November 08 2016 12:36PM
Even as somebody who often spends their mornings catching up to the ongoings of the KHL, I was a little shocked when the Toronto Maple Leafs announced Yegor Korshkov as their 31st overall selection. Shocked might even be a generous word; I was straight up disappointed. After all, a lot of "scores all the points" darlings like Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat (who just signed his ELC yesterday) players were still on the podium, and here the Leafs were using the highest second round pick possible on an overager that had twelve points in what would usually be his Draft+1.
But I warmed up to the selection a little bit as time progressed, and as I've done that, Korshkov has heated up.
November 08 2016 12:00PM
Let's quickly review the rules for the upcoming NHL expansion draft. One specific rule, actually:
All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club's applicable protection limits).
Brett Kulak played his 2014-15 season in the ECHL, AHL, and NHL. He played his 2015-16 season in the AHL and NHL. He is playing his 2016-17 season - his third professional year - in the NHL.
It does not matter how many games Kulak plays this season. Kulak could be sent to Adirondack and play the rest of the year there and he would still be eligible to be taken in the expansion draft unless he is specifically protected. He is not a part of any exemptions, just as Emile Poirier and Hunter Shinkaruk are not.
The Flames will meet player exposure requirements with him or without. They have no impact on Kulak's status as a third-year pro.
And the way things are currently going, he could be the most interesting story on the Flames this year.
November 08 2016 10:00AM
Morgan Klimchuk will always have big boots to fill. Being the guy who was traded for Jarome Iginla, he has most often been the butt of the joke that was post-apex Jay Feaster management.
While Sean Monahan dazzled in the NHL and Emile Poirier was lighting lamps in the Q, Klimchuk plodded along in the Dub. He probably was the least impressive of the 2013 first rounders, struggling to find his place among the WHL's best. At the same time, Monahan was scoring 60 in the NHL and Poirier was being named an AHL all-star in his first year of pro. His unimpressive WHL stint turned into a disappointing AHL stint, with nine points in 55 games during his first full try in the league. Many, probably everyone, thought he was done.
That's why it's such a shock to see people clammoring for him to be called up, or to have no choice but to acknowledge him as one of the best prospects in the organization right now. Morgan Klimchuk has broken last year's records for points and goals in 48 fewer games. How did he turn the corner?
November 08 2016 07:36AM
Over the past four or five seasons, I've been a pretty harsh critic of Tyler Bozak. I've frequently argued that he was a poor player propped up by playing with one of the league's most dynamic wingers, and that if it weren't for Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak would score very few points in the National Hockey League.
Despite my criticisms, Bozak has continued to put up points since Kessel was traded to the Penguins, and I think it's time for a re-assessment of Bozak's play. Let's take a look at how we got to here, and what the evidence seems to say today.
November 07 2016 06:53PM
Yes, that's a scary title. Don't worry though, "Tank Nation" isn't back on. No need to panic, Leafs fans.