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Posted On Saturday, 09.13.2014 / 3:00 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Oilers' Nurse has special bond with sister

Edmonton Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse comes from a family with a rich, athletic background. His father played in the CFL, his uncle in the NFL, and his mother and sisters played college basketball. It's his younger sister, Kia, however, that he has bonded with the most.

Kia Nurse is a star basketball player who is a freshman at the University of Connecticut and also a part of Canada's national women's basketball team.

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Posted On Friday, 09.12.2014 / 8:26 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Potvin impressed with Panthers rookie Ekblad

Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin, now a color analyst for the Florida Panthers, got his first look at Aaron Ekblad on Friday and the review was positive.

Ekblad, the defenseman who was selected No. 1 by the Panthers at the 2014 NHL Draft, is expected to play in the League this season as an 18-year-old. He had 23 goals and 30 assists in 58 games for the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League last season.

"The first thing I saw was great hands," Potvin told The Sun Sentinel. "When they were battling he protected the puck well and passed the puck well, which is important. He got a puck on the boards and made a saucer pass all the way to the blue line, which is nice.

"But the most important aspect of his development is how closely he gets to his coach, who will have the ultimate decision; that's where you're going to grow.''

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Posted On Friday, 09.12.2014 / 4:40 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Sharks' Mueller got bigger to bulk up NHL hopes

San Jose Sharks defenseman Mirco Mueller believes bigger is better.

The team's 2013 first-round pick (No. 18) told CSNBayArea.com that he has bulked up to 205 pounds in an attempt to make the NHL this season. He's listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds.

"I worked really hard in the summer to really gain those few pounds I needed," Mueller said during Sharks rookie camp. "I think I'm ready for [the NHL] now."

Mueller said the added weight will help him handle the physical play that comes with being in the NHL.

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Posted On Friday, 09.12.2014 / 3:59 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Islanders' Reinhart out to prove he is NHL-ready

New York Islanders defenseman Griffin Reinhart best summed up the team's first day of rookie camp.

"Hockey season is back … finally," he told the team's website.

Reinhart, the fourth pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, will start his professional career this season. Whether that's in the NHL or the American Hockey League will be determined during training camp. The 20-year-old 6-foot-4, 217-pound son of former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart is No. 20 on NHL.com's Top 60 prospect ranking.

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Posted On Friday, 09.12.2014 / 3:01 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Capitals' Burakovsky poised to make team as center

With a new coaching staff in place, it's meant a few changes for a number of players on the Washington Capitals roster.

It's also meant some changes for one of their top prospects.

Forward Andre Burakovsky, the 23rd pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, said Capitals coach Barry Trotz has asked him to shift from left wing to center during the team's rookie camp, and he'll likely stay there when training camp opens.

Burakovsky was drafted as a left wing, and playing that position last season with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, he had 41 goals and 87 points in 57 games.

But if it means playing in the NHL this season, the 19-year-old, who earned the No. 14 spot in NHL.com's Top 60 prospect rankings, said he's all for it.

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Posted On Friday, 09.12.2014 / 1:43 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Jackson added to All-American Prospects Game

Center Robby Jackson of the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League has been added to the list of players invited to the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, which will be played Sept. 25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

Jackson will play on Team Olczyk in place of right wing Michael Floodstrand of the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 team, who withdrew due to injury.

A 5-foot-9, 177-pound center, Jackson had 28 goals and 42 points in 60 games with Chicago last season. He is committed to St. Cloud State University for the 2015-16 season.

The All-American Prospects Game will feature 42 of the top U.S.-born players eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, among them Boston University center Jack Eichel, University of Michigan defenseman Zachary Werenski and Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin.

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Posted On Friday, 09.12.2014 / 1:22 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Blue Jackets' Dansk ready to fight for ice time

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Oscar Dansk is approaching this season as the most important of his career. And as the 20-year-old enters his first professional season in North America, he's probably right.

Dansk, the Blue Jackets' second-round pick (No. 31) in the 2012 NHL Draft, will start the season with Springfield of the American Hockey League, where he will compete for playing time with fellow Swede Anton Forsberg. The first step in that battle will be at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament, which runs through Tuesday.

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Posted On Friday, 09.12.2014 / 12:52 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Senators' Lazar trying to enjoy camp experiences

Ottawa Senators 2013 first-round pick (No. 17) Curtis Lazar has his sights set on being in the NHL this season.

One step in that process will involve a trip west to London, Ontario. He'll be part of the team the Senators are sending to the London Rookie Tournament, which will be held Sept. 13-16 and will feature the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Lazar, No. 16 on NHL.com's Top 60 prospect ranking, played center during his junior time with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League, but likely will have to shift to right wing if he wants to last in Ottawa.

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Posted On Friday, 09.12.2014 / 11:21 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Rangers' Halverson set for Traverse City homecoming

Playing in the Traverse City Prospect Tournament this week will be special for New York Rangers goaltender Brandon Halverson.

He'll be representing the team he hopes to play for in the NHL, and also doing it at home. Halverson was born in Traverse City, Mich., and Centre Ice Arena is a 10-minute drive from the house he grew up in.

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Posted On Friday, 09.12.2014 / 10:42 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Rookie Camps blog

Red Wings' Mantha looking to make rapid rise

The Detroit Red Wings organizational philosophy is to leave players in the development pipeline for as long as possible. That includes having even their prospects spend time in the American Hockey League.

However, Anthony Mantha could break that mold. The team's 2013 first-round pick (No. 20), is No. 10 on NHL.com's Top 60 prospect ranking.

"Because of what he's done in major junior he's kind of accelerated [his path] and given himself an opportunity to legitimately be a Detroit Red Wing and an opportunity to crack our top six," Kris Draper, Red Wings special assistant to the general manager, told NHL.com staff writer Tal Pinchevsky.

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Quote of the Day

For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday
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