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Posted On Thursday, 11.01.2012 / 10:13 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Canada East roster named for World Jr. A Challenge

CANADA EAST ROSTER

Goalies: Charlie Finn, Kingston, OJHL (2013 draft eligible); Daniel Mannella, Georgetown, OJHL

Defense: Tyler Enns, Lakeshore, OJHL (2013 draft eligible); Mike Crocock  Pembroke, CCHL (2013 draft eligible); Philippe Drouin, Pembroke, CCHL (2013 draft eligible); Patrick McCarron, St. Michael's, OJHL (2013 draft eligible); Jared Walsh  St. Michael's, OJHL (2014 draft eligible); Christian Weidauer, Carleton Place, CCHL (2013 draft eligible); Thomas Welsh  Georgetown, OJHL (2013 draft eligible)

Forwards: Blaine Byron, Kemptville, CCHL (2013 draft eligible); Matt Buckles, St. Michael's, OJHL (2013 draft eligible); Shane Conacher, Burlington, OJHL (2013 draft eligible); Ben Dalpe, Pembroke, CCHL (2013 draft eligible); Justin Danforth, Cobourg, OJHL (2013 draft eligible); Jake Evans, St. Michael's, OJHL (2014 draft eligible); Dalen Hedges, Nepean, CCHL (2013 draft eligible); Stephen Hladin, Georgetown, OJHL (2013 draft eligible); Troy Josephs, St. Michael's, OJHL (2013 draft eligible); Michael Neville, St. Michael's, OJHL (2013 draft eligible); Brent Norris  Nepean, CCHL (2013 draft eligible); Marly Quince, Cornwall, CCHL (2013 draft eligible); Mike Soucier, Wellington, OJHL (2013 draft eligible)

Hockey Canada on Thursday announced the 22 players who will represent Canada East at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge to be held Nov. 5-11 at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The roster was named following a four-day selection camp, Oct. 28-31, at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto. Greg Walters, who coaches the Georgetown Raiders of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, will coach the team.

Heading the roster is Matt Buckles, a center with the St. Michael's Buzzers (OJHL). The 6-foot-1.25, 205-pound forward leads the team with 12 goals and 25 points in 18 games. He was most recently given a C rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft.

Three other players on the roster earned C rankings from Central Scouting, including defenseman Christian Weidauer of Carleton Place Canadiens of the Central Canada Hockey League; and forwards Blaine Byron of Kemptville 73's (CCHL) and Troy Josephs of St. Michael's (OJHL).

Two players on the roster are returning from the 2011 WJAC -- forwards Justin Danforth of the Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) and Michael Neville of St. Michael's (OJHL).

"Getting down to 22 players was no easy feat, especially considering the talent we had in Toronto this week," Walters said. "As a coaching staff, we're confident we've assembled the best roster and we look forward to getting to Nova Scotia and getting started."

Canada East, which has appeared in four of the six gold medal games at the WJAC, won silver in 2006, '07, '10 and '11. The team will compete in Group B, along with Switzerland and the United States. Canada West, the Czech Republic and Russia will comprise Group A.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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Posted On Friday, 10.26.2012 / 2:51 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Shedding some light on top European prospects

While the battle for top honors at the 2013 NHL Draft will likely be between North American prospects Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads and Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks, the distinction as top European prospect is just as intriguing.

              Alexander Barkov, Tappara (FINLAND)

Make no mistake, the battle for European prominence appears to be between center Elias Lindholm of Brynas in Sweden and center Alexander Barkov of Tappara in the Finnish Elite League.

Lindholm has four goals and 10 points in 16 games this season for Brynas while Barkov has produced nine goals and 17 points in 15 games.

"Lindholm and Barkov are outstanding with their league teams and both could be top five at the [NHL] Draft," said Goran Stubb, European Director of NHL Central Scouting.

Lindholm had 14 goals, 49 points and a plus-24 rating in 36 games with Brynas in Sweden's junior league last year.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.25.2012 / 2:48 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Central Scouting upgrades players to watch list

NHL Central Scouting on Thursday upgraded four players to A status on its preliminary players to watch list of prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft.

In addition to the upgrades, Central Scouting identified several players who happen to be tracking higher and will receive considerable attention in anticipation of its preliminary rankings list, which will be released in November and rank the top 25 prospects in the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Western Hockey League and United States Hockey League, as well as various Europena nations.


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Posted On Thursday, 10.25.2012 / 9:29 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Anthony Mantha scores four goals for Val-d'Or

Forward Anthony Mantha of the Val-d'Or Foreurs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is proving to be quite the offensive force to open the 2012-13 season.

The 18-year-old connected for his third hat trick of the year -- scoring four goals and one assist -- in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Rimouski Oceanic on Wednesday to move into a tie with Rouyn-Noranda's Jean-Sebastien Dea for the league scoring lead with 28 points. Mantha, who is regarded as an A skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list from the QMJHL, has 15 goals and 13 assists for the season.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.24.2012 / 9:45 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Drouin unstoppable in return to Halifax lineup

Highly regarded 2013 NHL Draft prospect Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads returned to the lineup with a vengeance on Wednesday before 6,634 fans at the Halifax Metro Centre.

Drouin, who was sidelined the previous six games with an upper-body injury, connected for two goals and two assists to help lead the Mooseheads to a 6-2 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs.


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.24.2012 / 1:36 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Tambellini tops draft-eligibles at Canada West camp

Hockey Canada on Wednesday released the 60-man roster attending training camp for team Canada West that will participate in the World Junior A Challenge, to be held Nov. 5-11 at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The Canada West camp will be held Oct. 28-31 at the Markin MacPhail Center in Calgary. Players for the camp were selected from the Canadian Junior Hockey League's 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).

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.24.2012 / 9:22 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Top prospect Drouin to return to Halifax lineup

Halifax Mooseheads forward Jonathan Drouin will return to the lineup on Wednesday after sitting out the previous six games with an upper-body injury.

"He's good to go," Halifax general manager Cam Russell told The Chronicle Herald. "It's always a good moment when a player like Jonathan is in your line-up. He's played extremely well for us so far. We're excited to have him back."

Halifax (12-1-0), which ranks first overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will play host to the Drummondville Voltigeurs (7-6-0), which is third in the Telus West Division, at Metro Centre.


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Posted On Monday, 10.22.2012 / 2:49 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

USNTDP's Compher could miss two more weeks

It appears forward J.T. Compher of the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program may be sidelined another two weeks with an undisclosed injury.

Compher, who has two goals and three points in six games for the USNTDP this season, is projected by many to be the first NTDP player off the board at the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., in June. He was listed as an A skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary list of players to watch in the United States Hockey League in September.

"There is no timetable [on Compher's return], but his progress has been positive," U.S. Under-18 NTDP coach Don Granato told NHL.com. "I would think, if I'm going to guess, he'll be out two more weeks."


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Posted On Monday, 10.22.2012 / 1:44 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

MacKinnon, Desrosiers named QMJHL stars of week

Center Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads and goalie Philippe Desrosiers of the Rimouski Oceanic on Monday were named the TELUS stars of the week in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

MacKinnon and Desrosiers are regarded as top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft in June at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. MacKinnon is listed as an A skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list and Desrosiers is listed as a B goalie.

Baie-Comeau Drakkar forward Petr Straka, a second-round draft choice of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010, was also named a star of the week in the QMJHL.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.17.2012 / 11:08 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Kitchener forward Justin Bailey returns to ice

Forward Justin Bailey of the Ontario Hockey League's Kitchener Rangers has begun skating without contact as he continues to progress via the "Return to Play" protocol.

Bailey has been sidelined with concussion-like symptoms from a hit he sustained in the neutral zone on Sept. 27 against the Windsor Spitfires.

"Justin is quite upbeat and excited to be skating again," Kitchener's head trainer, Dan LeBold, told NHL.com. "He is retaking his post-concussion impact test [Wednesday] and that will determine his next course of action along the RTP protocol."

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