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Prospects Unlimited 2018

Prospects Unlimited 2018

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. The Hockey News is published 16 times a year, which includes our wildly popular Yearbook, Future Watch, Draft Preview, Collector’s Edition, Money & Power, Fantasy Pool Guide and much more!



BENTON MAASS’ COACHES AND teammates weren’t sure what they were getting when he arrived at the University of New Hampshire in 2017. It didn’t take long before they found out. At one of the Wildcats’ first practices last year, the freshman Maass found himself battling with one of the team’s bigger and stronger senior forwards. “Benton knocked him right down,” recalled UNH coach Mike Souza. During the next drill, the forward came back and tried to run him, “But Benton stood right in there,” Souza said. “It was very telling to me that he’s a pretty tough kid. When he’s challenged, he always responds.” At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Maass may not be the most physically imposing defenseman – adding muscle remains a priority – but the native of Elk River,…



ONE MINUTE HE WAS trying to crack his first NHL lineup in San Jose. The next minute the goal was the same, but the jersey had changed after a blockbuster trade. Rudolfs Balcers, a 21-year-old left winger from Latvia who was the least heralded of the four players who left San Jose in exchange for Erik Karlsson, now wants to wear the red, gold and black of the Ottawa Senators. Last season was Balcers’ first as a pro. In the days before the trade, his AHL coach had praised his work ethic, skill set and smarts. “There were lots of ‘wow’ moments with this guy,” said San Jose Barracuda coach Roy Sommer. “He would come down, and the defense would back in, and all of a sudden he’d cut across real…



WHEN IT CAME TIME for Matiss Kivlenieks to sign with an NHL team last year, the free-agent goaltender had plenty of suitors. But the road to that point – and the season that followed – involved a lot of grinding. The 22-year-old Latvian netminder first came to America in 2013-14, where he played in an obscure Minnesota junior league that was eventually swallowed by the USPHL (which itself isn’t well known outside of hardcore hockey insiders). From there, Kivlenieks went to the NAHL, then the USHL, where he was a star for the 2017 Clark Cup finalist Sioux City Musketeers. For a kid from Riga, living in the American Midwest was quite the experience. “Minnesota was more what you see in the movies, downtown, huge buildings,” he said. “It was a…



IF YOU DIDN’T ALREADY know this, I’m going to let you in on a secret. The Hockey News’ editorial team is teeming with nerds. Our headshots give it away. We’ve also got a new show on our website – The Hockey News Live, it’s really super, in my opinion, you should check it out – that tells the same story in video form. In particular, we’re word nerds. We actually have meetings to argue about commas, hyphens and semicolons. Those dastardly semicolons. At the top of my whit list is apostrophe abuse. I’m a little possessive about it. That’s followed closely by overwrought clichés, dead horses we continue to beat after they didn’t drink the water we led them to. One of my whipping boys is “He’s not getting any younger.”…