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Weekend Flurries: Sampo Ranta’s situation

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All the news you’ve missed in the last week

USHL Fall Classic - Day 1 Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

It’s still unclear what the admissions snag was that forced Avalanche prospect Sampo Ranta to start looking elsewhere to start his NCAA career this fall.

Earlier last week, though, Mark Divver of the Providence Journal broke some tough news; with nearly every NCAA Division I roster already all but set for the upcoming year, the 18-year-old Ranta was having trouble with admissions at the University of Wisconsin after committing to the school back in 2016. [Mile High Hockey]

Initially, it was believed that the obvious choice for him to land would be at Boston University, who had scholarship funds open up when Ottawa Senators prospect Brady Tkachuk left the Terriers to sign his entry-level deal with the Sens.

Now, though, the working theory is that he’s headed to the University of Minnesota, where he’d become one of just two non-American players (and the only one born outside of North America) to represent the Golden Gophers next season.

Minnesota is set to see a healthy mix of returnees and new blood on their roster next year, with established goaltending presence and four of their top five scorers from last season all heading back for another year. Now, their roster could include Ranta as well, who finished second on the USHL’s Sioux City roster in scoring himself last season. [MHH]

For fans who want to know more about when they can watch games next year, there’s some good news for cable subscribers and bad news for those who only use NHL TV. The Avalanche have been given six national games for the 2018-19 season by NBC - meaning the games won’t be viewable using the league’s streaming service, but should be easy to get via cable no matter where you live. [MHH]

Oh... and the reason for that, Nathan MacKinnon, is drawing some good odds as next season’s Hart Trophy winner. [MHH]

If you subscribe to the Athletic, time to duke it out with Corey Pronman: the Avalanche were ranked 21st in the league for their farm system by the prospects guru last week. [The Athletic NHL]

In Germany, Philipp Grubauer was pretty excited at the turnout for his day with the cup:

Germans have now had Lord Stanley’s Cup paraded around their quaint, cobblestoned streets each of the past three summers, as Tom Kuhnhackl brought it home to Landshut in both 2016 and 2017 before Grubauer brought it overseas in 2018.

Of course, the league’s other German players now all seem to be on either the Islanders (where Kuhnhackl joins Thomas Greiss) or the Oilers (where fellow Landshut native Tobias Rieder returned to join Leon Draisaitl), so it really seems like it’s up to Grubauer to keep the streak alive now.

If you’re prepared for a serious read, it’s well worth your time to check out what goaltender Ben Meisner has to say about mental health. [The Player’s Tribune]

Finally, speaking of the Islanders, let’s have a moment of silence for the 2018-19 New York Islanders.

This was them last year on a power-play against the Buffalo Sabres (yes, you read all of that correctly):

Luckily, this year they’ve added some much-needed toughness through Matt Martin, Leo Komarov, and Robin Lehner, which should help them in a big way. After all, the Sabres muscled their way right to this scoring chance, which came when the Islanders won the draw on their own powerplay and then let the puck fly right up the ice, through them all, and into their own zone.

Thoughts and prayers, ladies and gents, thoughts and prayers.