There were a few surprises early on in the NHL Draft, starting off with Pierre-Luc Dubois. For several months, it was a foregone conclusion that Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi would be the first three players drafted, which would have marked the first time in the event’s history that the top three picks came from European teams.
It was the last headline in a press release, but it was arguably the most important one. Summarizing a handful of decisions made at the Western Hockey League's annual general meeting, the release highlighted more evolutions of major junior hockey west of Ontario.
The CHL held its annual European Import Draft on Tuesday, June 28. This year’s draft marked the 25th anniversary of the annual event, with 79 players (53 forwards, 26 defencemen) being selected.
When the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft wrapped up on Tuesday, not a single goaltender’s name had been called. To be fair, that was expected. In fact, it has been the norm since the CHL decided in 2013 to ban import players at the position, in an effort to fix what was being called a crisis in Canadian goaltending.
Many men are built up like legends, but so few live up to the lore. Gordie Howe was one of those few. His accomplishments on the ice are insurmountable, but it was his character away from the game that truly made him the man known as Mr. Hockey.
The Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants have signed their first round draft pick in last month’s WHL bantam draft. Defenceman Bowen Byram was selected third overall after spending last season with the Lethbridge Golden Hawks of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League where he put up 22 goals and 37 assists in 34 games. He led the league in scoring amongst defencemen.
Auston Matthews or Patrik Laine, there will be a change in trends at this year’s NHL Entry Draft. Eight of the last 10 first overall draft picks hail from Canada, while Russia’s Nail Yakupov was taken by the Edmonton Oilers in 2012 and Patrick Kane topped the charts in 2007 when he joined the Chicago Blackhawks.
At first glance, it may seem the Western Hockey League is under-represented entering the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. But when all is said and done, International Scouting Services projects 19 per cent of the top 200 prospects at the draft will hail from the Dub.
For the third time in hockey history the NHL Draft is shuffling off to Buffalo, with the big show slated for June 24th and 25th. In 1991, "The Big E" hit "The Big B,” as Eric Lindros was selected first overall at the first-ever NHL draft in Buffalo.
Don’t fret, Canadian hockey fans, when an American forward goes first overall at the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo next week. Player development north of the border is doing just fine.
"Hockey... Here's Howe!" That was the title of a 1963 book that I took home from the school library dozens of times. It was an instructional guide written by Gordie Howe that contained a bunch of great hockey tips from Mr. Hockey himself.
1) Owen Lalonde named HockeyNow's 2016 Ontario Minor Hockey Player of the Year
2) BC Junior Canucks Win 2016 Brick Invitational Tournament
3) Josh Williams named HockeyNow's 2016 B.C. Minor Hockey Player of the Year
4) Bowen Byram named HockeyNow's 2016 Alberta Minor Hockey Player of the Year
5) And the 2016 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Players of the Year are…