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Posted On Monday, 10.15.2012 / 7:48 PM

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

Andrighetto earns QMJHL First Star honors

Sven Andrighetto had a solid showing last season, his first with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but it wasn't enough to get him drafted by the NHL.

This season, the native of Zurich, Switzerland is doing his best to hear his name called at the 2013 draft. The 5-foot-9.5, 175-pound right wing had four goals, five assists and a plus-6 rating in four games last week, earning him the Telus First Star of the Week.

Andrighetto started his week four assists in a 5-4 win against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Wednesday, He had a pair of goals and an assist in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Saint John Sean Dogs on Friday and added goals in a 6-3 win against the PEI Rocket on Saturday and Sunday in a 3-2 win against the Moncton Wildcats. The goal against Moncton was the game-winner.

With 22 points in 11 games, Andrighetto is second in the league in scoring, and his 13 assists are tied for the lead.

Victoriaville Tigres center Angelo Miceli was named second star after totaling eight points in three games. He had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 loss to Baie-Comeau Drakkar on Wednesday, and had the same output in a 5-4 loss to the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Saturday. He closed his week Sunday with a pair of goals and two assists in a 5-3 defeat of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

PEI Rocket goalie Antoine Bibeau was named third star for stopping all 22 shots he faced for his first QMJHL shutout in a 4-0 win against Saint John. He followed that with 21 saves in a 4-3 PEI overtime victory Friday against Acadie-Bathurst.

They weren't the only QMJHL draft prospects to turn in big performances last week:

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Posted On Monday, 10.15.2012 / 6:19 PM

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

Smoskovitz named OHL player of the week

The first-year Mississauga Steelheads earned their first bit of award-winning notoriety as center Dylan Smoskovitz was named Ontario Hockey League Player of the Week on Monday.

The 19-year-old forward helped the Steelheads sweep their three games last week as he totaled five goals, two assists and a plus-5 rating.

Smoskovitz started his week with a power-play goal to open the scoring Monday against the Brampton Battalion, and then he set up the game-winning goal with just 31 seconds left in regulation, helping his team to a 4-3 victory. On Friday he scored Mississauga's first two goals in a 3-2 win against the Ottawa 67s, and closed his week Saturday with a pair of goals and an assist in a 4-3 win at the Erie Otters.

Smoskovitz leads the Steelheads in goals and points (10).

Smoskovitz isn't the only 2013 NHL Draft prospect to have big weekends. Here is how a few others represented themselves:

* Guelph Storm left wing Tyler Bertuzzi, rated a B skater by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary ranking of players to watch, scored his first two goals of the season in a 6-3 loss to Erie on Friday.

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Posted On Monday, 10.15.2012 / 2:12 PM

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

Kamloops' Lipon repeats as WHL player of the week

Kamloops Blazers center JC Lipon was passed over in the 2012 NHL Draft, but he's certainly drawing the attention of the scouts preparing for the 2013 selection process with the start he's having.

The 5-foot-11.5, 180-pound 19-year-old forward had 10 points in three games last week, and on Monday was named Denny's WHL Player of the Week for the second straight week.

Lipon had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win against the Victoria Royals on Wednesday, and then got red-hot for the weekend. He netted his first WHL hat trick and added an assist in a 5-1 win against the Vancouver Chiefs and had two goals and two assists in a 5-2 win against the Calgary Hitmen.

On the season, Lipon leads the WHL with 22 points in nine games; his 13 assists also lead the league, and his nine goals are second.

Lipon wasn't the only 2013 draft prospect from the WHL to turn in big performances over the weekend. Here are a few other highlight players:

* Portland Winterhawks center Nicolas Petan continues to impress. Rated as a C-list skater by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of prospects for this year's draft, he had two assists in a 5-2 win at Prince Albert on Friday, and a goal and two assists Saturday in a 6-3 win at Swift Current. He's tied for sixth in the league with 15 points in 11 games.

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Posted On Friday, 10.12.2012 / 11:42 AM

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

Dazzling plays show why MacKinnon is a top prospect

Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon is regarded as the potential top pick of the 2013 NHL Draft for his incredible offensive skills. The 6-foot, 182-pound center led all first-year players in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season with 47 assists, was second with 78 points and tied for third with 31 goals.

He's gotten off to a sensational start this season, with nine goals -- third in the League -- and 15 points in eight games.

His most recent goal might be his most spectacular. In a game Wednesday against the Moncton Wildcats, Halifax led 4-1 and after already scoring one power-play goal, he got another chance when Halifax went on the power play early in the third period.

MacKinnon took a pass at the Moncton blue line and carried the puck into the offensive zone. As Moncton defenseman Cameron McDonald stepped up to defend, MacKinnon slid the puck between McDonald's skates and went around the bewildered blueliner.

The puck rolled on net, where Moncton goalie Alex Dubeau tried to swat it into the corner. He whiffed on the attempt, however, and as the puck bounced off Dubeau's pads, MacKinnon controlled it and shot it under Dubeau.

That goal came one game after MacKinnon put on another show in an 11-2 rout of two-time defending league champion Saint John Sea Dogs. The 17-year-old forward had a hat trick, but the prettiest goal was his second.

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Posted On Monday, 10.08.2012 / 10:52 PM

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

QMJHL draft prospects earn league honors

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles center William Carrier showed why he's an A-list skater in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft, totaling four goals and four assists in four games to earn the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's First Star of the Week award.

Carrier, a 6-1.5, 198-pound forward, started his week with both Cape Breton goals in a 5-2 loss Wednesday to Rouyn-Noranda. He had a goal in Saturday's rematch with the Huskies, and had a goal and an assist Saturday in a 5-3 win against Val-d'Or. And on Sunday, he had three assists in a 7-3 loss to Foreurs.

Carrier now has a point in a league-high nine straight games, and with 16 points, he's tied for second in the league in scoring.

Another A-rated skater earned the QMJHL Second Star of the Week, as Halifax Mooseheads left wing Jonathan Drouin was honored after totaling seven points in three games. Drouin had a goal and an assist in a 6-2 win against Acadie-Bathurst, and followed that with a goal and an assist, plus a game-high six shots, in a 4-3 win against Saint John. And in Saturday's 11-2 rout of Saint John, Drouin had a goal, two assists and a plus-4 rating. The three-point game was Drouin's fifth multi-point game in seven this season, giving him 15 points in seven games.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.02.2012 / 12:08 PM

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

Dea, Kujawinski, Shinkaruk win player of week awards

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies center Jean-Sebastien Dea has burst to the top of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League scoring race after another outstanding week.

The 6-foot, 155-pound forward had six goals and two assists in three games last week. He had his second hat trick of the season in a 9-2 win at the Sherbrooke Phoenix on Wednesday, with two of the goals coming shorthanded, and he also added an assist. He had two more goals and an assist Friday in a 4-2 win at the Drummondville Voltigeurs, and he had a goal in the Huskies' 5-4 shootout win at the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Saturday.

His effort also earned him the Telus First Star of the Week.

Dea leads the QMJHL in goals (nine), power-play goals (four), shorthanded goals (two) and points (13).

Another 2013 draft prospect, Saint John Sea Dogs goaltender Sebastian Auger, was named the Third Star of the Week, stopping 97 of 101 shots in three games. He stopped 21 shots in a 4-2 win against the Moncton Wildcats on Wednesday, made 34 saves in a 3-1 win against the Gatineau Olympiques on Friday, and stopped 42 of 43 shots in a 5-1 win at Moncton on Sunday.

On the season, Auger is 4-1 in five games, and second in the league with a .944 save percentage and fourth with a 1.78 goals-against average.

The QMJHL isn't the only place 2013 draft hopefuls have been turning heads.

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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 8:39 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

Second period: Jones helps McLanahan to 4-0 lead

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Team McClanahan turned the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game into a bit of a rout with three second-period goals to take a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes here at First Niagara Center.

Seth Jones and Jacob Montgomery scored 2:11 apart early in the second, and Quentin Shore later scored off his own rebound to break the game open.

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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 7:51 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

First period: Fasching goal gives McClanahan lead

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Hudson Fasching scored the only goal of the first period, giving Team McClanahan a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes at the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.

Ryan Fitzgerald carried the puck down the left side into the Team Housley zone and showed great patience waiting for Fasching to find space at the far post, where he tapped the puck past Team Housley goalie Eamon McAdam at 15:54.

Team Housley outshot Team McClanahan 6-4 in the period, and play was fairly even and high-paced.

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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 7:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

Leafs GM Burke excited to see Prospects Game

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Few NHL officials are as intimately involved with USA Hockey as Brian Burke, and the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager was one of the more than 100 NHL scouts and GMs in attendance for Saturday's inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.

Like some others, Burke sees the game as the next logical step in USA Hockey's evolution as an elite developer of future NHL talent.

"I think USA Hockey had a vision 15 years ago when they started the [National Team Development Program]," Burke told NHL.com. "And they've built quality in the under-18s and they've built quality in the World Juniors and they've built quality in the Olympics, and this is the logical next step. Let's take the best kids and showcase them."

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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 7:06 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

Girgensons shares wisdom with teammate Downing

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman Michael Downing grew up about five hours away in Canton, Mich., but he'll have a pretty solid cheering section at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, thanks to one of his old teammates.

Zemgus Girgensons, a 2012 first-round NHL Draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres, was in attendance here at First Niagara Center prior to heading to Rochester for training camp with the Sabres' American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans.

Girgensons chatted with Downing briefly prior to Saturday's game and gave him the benefit of his experience in dealing with the pressure of a player's NHL-draft season.

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Quote of the Day

That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3