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Posted On Wednesday, 06.25.2014 / 2:14 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Betsy Ross House offers history lesson for prospects

PHILADELPHIA -- The top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft made a stop at the Betsy Ross House in the historic section of the city.

They posed for pictures with Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin and toured the colonial-era home.

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.25.2014 / 1:26 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Prospects take bite out of Philly, cheesesteak style

PHILADELPHIA -- The top 2014 NHL Draft prospects continued their tour of Philadelphia with a stop for some pictures at Love Park, and then it was off to local culinary landmark Geno's for cheesesteaks.

All six prospects got steaks, some "wiz wit" -- local slang for with cheese wiz -- while others went "wit out." All, however, gave two thumbs up to their meal.

"Let all the people in Philadelphia know that I love cheesesteaks," Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad said.

The players also got an inside look at Geno's, and Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart worked the grill and helped prepare a few sandwiches.

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.25.2014 / 11:56 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

'Rocky' trip as top prospects trolley through Philly

PHILADELPHIA -- The top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft got their first taste of Philadelphia on Wednesday, taking a trolley tour of the city.

The first stop for Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett, Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad, Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart, Prince Albert Raiders center Leon Draisaitl and Oshawa Generals left wing Michael Dal Colle was the famed steps in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Bennett was one of the few players to have seen the Rocky movies and squad images of the famous scene in "Rocky II" when Rocky runs up the steps.

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Posted On Monday, 06.09.2014 / 6:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Draisaitl thrilled to be recognized by Messier

NEW YORK -- Leon Draisaitl is a known commodity among NHL scouts and general managers after his outstanding season with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League.

But when members of the Hockey Hall of Fame recognize you, well, that's pretty special.

Draisaitl and the other top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft were leaving a TSN set after taping a segment when they crossed paths with Mark Messier, who was to be next on the set. Messier introduced himself to the star-struck prospects; when Draisaitl said his name, Messier had an immediate reaction.

"Are you related to Peter Draisaitl?" Messier asked Leon.

Peter Draisaitl, Leon's father, played professional hockey for 18 seasons in Germany, including four seasons with the Cologne Sharks. During that time Messier would skate in Cologne in the offseason and became friendly with Peter.


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Posted On Monday, 06.09.2014 / 4:49 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Canada invites McDonald, Moran to goalie camp

Two of the top three North American goaltending prospects were among the 10 players invited by Hockey Canada to the Program of Excellence goaltending camp, to be held June 11-14 at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.

The camp is the first step in Canada picking its team for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be played in Toronto and Montreal.

Among those invited are Mason McDonald of the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Brent Moran of the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.05.2014 / 9:20 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Demko among invitees to U.S. goalie evaluation camp

Thatcher Demko, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American goaltender for the 2014 NHL Draft, was one of seven goalies invited to the United States National Junior Goaltender Evaluation Camp.

The camp will be held June 9-11 in Ann Arbor, Mich., and is the first step in evaluating the team the United States will field for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Demko was the third goaltender on the U.S. team that finished fifth after losing to Russia in the quarterfinals at the 2013 WJC. He did not dress for any games.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 9:01 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2014 NHL Combine

Hawryluk removes doubts with strong Combine tests

TORONTO -- Brandon Wheat Kings forward Jayce Hawryluk used the fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine on Saturday to show any NHL scouts or general managers he was fully healthy.

Hawryluk showed upper- and lower-body strength during his stops at each of the 11 stations.

The fitness testing came two months after he had a serious health scare. After scoring a hat trick in a Western Hockey League playoff game against the Regina Pats on March 26, Hawryluk collapsed in the locker room. He was hospitalized, and the collapse was blamed on dehydration. Hawryluk returned for the next game and didn't have another health issue.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 7:49 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2014 NHL Combine

Ekblad: I'm ready to play in NHL next season

TORONTO -- Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad doesn't consider himself to be arrogant, but he's confident that he's ready to make the jump to the NHL next season.

"That's the way I believe in myself," he said. "I wouldn't say I'm cocky but I'm confident and I believe that if I work hard and do all the little things, pay attention to details, I can be in that League next year."

Ranked second by NHL Central Scouting on its final list of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft, Ekblad has reason to be confident. In 58 games this season, the 6-foot-3, 213-pounder led all Ontario Hockey League defensemen with 23 goals and tied for fifth with 53 points. He also had one goal and one assist in seven games with Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.


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Posted On Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 5:34 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2014 NHL Combine

Draisaitl hopes to help develop hockey in Germany

TORONTO -- Prince Albert Raiders center Leon Draisaitl certainly would love to hear his name called first at the 2014 NHL Draft.

But for the native of Cologne, Germany, being the highest-drafted German-born player in NHL history is just as important.

"I'd be extremely proud and honored," Draisaitl said. "We've had some high picks. To be considered as maybe the highest-drafted German player ever would be a huge honor."

Right now that honor belongs to Pittsburgh Penguins forward Marcel Goc, who was selected by the San Jose Sharks with the 20th pick of the 2001 draft.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 2:31 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2014 NHL Combine

Flames 'looking for hockey players' with first pick

TORONTO -- The Calgary Flames are putting together a list of the players they might select when they announce the fourth overall selection in the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on June 27.

Properly ranking those players, however, remains a challenge.

"It would be easy to say whoever is there at four we'll take at No. 4, but our group is bigger," Flames director of amateur scouting Tod Button said. "We have six, seven, eight guys and we're still sorting that out and this is part of the process."

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Quote of the Day

As a player, it's obviously a sad day, but to be on the ice with some of those guys and show our respect as both teams did around center ice, it's definitely a nice touch.

— New Jersey defenseman Damon Severson on the ceremony to honor the fallen Canadian soldiers before the game Saturday in Ottawa
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