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Features

Skjei, Buchnevich among Rangers' top five prospects

Friday, 08.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers are trying to pull off the difficult task of winning now while maintaining a strong prospect pool. The Rangers haven't had a first-round draft pick for the past three seasons and don't have one in the 2016 NHL Draft.

They do have a handful of prospects who might be ready to make an impact in the NHL.

Here is a look at the Rangers' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

With deep core, Rangers believe window stays open

Friday, 08.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault knows how quickly the window can close for a team with championship potential. He experienced it with the Vancouver Canucks.

Vancouver reached the Western Conference Semifinals in 2009 and 2010 before going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011, when it lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games. The Canucks didn't win another playoff round under Vigneault, who was fired after the 2012-13 season.

Vigneault has since coached the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final last season after finishing atop the NHL standings with 113 points. Those resulted in two banners for Madison Square Garden, neither of which represent a Stanley Cup championship. Instead they're for an Eastern Conference championship and a Presidents' Trophy, better known as consolation prizes.

Anaheim Ducks fantasy hockey outlook

Thursday, 08.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf

Perry missed 15 games with the mumps and a knee injury, and had a down 2014-15 season by his standards, but he was tied for 10th in goals (33) and provided rare category coverage to salvage his year-end Yahoo rank (68th). He was one of seven players with 55-plus points, 65-plus penalty minutes and 190-plus shots on goal in 2014-15, and saw a production spike in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 18 points in 16 games.

Scoring from wings, power play questions for Ducks

Thursday, 08.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks seem primed for another deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but there are areas of concern for the Western Conference regular-season champions.

Some are a recurring theme; another is a product of offseason reshuffling.

Here are three questions facing the Ducks:

Addition of forward Hagelin has Ducks optimistic

Thursday, 08.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Western Conference First Round … Second Round … Conference Final. The Anaheim Ducks have gotten closer to their goal in each of the past three seasons.

Though they've also failed dramatically each year in their attempt to reach the Stanley Cup Final, the Ducks remain one of the conference's top contenders. They've won the Pacific Division three seasons in a row and have at least 50 wins in each of the past two, when they finished with 116 and 109 points.

The Ducks hope a couple of new faces combined with a solid foundation will get them over the final hurdle this season.

Here are four reasons for the Ducks to be optimistic:

Gibson, Ritchie among Ducks' top five prospects

Thursday, 08.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks have done a good job developing prospects during the past few years. This year's prospects will literally be closer to the NHL because Anaheim moved its American Hockey League affiliate from Norfolk, Va., to San Diego.

The Ducks are well-stocked at center; their most immediate needs are on the wings and defense. Anaheim isn't shy about recalling prospects, so most of their NHL-ready players stand a good chance at playing with the Ducks at some point this season.

Here is a look at the Ducks' top prospects, according to NHL.com:

Ducks reload looking to take last step to Cup Final

Thursday, 08.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

ANAHEIM -- The progression of the Anaheim Ducks the past three seasons has been impressive. They've advanced deeper into the Stanley Cup Playoffs every year since 2013, a run most teams would love to have.

However, each of those seasons has ended with a Game 7 loss at home, the latest to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Western Conference Final.

"When you go through those things, the only way to gain [experience] is to go through it," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "Hopefully our guys learned some lessons again this year. I learned some things. We can get ready for the next season and approach next year with the same attitude we had at the start of this one, on a mission to get back to have that opportunity again."

Canucks sign forward Adam Cracknell

Wednesday, 08.26.2015 / 1:25 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

VancouverCanucks.com

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have signed forward Adam Cracknell.

Cracknell, 30, appeared in 17 games for Columbus during the 2014.15 season, registering an assist and two penalty minutes. He also split time this past season between the AHL Springfield Falcons and Chicago Wolves. With Springfield, he collected seven points (3-4-7) in 18 games and with Chicago, he posted 13 points (7-6-13) in 22 games.

The Prince Albert, Saskatchewan native made his NHL debut with the Blues during the 2010.11 season, and in parts of five seasons with St. Louis and Columbus has collected six goals and 17 points in 82 games.

Bellows, Tkachuk named to All-American Game roster

Wednesday, 08.26.2015 / 12:39 PM / Prospects

NHL.com

Forwards Kieffer Bellows, Matthew Tkachuk and Alex DeBrincat are among the top 2016 NHL Draft prospects who have been invited to play in the 2015 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.

The game, which will feature 42 of the top draft-eligible American-born players, will be played Sept. 24 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

"This game provides the best U.S. players eligible for next year's NHL draft the opportunity to showcase their skills on a national stage," said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations.

Canadiens make moves to create more offense

Wednesday, 08.26.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

MONTREAL -- When Marc Bergevin was hired as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens on May 2, 2012, he admitted he didn't know much about their makeup, other than that they were set in goal with Carey Price.

Now, more than three years later, Bergevin has put his stamp on the Canadiens, with more than half of the expected 2015-16 opening-night roster arriving under his watch.

However, it could be argued that what Bergevin said remains true today: The goaltending of Price is the foundation of the Canadiens' success and the value of the pieces around him remains largely unknown.

The Canadiens are considered a defensive-minded team, but they allowed the 10th most shots on goal in the NHL last season.

The pieces for a top power play are in place with defensemen P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov and forward Max Pacioretty, but the Canadiens power play has finished in the bottom half of the League in each of the past two seasons.

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