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Posted On Monday, 09.15.2014 / 12:56 PM

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

Coyotes' Lessio hoping for extended NHL stay

Arizona Coyotes forward Lucas Lessio made the team's opening night roster last season, but his stay in the NHL lasted three games.

The second-round pick (No. 56) in the 2011 NHL Draft is working toward a longer stay this season. He spent the rest of the season in the American Hockey League, where he had 29 goals and 54 points in 69 games.

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Posted On Monday, 09.15.2014 / 12:51 PM

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

Capitals' Vrana will get chance in preseason games

The Washington Capitals likely will have Jakub Vrana, their 2014 first-round pick (No. 13), spend at least one more season with his team in the Swedish Elite League, where he will play with and against more physically mature competition.

First, though, they'll see how he looks against those kind of players on NHL-size ice. That starts Tuesday when the Capitals rookies face a team of Philadelphia Flyers rookies. Vrana also likely see action in preseason games, which start for Washington on Sept. 21.

"We'll see how I look," Vrana told CSNWashington.com. "When I play those games I'll see what I need to improve on. I don't really know because I haven't tried. I will see when I'm with those guys on the ice and I play a game."

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Posted On Monday, 09.15.2014 / 10:30 AM

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

Predators' Forsberg hoping to meet high expectations

Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg has been surrounded by high expectations since he was a 2011 first-round draft pick. Now the Predators are hoping he can live up to those levels.

What might help him is having spent all of last season in North America, the first time the Swedish forward has done that.

"[Last] year helped me a lot and getting more comfortable here," Forsberg told NHL.com correspondent Josh Cooper. "Hopefully I can show how much that year meant to me."

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Posted On Monday, 09.15.2014 / 9:58 AM

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

Flames' Gaudreau hoping to make big impression

Johnny Gaudreau never will be mistaken for Zdeno Chara. But with his skill and work ethic, he believes he can be a contributor for the Calgary Flames this season.

"It's just keeping working hard; as hard as you can," Gaudreau told NHL.com correspondent Aaron Vickers. "I talked to both [coach Bob Hartley and general manager Brad Treliving] in the summer time, making sure that everything I'm doing, three or four extra reps either in the weight room or on the ice, you have to make sure you're one of the better players out there for main camp."

Gaudreau is No. 26 on the NHL.com Top 60 prospect rankings.

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Posted On Saturday, 09.13.2014 / 8:12 PM

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

Blue Jackets' Milano out with facial fractures

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Sonny Milano is out of the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., and could miss the start of the 2014-15 season because of facial fractures, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Milano, the No. 16 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, was checked into the boards during a game Friday night. Don Harkins, director of U.S. Scouting for the Plymouth Whalers (the team Milano is expected to play for in 2014-15), told Portzline that Milano has a fractured orbital bone and fractured cheek.

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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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Quote of the Day

We have no doubt how he can play. You don't, with four teams that are left, you're not getting here without good goaltending. All great goalies left, and [Bishop] is a top-tier goaltender in this league and he's shown it.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper on goalie Ben Bishop, who shut out the Rangers in Game 5