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2015 NHL Draft
Posted On Wednesday, 11.28.2012 / 10:35 AM

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

Illness will sideline European prospect Barkov

Forward Aleksander Barkov, considered by many to be the top European prospect on the board for the 2013 NHL Draft, will be sidelined at least one game with an illness.

The 6-foot-2, 209-pound left-hander, who plays for Tappara in the Finnish Elite League, will miss Wednesday's game against Karpat.

"I talked to the coach and he told me he'd miss his first game [Wednesday] and might miss Nov. 29 [against Jokerit] and Dec. 1 [against Lukko]," Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told via email. "It is nothing serious."

In 26 games for Tappara this season, Barkov has produced 13 goals, 27 points and a plus-10 rating.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.27.2012 / 9:50 AM

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

Shinkaruk hopes to return to lineup this weekend

Top prospect Hunter Shinkaruk of the Medicine Hat Tigers is hoping to return to the lineup at some point this weekend after missing four games with a lower-body injury.

Shinkaruk, who suffered a skate cut that required 14 stitches in the first period of a loss to the Portland Winterhawks on Nov. 17, finally resumed workouts Monday. The 5-foot-10.25, 181-pound center admitted he felt good and is itching to resume his season.

"The injury is healing up well," Shinkaruk told "I saw the doctors for the second time [Monday] and the healing is right on pace. [Monday] was the first day I could actually do a workout since the injury and kind of get some mobility back.

"My goal is to be ready for Friday [at Red Deer]. If not Friday, then sometime this weekend, but we'll see."

Posted On Tuesday, 11.20.2012 / 1:18 PM

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

USNTDP's Compher returns to lineup on Sunday

U.S. National Under-18 Team forward J.T. Compher, the No. 1-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings release for the United States Hockey League, will return to the lineup on Sunday when the National Team Development Program plays host to St. Mary's University at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.

Compher had missed the previous 15 games with an undisclosed injury.

"He could have played two weeks ago, but we just held him out [as a precaution]," U.S. U-18 coach Don Granato told "He enjoys the game for the game itself. He just enjoys the competitive nature of the game. He always just addresses directly what's in front of him."

The 5-foot-10.5, 184-pound left wing, who will attend the University of Michigan next fall, has two goals and three points in six games this season.

"I'm the happiest coach in hockey right now [knowing Compher is returning]," Granato said. "He's our captain and he was a tough guy to be missing."

Posted On Tuesday, 11.20.2012 / 12:45 PM

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

Top prospect Shinkaruk likely out one week

The Medicine Hat Tigers will be without their captain and top draft-eligible prospect Hunter Shinkaruk for at least one week due to a lower-body injury suffered on Saturday in a loss to the Portland Winterhawks.

The Tigers' public relations department confirmed for that Shinkaruk "will miss one week" via email.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.20.2012 / 11:00 AM

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

NHL Central Scouting unveils preliminary rankings

NHL Central Scouting on Tuesday completed the next phase on the road to the 2013 NHL Draft with the release of its league preliminary rankings for the top levels of North American junior hockey and Europe.

* An overall take on the release can be accessed here.

* An in-depth review of the top goalies can be accessed here.

* Breakdown of the top European players can be accessed here.

Posted On Thursday, 11.15.2012 / 10:02 AM

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

Gauthier cleared to return to Oceanic lineup next week

Rookie forward Frederik Gauthier of the Rimouski Oceanic is expected to return to the lineup Monday following a seven-game absence with an upper body injury.

"Fred will be 100-percent cleared to play starting next Monday," team vice president Philippe Boucher told via email. "It could happen that he plays this weekend, but I would be very surprised."

Gauthier, who reportedly suffered a broken jaw in a Nov. 3 victory against the Quebec Remparts, is an A-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of players to watch in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Prior to his injury, he was opening some eyes this season with 10 goals, 20 points and a plus-12 rating in 18 games for the Oceanic.

Posted On Saturday, 11.10.2012 / 9:19 PM

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

U.S. wins fifth straight U18 Four Nations Tourney title

The U.S. National Under-18 Team received goals from three different players en route to a 3-1 victory over Sweden in the championship game of the U18 Four Nations Tournament on Saturday at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.

Evan Allen, John Hayden and Michael McCarron each scored goals and goalie Thatcher Demko made 22 saves to lead the U.S. to its fifth straight tournament title. Demko stopped 10 shots in the third period.

Allen scored a power-play goal 8:56 into the first to give the U.S. a 1-0 edge before Hayden extended the lead to 2-0 at 3:51 of the second. Sweden pulled to within 2-1 at the 2:45 mark of the third when Altelius Nylander connected for a power-play goal, but McCarron answered right back for the Americans at 10:52 with his team working the power-play.

Posted On Saturday, 11.10.2012 / 9:59 AM

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

U.S. advances to U18 Four Nations Tourney final

Anthony Louis scored a pair of unassisted goals in the third period to lead the U.S. National Under-18 Team into the 2012 U18 Four Nations Tournament championship following a 5-3 victory over Sweden on Friday at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.

Sweden pulled to within 3-2 on a power-play goal by Robert Hagg 1:26 into the third before Louis converted a wraparound at the 12:52 mark. Hagg then scored his second of the game to cut the deficit to one at 17:23 before his team pulled the goalie for an extra attacker. Louis then completed the scoring on an empty-net goal with 12 seconds remaining.

The United States finished pool play with a 2-0-1 record and will play Sweden on Saturday in the tournament final at 7 p.m. ET. Finland will battle Switzerland in the third place game at 3:30 p.m.

Posted On Friday, 11.09.2012 / 9:47 PM

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

Friday's three stars from the World Jr. A Challenge

The U.S. Junior Select Team and Canada West have advanced to the 2012 World Junior A Challenge gold medal game after each posted impressive victories in semifinal-round competition on Friday at Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The championship match is slated Sunday at Mariners Centre.

For the United States, it marks the fourth time in five year the Americans have advanced to the gold medal game. The U.S. had won three consecutive tournament titles from 2008 to 2010 before Canada East ended the run last year in the semifinals.

Canada West, which defeated Canada East in the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, will be seeking its second straight gold medal in the tournament.

Posted On Friday, 11.09.2012 / 8:39 PM

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

U.S. advances to final of World Junior A Challenge

The U.S. Junior Select Team erupted for five goals in the first period en route to a 7-4 victory over Switzerland in the semifinal round of the 2012 World Junior A Challenge on Friday at Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The United States advances to Sunday's championship game to face defending champion Canada West at Mariners Centre.

Sheldon Dries, Nicholas Schilkey, Vince Hinostroza, Ryan Fitzgerald and Blake Heinrich scored goals in the opening period, when the U.S. held an 18-9 advantage in shots.

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Quote of the Day

I think when you build a team, you look at pairs, and I think the pair of [Voracek and Giroux] is very good, certainly one of the top pairs in the League.

— Flyers GM Ron Hextall on Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek after giving Voracek a multiyear extension Thursday