Dom Lunardo | May 27th, 2020
Dom Lunardo | May 25th, 2020
Size, speed, strength, and skill. No that’s not an interesting piece of alliteration. Rather, these are just some of the adjectives which best describe draft-eligible centerman, and top prospect, Quinton Byfield. As draft day approaches, many NHL general managers are vigorously checking boxes and having their comprehensive data sheets ready to roll. With this being said, Byfield quite deservedly remains near the top of many pro scouts’ lists. So just how good is Quinton Byfield and what impact can we expect him to have at the NHL level? Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | May 23rd, 2020
To date, only eight players of Austrian descent have played in the National Hockey League. Superstar centerman, Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s will be the ninth. Born and raised in Feldkirch, Austria, Rossi is as raw a talent as they come and poised for greatness. A shoo-in top-10 pick, there’s lots to love about his approach to games and how he conducts himself. Let’s take a closer look at Marco Rossi, one of the most interesting talents at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. Continue reading
Joel Dorcas | May 22nd, 2020
Get your popcorn ready if you like quick, agile, shifty, fast hockey. That’s what Swedish born Lucas Raymond will be bringing to the table once he gets to the NHL. We already know this style has worked for the likes of Mitch Marner and Mathew Barzal. This is what we have to look forward to in a few years if everything goes to plan for this elite talent from Gothenburg Sweden. Let’s break it down and find out more! Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | May 21th, 2020
15 years ago, the Pittsburgh Penguins called “The Next One” to the draft floor first overall. That player was Sidney Crosby from the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (OHL). Need we say any more? Fast forward to 2020, and it looks as though yet another Oceanic player is poised for prime-time (and super-stardom). Enter Alexis Lafreniere, the consensus number one pick at the upcoming 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Lets’s dive in and examine just how special Lafreniere is and how he’s ready to take the NHL by storm. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | May 19th, 2020
Every once in awhile a top-tier, talented blue-liner comes along and takes junior hockey by storm. Whether it’s his skill set, charisma, or propensity for the big moment, these players are few and far between. That defenceman leading up to this summer’s 2020 NHL Entry Draft, is Jamie Drysdale. Let’s take a deep dive and examine one of hockey’s most coveted prospects. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 29th, 2020
The Colorado Avalanche are one of the most youthfully exuberant, skilled, and exciting teams in the National Hockey League. They’re explosive, well-rounded and have some of the best players in the show playing for their team with the likes of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, and rookie phenom, Cale Makar. Before the NHL hit the pause button due to the COVOD-19 pandemic, the Avs posted a 42-20-8 record through 70 games and sat two points behind the Central Division leaders, St. Louis Blues. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 28th, 2020
Detroit, Michigan (aka Hockeytown U.S.A). After qualifying for the playoffs for an NHL-record 25 consecutive seasons, the Detroit Red Wings have fallen on some tough times recently. Long gone are the days of Steve Yzerman (as a player), Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, and many others who have donned the white and red of Detroit. Right now, the state of the Red Wings franchise is in a full-out rebuild.
The 2019-20 version of the Detroit Red Wings sits in last place overall in the NHL standings with an abysmal 17-49-5 record. All eyes in Detroit are on Steve Yzerman, a hall-of-Famer during his playing days, as he attempts to steer the ship in the right direction. For starters, Yzerman is slated to have a top-5 selection at the upcoming 2020 NHL Entry Draft. In addition, the Red Wings also have a fairly deep prospect pool with several players on the cusp of everyday NHL jobs. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at who these prospects are and what impact they can have at the NHL level.
Number 3: Jared McIsaac, Defenseman, Halifax Mooseheads/Moncton Wildcats (WMJHL)
Jared McIsaac starts us off at number three. What a talent the Red Wings have here! Drafted in the second round, 36th overall back at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, McIsaac has seen his game blossom over the past few seasons. During this past year’s IHF 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship, McIsaac showed posied, discipline, maturity, and an elite skillset helping his native country of Canada win the Gold Medal.
McIsaac is a smooth skater who loves to carry the puck. He also has a real good presence and active stick in his own end. The Truro, Nova Scotia product currently plays for the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) after being traded earlier in the year from the Halifax Mooseheads. McIsaac is a solid all-around defender who has a very bright future ahead of him. The Red Wings have themselves a real find with Jared McIsaac.
Number 2: Joe Veleno, Center, Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Montreal native, Joe Veleno is next up on our list at number two. After posting one goal and five assists in seven games during this past year’s World Junior tournament, Joe Veleno is poised for stardom at the NHL level. Last season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL, Veleno had a season for the ages posting 42 goals and 104 points in just 59 games.
When you look at Veleno as both a person and player, there is just so much to adore. He’s an excellent skater, cool with the puck on his stick, and is so unselfish. Veleno has all the makings of a fantastic athlete with a real keen eye for the ice. At just 2 years of age, Veleno plays a solid two-way game, and possess superb puck skills that he uses on each and every shift. The Red Wings have high hopes for the youngster, who they selected in the first round, 30th overall during the 2018 NHL Draft. Veleno should step right into the NHL next season and should help re0ignited the passionate fan base in Detroit Michigan.
Number 1: Moritz Seider, Defenseman, Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Moritz Seider wins the top prize as the best prospect on the Detroit Red Wings. Blessed with a big, strong physique (6’4, 210 lbs), Seider is the crown jewel in the Red Wings organization on so many different levels. Seider is an elite skater with excellent agility and edgework (keep in mind he’s 6’4), who sees the ice extremely well. In his own end, Seider uses his size and wit to escape trouble and makes smooth transitions from defense to offense.
Seider was a stand out during the 2020 World Junior tournament as he captained his native country of Germany. Seider is reliable, a born leader, and makes few errors throughout the course of the game even at the tender age of 19. The Wings have been thrilled with his development, overall mobility, and his approach to each and every game. Detroit has its linchpins on defense with both Moritz Seider and Jared McIsaac. The future is looking bright in Mo-town.
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Dom Lunardo | April 28th, 2020
Los Angeles, California. The City of Angels. The current home of Lebron (aka King James and the Los Angeles Kings hockey team. The last few years have seen the transition of the L.A. Kings into a team that’s building for the future. A far cry from their “glory years”, Los Angeles is turning the page. They are making headway for a new (and improved) era on the ice. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 26th, 2020
The Boston Bruins came within one win of a Stanley Cup triumph last spring, losing to the eventual champion, St. Louis Blues in a hard-fought seven-game series. The deciding game coming on home ice at the TD Garden, which makes it all the more painful for Patrice Bergeron and co.
Dom Lunardo | April 24th, 2020
From 2010-2015, the Chicago Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups and were widely regarded as one of the best pro sports teams in North America. Names like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Corey Crawford, Marian Hossa, and Brent Seabrook stole the headlines night after night in Chi-town. However, even after a dynasty as such, what goes up, ultimately comes down, and this didn’t escape the Blackhawks.
Joel Dorcas | April 24th, 2020
The Florida Panthers are oh so close to being mentioned as one of the premier teams of the Atlantic Division. The emergence of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and the steady play of rearguard Aaron Ekblad have all majorly contributed to the Panthers being a team on the rise. If the goaltending and defense can tighten up, the potential here is high. It appears as though future versions of this franchise will be getting an influx of talent that will put this team over the hurdle. Let’s take a closer look at some promising prospects within the organization. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 21st, 2020
“You really don’t remember, was it something that he said? Are the voices in your head calling, Gloria?”. What a team. Amazing moment for the St. Louis Blues during their 2019 Stanley Cup Triumph, the first cup in the franchise’s history. It’s been a long time coming for the Blues and their passionate fan base out in the Midwest, but it all came together in mesmerizing fashion during the 2018-19 campaign. Continue reading
Joel Dorcas | April 19th, 2020
There aren’t many organizations in the NHL who are as set up for success as the Tampa Bay Lightning are for right now and the future. The Bolts have a core locked up for the next few seasons that are as talented as any other in the league. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, and Andrei Vasilevskiy lead the way for this Ultra-talented group.
Dom Lunardo | April 19th, 2020
Anaheim, California. Although certainly not a traditional hockey hot-bed, Lord Stanley was raised here during the 2006-07 season. Fast forward nearly 14 seasons later, and that Ducks team without question looks much different. That so-called “Death Valley”, California road trip, has a whole new persona behind it with the drop in the play of the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 18th, 2020
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang. Not only are these three all future Hall-of-Famers, but they also represent the core of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team. When hockey fans think of the Penguins, their first thought is usually that of Sidney Crosby (aka Sid the Kid), and why wouldn’t it be? Crosby is an integral part of the city of Pittsburgh, and one of the most respected and celebrated players in the National Hockey League. Simply put, there’s been something special about the Pens since Crosby entered the league 15 years ago. Continue reading
Joel Dorcas | April 17th, 2020
What an interesting season it has been for the supposedly rebuilding New York Rangers. The February 24th trade deadline has come and gone and the team comes to terms with power forward Chris Kreider for $45.5 M over seven years. The Rangers obviously see themselves as competitors in the race with a record of 32-24-4, It was once a foregone conclusion that Kreider was going to be traded. Not now. The Blue Shirts are in it for the here and now and the future. Let’s take a closer look at some players who are likely to join a team destined to make some noise in the ultra-competitive Eastern Conference. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 17th, 2020
Mathew Barzal, Josh Bailey, Devon Toews, Ryan Pulock, Anthony Beauvillier, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. These are just some of the names that make up a pretty good hockey team in the New York Islanders. on the New York Islanders hockey club. When the face of the franchise, John Tavares left for Toronto last summer (yes, Islander fans are probably still ruing over it to this day), not many expected the team to play as well as they did. The days of the“run and gun” Islanders have been replaced by a solid four-line team, that can break a game open with their skill. In just a few short seasons, the islanders have morphed into one of the most exciting teams in the National Hockey League. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 16th, 2020
When you think of the Washington Capitals one thing comes to mind, and that’s “The Great 8”, Alex Ovechkin. For the past 15+ seasons, “Ovie” has been the face of the Capitals franchise with 700+ goals to his name. Quite simply, Ovechkin is one of the single-greatest goalscorers in the history of the National Hockey League. He’s consistently dominant, feared amongst opponents, lethal all over the ice, and awakened a fan base in D.C. that was rather dormant before his arrival back in 2005-06. Oh, and let’s not forget that Ovechkin also spearheaded the team to their first Stanley Cup triumph two seasons ago after years and years of playoff shortcomings and disappointments. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 15th, 2020
The Columbus Blue Jackets…the team that sent shock waves across the National Hockey League. It’s been just about 12 full months to the day since the Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off perhaps one of the biggest upsets in NHL history. During last spring’s first-round matchup against the heavily-favored (and President’s Trophy-winning) Tampa Bay Lighting, the Jackets went on to sweep the Bolts four games to zero. An encounter for the ages saw the Blue Jackets knock off a Lightning team that accumulated 128 points during the regular season. Absolutely unbelievable. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 14th, 2020
When you look at the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team, one thing comes to mind: Togetherness. Over the last couple of seasons, the Hurricanes, perhaps better than any other franchise has established that its the Canes and then there are 30 other NHL franchises. Whether it’s the post-game “storm surges”, the intense roar of the red and white-covered crowd from PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, or their ability to play hard game after game, the Hurricanes, without question, have some special brewing. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 13th, 2020
The New Jersey Devils as an organization had high expectations for themselves heading into the 2019-20 campaign. After landing the P.K. Subban, Wayne Simmonds, Nikita Gusev, and Jack Hughes, who the Devils selected with the first-overall pick in last summer’s draft, things were looking quite positive for a Devils fan base, two seasons removed from their last postseason berth. Ray Shero, who was the Devils general manager at the time had added some integral pieces with hopes of competing for a spot in the postseason by mid-April. Sadly for Shero, and the entire Devils team, the 2019-20 season has been an unmitigated disaster on almost every level. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 11th, 2020
When the puck dropped on the 2019-20 National Hockey League season, few could have predicted how the first few months would unfold for the Calgary Flames and their passionate fan base. An up and down, inconsistent start to the season that saw the Flames go 10-12-3, was completely overshadowed in large part due to allegations surrounding Akim Aliu and Bill Peters which shocked the hockey world. Within a span of 5 days, Peters won OUT as head coach following his resignation, and Geoff Ward was brought in as interim head coach to right the ship. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 10th, 2020
The Oil City/City of Champions has seen its fair share of talent over the past 41 years. We’re all familiar with the all-time greats such as Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, Mark Messier, and several others. The Oilers also own the luxury of having none other than both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl donning the blue, white, and orange of Edmonton. As a tandem, McDavid, and Draisaitl can do it all and have become the most lethal 1-2 punch in the National Hockey League by a country mile. Both 29 and 97 represents everything positive in the city of Edmonton and their strong play has ignited a fan-base that was rather dormant for long, long stretches over the past decade Continue reading
Vancouver, British Columbia. Where the mountains meet the ocean, and breathtaking landscapes and scenery are in abundance. This beautiful city located in the heartland of Western Canada is also home to the Vancouver Canucks. Over the past few seasons, things have been anything but roses and unicorns in the city of Vancouver. Long departed are the Sedin brothers (Daniel and Henrik) who together spent the better part of 17 seasons in a Canucks uniform. The team has seen a fundamental shift in personnel both on and off the ice to a squad built around skill, speed, charisma, grit and youthful exuberance. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 3rd, 2020
The Montreal Canadiens remain one of the most famous and recognizable franchises in the National Hockey League. We’ve all heard the names who have donned the white, red, and blue “Tricolore” of Montreal and marveled at icons such as Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Patrick Roy, Henri Richard, Guy Lafleur, and Yvan Cournoyer. Fast forward a generation (or two), to the current crop of players on the “Habs” with the likes of Max Domi, Carey Price, Tomas Tatar, and Shea Weber. Although these are all pretty good pieces, they’re a far cry from the “good old days” that so many Canadiens from across Canada and the United States were accustomed to during the 1970s.
Dale Money | June 21st, 2019
Tonight at Rogers Arena in Vancouver will be host to the NHL Entry draft, with the New Jersey Devils getting the first overall selection. Now it was only two years ago, the Devils selected highly touted Nico Hischier. The expectation is that Jack Hughes will go to the Devils, although Kaapo Kakko has certainly made the debate interesting. Thanks to a fantastic showing at the IIHF tournament. Continue reading
R. Aaron Houde | June 13th, 2019
In the first round of the 2019-2020 NHL Draft, an anticipated 20 Forwards are to be drafted; 11 Centers, 7 Right Wings, and 2 Left Wings. With the increase in offensive output on the ice, it is no surprise that teams are looking to add skilled youngsters to their offensive lines. Today, I will be looking at Peyton Krebs of the Western Hockey League.
Peyton Krebs, born on Jan 26, 2001 in Calgary, AB, CAN finished the regular season in the WHL with 68 points (19 goals, 49 assists) in 64 games played for the Kootenay Ice*. While he is on the smaller side of the first round draft picks at 5’11”, 168 lbs (average height and weight for the projected first-round drafts is 6’0″, 188 lbs), his play in every zone on the ice, combined with his impressive faceoff abilities (538 faceoff wins for a 47% success rate), made him an easy prediction for top 50% in the first round draft. However, this is now subject to change, as Krebs had reportedly suffered a partial tear in his Achilles tendon when another player’s skate blade cut through his cut-proof sock and into his Achilles. After a successful surgery, he is expected to make a full recovery, but the timeline is unclear.
While it is unfortunate to place him at the back end of the draft, with the uncertainty of his recovery, it is likely that, if Krebs does go first round, it would be in the latter half, going to a team who is looking to free space in their Salary Cap or to replace their soon-to-be free agents.
Peyton Krebs was a proven asset to Kootenay, with his understanding of the defensive aspect of the game and his undeniable puck-skills. These aspects, partnered with smooth skating and a mix of speed, smarts, and willingness to go to the dirty areas and fight for possession, can prove to be a boon to any team, pending recovery is on Krebs side.
*Starting in the 2019-20 WHL Season, the Kootenay Ice are moving from Cranbrook, British Columbia to Winnipeg, Manitoba, reflagging as the Winnipeg Ice.Questions and comments?
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Dale Money | June 5th, 2019
Thomas Harley has seen solid growth over the last couple of seasons, as he continues to take on a bigger role and more minutes the production has indeed followed. With the Mississauga Steelheads this past season, he finished eighth among OHL defensemen with 11 goals and 58 points leading all OHL draft-eligible defenders. He also added four assists as the Steelheads were swept in the first round of the OHL playoffs by the Sudbury Wolves. Continue reading