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Posted On Wednesday, 10.03.2012 / 2:33 PM

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

USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks suspend three players

The Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League on Wednesday confirmed the suspension of three players for Friday's home game against the Youngstown Phantoms.

Defenseman Ian McCoshen and goalies Eamon McAdam and Calvin Petersen will sit out the game for a violation of team rules.

"They did not adhere to an internal team rule," associate head coach and director of player personnel Shane Fukushima told NHL.com via email.

All three players, who participated in the inaugural CCM/USA All-American Prospects Game on Saturday, are considered top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft.

NHL Central Scouting ranked McCoshen an A skater in its preliminary players to watch list. McAdam is ranked as a B goalie, while Petersen is a C goalie.

According to Fukushima, the team will likely start Logan Halladay in goal on Friday. Halladay, who earned the start when McAdam and Petersen attended the All-American Prospects Game, was the organization's third-round pick in the 2012 Futures Draft. He scored an 8-4 win over the Sioux Falls Stampede in the team's home opener before joining the Chicago Young Americans Midget Major team.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.03.2012 / 11:05 AM

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

Justin Bailey awaits 'Return to Play' protocol

While forward Justin Bailey of the Ontario Hockey League's Kitchener Rangers still is experiencing concussion-like symptoms from a hit he sustained last month, the team anticipates a full recovery at some point.

"Generally, Justin is feeling better," Kitchener's head trainer, Dan LeBold, told NHL.com via email. "However, he is still experiencing some symptoms so we have not begun the 'Return to Play' protocol as of yet. We are continuing to monitor his symptoms to see when he may be ready to begin the RTP protocol."

Bailey was on the receiving end of tremendous neutral-zone hit by Calgary Flames prospect Pat Sieloff of the Windsor Spitfires on Sept. 27. Sieloff was given a charging penalty and a game misconduct on the play.

In three games this season for Kitchener, his first in the OHL, Bailey has no points and four penalty minutes. He was rated as an A skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list.

"The current plans for the hockey club and for Justin are to play again," LeBold said.
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Posted On Wednesday, 09.19.2012 / 10:00 AM

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

NHL Central Scouting releases preliminary watch list

There's little doubt NHL scouts and fans of the game began digesting NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch from North America and Europe the moment the lists hit the pages of NHL.com.

The preliminary lists are really the first indication of which players among the major junior and collegiate ranks we should be tracking entering the 2012-13 campaign. Who doesn't like to speculate on who might be the next great player in the NHL?

In addition to the main story, NHL.com also spoke to NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb for his take on a few of the top international skaters to watch.

By now, many are aware of a few high-profile prospects with familiar bloodlines expected to get plenty of publicity leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., June 28-29. Forward Max Domi of the London Knights is the son Tie Domi. Defenseman Seth Jones, considered to be a certain top five pick at the Draft, is the son of former NBA forward Popeye Jones.

While he might be a 'C'-rated prospect entering the season, goalie Anthony Brodeur of Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota certainly won't fly under the radar as the son of future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.

There are a few other prospects on the board this season with name recognition.

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Posted On Monday, 09.17.2012 / 2:32 PM

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

USHL Fall Classic set to begin this week

The 2012 United States Hockey League Fall Classic, one of the more heavily scouted junior tournaments in North America, is slated to begin Wednesday at two venues in Sioux City, Iowa.

This marks the sixth consecutive season that the league's annual preseason showcase, which concludes Saturday, will be hosted by the Sioux City Musketeers. All 16 USHL member clubs will compete in three preseason games during the event at either the Tyson Events Center or I.B.P. Ice Center.

"The event continues to be a boon for the city, while fans and organizers get to watch the most talented junior hockey players in the country,'" Musketeers Executive Vice President Rich Zaber said in a release.

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Posted On Friday, 08.31.2012 / 1:29 PM

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

MacKinnon and Jones headline 2013 draft pool

The 2013 NHL Draft is certainly shaping up to be a good one.

While the Draft may not come close to the number of high-caliber defensemen selected in the first round last June, the depth across the board is quite impressive. During the 2012 Draft at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, 13 defensemen were plucked in the first round to match a record set in 1996.

The run on defensemen started early, too, as three of the top five and eight of the top 10 players picked star on the back end.

The top two players on the board entering this season are center Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.26.2012 / 3:03 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Flyers keep Jakub Voracek with four-year deal

The Philadelphia Flyers may have missed out on nailing down a big-name defenseman in the free-agent market, but they did land one of their key cogs from last season on Thursday when they signed forward Jakub Voracek to a four-year contract.

The deal reportedly is worth $17 million, according to CSNPhilly.com and other media reports. The 22-year-old restricted free agent, who will likely fill the void left by the departed Jaromir Jagr on the Flyers' top line with center Claude Giroux and left wing Scott Hartnell, will earn $4.25 million annually.

"We are happy to have Jake under contract and look forward to him being a big part of our future," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said.
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Posted On Tuesday, 06.26.2012 / 10:10 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Parise says Devils will still be in mix on July 1

Even if Zach Parise doesn't re-sign on the dotted line to return to the New Jersey Devils prior to the start of free agency, there's no reason to believe the team for which he has spent the last seven seasons is completely out of the picture.

Zach Parise
Left Wing - NJD
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 15
SOG: 87 | +/-: -8
Parise told Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger on Tuesday that New Jersey would still be a strong candidate for his services -- even if no deal were struck by the noon deadline on Sunday.

"I'm sure a lot of people would think that, but that's very far from the case," Parise told the paper. "If it does happen to get to Sunday, that's by no means saying I don't want to go back to New Jersey.

"I know the perception would be, 'Oh, he wants out.' But that's not the case. I haven't been lying. I've said all along how much I like playing in New Jersey. So that wouldn't be me saying, 'I don't want to play there anymore.'"

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Posted On Saturday, 06.23.2012 / 1:03 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 NHL Draft blog

Jackets' Dansk still has one draft to go

PITTSBURGH -- One draft down, one more to go for Swedish goalie Oscar Dansk.

Dansk, drafted with the first pick of the second round by the Columbus Blue Jackets (No. 31) on Saturday at Consol Energy Center, spent this past season with Brynas Jr of Sweden's second division. He sported a 2.82 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 28 games.

NHL Central Scouting's No. 2-ranked European goalie admitted he would certainly take the major-junior route if he is selected by a team on Wednesday during the Canadian Hockey League's annual Import Draft.

"My dream will be to come to camp and try my best, but I know it's a process and however long the process going to take, we'll see," Dansk said. "I feel like I had good conversations with the Blue Jackets, but you never know what will happen."

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Posted On Saturday, 06.23.2012 / 1:01 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 NHL Draft blog

Sutter, Thrower likely to see each other again soon

PITTSBURGH -- It's possible that Saskatoon Blades teammates' Lukas Sutter and Dalton Thrower could very well cross paths in the NHL as opponents in the very near future.

On Saturday at Consol Energy Center during the second round of the NHL Draft, it was more about sharing the most incredible experience of their hockey careers.

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Sutter, the son of former Philadelphia Flyers forward Rich Sutter, was taken No. 39 by the Winnipeg Jets and Thrower was chosen No. 51 by the Montreal Canadiens.

"We kind of crossed paths on the floor and gave each other a hug," Sutter told NHL.com. "He's my best friend and to share this experience with him is so surreal. I'm extremely proud of him and I'm sure he'd say the same about me."

In 148 games spanning three seasons with the WHL's Blades, Sutter has totaled 352 PIMs, including 165 in 70 contests this season. According to hockeyfights.com, he also dropped the gloves 10 times in 2011-12 -- seven short of the 17 players he fought last season.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.23.2012 / 1:23 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 NHL Draft blog

Devils draft son of Stephane Matteau

PITTSBURGH -- Stefan Matteau was three months old when his father wrapped home the historic goal in the second overtime of Game 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals as a member of the New York Rangers against the New Jersey Devils.

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello pretty much assured that the younger Matteau wouldn't allow history to repeat itself when he drafted Stefan with the 29th pick of the NHL Draft at Consol Energy Center on Friday.

Was the youngster, NHL Central Scouting's No. 17-ranked North American skater, surprised by the selection?

2012 NHL DRAFT

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By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer
With the first pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, the Edmonton Oilers selected 18-year-old right wing Nail Yakupov, making him the first Russian-born player chosen No. 1 overall since Alex Ovechkin in 2004. READ MORE ›

"I met with the Devils a few times, but obviously knowing the history of my name, I guess it's surprising," Matteau said. "But I couldn't be more thrilled."

Matteau's father was selected with the 25th pick in 1987 by the Calgary Flames, meaning Stefan lost the big bet since father was drafted earlier than son.

After hearing his name announced by New Jersey director of amateur scouting, David Conte, Matteau said he didn't even have enough time to chat with his father.

"I gave [my father] a hug and ran down to the stage," Matteau said. "I think he's happy for me. If I would have gone to the Rangers with the pick before, there would have been a lot of pressure. I think it's good for me and I'm glad to be a Devil."

Matteau was the sixth American-born player drafted in the opening round. He'll play for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2012-13.

"You meet with teams early on and give yourself expectations and sometimes you don't meet them," Matteau said. "I thought I could have gone earlier, but it worked out in the end. There are 10 to 15 minutes between each pick and it's long.

"Today was the longest day of my life, but it all worked out in the end and I'm really proud."

The 6-foot-1 1/2, 210-pound center had 15 goals, including four power-play goals, and 32 points in 46 games with the U.S. National Team Development Program this season. He also accumulated 166 penalty minutes. In 47 games with the U-17 Team last season, he had seven goals, 18 points and 67 penalty minutes.

"I'm a big-bodied power forward, have a lot of skill and a good shot, and I play with an edge," Matteau said. "Some teams like that, and I like to bring an all-around solid game."

Matteau doesn't believe he plays the game as his father once did.

"Growing up, I did get to watch him … he was a hard-working, physical guy who played with an edge," Stefan told NHL.com. "It's weird to say this because he played 15 years, but I think I'm more offensive than he was. Dad told me I'm bigger and more skilled … that's what he said."

Matteau believes he's a perfect fit with the Devils, a team he considered to be one of the hardest-working in the playoffs.

"Just their physicality and the way they never stopped," Matteau said. "The Final was a tough go, but they still didn't back down and that's how I play. I go hard to the end and it's a good fit for me."

He said his "mentality is to make the team next year."

"If not, I'll just go back to junior and develop one more year and hopefully make the jump after that."

U.S. U-18 NTDP coach Danton Cole envisions Matteau as a prototypical power forward in the NHL. Some believe he could be the next Jordan Staal. Matteau sees himself as a future James van Riemsdyk, Scott Hartnell or Vincent Lecavalier.

"He's a powerful man, big and strong," Cole told NHL.com. "He plays a physical game and he's going to be good. I would think he's a little (more physical than dad). He also probably has a little more high-end offensive ability -- Stef's going to put the puck in the net."

Does Matteau have a message for Devils' fans?

"No, not really … I'm in shock myself," he said with a grin. "There's a bright future ahead, and I'm looking forward to having an impact wherever they may need me."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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Quote of the Day

This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.

— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens