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Posted On Thursday, 12.25.2014 / 9:45 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Defenseman Santini released from U.S. Junior Team

Defenseman Steven Santini was the final player released from the United States National Junior Team on Thursday.

Santini, a New Jersey Devils prospect in his second season at Boston College, has not played in a game since Oct. 25 when he sustained a wrist injury. He had a cast removed from the wrist Monday but did not play in any of the United States' three exhibition games. 

"We wanted to see where Steve was after he had the cast removed and it's clear he needs more time before he's ready to play," U.S. general manager Jim Johannson said.


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Posted On Thursday, 12.25.2014 / 2:33 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada picks Fucale to start World Juniors opener

Zachary Fucale will start in goal for Canada when it opens the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Friday against Slovakia at Bell Centre in Montreal (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Hockey Canada made the announcement Thursday, choosing Fucale, a Montreal Canadiens draft pick, rather than Eric Comrie, a Winnipeg Jets prospect.

"We're comfortable with both goalies," Canada coach Benoit Groulx said, according to TSN. "We just think it was normal to start with the goalie who was there last year and give him a chance."

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.24.2014 / 9:24 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Sweden's Kylington out of World Juniors: report

Sweden defenseman Oliver Kylington, one of the top European prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft, will not play at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, according to Canadian Press.

Canadian Press reported Tuesday that a Sweden team official said Kylington has an unspecified injury. The 17-year-old played Sunday in Sweden's 5-2 loss to Canada in a pre-tournament game in Ottawa but did not play Tuesday in a 10-5 loss to the United States.

The 6-foot, 180-pound defender, who earned an A rating from NHL Central Scouting on its players to watch list, has two goals and five points in 17 games with Farjestad in the Swedish Hockey League.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 11:22 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Bracco, Cassels released from U.S. Junior team

Forwards Jeremy Bracco and Cole Cassels were released from the United States National Junior team on Tuesday.

Bracco, who is a B-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list for the 2015 NHL Draft, played Tuesday in an exhibition victory against Sweden, 10-5. Cassels, a third-round pick (No. 85) of the Vancouver Canucks in the 2013 NHL Draft, was a healthy scratch.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 10:34 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Domi scores hat trick in Canada's final WJC tuneup

Forward Max Domi's hat trick led Canada to a 6-0 win against Switzerland at Bell Centre in Montreal on Tuesday in its final exhibition game prior to the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Domi (Arizona Coyotes) scored twice in 13 seconds during the second period and at 8:16 of the third. Forward Anthony Duclair (New York Rangers) assisted on each of Domi's goals.

Connor McDavid (2015 draft eligible) assisted on a goal by Nick Ritchie (Anaheim Ducks) in the third period. Curtis Lazar (Ottawa Senators) was scoreless in his debut Canada captain.

Goalie Zachary Fucale (Montreal Canadiens) got the win.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 6:23 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

Penguins forward Comeau out several weeks: report

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Blake Comeau has been placed on injured reserve and will be out several weeks, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday.

It is believed Comeau sustained a wrist injury against the Florida Panthers on Monday. He is the 10th Penguins player on injured reserve.

The Penguins recalled forward Dominik Uher from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 2:53 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blues at Avalanche

DENVER -- Rookie Calvin Pickard has been playing as well as any goalie in the NHL, but Semyon Varlamov will start for the Colorado Avalanche against the St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

A Vezina Trophy finalist last season, Varlamov has missed 17 of the Avalanche's first 33 games because of groin injuries, including the past six. He hasn't played since leaving in the third period of a Dec. 5 game against the Winnipeg Jets.

"He was very excited to play," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "He looked very sharp in the practice this morning and in the other practices and worked hard with [goalie coach] Francois [Allaire]. It's a good situation for us. Calvin's played really well and we hope that [Varlamov] will be sharp tonight."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 12:53 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL.com Top Play Faceoff: Ovechkin vs. Ryan

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 11:57 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Eichel named captain of U.S. World Junior team

Boston University freshman Jack Eichel was named captain of the United States National Junior Team that will compete in Montreal and Toronto at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, according to USA Hockey.

Forward John Hayden (Chicago Blackhawks) and defenseman Will Butcher (Colorado Avalanche) will serve as alternates.

Considered a top-two pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Eichel scored a shorthanded goal and had four shots on goal to help lead the U.S. to a 5-2 win against Boston University in a Dec. 19 exhibition game. The 6-foot-1 center hit the Christmas break as the NCAA leader with 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) and a 1.69 points-per-game average in 16 games. He had one goal and four assists in five games for the fifth-place U.S. team in last year's tournament.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 10:54 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Kings center Kopitar to call into NHL Live

NHL Live with Bill Pidto and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, welcomes Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar at 5:30 p.m. The NHL's First Star for the week ending Dec. 21 has 10 points in his past four games with six coming on the power play.

The Central Division-leading Chicago Blackhawks are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games and play the Winnipeg Jets at United Center. Eddie Olczyk will join the show from Arena Cam to preview the game.

St. Louis Blues radio analyst Kelly Chase also checks in from Pepsi Center in Denver to preview the Blues' game against the Colorado Avalanche (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic