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Posted On Sunday, 09.14.2014 / 10:23 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Reinhart focused on earning his spot with Sabres

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Buffalo Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart knows nothing will be handed to him, including a roster spot on a team that so desperately needs star power down the middle.

Whether or not Reinhart, selected No. 2 by the Sabres at the 2014 NHL Draft, is able to fill that void sooner than later remains to be seen. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound center is receiving his first chance to make an impression this week at the Traverse City Prospect tournament.

Though Reinhart has a minus-3 rating and is without a point in two losses, he has two shots and has played a smart game.

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Posted On Sunday, 09.14.2014 / 10:09 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Stars' Ritchie to miss rest of Traverse City tournament

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Dallas Stars prospect Brett Ritchie will miss the remaining two games of the Traverse City Prospect tournament because of an injured pinkie on his right hand.

Ritchie, who sustained the injury in the first period of the Stars' 4-2 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, believes it is nothing too serious. He was wearing a splint on the pinkie following the game.

"I just jarred my finger a little bit; I hope to be ready for training camp," Ritchie said. "It's hard to tell right now after the injury but I think I'll be fine."

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Posted On Thursday, 09.11.2014 / 1:24 PM

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

All-American Prospects Game rosters announced

USA Hockey has announced the rosters for each team competing in the third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Sept. 25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

The players selected to compete in the All-American Prospects Game were chosen by USA Hockey in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting.

Former NHL players Mike Grier and Eddie Olczyk will each coach a team at the event. Grier spent four of his 14 NHL seasons with the Sabres, including his final two, 2009-11. The native of Detroit also played three seasons at Boston University, the same college where center Jack Eichel will play this season. Grier will have the opportunity to coach Eichel at the All-American Prospects Game.

Eichel, a center, is expected to be one of the top-two picks at the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla., on June 26-27, and also play a prominent role for the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

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Posted On Thursday, 09.11.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Top picks to grace Traverse City Tournament

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- It's no surprise that each of the eight teams headed to the Traverse City Prospect Tournament, which begins Friday, will be fielding impressive lineups.

The Buffalo Sabres will showcase 10 players selected in either the first or second round during the past four years, the Dallas Stars  will have eight and the defending tournament champion Detroit Red Wings will feature five from the past four.

The ultimate goal is to be presented the first-place plaque to take home and have a permanent trophy displayed year-round at the Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City, Mich., as the tournament champion.

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.10.2014 / 9:53 AM

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

Central Scouting's Bordeleau and MacDonald to retire

Long before Chris Bordeleau and B.J. MacDonald began evaluating talent as full-time employees at NHL Central Scouting, they were skating with and against some of the very best in NHL history.

Bordeleau won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1968-69 while playing in 13 games alongside Hockey Hall of Fame members Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Lemaire, Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard and "Gump" Worsley.

MacDonald not only helped Wayne Gretzky score the first of his NHL-best 894 goals with the Edmonton Oilers in 1979-80, but he also was part of the second-highest scoring line in the League that season. The G-M-C line, which consisted of Gretzky centering MacDonald at right wing and Brett Callighen at left wing, had 120 goals and 289 points that season.

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 11:00 AM

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

Olczyk, Grier named coaches for AAPG

NHL on NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk and former NHL player Mike Grier will serve as coaches in the third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, which will be held Sept. 25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

Each team will feature some of the top American-born players eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft. Team rosters will be announced at a later date.

Grier spent four of his 14 NHL seasons with the Sabres, including his final two, 2009-11. In 241 games he had 23 goals and 70 points and also 11 points in 31 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the team.

In all Grier, a 1993 ninth-round pick (No. 219) of the St. Louis Blues had 162 goals and 383 points in 1,060 games with the Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, Sabres and San Jose Sharks.

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.27.2014 / 10:09 AM

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

Eichel tops list for All-American Prospects Game

Boston University freshman center Jack Eichel headlines the list of invites to the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, to be held Sept. 25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

Eichel is one of 42 American-born 2015 NHL Draft prospect scheduled to participate in the game. The 17-year-old center is expected to be one of the top two picks at the 2015 draft.

Last season he led the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 team with 38 goals and 87 points in 53 games. He also had one goal and four assists for the U.S. at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. He's expected to play a major role for the United States at the 2015 WJC in Montreal and Toronto. He impressed U.S. national junior team coach Mark Osiecki at USA Hockey's evaluation camp earlier this month.

"Jack Eichel is an offensive player and we have to hold him accountable offensively," Osiecki said. "He's a special player and we have to lean on him offensively to be that difference maker, be a player that can make everyone around him better; offensively for sure."

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Posted On Monday, 08.11.2014 / 11:32 AM

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

Prospect Rasmus Andersson commits to Barrie Colts

Defenseman Rasmus Andersson, who is considered a top prospect eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, will join the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League in 2014-15.

The announcement was made on Monday by Colts general manager Jason Ford.

The 6-foot, 214-pound right-shot Andersson spent the past two seasons with Malmo in Sweden's Allsvenskan. This season will mark his first playing hockey in North America.

"Andersson will enter the OHL as a rookie but already brings a wealth of experience; having played against men the past two seasons in Sweden," Ford told barriecolts.com. "He is a well-rounded defenseman that will help stabilize the back-end, and enters the OHL trying to pursue his dream of being an NHL player. We are very excited about this addition to our lineup."

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:05 PM

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

USHL/NHL 2015 Top Prospects Game set for January

The United States Hockey League revealed Wednesday that the USHL/NHL 2015 Top Prospects Game will be held Jan. 13 at Mystique Community Ice Center in Dubuque, Iowa.

The USHL and host club Dubuque Fighting Saints made the joint announcement during a press conference at the Mystique Community Ice Center.

The game will feature 40 of the top blue-chip prospects from the USHL eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla., on June 26-27. Players will be chosen for the event based on a selection process that includes the input of USHL general managers, NHL Central Scouting, and NHL team scouts and decision makers.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 12:58 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Capitals' Walker aims to be first Aussie to reach NHL

PHILADELPHIA -- The third time was the charm for Australian-trained left wing Nathan Walker.

Walker, passed over in the previous two NHL Drafts, moved one step closer to realizing his dream on Saturday when the Washington Capitals selected him in the third round (No. 89) of this year's event at Wells Fargo Center. This was the final year of draft eligibility for Walker.

The first Australian to be drafted, Walker is now hoping to take it one step further and lock up a roster spot right out of training camp. The Capitals' managerial team is very familiar with the 5-foot-9, 185-pound forward.

Walker, 20, was one of 40 forwards invited to the Capitals' training camp last fall on a tryout basis.

"I had a good rookie camp and then got the invite to the main camp, so it went well," Walker told NHL.com last September. "I thoroughly enjoyed it."


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