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Posted On Thursday, 01.22.2015 / 7:12 AM

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

McDavid, Konecny excel in on- and off-ice testing

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- Erie Otters center Connor McDavid on Wednesday provided NHL scouts one more reason why they should strongly consider him for the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on June 26.

McDavid, who will captain Team Bobby Orr at the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Meridian Centre on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SN, TVA Sports), excelled in the on- and off-ice testing to gauge the fitness and skill levels of all 40 participating players for NHL management and scouts.

The data that was supplied to NHL Central Scouting and distributed to NHL teams provides valuable performance benchmarks.

McDavid, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 draft, finished first in the on-ice portion of the testing, which included 10 specialized drills, and third in the off-ice tests. All testing was conducted by Sport Testing.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 2:10 PM

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

McDavid, Strome among elite at Top Prospects Game

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- Erie Otters captain Connor McDavid headlines an impressive list of 2015 NHL Draft-eligible prospects set to impress at the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Meridian Centre on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SN, TVA Sports).

The pressure of performing in front of an estimated 250-plus NHL scouts shouldn't be cause for concern for McDavid. He's been under the microscope the past three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, and recently helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in a title game played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

McDavid, who will serve as captain for Team Bobby Orr, is the No. 1-ranked prospect on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of North American skaters eligible for 2015 NHL Draft.

Competing against Otters teammate and good friend Dylan Strome in the Top Prospects Game is a bit of a concern for McDavid, however.

"It'll be weird; he's one of my best friends," McDavid said. "I find him hilarious and can hardly take him seriously so it'll be different lining up against him. But fun."

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 12:23 PM

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

Ottawa goalie Herbst added to Top Prospects Game

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- Goaltender Liam Herbst of the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League will serve as an injury replacement at the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Meridian Centre on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SN, TVA Sports).

Herbst (6-foot-4, 194 pounds) will replace Barrie Colts goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, who was sent home because of an illness. Blackwood spoke to reporters Tuesday but admitted at the time he was ill.

Blackwood is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American goaltenders for the 2015 NHL Draft.

Herbst, No. 14 on the midterm list, is 12-5-2 with a 2.78 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 11:33 AM

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

Beauvillier excited as captain for Team Cherry

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- Shawinigan Cataractes left wing Anthony Beauvillier was taken completely by surprise when he learned he would serve as captain for Team Don Cherry at the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at the Meridian Centre on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet, TVA Sports).

"I didn't think about being named captain but am very proud, especially since the captain for Team [Bobby] Orr is Connor McDavid," Beauvillier said. "It's an honor. I've seen Don Cherry on television a lot, so to have a chance to meet him will be great as it will be for everyone in the locker room."

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 11:25 AM

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

Top prospects to have on- and off-ice skills tested

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- Before the top prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft from the Canadian Hockey League showcase their abilities at the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, they'll undergo a series of on- and off-ice tests that will provide NHL scouts and general managers an in-depth profile on each player.

All 40 of the players competing in the game Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SN, TVA Sports) will be put through those tests Wednesday at Meridian Centre, home of the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League.

The tests will be conducted by Sport Testing Inc., which has been conducting similar tests on players in all three leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League for the past five years, as well as at the bantam and minor-midget levels.

"We have been impressed with Sport Testing's professionalism at our events and their accuracy in assessing player potential," CHL President David Branch said. "Their data reports are a blueprint to on-ice success and will showcase our players to NHL scouts. Sport Testing also gives quantifiable skill and fitness targets to the rest of the CHL players and those young athletes hoping to one day join our league."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.20.2015 / 8:10 PM

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

Prospects react to NHL Central Scouting rankings

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- Erie Otters center Connor McDavid considered his No. 1 ranking on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft to be "a little bit of a dream come true."

But McDavid realizes his work is not yet completed. NHL Central Scouting revealed on Tuesday its midterm rankings of North American skaters and goaltenders and international skaters and goaltenders.

McDavid is the first of seven Canadian Hockey League players among the top 10 on the list, including left wing Lawson Crouse of the Kingston Frontenacs (No. 4) and center Dylan Strome of Erie (No. 5). All 40 Canadian Hockey League players competing in the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at the Meridian Center on Thursday are listed on Central Scouting's midterm rankings, including 32 of the top 60 skaters.

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Posted On Monday, 01.19.2015 / 9:00 AM

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

McDavid, Eichel celebrate overtime winners

Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University center Jack Eichel are expected to be among the top two skaters on NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings to be revealed exclusively Tuesday on NHL.com.

Each player scored an overtime goal this past weekend to propel his team to victory.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 10:28 AM

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

Top prospects Eichel, Hanifin to meet again

The Green Line Rivalry returns to the campus of Boston University when the Terriers play host to Boston College before an expected capacity crowd at Agganis Arena on Friday (7 p.m. ET).

In addition to the rematch, the game also includes a few high-profile 2015 NHL Draft-eligible prospects going head-to-head. Boston University freshman center Jack Eichel (6-foot-2, 196 pounds) is considered a top-two choice in the 2015 NHL Draft slated June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

Boston College freshman defenseman Noah Hanifin (6-3, 203) is considered by many to be the top defenseman off the board at the draft. He is most certainly a top-five choice.

Both players represented the United States at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. The United States finished fifth in the tournament following a 3-2 loss to Russia in the quarterfinal round.


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Posted On Tuesday, 01.13.2015 / 11:27 PM

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

Conley leads Team East at USHL Prospects Game

Youngstown Phantoms left wing Kevin Conley, a C-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list for the 2015 NHL Draft, had two goals and one assist to help lead Team East to a 7-4 victory against Team West in the United States Hockey League/NHL Top Prospects Game on Tuesday before 3,021 fans at the Mystique Community Ice Center in Dubuque, Iowa.

More than 100 NHL scouts were in attendance at the game, which included players from 15 different states. In addition to the United States, there were players representing five other countries (Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden).

In addition to Conley, who was named most valuable player for his team, Team East also got goals from Chase Pearson (Youngstown; C-rated), Callahan Burke (Cedar Rapids; C-rated), Christian Wolanin (Muskegon), Sam Miletic (Green Bay; C-rated) and Jiri Fronk (Cedar Rapids; C-rated).

Joe Masonius (U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program), Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (Omaha; B-rated), Jake Henderson (Omaha; C-rated) and Christopher Wilkie (Tri-City; C-rated) had goals for Team West.

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Posted On Monday, 01.12.2015 / 3:37 PM

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

Players ready to shine at USHL Top Prospect Game

Youngstown Phantoms forward Kyle Connor, and Waterloo Black Hawks teammates Brock Boeser and Tom Novak, highlight an impressive list of NHL-Draft eligible players ready to compete in the 2015 United States Hockey League/NHL Top Prospects Game at the Mystique Community Ice Center in Dubuque, Iowa, on Tuesday.

Connor, Boeser and Novak, each regarded as A-rated skaters or potential first-round picks on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list for the 2015 NHL Draft, were part of a USHL Top Prospects Game introductory press conference Monday in Iowa.

Speakers at the conference included Fighting Saints president Dan Lehv, Ceder Rapids RoughRiders coach Mark Carlson, NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr, and former USHL coach and NHL scout Jack Barzee. Carlson will coach Team East in the Top Prospects Game.

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Quote of the Day

I'll be happy, believe me, if we win our last playoff game. Not taking anything away, but we've had a fairly good lead for a while now. It would be more surprising if we didn't get the division. Business as usual.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau after clinching their third straight Pacific Division title