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2015 NHL Draft
Posted On Wednesday, 07.22.2015 / 4:07 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Zacha, Zboril invited to Czech camp in Calgary

Center Pavel Zacha and defenseman Jakub Zboril, each first-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft, highlight the roster of Czech Republic players invited to participate in Canada's junior development camp in Calgary next month.

The camp, which will be held from Aug. 1-6, will feature practices and exhibition games against Canada and Russia. Zacha, selected No. 6 by the New Jersey Devils, and Zboril (Boston Bruins, No. 13) will be among 22 players attending the camp that will help establish the roster for Czech Republic at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Posted On Tuesday, 07.21.2015 / 9:13 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Chabot added to Canada junior development camp

Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Thomas Chabot, a first-round selection of the Ottawa Senators in the 2015 NHL Draft, has been added to Canada's national junior team development camp roster in Calgary.

Chabot will be among 40 players attending the camp that will help establish the roster for Canada in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. Chabot will replace Oshawa Generals defenseman Mitchell Vande Sompel (New York Islanders, 2015), who sustained an injury and is unable to attend.

The camp will be held from Aug. 1-6, and feature practices and exhibition games against the Czech Republic and Russia.


Posted On Monday, 07.20.2015 / 9:23 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

USA Hockey sets junior evaluation camp rosters

Center Auston Matthews and left wing Matthew Tkachuk, each projected to be selected top-five in the 2016 NHL Draft, will be representing Team White when the United States holds its national junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., from Aug. 1-8.

USA Hockey announced the rosters for Team White and Team Blue for the opening three days of practices and scrimmages against Finland and Sweden. The 39 invitees will be auditioning for spots on the team that will represent the country at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland, from Dec. 26, 2015-Jan. 5, 2016.

Posted On Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 8:01 PM

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

Top prospects smack balls, talk smack at Marlins Park

MIAMI -- London Knights center Mitchell Marner shook his head and smiled when asked about Kingstown Frontenacs left wing Lawson Crouse, who was the only player to hit a home run during batting practice Wednesday afternoon at Marlins Park.

Marner, Crouse and four other top 2015 NHL Draft prospects got the chance to take batting practice and shag fly balls prior to the Miami Marlins' game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

"It was luck, that's what it was," Marner said of Crouse's big shot, which cleared the fence in right field, about 335 feet from home plate.

Marner was joking, of course, but kept piling on the sarcasm with the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Crouse within an earshot. After a pressure-packed season that included highs, lows and plenty of media scrutiny, Wednesday provided a chance for the players to have some fun before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft begins Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

Posted On Wednesday, 06.17.2015 / 11:00 AM

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

Blue Jackets prepare for busy 2015 NHL Draft

It's been nearly 10 years since the Columbus Blue Jackets had as many as the 10 selections they have at the 2015 NHL Draft, which will be held June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.  

But it's a good year to have that many selections, considering the deep potential of the 2015 class.

"I think it's one of the deeper drafts since I've been scouting," Blue Jackets director of amateur scouting Paul Castron said. "There's obviously the top two guys at the top [Erie center Connor McDavid and Boston University center Jack Eichel] who are potential franchise players. But I think it's pretty wide open after them.

"It's going to be a fun draft that way because people think guys are going here or there and you just never know. I remember when Cam Fowler fell that one year to Anaheim and everyone thought he would go a lot higher."

Posted On Saturday, 06.06.2015 / 6:32 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

Buffalo native enjoys Combine in hometown

BUFFALO -- Buffalo native Dennis Gilbert had the experience of a lifetime this week at the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine. 

Gilbert, a defenseman for the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League, was somewhat of an ambassador during the week.

He often found himself escorting fellow prospects to First Niagara Center for the interviewing phase with NHL teams earlier in the week, and to HarborCenter for the fitness testing on Friday and Saturday.

Posted On Saturday, 06.06.2015 / 9:41 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

Czech goalie Vladar happy with Combine performance

BUFFALO -- Goaltender Daniel Vladar had the unenviable task of being the first top prospect at his position to complete the nine fitness tests on the final day of the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine at HarborCenter on Saturday.

In the end, the 6-foot-5, 185-pound native of Praha, Czech Republic, was all smiles with the realization that he survived the grueling Wingate Cycle Ergometer peak power output test to measure the explosiveness of a skater.


Posted On Saturday, 06.06.2015 / 9:07 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

Fitness testing gets started at NHL Scouting Combine

BUFFALO -- The final day of the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine officially kicked off here at HarborCenter on Saturday morning with a dozen top prospects testing on the nine events.

There were three prospects medically exempt from testing on Saturday, Oshawa Generals defenseman Mitchell Vande Sompel, Omaha Lancers center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. Niagara IceDogs defenseman Vince Dunn was medically exempt from lower-body testing; Everett Silvertips defenseman Noah Juulsen did not test since he had to return home for high school graduation.

Goaltender Ilya Samsonov of Magnitogorsk in Russia was unable to attend the Combine; no reason was provided. Samsonov is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international goalies.

Posted On Friday, 06.05.2015 / 4:20 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

Players smaller in stature attracting attention

BUFFALO -- The smaller forwards of today's game are taking advantage of the NHL rule changes in 2005 that helped facilitate more of an offensive style of play.

They also are changing the way scouts think when it comes to the NHL draft.

A quick glance at the scoring leaders in the Stanley Cup Playoffs shows Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson (5-foot-8, 183 pounds) with a League-best 21 points, one point more than Chicago Blackhawksforward Patrick Kane (5-11, 177).

Posted On Friday, 06.05.2015 / 1:57 PM

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

Matthews likely to play in Europe before '16 NHL Draft

BUFFALO -- Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, is leaning toward continuing his hockey career in Switzerland, agent Pat Brisson told NHL.com on Friday.

Brisson said playing for ZSC in Switzerland's top professional league or for the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League are the two destinations. Brisson said Matthews has ruled out going the NCAA route. 

"It's been discussed and we have been exploring Europe and have narrowed it down to Switzerland and the WHL," Brisson said. "It's looking at the moment that the scale is leaning towards Europe." ZSC is coached by former NHL coach Marc Crawford.

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Quote of the Day

There's standards that this team is going to play to and there are expectations. We're going to hold these guys accountable to high standards.

— Coach Dave Lowry on Canada's junior team, the defending IIHF World Junior champions