoffs, gotten much out of them.
There wasn't much of a surprise there with Timonen, because the guy is like 112 years old and coming off a very serious health concern that almost ended his career. But the performance of Vermette, which has only began to sort itself out late in the run, long seemed a point of concern to say the least.
We're obviously working with a very limited data set here (just 39 games from the regular season through the end of the playoffs) but 4-6-10 in all situations and a sub-50 percent possession number on a team as good as Chicago is deeply problematic. Which goes a long way toward explaining his getting just 13:35 per game from Joel Quenneville; he hasn't averaged that few since he was a sophomore in the league, back in 2005-06.
At best, Bowman was "vindicated" with a Cup win (in much the same way the Tomas Kaberle trade once didn't-matter after the Bruins won the Cup), but at worst, the Vermette and Timonen trades could look like terrible decisions.
And though he came on late, the fact that scoring two goals in six games was a coup probably throws Vermette's price in the UFA market into serious doubt, if nothing else.
June 21 2015 03:55PM
With the Travis Konecny profile at 20, we begin to move away from the guys that could go anywhere from the late first round to the early third round, and into the next "tier" of players. We're starting to get in to the range of guys we're all pretty big fans of, and guys that have been on our radars for a couple of seasons.
Daniel Sprong was one of the guys that distinguished himself as a top prospect in the class of 2015 last season, and has continued to grow into a player that could one day score 30 goals in the NHL. Let's take a look after the jump.
June 21 2015 02:00PM
The QMJHL may have one of its best crops of NHL potential defenders in recent history.
One of the leaders for this group is Nicolas Meloche. A huge, tough as nails, defensively solid, potent offensively, do-all type defender who has a lot of potential, yet may be undervalued by scouts.