—Erik Karlsson has been a great defenseman for a long time, but NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin takes a deeper look at how Karlsson has improved in 2016-17. Karlsson has bought into Guy Boucher’s 1-3-1 system and he’s also allowed his teammates to take some of the pressure of his shoulders. This is a terrific piece on the development of one of the best players in the world. (NHL.com)
–Speaking of Karlsson, he made an appearance on The Hockey News’ list of “10 NHLers up-and-coming prospects most want to be like”. It’s not surprising that Carey Price and Sidney Crosby were also pretty high on the list. (The Hockey News)
–Team USA was dominant during the preliminary portion of the World Hockey Championship, but they dropped their first knockout game to Team Finland on Thursday afternoon. The Score breaks down the main reasons why Team USA fails to play for gold (hint: it’s not because they’re lacking talent). Seriously though, they haven’t made it to the gold medal game since they last won the tournament in 1960. (The Score)
–The Anaheim Ducks nearly blew Game 4 of the Western Conference Final after getting off to such an incredible start. But eventually, they were able to come away with a 3-2 win in overtime. Check out the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.
–The Memorial Cup will begin today, and Mike Morreale provides us with a list of all the best prospects on the teams that are participating in the tournament (Erie, Windsor, Seattle, Saint John). OHL player of the year and Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat will suit up for Erie. (NHL.com)
–It’s not every day that you get to hear from three of the greatest players to ever hit the ice. Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr talk about how the game has changed over the years and if they’d be able to keep up in today’s NHL. (NBC Sports)
–For some reason, the Oakland A’s baseball team paid tribute to the San Jose Sharks during yesterday’s batting practice (not sure why they waited until May to do this). It’s still pretty cool to see two teams in the same city get along: