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Nation Network 2017 Prospect Profile: #15 – Eeli Tolvanen

Players who can score at the drop of a hat are rare, and you can count Finnish sniper Eeli Tolvanen among them. You just don’t get a nickname like “The Finnish Tarasenko” without that kind of dynamism. Tolvanen caught everyone’s attention last season with an electric performance as a 17-year-old at the U18 tournament in Grand Forks,…

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Flat Cap? The Hell You Say!

Official word won’t come down until later this month, and early indications had the NHL’s salary cap outer marker coming in at around $77 million. News today (via Larry Brooks and the New York Post) may put a friggin in the riggin: The expectation, affirmed in conversations within the past three days by essentially everyone on…

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Nation Network 2017 Prospect Profile: #16 – Juuso Välimäki

Over the past few years, Finland produced one first round NHL draft defenders: Rasmus Ristolainen, Julius Honka, Olli Juolevi. This year may produce two with Miro Heiskanen and Juuso Välimäki. Valimaki brings it all as a very complete two-way defender. The young Finn has been compared to Olli Juolevi due to his overall game, but Valimaki…

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Nation Network 2017 Prospect Profile: #17 – Kristian Vesalainen

Kristian Vesalainen’s season has been a roller coaster ride. He started out as a projected top ten pick, then nearly fell out of the first round following some middling numbers in Europe, before shooting back up the rankings after a dominant performance in the U18 tournament. This Finn plays a power forward type game, and…

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Who is the best goalie in the 2017 draft?

I believe goalies are voodoo. Just as getting the lid off the pickle jar or finding a way to open those blasted plastic bags in the grocery aisle are mysteries of life, grading goalies requires something beyond the normal. Eye of newt? A slice of  Earl Camembert? Ask the Predators. The Edmonton Oilers often avoid…

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Nation Network 2017 Prospect Profile: #18 – Aleksi Heponiemi

Aleksi Heponiemi came over from Finland this season after being selected in CHL Import Draft and quickly made his presence felt. Tha presence is far from ominous – Heponiemi is a noticeably undersized player – but even pro scouts can’t help but be swayed by the skill that he displays on the ice. Silky hands…

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Can Maroon Score 27 Goals Again?

Patrick Maroon has been a professional hockey player for nine seasons. As a 20-year-old rookie he scored 23 goals and 54 points in 80 games with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League. He spent another four seasons in the AHL, before becoming a regular NHLer with the Anaheim Ducks in 2013/2014. In his…

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Nation Network 2017 Prospect Profile: #19 – Nicolas Hague

Every year there is a defender with a ton of size that most-to-all the scouts salivate over. However, historically speaking a lot of these defensemen have been some of the biggest historical busts. At around 6’6 or 6’7, depending on where you ask, and well over 200 lbs, Nicolas Hague may be the largest defender…

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Nation Network 2017 Prospect Profile: #20 – Jason Robertson

Jason Robertson is another statistical standout whose numbers blast off the page. Whether it’s standard stats, on-ice data, adjusted scoring or cohort data, Robertson shows extremely well. Unfortunately, he’s been limited in the scouting rankings by a couple of potential red flags. Whether or not he can overcome those may be the difference between Robertson…

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If the Oilers sign Kris Russell, will the world end?

This summer, the online Oilers community is unlikely to explode as it did last summer, mostly because the team has no Taylor Hall to trade. Unless Peter Chiarelli can find a deal big enough to trade the Nuge and Jordan Eberle on the same day, we’re going to have to rage watch the activities with less…

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Nation Network 2017 Prospect Profile: #21 – Ryan Poehling

Coming in as the 21st ranked prospect in the 2017 NHL entry draft is St Cloud State University centre Ryan Poehling. A combination of size, vision and leadership that teams will covet, Poehling completed his freshman season in the NCAA with his two brothers, Jack and Nick. Ryan didn’t blow the doors off at St…

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Real Life Podcast Episode 30 – Magnus Paajarvi

This week Gregor shook off his kidney stone that kept him on the shelf for last week’s podcast and the reunited trio talked with St. Louis Blues forward Magnus Paajarvi. Magnus was a great sport, having woken up in the middle of the night over in Sweden to appear on the show and talk some smack….