June 06 2016 01:00PM
While he may not have the name-recognition of some of the other top-tier wingers that will be available this off-season, Jiri Hudler is still one of the most offensively gifted players in the 2016 free agent class. While his most recent season failed to live up to the lofty expectations set by his 76-point 2014-15 campaign, Hudler will still have plenty of suitors on July 1st, and has earned himself a modest raise from the $4 million he's made over the past four seasons.
June 06 2016 11:00AM
It was confirmed in late April by Capfriendly.com that the Vancouver Canucks are facing a $315,000 cap hit for bonuses that will count towards next season. The bonus overages were accrued this season but because the Canucks were up against the cap, it could not be applied this season, hence the carry over into next.
as #Canucks continue to sign players, we can now confirm that Vancouver will have a bonus overage applied to their 2016-17 cap of $315,000.— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) April 29, 2016
All this is to say that the news itself isn't exactly breaking, so much as the details involved therein are now clearer and more defined.
June 06 2016 08:00AM
Though Julien Gauthier entered this season hot off the heels of a point-plus-per-game rookie season in the QMJHL and a presumptive spot in the top ten of this year's entry draft, his star has fallen to the middle of the first-round by most accounts. The Nation Network's consensus aligns closely with that assessment, as Gauthier checks in at 16th by our reckoning.
Part of the trepidation is production related. Though Gauthier had shown proficiency as a playmaker in his two QMJHL seasons prior, he was infamously dubbed this year's Cy Young winner for his lofty imbalance of goals to assists, with his 41 goals met by a paltry 16 helpers. Given that Gauthier posted a 38 goal, 35 assist season the year prior, that represents a sizeable step back no matter the context.
Gauthier's physical toolkit is rivalled by few in this class, though, and that's what's kept him in the conversation as a high first-round selection. His combination of size, speed, power and offensive instincts make him a handful for defenders -- more often than not they're left in his wake or bowled over entirely. We'll try to make sense of the disconnect between his tools and production as we break down Gauthier and his long-term prospects of developing into a bona fide NHL forward.
June 05 2016 02:15PM
Andrew Ladd is the only captain the second incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets have known, but this wasn't enough to keep him in town past the February 29th trade deadline as the two sides faced unrestricted free agency and a hefty pay raise on the other side. The Jets, an internal budget team, read the tea leaves and bit the bullet.
Now Ladd, a pending unrestricted free agent, is a month away from finding a third home in five months. As the Jets learned and the Blackhawks anticipated upon Ladd's arrival, securing his services going into next fall could prove an expensive exercise. One Nations Network writer, Ryan Lambert, concluded that the price likely falls in $6.5-million range, with term.
That's a hefty ask, but not without precedent. Ladd has proven himself as one of the premier left wingers in the league, capable of contributing in all phases of special teams and from the locker room as a vocal leader. Look closely and you'll find Ladd's name on the Stanley Cup not once, but twice, with two different teams, too. The importance of a winning pedigree is likely overstated but still plays a role in determining the haves and have nots in the market. Ladd's comfortably in the former of those two camps.
June 05 2016 08:00AM
Coming in as our 17th ranked prospect, is Penticton Vees defenceman Dante Fabbro.
The smooth skating defenceman was a force for what many expected to be the eventual BCHL champions. but their season was cut short after a 2nd round loss to West Kelowna. For Fabbro personally, the loss may have been a blessing in disguise as he was able to suit up for Canada at the U18 World Junior Championships.
This allowed him to play against the top players from all over the world with hopes of mitigating the questions of whether his success at the junior A level in Penticton would translate. We think it did, thus he falls just outside of the top 15 for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.