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WCOH SEMIFINAL 1: CANADA VS. RUSSIA

If we are honest, the idea of North America versus Canada had so much appeal that it took a day to get behind the idea of Canada versus Russia. Fortunately, the two nations have a lot of history on the ice that allows both sides to build up a good lather. Add to that the…

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WCOH GAME 1: TEAM CANADA VS. CZECH REPUBLIC

Embed from Getty Images It is time for the hockey! And tonight, we get to see Team Canada—the favourite entering the World Cup of Hockey—against the Czech Republic. Sidney Crosby leads his team into a three-week battle that should result in another victory for the land of ice and snow—and they can do it before…

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5 FUN THINGS TO WATCH FOR: TEAM NORTH AMERICA

(photo source: Twitter) Some may not want to admit it, but the top team (in terms of interest) at the World Cup of Hockey is Team North America. Armed with a bunch of kids who only recently were playing video games until 2am in someone’s basement on New Year’s Eve, these young hockey players are…

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TOP-10 UFA COUNTDOWN #2—MIKE GREEN

Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports The free-agent pool for 2015 lacks a complete defenseman but does offer a substantial offensive player in Mike Green. The Washington Capitals blue liner has majestic career stats that tower over most of the free agents available and he is one of the 10 best offensive producers from the…

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TOP-10 UFA COUNTDOWN: #9—ANTTI NIEMI

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy! Antti Niemi is the most famous free-agent goalie available this summer and that should result in a big payday. NHL teams in need of a starter…

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HOW GOOD IS MIKKO RANTANEN?

Mikko Rantanen banks one in from behind the net to give Finland an early 1-0 lead. #WJC2015 https://t.co/E1X8Ev91VE pic.twitter.com/NCTHNmq2lH — Shnarped Hockey (@shnarped) December 26, 2014 Mikko Rantanen is a quality two-way winger who played in a top pro league (SM-Liiga) at age 18. His output in the Finnish elite league (56GP, 9-19-28) suggests real offensive…

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HOW GOOD IS TIMO MEIER?

<br> Timo Meier is one of the best pure scorers in this year’s draft and is a dynamic winger. He is among a fairly large group of draft eligibles this year who could be NHL ready. He could be one of the first 10 names called at the 2015 Entry Draft.

HOW GOOD IS OLIVER KYLINGTON

<br> It’s very easy to overlook Oliver Kylington based on his boxcar numbers but the resume is strong and the scouting report impressive. He arrived in the Swedish Hockey League at 16 and could be the best skating defender available at this summer’s draft. Oliver Kylington is a significant talent.

HOW GOOD IS EVGENY SVECHNIKOV?

<br> Evgeny Svechnikov is a big, strong and skilled forward eligible for the 2015 draft. He is ranked No. 15 on the latest Craig Button list and he’s rising in many quarters. The young Russian is absolutely a quality prospect.

HOW GOOD IS LAWSON CROUSE?

<br> If Lawson Crouse hadn’t shown up on the hockey horizon, we might not have had anything to talk about for the 2015 draft. That’s a stretch but the fact remains Crouse has—more than anyone in recent history—divided talent assessors in a big way. Is he a great prospect or a kid who developed into…

HOW GOOD IS MATHEW BARZAL?

<br> Mathew Barzal is an exceptional young hockey player. Size concerns and a significant injury have him lagging behind the top of the draft in terms of buzz, but don’t be fooled about him. Young Barzal is among the very best players available in this year’s draft.

HOW GOOD IS ZACH WERENSKI

<br> There are several high quality defensemen available in the 2015 draft but there’s a range of opinion about the ‘best available’ at the position. Noah Hanifin remains the likely ‘first defenseman off the board’ but the Russian Prokorov has a lot of momentum as we head toward spring. The other name you hear about…