I would like to start this edition’s Editor’s note with an introduction. My name is Graeme Frisque and I joined the outstanding HockeyNow team as Editor earlier this month. I am a passionate sports fan, but like most red-blooded Canadians, hockey holds a special place in my heart. It is our national winter sport and is truly our game. I have been a lifelong fan of the game and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to share that passion with you – our loyal readers – and continue the longstanding tradition of excellence laid before me. We’re going to have a lot fun and my email and phone are always open for feedback from our amazing readers.
With the Stanley Cup Playoffs now in the rear-view mirror, all heads in the hockey world are now turned towards the upcoming NHL Entry Draft running June 26-27 in Sunrise, Florida.
Each year, HockeyNow teams up with the world-renowned International Scouting Services (ISS Hockey) for our annual draft preview issue to bring our readers some of the best draft coverage and insight in the business – and this year is no exception. It’s an exciting time of year for us here at HockeyNow as we focus on the final chapter in our coverage of many players in this year's draft. We've been publishing since 1999 and most of the players in this year's draft class were born in '97, so we've been covering many of them since they first laced them up.
For this year’s draft preview, our team of dedicated writers and reporters take a long look at the best-of-the-best from the major junior ranks, as well as collegiate and international programs. The long wait is over and Connor McDavid has arrived. After much hype – including the most interest we’ve seen in the NHL draft lottery since the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Sidney Crosby sweepstakes in 2005 – the Richmond Hill, Ont. native will no doubt be taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers on draft day. Despite little mystery surrounding the top two picks, with the Buffalo Sabres almost surely to select Boston University’s Jack Eichel after McDavid’s name is called, there are still a ton of exciting prospects to watch out for in what is a very deep draft class.
Visit our website on draft day where we’ll be live blogging throughout the first round to bring you up-to-the-minute updates and insights into who went where and what it means for the players and the teams who select them.
Also this month, we’re running a special web series called 21 Stories in 21 Days on the Path to the Draft, where we will continue to explore a different angle of the annual event each day leading up to draft. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates.
In honour of our partnership with ISS, HockeyNow is also offering our readers an exclusive 30 per cent discount on the 2015 ISS Draft Guide. The annual guide is the definitive resource for teams and media alike for the best scouting reports, stats and player information available heading into the draft. In the guide you’ll find the agency’s top-220 list of draft-eligible skaters and goaltenders, mock drafts, detailed info on each player on the list and much more. Details are available at hockeynow.ca.
Another reason this is an exciting time of year for us is our annual Minor Hockey Player of the Year Awards. This prestigious award is handed out to the minor players in Ontario, B.C. and Alberta who best exemplify sportsmanship, leadership, hockey ability and performance, and school and community participation. Our top-notch selection committee, headed by former NHLer Dave Babych, has narrowed down the list of finalists in each Province and the winners will be announced and featured in our special Player of the Year issue next month. Stay tuned!
All that being said, this month is all about the draft. So on that note, happy draft day everyone and talk to you in July!
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2) Where Are They Now: 2016 Player of the Year Owen Lalonde
3) Justin Sourdif Named 2017 HockeyNow Player of the Year for B.C.
4) Introducing the 2017 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Players of the Year
5) Peter Goulet Leaves Pro Ranks To Focus On OJHL’s Kingston Voyageurs