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Posted On Thursday, 09.27.2012 / 8:03 PM

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

Top U.S. talent set for All-American Prospects Game

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The puck drops for the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Saturday, and that first puck will be dropped by Hockey Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman.

Bowman coached the Sabres from 1979-87, compiling a record of 210-134-60. His best season coming in his first, as the Sabres finished with 110 points, tied for the second-most in franchise history. Bowman also played a role in bringing AAPG coaches Phil Housley and Rob McClanahan to Buffalo.

The rosters for Team Housley and Team McClanahan will feature 40 of the top American-born prospects eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft.

That list includes Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones, a candidate to hear his name called first next June, playing for Team McClanahan.

"I've got to say I'm very jealous because Rob has Seth Jones," Housley said on a conference call. "Extremely talented. It just seems like he's made for today's game. He's big, fast, strong, can move the puck and make that first pass out of the zone, can play in all situations. I'm mad at Rob for taking him."

Housley will have more than a few good players of his own, among them defenseman Ian McCoshen of the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL and forward J.T. Compher of the U.S. National Team Development Program. Both are ranked as A skaters on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list.

Posted On Monday, 09.24.2012 / 9:55 PM

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

Petan, Drouin receive league honors

Monday was a chance for two of the top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft to pick up some hardware for their efforts last week.

Portland Winterhawks center Nicolas Petan and Halifax Mooseheads Jonathan Drouin were named the Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League players of the week.

Petan, a C-ranked skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary watch list, had a league-best eight points with a plus-6 rating in three games to earn the Denny's WHL Player of the Week award.

He had a goal and an assist in Friday's season-opening 5-2 loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds, but followed with a goal and three assists Saturday in a 6-2 rematch with the Thunderbirds in Portland. He capped his weekend with two goals in Portland's 4-2 defeat of the Tri-City Americans. Petan was named the first star of the game in the last two games of the weekend.

Drouin was named the Telus First Star of the Week after starting the season with seven points and a plus-6 rating in three games. A 5-foot-10.75, 185-pound forward, Drouin had a goal and an assist in the Mooseheads' 4-3 win at the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Friday, and had a goal, four assists and a plus-4 rating in Halifax's 8-1 win at PEI on Sunday.

Another 2013 draft prospect, Rimouski Oceanic goaltender Carl Hozjan, was named the QMJHL's third star of the week after winning both of his starts, stopping 45 of 46 shots in the process. He made 28 saves on 29 shots in a 5-1 win at the Sherbrooke Phoenix on Friday. Saturday, he entered the game seven minutes into the second period in relief of starter Philippe Desrosiers with the Oceanic trailing 3-0, and stopped all 17 shots he faced in regulation and overtime as Rimouski rallied to tie the game. He then turned aside all four chances he faced in the shootout as the Oceanic beat the defending Memorial Cup champion Shawinigan Cataractes 4-3.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Monday, 09.24.2012 / 11:36 AM

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

Petan's big weekend tops draft prospect roundup

Seth Jones is the top name among 2013 NHL Draft eligible players on the Portland Winterhawks, but it was his teammate, center Nicolas Petan, who stole the show over the weekend,

Petan, a 5-8.5, 163-pound center rated as a C player to watch on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings, had four goals and four assists in three games for Portland over the weekend as the Winterhawks went 2-1-0.

He opened his weekend with a goal and an assist in a 5-2 season-opening home loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday, then had a goal and three assists in Saturday's rematch in Seattle, and finished with a pair of goals in the Winterhawks' 4-2 win at the Tri-City Americans on Sunday.

In the Tri-City game, Jones, a defenseman regarded by some scouts as the best player available for this year's draft, picked up his first WHL point, assisting on Petan's second goal of the game.

Petan wasn't the only top 2013 draft prospect to have a big weekend. Here's a recap of some of the best performances from Canadian Hockey League players:


* Moose Jaw's Andrew Johnson scored in overtime to lift the Warriors to a 4-3 win Friday against Swift Current.

* Riley Sheen had two goals and two assists in the two games against Portland. He scored twice in Friday's win, and had a pair of assists Saturday.

* Landon Cross had a goal and two assists to help the Kamloops Blazers to a 6-5 overtime win against the Kelowna Rockets on Friday.

* Zane Jones scored twice Saturday to help the Calgary Hitmen to a 5-1 win against the Kootenay Ice.

* Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Ryan Pulock, an A skater in Central Scouting's rankings, had three assists in a 7-4 win at the Regina Pats on Saturday.

Posted On Saturday, 09.22.2012 / 8:33 AM

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

Varied results for MacKinnon, Jones in season debuts

Halifax Mooseheads forward Nathan MacKinnon and Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones, the top two candidates to hear their names called first at the 2013 NHL Draft, made their season debuts Friday night, but had very different levels of success.

MacKinnon, the 6-foot, 182-pound center starting his second season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, scored an overtime power-play goal to help the Mooseheads to a 4-3 road win against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

MacKinnon drew a tripping penalty on Cape Breton's Jonathan Oligny 51 seconds into the 4-on-4 overtime, and then beat goalie Philippe Trudeau on a one-timer at 1:17 to give Halifax the win after it had surrendered a 3-1 third-period lead.

MacKinnon finished with five shots, a plus-2 rating, and won 21 of 28 faceoffs.

MacKinnon wasn't the only top-rated Halifax draft prospect to have an impact on the game. Goalie Zachary Fucale, rated as an A goaltender in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings, stopped 15 of 18 shots. And left wing Jonathan Drouin, an A-ranked skater, scored Halifax's first goal and added an assist.

On the other side of the continent, things didn't go as well for Jones, who was a minus-1 in the Winterhawks' 5-2 home loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Posted On Friday, 09.21.2012 / 10:02 AM

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

Solid opening night for Ottawa's Monahan

Sean Monahan is a name fans will hear a lot about in reference to the 2013 NHL Draft. The Ottawa 67s center is rated an A player to watch in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings, and he showed why as the Canadian Hockey League season opened Thursday.

Monahan, named a team co-captain -- he'll wear the C for road games, while defenseman Cody Ceci will wear it for home games -- had a pair of goals and an assist as the 67s opened the Ontario Hockey League season with a 6-4 loss to the Barrie Colts.

Barrie took a 2-0 lead late in the first period, but just 19 seconds after Barrie scored its second goal, Monahan scored to cut Ottawa's deficit to one, and then set up Michal Cajkovsky's power-play goal to tie the game with 19 seconds left in the first.

After Barrie went ahead in the second, Monahan scored a power-play goal late in the period to make it 3-3.

Monahan wasn't the only draft-eligible player to have a good night.

In the OHL, Niagara left wing Anthony DiFruscia scored the game-winning goal 4:34 into the third period of the IceDogs' 4-2 win against the Erie Otters. Niagara goalie Christopher Festarini stopped 27 of 29 shots to register the win.

Owen Sound center Cameron Brace had two goals and an assist in the Attack's 6-1 win at the Windsor Spitfires.

Posted On Thursday, 09.20.2012 / 2:19 PM

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

Wheat Kings name Pulock captain

Earlier today it was Medicine Hat's Hunter Shinkaruk, and now another top-rated 2013 NHL Draft prospect has been named his team's captain.

The Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League on Thursday handed the captaincy to defenseman Ryan Pulock, rated an A list player by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary ranking of players for this year's draft.

A 6-foot, 210-pound defenseman, Pulock was third among WHL defensemen last season in goals (19) and points (60) while posting a plus-33 rating in 71 regular-season games, and added five points in nine playoff games. He also had two points in six games to help Canada win the bronze medal at the 2012 World Under-18 Championship.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Thursday, 09.20.2012 / 12:15 PM

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

Medicine Hat names top prospect Shinkaruk captain

Hunter Shinkaruk, rated as an A player in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft, received a C from his team, the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League.

The Tigers named Shinkaruk, a 17-year-old forward considered one of the top prospects for this year's draft, team captain on Wednesday.

Medicine Hat coach Shaun Clouston told the Medicine Hat News that he's sure Shinkaruk, starting his third season with the Tigers, is ready for the role.

"He is a very mature young man," Clouston said. "I believe he is going to be a great captain for this team. Hunter is a great example on and off the ice. He is focused, committed and he is a determined athlete. He works hard at his game. We are going to rely on Hunter a lot this year."

Shinkaruk was second on the Tigers last season with 49 goals and 91 points. He also had a plus-17 rating in 66 games, and added 11 points in eight playoff games. He got his season off to a solid start with two goals and four assists in six games.

The 5-foot-10, 166-pound center was ranked as an A player on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary watch list.

Shinkaruk said Wednesday he wasn't sure if he was ready for the role, but said he's proud to take it on.

"It was a huge honor," Shinkaruk told the newspaper. "Obviously, the Medicine Hat Tigers organization has been around for a long time. There has been a lot of good captains that have come through this team. When they told me, I was pretty excited."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 5:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Housley happy with U.S. effort despite loss

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- It wasn't the way Phil Housley was hoping this week's National Junior Evaluation Camp would end, but the U.S. coach said there were things to like even with Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to Finland.

"I really liked the effort all the way to the end of the game," Housley said. "We battled and we were able to tie it up toward the end. I was happy with that. The disappointing thing was we turned the puck over too many times and played right into Finland's hands. They're a passive team when they can't get on the forecheck; they sit back and we played right into it. It was a great, valuable learning experience in how we have to play in December (at the World Junior Championship)."

Tyler Biggs scored game-tying goals twice in the third period after Finland goalie Janne Juvonen had shut down Team USA for almost 50 minutes. Housley said he believes that shows the players have faith that if they stick with the game plan implemented by the coaching staff they'll have a chance to be successful.

Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 5:27 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Leafs prospect Biggs has big game for U.S.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- To be good, it takes a helping of luck, and Tyler Biggs had a double helping of that Saturday.

Biggs scored both goals in Team USA's 3-2 overtime loss to Finland on the final day of the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, but neither goal could be classified as a work of art.

"I got pretty lucky with some opportunities," he told "I'm standing in front on the power play, Griz [Matthew Grzelcyk] throws one, bounces off me and goes up and in. I throw one across, it bounces off a guy, comes right back to me."

Each goal tied the game, with his second, with 2:44 remaining regulation, forcing overtime.

Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 4:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Finland heading home happy after win

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- With a schedule that saw Finland play five games in six days here at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, a 3-2 overtime win against the United States on Saturday will send the Finns home happy.

"To win this game was very important for us because it was the fifth game and we had four losses in a row," Finland coach Harri Rindell told "So we needed to have this. It's always nice to have that kind of end of the tournament."

Miro Aaltonen, who led Finland in scoring this week with three goals and three assists, broke in alone for the winning goal in overtime, knocking his rebound past U.S. goalie Jon Gillies.

Rindell said he was a bit surprised to see his team still be able to finish those kind of plays with all the hockey they played this week.

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