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Posted On Monday, 11.05.2012 / 5:18 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Green Bay teammates Kaib, Rotolo honored by USHL

Green Bay Gamblers teammates and 2013 NHL Draft prospects Barrett Kaib and Michael Rotolo were among the United States Hockey League's weekly award winners.

Kaib shared the CCM Defenseman of the Week honors with the Sioux Falls Stampede's Matthew Van Voorhis, while Rotolo was named Reebok Goaltender of the Week.

Kaib had a goal and an assist in two games last week. He scored the opening goal Friday in a 5-0 shutout of the Youngstown Phantoms, and was a plus-3 for the game. He then assisted on the game-winning goal in Saturday's 3-1 defeat of Youngstown.

Van Voorhis had three points and a plus-3 rating in two games. He assisted on the game-winning goal in a 6-4 home win against the Fargo Force on Friday, and had a goal and an assist in Saturday's 7-4 loss to the Chicago Steel on Saturday. It was Van Voorhis' second multi-point game of the season. He also was a plus-2 Saturday, marking the 10th straight game he has been an even or plus player.

Posted On Monday, 11.05.2012 / 3:51 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Petan drawing his own share of spotlight in Portland

When it comes to the 2013 NHL Draft and the Portland Winterhawks, the first name to come up is Seth Jones. But rapidly approaching that status is center Nicolas Petan.

The 5-foot-8.5, 163-pound forward had another outstanding weekend and continues to climb the Western Hockey League scoring chart. Petan had a pair of three-point games in wins against the Victoria Royals to climb to sixth in the league with 27 points. His 19 assists are third.

He had a goal and two assists Friday in a 6-2 win against Victoria, and repeated that effort in Saturday's 6-2 victory.

He now has a point in seven straight games, with four goals and 13 assists in his streak. He earned a C rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft.

Petan wasn't the only draft-eligible WHL player to have a good weekend. Here are a few others:

* Lethbridge Hurricanes center Johnathaon Merkley scored two goals Friday in a 5-2 defeat of the Medicine Hat Tigers.

* Calgary center Gregory Chase had three assists in the Hitmen's 4-2 win at the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday.

Posted On Monday, 11.05.2012 / 11:48 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Quebec's Erne on a scoring rampage

For Quebec forward Adam Erne, it must feel like he's shooting at a soccer net these days.

The Remparts left wing, who earned an A rating in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft, continued his hot play with a hat trick Friday in an 8-3 win at the Acadie Bathurst Titan.

In his last four games, Erne has eight goals. After scoring six goals in his first 13 games, he's now seventh in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 14 goals, and second on his team with 27 points. He also has a solid plus-10 rating.

"He's got a good offensive game, can contribute and put up numbers, but he'll battle and play physical when needed and that's what excites the scouts," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said.

Erne was one of a number of 2013 draft-eligible QMJHL players to have big weekends:

* Blainville-Boisbriand Armada left wing Christopher Clapperton had a hat trick in a 6-5 win at the PEI Rocket on Friday. Teammate Samuel Hodhod had a goal and an assist, and Marc-Olivier Roy added a pair of assists.

* Val-d'Or Foreurs teammates Matthew Murphy and Samuel Henley each had a goal and an assist Friday in a 6-4 win at the Victoriaville Tigres. In that game, Victoriaville's Jean-Francois Leblanc had a goal and three assists in a losing effort.

* Gatineau Olympiques teammates Mikael Langlois and Emile Poirier each had a goal and an assist Friday in 5-4 defeat of the Sherbrooke Phoenix. On Sunday, Poirier had a hat trick in a 5-3 loss to Val-d'Or.

* Baie-Comeau Drakkar left wing Valentin Zykov had a pair of goals and an assist in a 7-1 defeat of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Friday. His 11 goals are the most among the league's first-year players.

Posted On Monday, 11.05.2012 / 10:45 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Monahan living up to the hype

Ottawa 67s center Sean Monahan arguably is the best 2013 NHL Draft-eligible player in the Ontario Hockey League. In case anyone was pondering an argument, Monahan had five points in two games and extended his point-scoring streak to seven games.

Monahan, a 6-foot-2, 186-pound center who received an A rating in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft, started his weekend with a pair of assists in a 6-1 win against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

A day later, he scored two goals and added an assist in a 4-3 shootout win against the Sudbury Wolves.

"He's a real smart play-making guy," NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told NHL.com. "He gets pucks through traffic, has real good hands, real good play-making ability. He's got an excellent shot, gets it off real quick, gets himself involved in battles for pucks, crashes around. He hardly ever comes off the ice -- he's used in every situation, double- and triple-shifted at times."

Monahan now has 27 points, tied for fifth in the league. During his scoring streak, he has four goals and 11 assists.

Here is how a few other 2013 draft-eligible OHL players performed over the weekend:

* Kitchener Rangers left wing Brent Pederson scored two goals in a 5-1 win Friday against the Windsor Spitfires. Teammate Joshua Sterk had three assists and Justin Bailey -- an A-ranked skater in Central Scouting's preliminary rankings -- had a goal and an assist.

* Monahan's teammate, left wing Steven Janes, had a goal and two assists in Friday's win against Sault Ste. Marie, and added two assists in the shootout win Saturday against Sudbury.

Posted On Monday, 11.05.2012 / 9:43 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Dubuque's Quenneville continues to excel

A few weeks back Dubuque Fighting Saints center Peter Quenneville scored a highlight-reel goal, but that's not all he's done this season.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound center, who earned a C rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft, is tied seventh in the United States Hockey League with 14 points, and his nine assists are tied for sixth.

Four of those points came in two games this past weekend. Quenneville had a goal and an assist in Friday in a 5-3 win at the Muskegon Lumberjacks, and added a pair of assists in the Fighting Saints' first regulation loss of the season, a 3-2 loss in a rematch with Muskegon on Saturday.

Despite the defeat, Quenneville is a big reason why Dubuque is off to a USHL-best 10-1-1 start to the season.

Quenneville wasn't the only 2013 draft-eligible player skating in the USHL to have a big weekend:

* Muskegon left wing Maxwell Shuart had a pair of goals in the Lumberjacks' 5-3 loss to Dubuque on Friday.

* Sioux Falls Stampede left wing Clinton Franklin scored two goals in his team's 6-4 win Friday against the Fargo Force. Teammates Zeb Knutson and Tony Calderone each had a goal and an assist in the game.

Posted On Saturday, 11.03.2012 / 10:57 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Dea, MacKinnon honored by QMJHL

A pair of 2013 NHL Draft prospects were honored by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for their star performances during September and October.

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies center Jean-Sebastien Dea was named the Telus First Star after finishing October as the league's leading scorer with 34 points in 17 games. He also had 18 goals -- including nine on the power play --and a plus-12 rating. He had three hat tricks, 10 multipoint games and at least a point in 15 of 17 games.

"We knew his ability, his capacity to score, his hockey sense," Rouyn-Noranda coach Andre Tourigny told NHL.com. "He grew two inches and 10 pounds over the summer [to 6-feet tall and 155 pounds]. I knew he was bigger. I'm not surprised [at his start]. I cannot say I was expecting him to score more than a goal a game, but I'm not surprised by the fact he's had a lot of success."

Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon was named the Second Star after finishing October tied with Dea for the league lead with 18 goals, and his 29 points were third. He led the league with four game-winning goals and a plus-18 rating. He had a point in all 12 games he played in October, and had a streak during the month of nine straight games with at least one goal. He had nine multipoint games in his first 16, and was held without a point once.

Posted On Thursday, 11.01.2012 / 9:19 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Hall named OHL's best for October

It's been quite a week for Barrie Colts forward Zach Hall. On Wednesday he was added to Team OHL for one of the Super Series games against Team Russia.

He topped that Thursday by earning the OHL Player of the Month award.

The 5-foot-10.5, 172-pound center had six goals and 10 assists in nine October games. He had a three-point game Oct. 11 against the Saginaw Spirit, and a two-goal, four-assist game Oct. 18 against the Ottawa 67's. His last game of the month saw him score his first OHL hat trick, Oct. 27 against the Niagara IceDogs.

Posted On Thursday, 11.01.2012 / 8:56 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Lipon named WHL's best for first month of season

As the leader in goals and points in the Western Hockey League, it's no surprise Kamloops Blazers forward JC Lipon was named Husky WHL Player of the Month on Thursday.

In 17 games in September and October, Lipon has 16 goals and 40 points. His plus-17 also is the league's best total, and his 24 assists are second. He also ended the month with a 14-game point-scoring streak, second-longest in the league this season.

"This kid has just exploded out of the gate," NHL Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan told NHL.com. "Here's a kid that in his [initial] draft year wasn't drafted, and guys that were drafted in the first two rounds [last year], he's better now at this point than the kids that were drafted."

Not bad for a 5-foot-11.5, 180-pound forward who was passed over in last year's draft and at one point was considering a career as a professional wakeboarder.

Posted On Thursday, 11.01.2012 / 6:43 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Stoykewych, Keats, De Jong lead Canada West team

Winnipeg Blues teammates and 2013 NHL Draft prospects Paul Stoykewych and Kurt Keats were named Thursday to the Canada West team for the World Junior A Hockey Challenge.

CANADA WEST ROSTER

Goalies: Jonah Imoo, Powell River, BCHL (2013 draft eligible); Curtis Skip, Grande Prairie, AJHL (2013 draft eligible)

Defense: James De Haas, Penticton, BCHL (Detroit); Nolan De Jong, Victoria, BCHL (2013 draft eligible); Josh Healey, Sherwood Park, AJHL (2013 draft eligible); Luke Ripley, Powell River, BCHL (2013 draft eligible); Troy Stecher, Penticton, BCHL (2013 draft eligible); Paul Stoykewych, Winnipeg, MJHL (2013 draft eligible); Devon Toews, Surrey, BCHL (2013 draft eligible)

Forwards: Rhyse Dieno, La Ronge, SJHL (2013 draft eligible); Aaron Hadley, Vernon, BCHL (2013 draft eligible); Kurt Keats, Winnipeg, MJHL (2013 draft eligible); Alex Kerfoot Coquitlam, BCHL (New Jersey); Seb Lloyd, West Kelowna, BCHL (2013 draft eligible); Brandon Morley, Coquitlam, BCHL (2013 draft eligible); Wade Murphy, Penticton, BCHL (2013 draft eligible); Zachary Pryzbek, Coquitlam, BCHL (2013 draft eligible); Mike Rebry, Penticton, BCHL (2013 draft eligible); T.J. Reeve, Melville, SJHL (2013 draft eligible); Dylan Richard, Spruce Grove, AJHL (2013 draft eligible); Evan Richardson, Powell River, BCHL (2013 draft eligible); Evan Tironese, Alberni Valley, BCHL (2013 draft eligible)

The tournament will be played Nov. 5-11 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Stoykewych, a 6-foot-0.25, 200-pound defenseman, earned a B rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for this year's draft. He has 10 points in 15 games this season for the team, which plays in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. He's committed to Western Michigan University starting in the fall of 2013.

Keats, a 5-7.5, 163-pound forward earned a C rating from Central Scouting. He's tied for seventh in the league with 20 points in 15 games.

Also picked for the team was defenseman Nolan De Jong, who plays for the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Hockey League. A 6-foot, 165-pound blueliner, De Jong has 12 points in 17 games and earned a B rating from Central Scouting. He's committed to the University of Michigan starting next season.

"As with any Team Canada roster, there were a number of difficult choices to get us to 22 players," coach Dean Brockman said. "We're excited about the roster we've put together, and we're confident this team will represent western Canada with pride in Yarmouth."

Of the 22 players picked, 20 are eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft. Players were selected from the five western Junior A leagues: the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Thursday, 11.01.2012 / 12:48 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Jones' offense catching up with defensive excellence

Seth Jones had 26 points in 48 games for the U.S. National Team Development Program last season. He hadn't scored at quite that level in his first few games this season with the Portland Winterhawks. But it's not that he wasn't playing well -- far from it, according to scouts who have raved about Jones' defensive-zone play and all-round game.

"This year he's playing smarter," NHL Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan told NHL.com. "He's not trying to be as explosive with his skating ability that he has. He's playing a smarter game. Every time you get the puck, don't take off. Make good plays with it -- and he is. He's playing really smart this year. Last year with the [USNTDP] he took off every time, trying to be Bobby Orr. This year he's playing it a lot smarter, playing very well defensively. I just think he's playing a smarter game this year than he did as an underage."

Highly touted prospect Seth Jones has four goals, six assists and a plus-7 rating in 13 games. (Courtesy: Christopher Mast)

"I like his ability to control the game," B.J. MacDonald of Central Scouting said. "His puckhandling skills and his great awareness, that seems to be his strength. He's really aware of everything on the ice and where everyone is and where to move the puck. And defensively, [he's] the same way. I really like his overall awareness. His on-ice awareness is excellent."

The past six games, though, show he's added that high-end offensive component to his defensive excellence, and showed why he's neck-and-neck with Halifax's Nathan MacKinnon to be the first pick of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Jones had a goal and an assist Wednesday in a 5-2 defeat of the Everett Silvertips. The goal was a dazzling display of Jones' full range of skills. Taking a pass at the defensive blue line, he raced the puck into the Everett end, cut to his left as he crossed the attacking blue line and pulled up above the circle like he was going to take a shot. Instead, he caught the defending player flat-footed and skated past him to the outside. As he approached the net, he quickly switched the puck from his backhand to his forehand and slid the puck under the goalie.

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Quote of the Day

There's standards that this team is going to play to and there are expectations. We're going to hold these guys accountable to high standards.

— Coach Dave Lowry on Canada's junior team, the defending IIHF World Junior champions