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The Hockey News

The Hockey News Future Watch 2020

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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Roustan Media Ltd.
16 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
radiating with potential

IT SEEMS LIKE NEARLY every year now, an underager for Finland has his coming-out party at the World Junior Championship. From Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi to Kaapo Kakko and Anton Lundell, the Finns are happy to bring 17-year-olds to the tournament as long as they can keep up – and they usually do. This year in the Czech Republic, Aatu Raty was the kid in question. A late 2002 birthday, Raty is the early front-runner for No. 1 status in the 2021 NHL draft. Though he was unable to help Finland to a gold medal, his combination of size and drive opened a lot of eyes, especially after top center Rasmus Kupari was lost to injury early in the tournament. “He loves the game,” said WJC coach Raimo Helminen. “He…

3 min.
projected top 10

1. AATU RATY C, Karpat (Fin.) Already has one world juniors under his belt and experience in the Liiga. Comes from an athletic family, and his size, physicality and compete level give him top-end potential. SCOUT SAYS: “Plays the right way. His skating needs to improve. He lacks some separation. But knowing how dedicated he is, he’ll figure out his weaknesses and improve on them.” 2. OWEN POWER D, Chicago (USHL) He’s already been in the USHL for two years. Next season he’ll jump to NCAA Michigan where scouts expect him to make an instant impact. SCOUT SAYS: “He’s a unicorn in the USHL. Prototypical NHL size and skating, and he’s also really poised and smart. Really good puck game. Can play the top power play. Might be the MVP of the league, honestly.” 3. KENT JOHNSON C, Trail…

3 min.
percolating in the ’peg

WE HAVEN’T EVEN COME close to seeing what top 2022 NHL draft prospect Matthew Savoie can do in the WHL yet – and that is definitely by design. While Savoie failed in his bid to become the first WHL prospect to receive the exceptional-status designation last year, he has been able to go up and down between the Winnipeg Ice and the midget squad of Rink Academy (also located in Winnipeg) this season. A rigid schedule worked out between the Ice, Rink Academy, the WHL and Hockey Canada has meant the 16-year-old has simply been getting a taste of his future rather than a feast. “It’s been a really interesting year,” said Ice coach James Patrick. “It hasn’t been easy for him, because he’s been with us for one or two weeks,…

1 min.
players to watch

SHANE WRIGHT C, Kingston (OHL) Living up to his exceptional-status designation, Wright led the OHL in rookie scoring by more than 20 points and broke Bernie Nicholls’ freshman goals record in Kingston. SCOUT SAYS: “One of those kids that, if he’s not putting up points, he’s still valuable, because he’s so good without the puck all over the ice. He’s going to be a superstar in the NHL.” BRAD LAMBERT RW, HIFK Jr. (Fin.) The Finnish-Canadian kid has already made his Liiga debut. Comes from a big hockey family that includes uncle Lane Lambert, associate coach of the New York Islanders. SCOUT SAYS: “Big-time skater, likes to carry the puck. Very good wrist shot. Still has some immaturity in his game like many his age, but his offensive talent is undeniable.” RUTGER McGROARTY C, Oakland Jr. Grizzlies (U-15) One of…

1 min.
here today and to stay

THE FUTURE WATCH RANKINGS from 10 years ago reveal a who’s who of current elite puck-moving NHL defensemen: Alex Pietrangelo, John Carlson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Ryan Ellis. The rankings from five years ago boast a couple more stalwarts: Darnell Nurse, Josh Morrissey. Not only has that group enjoyed tremendous NHL success, but many also still play for the franchises that drafted them. Combine the top 50s from 2010 and 2015 and we get 100 players, including 31 D-men. Among them, 11 still patrol the bluelines for their original teams – 35.5 percent. That’s a stronger “Stay Rate” than those of players at other positions. Of 59 forwards spread across the lists, 18 still play for their original teams, good for 30.5 percent. The goaltender sample size is smaller, with just 10 players total,…

4 min.
ban on fighting is still just talk

THE QMJHL MADE HEADLINES recently with the revelation that the major-junior league was exploring the idea of a full fighting ban, which would make the ‘Q’ the first of the CHL’s three circuits (along with the WHL and OHL) to do so. There are benefits to the idea, and it would be a public-relations win in many corners, but I don’t think it’s going to happen – not yet, anyhow. Speaking with someone inside the league, it doesn’t sound like they believe it’s going to happen either. While the presidents and owners of the QMJHL were set to vote on the issue in late February, the matter was postponed at the last minute, and now we’re looking at August. The league would need two-thirds of its members to vote in favor…