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Posted On Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 9:49 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Prospects Eichel, Hanifin set for 'Green Line Rivalry'

Long before freshman center Jack Eichel entered Boston University, he was actually a big fan of Boston College.

Jack Eichel (Noah Buchanan/BU Athletics)

"I wanted to go to BC when I was younger," the native of Chelmsford, Mass., said. "If you were to go into my room, you would've seen BC posters everywhere. But as I got older, it ended up that Boston University was a better fit.

"At the end of the day, I just saw myself more as a Terrier than an Eagle."

Eichel, 18, will look to defend that choice when Boston University pays a visit to Conte Forum on the campus of Boston College on Friday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN) in the first game of the season between the Hockey East rivals.

What will make this year's matchup that much more intense, however, is the potential battle the sellout crowd will be in for when Eichel goes head-to-head with Boston College freshman defenseman Noah Hanifin. Eichel and Hanifin, both A-rated skaters on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2015 NHL Draft, are potential top-three picks in the draft.

Eichel was named Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Month for October; he leads the conference with seven points (three goals, four points) in league play.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.05.2014 / 1:05 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

CSS reveals top prospects in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic could be well-represented at the 2015 NHL Draft.

Pavel Zacha, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-shot center from Brno, is having a successful first season in North America with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. Some feel Zacha could be the first top-10 pick from the Czech Republic since Jakub Voracek went No. 7 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2007; Voracek currently stars for the Philadelphia Flyers.

NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb has identified three exceptional Czech forwards playing at home who could play for their country at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal and Toronto in January and start gaining popularity in the scouting community.

"There's a good representation of the new talent wave from the Czech Republic," Stubb said.

Here's a look at each player:

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.05.2014 / 8:54 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Knights' Marner named CHL player of the week

London Knights center Mitchell Marner, an A-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for October, was named Canadian Hockey League player of the week for games ending Nov. 2.

Marner, a 5-foot-11, 155-pound right-hand shot, had seven goals, nine points and a plus-7 rating in three victories for the Knights. Marner is seventh in the Ontario Hockey League this season with 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 16 games.

"He's a skilled guy, skates well and plays with energy," Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards said. 

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 5:57 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

Devils defenseman Gelinas back in lineup vs. Blues

NEWARK, N.J. – New Jersey Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas, a healthy scratch the past two games, will return to the lineup against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer made the announcement in his pregame meeting with the media at Prudential Center. Gelinas will replace Jon Merrill, who is dealing with an unspecified injury.

Gelinas has one goal and four points in eight games this season. Merrill has one goal and four points in 11 games.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 1:15 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blues at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. – St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen will make his first career start against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

Coach Ken Hitchcock confirmed the decision after the Blues' optional skate at Prudential Center. Additionally, the coach said that forward Dmitrij Jaskin would replace Magnus Paajarvi in the lineup.

The Blues won their fifth straight game Monday, a 4-3 shootout victory against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Brian Elliott earned the win with 36 saves.

Much of the focus after that triumph was on Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who scored a goal for the ages 7:17 into the first period on the power play. After receiving a pass from defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in the neutral zone, Tarasenko skated past four penalty killers before beating goalie Cam Talbot with a one-handed shot just inside the right post.

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Posted On Monday, 11.03.2014 / 9:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

McDavid, Eichel maintain scoring streaks

Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University center Jack Eichel kept their point-scoring streaks intact last week and don't appear to be slowing down one bit.

Both forwards are A-rated skaters on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. They are expected to go No. 1 and No. 2, in no particular order, when the first round commences on June 26.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.01.2014 / 2:49 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Anton Forsberg is expected to make his NHL debut Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.

While the Devils spent the morning off the ice, the Blue Jackets had an optional skate and a majority of the players participated. The Blue Jackets arrived in Newark late Friday after losing at home Friday to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Left wing Corey Tropp, who had to exit the game Friday when he became ill in the third period, did not make the trip and likely will be replaced in the lineup by forward Brian Gibbons. There was hope that forward Matt Calvert would be able to return to the lineup after sitting out the past three games with an upper-body injury, but he did not make the trip to New Jersey.

"I'll just try to provide some speed and energy; I have some fresh legs since some of these guys played [Friday]," Gibbons said. "I'll just try and play a fast, hard game and keep it simple."

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Posted On Friday, 10.31.2014 / 12:11 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

NHL Central Scouting upgrades four prospects

Throughout the course of the season, NHL Central Scouting occasionally will reveal an update of players who have taken another step in their development.

On Oct. 28 four players moved from a B rating, or potential second- or third-round pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, to an A-rating, or potential first-round candidate.

Here's a look at each prospect:

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Posted On Thursday, 10.30.2014 / 1:10 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Winnipeg Jets left wing Evander Kane will return to the lineup for the first time since the season opener when the Jets play the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday.

Kane, who has missed the past eight games after sustaining a knee injury in the first period of a victory against the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 9, practiced fully with the team Wednesday and again Thursday at Prudential Center.

"I'm ready to go and looking forward to it," Kane said. "I'm just looking for a good start and hoping to make it through the first two minutes this time; everything will take care of itself after that."

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Posted On Monday, 10.27.2014 / 7:25 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

McDavid, Eichel continue to frustrate defenses

Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University freshman Jack Eichel continue to prove their mettle while in the draft spotlight.

McDavid, (6-foot-1, 195 pounds), who earned an A-rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2015 NHL Draft, was front and center during a regular-season engagement before 11,391 fans at First Niagara Center against the Niagara IceDogs in Buffalo, N.Y., on Oct. 22.

The left-handed shooter had a goal, four points and a plus-3 rating on the way to earning first star honors in an 8-4 victory. He would finish his week ending Oct. 25 with three goals, nine points and a plus-7 rating in three victories and extended his point-scoring streak to 12 games (11 goals, 34 points) to open the season for the Otters (11-0-1).

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Quote of the Day

He's a special guy. Obviously we are lucky to have him. Just his talent, I'm not surprised anymore. You get to see this guy every practice, and you know what he's able to do. Obviously, it's pretty special for a guy that young to score a hat trick in playoffs, this type of a game too. Really happy for him.

— Predators goalie Pekka Rinne on Filip Forsberg, whose hat trick led Nashville to a Game 5 win vs. Chicago on Thursday