What’s Happening in the NHL: Best and Worst Prospect Pipelines for 2019-2020

The NHL season begins in October and the time for trades and lineup changes is coming to an end. Now teams must focus on their hopefuls and continue to change strings to find their top lines for the upcoming season. Currently, the New York Rangers have the top spot with their new additions of Adam Fox (RHD), Kaapo Kakko (RW), Patrick Newell (RW), Matthew Robertson (LHD); and the graduations (brought up from the AHL or farm team) of Lias Andersson (C), Filip Chytil (C/W), Alexander Georgiev (G), Brett Howden (C).  The Rangers recently traded for members Daniel Bernhardt (RW), Dominik Lakatos (LW), Patrik Virta (LW). The runner-up for best pipeline is the Los Angeles Kings with the recently acquired Tobias Bjornfot (LHD), Carl Grundstrom (LW), Arthur Kaliyev (LW), and Alex Turcotte (C). The Kings graduated no players and had no trades. In third is the Colorado Avalanche with their additions of Bowen Byram (LHD), Drew Helleson (RHD), Alex Newhook (C); the Avalanche had one graduate, A.J. Greer (LW); and one member obtained through a trade Gustav Olhaver (C). These teams have the three best farm teams by current calculations, but farm teams are not always this successful.

While some franchises have excellent farm teams, others are not so lucky. At the moment, the Pittsburgh Penguins are coming in last, although they do have new additions Pierre-Olivier Joseph (LHD, ARI), Samuel Poulin (LW); Zach Aston-Reece (LW) was graduated. The Penguins traded for Zachary Lauzon (LHD). The San Jose Sharks are next to last, but do have the recent additions of Jonathan Dahlen (LW), Andrew Shortlidge (G, UDFA). The Sharks had graduated no players, but they traded for Rudolfs Balcers (LW, OTT), Josh Norris (C, OTT). Ahead of the Sharks is the Dallas Stars, with their addition of Thomas Harley (LHD); the Stars graduated both Miro Heiskanen (LHD), Roope Hintz (LW); Dallas traded for Brett Davis (C), Liam Hawel (C), Markus Ruusu (G).

The official NHL season begins on October 2, 2019 and ends in June 2020. This year, the League has put on eight events: the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the 2019 NHL All-Star Game, Black History Month, Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, Gender Equality Month, NHL Green, Pride Month, and the NHL Awards. These events were created to use the league’s influence to change society for the better. The Winter Classic has been held for 11 years in a multitude of cities, as one of only three series in the NHL. The All-Star Game is used to showcase the best the league has to offer, and promote friendship between opposing teams. Black History Month is the league’s way of celebrating its members heritage and hopefully inspiring future athletes. The Stadium series is the second of only three game series in the NHL. Gender Equality Month is celebrated to show how women have influenced hockey on and off the ice. NHL Green was created to protect the places that you can play hockey in nature, not in a stadium rink. Pride Month is celebrated to show how no matter your differences, you have a place in the league. Finally, the NHL Awards is thrown to bestow honor upon that season’s award winners, the awards include: the Hart Trophy, Norris Trophy, Vezina Trophy, Calder Trophy, Masterton Trophy, Jack Adams Award, Ted Lindsay Award, General Manager of the Year, etc.