2015 NHL Draft
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2015-2016 Season Preview

New, old important as Islanders open in Brooklyn

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Tradition has a new home.

That's the slogan Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark and his staff are using in regard to where the New York Islanders will play their home games after 43 years at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, starting with the season-opener Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks (7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, CSN-CH, MSG+).

A capacity crowd is expected for the Islanders' first-regular season game at Barclays Center, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2012. Yormark admitted he's trying to expand the fan base in Brooklyn, but he's more than pleased that 30 percent of ticket buyers reside in Nassau County or Suffolk County on Long Island. In their final season at the Coliseum, the Islanders won 47 games and had 101 points. They're primed to contend again in the Metropolitan Division this season.

Five from 2015 draft class looking to stick in NHL

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 4:43 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The beginning of the NHL season marks the start for several players chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft hoping to make a big first impression.

All eyes will be on the first two picks, center Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and center Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres, respectively.

McDavid and Eichel are expected to be with their teams the entire season, but that doesn't mean they won't experience some adversity along the way.

"There's no question both players are game-ready for NHL play and will be able to contribute," said Dan Marr, NHL Director of Central Scouting. "Each player has handled pressure and adversity remarkably well in the past and there's no doubt that they can handle playing in the NHL as 18- and 19-year-olds.

"As rookies they have yet to experience the physical grind that accompanies playing in the NHL and the learning curve of finding out exactly what it takes to maintain a consistent NHL level of play to stay in a lineup. Their development, support and approach have them well placed to succeed."

Crystal ball has answers for 2015-16 questions

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 10:40 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview


The 2015-16 NHL season starts Wednesday and is full of interesting storylines.

Instead of waiting until it ends nine months from now, we decided to look into the future and do some prognosticating. We asked NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen to channel his fortune-telling powers and use his answers to shed some light on eight telling questions about the upcoming season.

Here are the answers:

1. Will Phil Kessel score 50 goals in his first season with the Pittsburgh Penguins?

Though it's hard to predict a player will score 40 goals, let alone 50, because of how difficult it is to reach those numbers, let's remember that Kessel scored 37 goals two seasons ago playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs with Tyler Bozak as his center. This is not a knock on Bozak by any means, but you won't find anyone anywhere willing to compare him to Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.

Deep rookie class more than just McDavid, Eichel

Tuesday, 10.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which begins Wednesday.

The 2015-16 NHL rookie class could wind up being one of the best in recent memory.

Heading the pack are Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel. The 18-year-olds forever will be linked after they were chosen first and second, respectively, in the 2015 NHL Draft, and each has been projected by scouts as a generational talent. They should be able to contribute immediately, and barring injury are expected to be in the running for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.

NBC's Emrick, Olczyk, McGuire ready for new season

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 6:57 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2015-16 NHL season begins on Wednesday and one of the most commonly used words when talking about it is "change," whether it be rookies, coaching or rules.

Seven of the 30 NHL teams have a new coach, which Pierre McGuire of NBC Sports Network said creates intrigue throughout the season.

"How's Jeff Blashill going to do in Detroit replacing Mike Babcock?" McGuire said of Blashill, the coach of the Detroit Red Wings after Babcock left for the Toronto Maple Leafs. "I think he's going to do fantastically well. How's Mike Babcock going to do replacing Randy Carlyle in Toronto? Nobody knows. How's Dan Bylsma going to do up in Buffalo in a rebuild, which I think will go amazingly well because of what they are doing there."

Eddie Olczyk, an analyst for NBC and NBCSN with McGuire and Doc Emrick, said in addition to the new coaches, some teams made improvements that could improve their chances of winning the Stanley Cup.

Lightning's Drouin gains confidence on Stamkos line

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- When Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin entered training camp last month, he wanted to put a rocky rookie season behind him.

Drouin, the No. 3 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, missed all of camp last season with a fractured thumb and started 2014-15 with a weekend's worth of rehab games for Syracuse of the American Hockey League before joining the Lightning in mid-October.

Despite playing 70 regular-season games and six in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Drouin didn't seem to fit in to the plans of coach Jon Cooper. Drouin had four goals and 28 assists but couldn't find a consistent line and was on the bench more times than not during the postseason.

2015-16 picks: Capitals will be big winners

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview


NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which begins Wednesday.

How will the 2015-16 season unfold? That's the question we asked several NHL.com staffers and the answers were surprising, to say the least.

If our collection of prognosticators are right, fans of the Washington Capitals will be very happy. The Capitals appeared as Stanley Cup champions on three of nine ballots, while Tampa Bay and Anaheim also received multiple votes. Washington star Alex Ovechkin was a near-unanimous choice to win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for the fourth straight season, while Braden Holtby received some serious consideration to claim his first Vezina Trophy.

In the heavily discussed battle for the Calder Memorial Trophy, it was Edmonton forward Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, who earned the early nod, named as the winner on seven ballots. Buffalo forward Jack Eichel, The No. 2 pick in the 2015 Draft, was selected on the other two ballots.

For a snapshot on how the NHL.com prognosticators see the season playing out, check out the predictions below:

Miller, Kreider, Raanta are X-factors for Rangers

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The New York Rangers have raised banners in Madison Square Garden for accomplishments in their first two seasons under coach Alain Vigneault. But neither of them are for a Stanley Cup championship.

The Rangers won the Prince of Wales Trophy as Eastern Conference champions in 2014 and the Presidents' Trophy as the best team in the regular season for 2014-15. They have won 98 regular-season games and 24 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past two seasons.

Vigneault set the tone for this season on the first day of training camp when in referencing the Rangers being a team capable of winning the Stanley Cup said, "Failure is not an option."

Before the Rangers can get there, they'll have to make it back to the playoffs. Here are three X-factors that could have an impact on their fate:

Rangers feel parts are in place for Stanley Cup run

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

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.

NEW YORK -- Keith Yandle barely had time to adjust his body clock, let alone his playing style to adhere to a new team, before he was in meaningful games with the New York Rangers last season. He was acquired March 1, one day before the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline.

Now, with time to reflect on a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and a Game 7 loss in the Eastern Conference Final, as well as take stock in who is back and what type of team he's playing for, Yandle offered the following assessment of the Rangers:

"I definitely wouldn't want to play against us," he said. "We're a team that can play in all three zones really well, and we're fast. It's only exciting things for this group."

No team in the NHL has played more combined regular-season and playoff games than the Rangers the past two seasons (208), but the only banners they have to show for it inside Madison Square Garden is one for winning the Eastern Conference in 2014 and another for winning the Presidents' Trophy last season.

The Rangers again have high expectations this season and an abundance of hope that on a warm June day they will parade the Stanley Cup down the Canyon of Heroes in New York City.

Power play, Galchenyuk among Canadiens' X-factors

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

The Montreal Canadiens have a glaring need for offense, but it's not yet clear where it will come from.

In order to improve on their 20th-ranked 2.61 goals per game from last season, the Canadiens made a number of offseason tweaks without a big splash.

General manager Marc Bergevin signed free agent forward Alexander Semin and acquired Zack Kassian from the Vancouver Canucks in a trade for Brandon Prust.

Each player comes with a checkered history, but they also have clear offensive talent.

The ability of one or both of those players to bounce back and take full advantage of his skills would help the Canadiens offensively, but that might not be enough to solve the problem.

Here are three other X-factors that will impact Montreal's offensive issues:

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