Red Wings extend AHL affiliation with Grand Rapids
The Detroit Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins are a perfect match, and they won’t be splitting up anytime soon. The teams announced a five-year extension of their affiliation agreement Monday, carrying it through at least the 2026-27 season. © Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports The logo of the Detroit Red Wings is projected on the ice. It’s already been two decades since the teams first partnered, nearly the entire history of the Griffins since arriving in the AHL.
The Hlinka Gretzky Cup is upon us, and while the focus will be on the 2023 draft prospects, these five names from the 2024 draft will also demand your attention. © Provided by The Hockey News
The Hlinka Gretzky Cup is upon us, and while the focus will be on the 2023 draft prospects, these five names from the 2024 draft will also demand your attention:
Aron Kiviharju, D (FIN)
The favorite to go first overall in 2024, Kiviharju is an incredibly intelligent and talented blueliner. He is a difference-maker in every zone, understanding the transition game and any defensive prospect his age in recent memory. He manipulates the puck on his stick, creating space with his shifty skating ability and deft hands.
Seattle Kraken re-sign forward Ryan Donato
After not being given a qualifying offer this summer Ryan Donato is heading back to Seattle anyway. The Kraken have signed Donato to a one-year, $1.2M contract. General manager Ron Francis released a statement: © Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports Seattle Kraken center Ryan Donato. Ryan elevated his game last season and we’re happy to have him return to the Kraken. He completed a career year and will hopefully eclipse that in 2022-23.
His offensive game is still maturing and rounding into form, but that hasn’t prevented him from picking his opponents apart with his tactical approach to the game. He was a productive player at the World Under-18s in the spring, setting the record for scoring by a U-16 defender at the event.
Don’t be surprised to see him play in the Liiga as a 16-year-old defenseman this upcoming season.
Adam Jecho, RW (CZE)A 6-foot-3 winger, Jecho has produced everywhere he has been, from the Czech junior ranks to the U-18 SM-sarja in Finland. There has been some hype slowly building around Jecho for a couple of years now, playing with the Czech U-17 and U-18 teams at 15 and 16 years old.
Jecho is a dual-threat offensive player who uses his size well to protect the puck and hold off opponents with one arm in their chest and the other on his stick. Jecho is also a good shooter, with the ability to fire off a one-timer from in his feet or curl and drag as he cuts to the middle.
New Jersey Devils hire Ryan McGill
We are at the point of the offseason when teams are starting to round out their coaching staffs for next season, and the New Jersey Devils are the latest to make an addition. Ryan McGill will join Lindy Ruff’s staff for 2022-23. © Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports New Jersey Devils executive vice president/general manager Tom Fitzgerald has added an addition to the staffing team for 2022-23. McGill, 53, had been with the Vegas Golden Knights since their inception, serving as an assistant coach for the last five years in the desert.
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Jakub Chromiak, D (SVK)The younger brother of Los Angeles Kings prospect Martin Chromiak, Jakub is a puck-moving defender who was the first blueliner selected in the CHL import draft. Chromiak looks like he could be a difference maker at this tournament for Slovakia with his ability to play at both ends of the ice and continue to showcase the advancements in Slovak hockey the last few years. He was one of the only 2024 draft eligible players to see time at the top level of Slovak hockey.
Chromiak uses his mobility at both ends of the ice. He understands how to create space offensively and take away space defensively. Chromiak is a good passer on the breakout, hitting forwards in stride and allowing the transition game to attack quickly. Chromiak will have to earn his ice time, but there is no reason he won’t find a role at the Hlinka.
Looking back at the embarrassment of riches in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft first round
Five players selected that night went on to appear in at least 1,000 NHL games, including Penguins icon Sydney Crosby.With the lack of regular-season standings to determine the draft order, the league implemented a snake draft system to make things more equitable for teams in later rounds that didn’t fare so well in the draft lottery. One team that did fare well that night, though, was the Pittsburgh Penguins, who cemented a 15-plus year run of success by drafting future captain Sidney Crosby with the first overall pick.
Tanner Howe, LW (CAN)Tanner Howe was on Canada at the World Under-18s in the spring, playing a small role for the Canadian squad but should have a bigger role this time. He will be the youngest player on this team but far from the least talented. An equal shooter and passer, Howe has displayed the ability to keep up with high-end talent in the past and should excel if given that same opportunity at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Howe has a massive one-time shot despite having a diminutive frame standing just 5-foot-8. He plays with a high battle level, willing to go to the net when needed and fight for a loose puck around the net. The Regina winger also showcases slick passing ability, threading the needle through legs and traffic in the slot to put the puck on teammates' sticks in high-danger areas. Howe had 69 points in 64 games last year as a rookie in the WHL and he should be a candidate to put up massive numbers again in the western league this year – the Hlinka Gretzky Cup could very well be his coming-out party.
Emil Vinni, G (FIN)Could Emil Vinni go in the first round in 2024? Quite possibly. The 6-foot-2 netminder is favored to claim the starter's role for the Finns at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup as a 16-year-old after spending most of last year at the U-20 level.
Vinni will likely grow a bit over the next couple of years, which will only make NHL clubs even more enticed by the Finnish netminder. Vinni could begin solidifying his standing for the 2024 NHL draft and start putting his name firmly in the first round the way Jesper Wallstedt and Yaroslav Askarov did a few years ago.
Max Pacioretty to undergo surgery .
Max Pacioretty’s debut with the Hurricanes is going to have to wait a while. The team announced today that the veteran winger is set to undergo surgery to repair a torn Achilles on Wednesday and will be out for six months. The 33-year-old was acquired from Vegas last month along with defenseman Dylan Coghlan in exchange for future considerations in a trade that was solely done to free up cap space. Pacioretty is coming off an injury-plagued year that saw him miss time due to four separate injuries but when he was in the lineup, he was quite productive, notching 19 goals and 18 assists in just 37 games.