The Hockey News

The Hockey News Prospects Unlimited 2019-20

The Hockey News is an iconic, authoritative and trusted voice of hockey. It was founded in 1947 and grew to become known as The Bible of Hockey. Once a tabloid newspaper, it has evolved into a multi-platform brand that goes deeper and broader than anyone in the industry. The Hockey News publishes regular editions plus its special editions that include the Yearbook, Ultimate Pool Guide and Money and Power.

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2 Min
minnesota wild

ADAM BECKMAN ADAM BECKMAN’S CAREER went from zero to 60 last season. Or, to be more precise, 62. That’s how many points the left winger notched with WHL Spokane in his rookie campaign, which also happened to be his draft year. While most NHL prospects have already been in the WHL for a couple seasons before they’re drafted, Beckman played his 16-year-old season in major midget with the Saskatchewan-based Battleford Stars. It was a strategic move by Spokane. “He made the team at the beginning of the year,” said Chiefs GM Scott Carter. “We just felt he’d be getting platooned in and out on the fourth line, and that’s not his game.” Indeed, Beckman’s game is all about offense. As a WHL freshman last season, he led the Chiefs with 32 goals. Playing…

2 Min
los angeles kings

SAMUEL FAGEMO PASSED OVER IN the 2018 NHL draft, Frolunda left winger Samuel Fagemo took out his frustrations on the Swedish League last season with 25 points in 42 games. More importantly, he had 10 points in 16 playoff games en route to a championship. The Kings ended up nabbing Fagemo 50th overall this summer, ensuring he wouldn’t be overlooked again. “For sure there was a lot of motivation for me to show the scouts in the stands that I could be drafted too,” he said. “I’m super happy to get drafted, finally.” Fellow Kings prospects Carl Grundstrom and Jacob Moverare have also played with Frolunda and will help guide Fagemo, but L.A. didn’t need much convincing that the winger will be a fit: Fagemo signed an entry-level deal just weeks after…

2 Min
anaheim ducks

BRAYDEN TRACEY THE NUMBERS ALONE were enough to convince Anaheim that left winger Brayden Tracey was a worthwhile first-round selection at 29th overall in 2019. After all, Tracey scored 81 points, including 36 goals, in 66 games as a rookie with WHL Moose Jaw. The Ducks saw more when they scouted the 18-year-old Calgary native, though. Much more. His skills were difficult to miss, of course, and it was easy to project him as a standout NHL player once he physically matures. Scouting and drafting are inexact sciences, to be sure, but what the Ducks liked most about Tracey was his high hockey IQ, his ability to anticipate what’s coming next on the ice and his capacity to make things happen. Tracey returned to Moose Jaw after attending the Ducks’ training camp, and…

2 Min
arizona coyotes

VALENTIN NUSSBAUMER INTERNATIONAL SCOUTING IS a tricky science. There are so many variables to consider. How will the player adjust to life outside of their home country? What about changing their game to fit the smaller ice in North America? There were some concerns with Valentin Nussbaumer, but the Coyotes knew what they were looking for when they made the Swiss winger a seventh-round pick at the 2019 NHL draft. “We’ve been watching him for the last couple years since he’s been playing for the Swiss team at the world juniors,” said Coyotes assistant GM Lindsay Hofford. “When you’re looking at late-round picks, you’re looking at one or two intangibles that maybe separate them from other guys, kind of like players who are good at everything but not necessarily great at anything.” Nussbaumer…

2 Min
washington capitals

ALEXANDER ALEXEYEV MINUTES AFTER HEARING his name at the 2018 NHL draft, Alexander Alexeyev was welcomed to his new team in the most Capitals way possible: a FaceTime call from an exuberant Alex Ovechkin. “First time he’s calling me, it’s like some crazy guy,” Alexeyev said. “But I still can’t believe or forget those feelings. It was amazing.” With Ovechkin on the welcoming committee, Russian prospects have long felt at home in Washington. “He’s like a dad for us,” said Alexeyev, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound defenseman who could soon join countrymen Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Ilya Samsonov in D.C. The Caps selected Alexeyev 31st overall in 2018, and team execs have been impressed with his versatility. In three years with WHL Red Deer, he emerged as a power-play quarterback and a hardnosed…

2 Min
winnipeg jets

NATHAN SMITH NATHAN SMITH KNOWS a thing or two about putting his best foot forward. It was two years ago, during his weekend debut with USHL Cedar Rapids, that Smith broke into the junior scene with a one-goal, four-point effort across his first two games, marking the beginning of a successful two-season stay in the league. But having moved on to the NCAA, Smith did his USHL debut one better. In his first outing with Minnesota State in mid-October – and on the day he celebrated his 21st birthday, no less – Smith replicated his one-goal, four-point performance in a single outing against rival North Dakota. “It’s nice to start that way,” Smith said. “But I’m not going to get too high or too low. Just gotta stay neutral. It’s a long…