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Posted On Tuesday, 11.06.2012 / 10:10 AM

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

Connor McDavid lighting it up as a 15-year-old rookie

Erie Otters forward Connor McDavid is not eligible for the NHL Draft until 2015, but he has certainly grabbed the attention of those scouts in attendance as a 15-year-old rookie in the Ontario Hockey League this season.

McDavid, as you may know, was granted exceptional player status on March 21, 2012, by Hockey Canada to be eligible for the 2012 OHL Priority Selection. He joined John Tavares and Aaron Ekblad as the only players to be awarded that honor and was promptly drafted first overall by the Otters.

Erie is certainly reaping the benefits.

Posted On Monday, 11.05.2012 / 12:15 PM

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

Rimouski's Gauthier sidelined with broken jaw

Rookie forward Frederik Gauthier of the Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is expected to miss two weeks while recovering from a broken jaw.

Gauthier, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound center, did not play in the team's 6-5 shootout victory over Halifax on Sunday. The 17-year-old reportedly suffered his injury after taking a shot to the face on Saturday during a 4-1 victory over the Quebec Remparts.

Gauthier underwent surgery on Sunday evening.
Posted On Monday, 11.05.2012 / 11:16 AM

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

USA Hockey reveals Four Nations Tournament team

USA Hockey on Monday revealed the U.S. National Under-18 Team roster that will represent the country at the 2012 U-18 Four Nations Tournament scheduled Nov. 6-10 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.

The roster for the United States will include forward Hudson Fasching, who was recently given an A rating by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for this year's draft. J.T. Compher, another NTDP player given an A-rating prior to the season, is still recovering from an undisclosed injury suffered last month and will not be available.

Fasching, who had missed the last two games with an upper body injury, has three goals and eight points in 13 games.

Posted On Saturday, 11.03.2012 / 11:14 AM

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

USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game slated Jan. 23

The United States Hockey League on Friday announced that the 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game would be held Jan. 23 at L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Mich.

This is the second year the USHL will be staging a top prospects game, which features 40 of the top NHL Draft-eligible players from the league. The process of choosing players, who will be named sometime in early January, includes input from the 16 USHL general managers, NHL Central Scouting and NHL team scouts and decision makers.

"We're excited to have the prospects game return to Muskegon, one of the proudest and longest-standing hockey markets in the United States," USHL president and commissioner Skip Prince said. "These are America's best, gathered together for a special night with the Muskegon Lumberjacks as host and all of hockey as spectators."

Posted On Friday, 11.02.2012 / 4:05 PM

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

Quebec's Sorensen to sit this weekend

Quebec Remparts right wing Nick Sorensen, who earned a B rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary list for players in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will be sidelined this weekend with a bruised foot.

Sorensen had been on fire this season, hitting for four goals and 11 assists in 14 games. He also sports a plus-7 rating. The 6-foot-0.5, 168-pound forward missed almost all of his rookie season in 2011-12 after suffering a knee injury in the eighth game of the season.

Posted On Thursday, 11.01.2012 / 10:13 AM

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

Canada East roster named for World Jr. A Challenge


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.

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Posted On Friday, 10.26.2012 / 2:51 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 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.

Posted On Thursday, 10.25.2012 / 2:48 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 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.

Posted On Thursday, 10.25.2012 / 9:29 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 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.

Posted On Wednesday, 10.24.2012 / 9:45 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 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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