We have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the NHL’s online services, you agree to these updated documents and to the arbitration of disputes.
Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Posted On Tuesday, 11.29.2011 / 2:34 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Subban named CHL goalie of the week

Top 2012 draft prospect Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls in the Ontario Hockey League on Tuesday was named the Vaughn Canadian Hockey League Goaltender of the Week.

Subban, whose older brother is Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, earned the honor after posting a 3-0-0-0 record, including a shutout, with a 0.67 goals-against average and .978 save percentage for games ending Nov. 27.

Subban, who participated in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August, went 10-17-0 in 32 appearances and finished second among OHL rookie goalies with a 3.16 GAA and .900 save percentage in 2010-11.

Since being taken off injured reserve earlier this month, Subban is 9-3-0 with a 1.89 GAA and .938 save percentage in 12 starts. He has also posted two shutouts.

"Malcolm is very strong and has excellent net coverage," Central Scouting's Al Jensen told NHL.com. "He has exceptional flexibility and quickness, great strength in his leg pushes needed for lateral ability and recovery. He's got a quick glove hand and excellent work ethic. He'll always give himself a chance to stop the puck and is capable of making the big saves."

Subban, 17, began the week making 23 saves on Thursday as part of a 3-1 win over the Erie Otters. He followed that with his second shutout of the season on Friday stopping all 34 shots faced, including 19 in the second period, in a 6-0 triumph over the Guelph Storm. He then led the Bulls win their third straight game on Sunday with 30 saves in a 4-1 win over the Oshawa Generals.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 11:11 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Yakupov returns to lineup for Sarnia Sting

After missing his first game of the season due to injury five days earlier, top 2012 draft prospect Nail Yakupov returned to the lineup for the Sarnia Sting on Thursday in a 4-3 loss to the Barrie Colts.

Yakupov, who took a check to the head in the third period of last Friday's victory over the Saginaw Spirit, appeared to be his normal productive self when he connected for 2 goals and 3 points. But his club suffered their second loss in the last five games.

Despite the loss, Sarnia assistant coach Trevor Letowski told The Sarnia Observer after the game that "Yakky was one of our best guys tonight."

Yakupov woke up Saturday morning experiencing a headache and a sore back and was held out of the lineup that evening. At the time, Sarnia coach and general manager Jacques Beaulieu said he was taking a "wait and see" approach with regard to Yakupov's soreness.

Yakupov, who suffered his injury after taking a hit from Saginaw's Garret Ross early in the third period, is second in Ontario Hockey League in scoring with 46 points, including 18 goals in 23 games.

According to Sarnia's assistant general manager, Mark Glavin, Yakupov was on the ice Friday morning at practice. Glavin said he was sore but wasn't suffering from any major setbacks. Glavin also informed NHL.com that Yakupov "never had a concussion and was just pretty banged up and too sore to play" last Saturday.

Ross received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the infraction. The Sting will next play host to the Niagara IceDogs on Saturday.

Earlier this season, Yakupov's linemate and fellow Russian countryman, Alex Galchenyuk, suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and underwent surgery. He is still at least four months away from returning to the lineup. Galchenyuk suffered his injury on Sept. 16 in a preseason game against the Windsor Spitfires.

The injuries to Yakupov and Galchenyuk certainly aren't isolated incidents this season in the Canadian Hockey League. There are several other top blue chip players watching from the stands. In the Western Hockey League, Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray (high ankle sprain), Edmonton Oil Kings defenseman Griffin Reinhart (shoulder) and Moose Jaw Warriors defenseman Morgan Rielly (season-ending knee surgery) have been shelved, although Murray resumed skated on Tuesday.

In the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Halifax Mooseheads right wing Martin Frk hasn't played a game this season due to a concussion.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Friday, 11.18.2011 / 7:58 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Morgan Rielly could miss season with knee injury

MOOSE JAW, Sask. -- Unfortunately for the rabid hockey fans that flooded Mosaic Place on Thursday to catch the final game of the 2011 Subway Super Series, highly touted and local prospect Morgan Rielly would be unavailable to participate.

The mobile defenseman, rated second on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary list for 2012 NHL Draft eligible players from the Western Hockey League, will have surgery within the next two weeks to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered Nov. 6.

"Morgan went to the University of Saskatchewan and had an MRI done, which showed that his ACL was indeed torn," Rielly's father, Andy, told NHL.com via e-mail. "At this point, we are confident that he will be 100 percent by mid-April. The doctor has not ruled out a return as early as mid to late March but that will be a decision made at the time."

While it is a major blow for Rielly, who was in his second season with the Moose Jaw Warriors, it really shouldn't affect his draft status at this time.

The 5-foot-11.5, 190-pound Rielly led Moose Jaw in rookie scoring last season and was second among defensemen with 28 points, including 22 assists, in 65 games. He was the second youngest player to represent Team Canada at the 2011 World Under-18 Championships and he competed at the 2011 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial.

"Morgan is in pretty good spirits all considered, and very determined to get fully healed ahead of schedule," Andy Rielly wrote.

Rielly was injured on a play against the Calgary Hitmen after skating hard to the net at top speed before being knocked to the ice by former teammate Joe Kornelsen.

"It's unfortunate for our hockey club and obviously it's unfortunate for Morgan," Warriors director of hockey operations Alan Millar told the Moose Jaw Times-Herald. "The way we look at it, if he was to be back with our hockey team this year you're talking late in the season, playoff time or possibly not at all."

Rielly will have his surgery performed back home in Vancouver.

Rielly is the second top 2012 NHL Draft prospect to undergo major knee surgery this season. Sarnia Sting center Alex Galchenyuk had surgery to repair a torn ACL on Oct. 27 and likely will miss the rest of the season. Still, he was ranked second on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary ranking of the top Ontario Hockey League skaters for this year's draft.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Monday, 11.07.2011 / 11:04 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Top USHL prospect Schmaltz part of six-player trade

A blockbuster trade was finalized in the United States Hockey League on Monday when the Sioux City Musketeers dealt highly touted defensive prospect Jordan Schmaltz to the Green Bay Gamblers as part of a six-player deal.

Schmaltz, committed to the University of North Dakota next fall, is regarded by many to be a first-round choice for the upcoming 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh. Schmaltz finished his rookie season in the USHL last year as the highest scoring defenseman in the league with 44 points, including 13 goals, in 53 games.

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Schmaltz has 3 goals and 6 points in nine games this season.

"He's got a good shot from the top of the point," NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee told NHL.com. "The thing is, I don't think he'll be drafted as a defensive guy -- he'll be drafted for his high-end offense."

In fact, many believe Schmaltz offers the type of offensive skills that made Kitchener Rangers defenseman Ryan Murphy (Carolina Hurricanes) so attractive last June.

Schmaltz of Verona, Wis., is currently in Langley, B.C., with Team USA for the 2011 World Junior A Challenge. Schmaltz is actually one of two returnees on the team, which captured a third straight World Junior A Challenge title in 2010. Team USA opens the tournament on Nov. 7 against Sweden.

Schmaltz was dealt to Green Bay in exchange for forward David Goodwin, defensemen Andy Ryan and Dan Molenaar and affiliate list player forward Jacob Montgomery. The Gamblers also acquired forward Peter Maric as compensation for an earlier trade involving forward Nikita Sirotkin.

Schmaltz, a member of the 2011 All-USHL First team and All-Rookie team, was also a member of the United States team that captured the gold medal in the 2010 World U-17 Hockey Challenge.  

"The trade was made with mixed emotions," Green Bay coach Derek Lalonde told the team's website. "David, Andy and Dan our great people and were valuable players to our team. But at the same time you rarely have an opportunity to acquire a player the caliber of Jordan Schmaltz. He is a projected a first round NHL draft pick and will be a tremendous addition to our team."

Additionally, the Gamblers added Jordan's younger brother, forward Nick Schmaltz. Nick Schmaltz, a member of the Chicago Mission Under-16 Team, is one of the top players among the 1996 birth years.

According to the Gamblers website, Jordan Schmaltz is expected to make his Green Bay debut on Nov. 18 against the U.S. U-18 National Team Development Program.  The team is currently 8-3 in the Eastern Conference.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Friday, 11.04.2011 / 11:21 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

A few more OHL players to watch

There are certainly more than seven players NHL scouts are keeping an eye on from the OHL for the 2012 NHL Draft. NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards, who specializes in OHL prospects, and Central Scouting goaltending guru Al Jensen have been keeping close tabs on a few other top prospects.

Dylan Blujus, D, Brampton -- In his second OHL season, the 6-2.75, 193-pound blueliner is developing into a star.

After totaling 26 points and a minus-14 rating in 67 games this season, Blujus has 10 points in his first 15 games, and is a plus-9.

"He's getting better every time I see him," said Edwards. "He's a real solid guy, and every viewing I've had he's gotten better. He's starting to show real good decision-making and puck movement. … His playmaking is good, his play in his own end. He's being used in a top-two role with Brampton, on the power-play and penalty-killing units."

Edwards also has been impressed not just by Blujus' shot, but his accuracy with it.

"He's got a real good shot and it hits the net," said Edwards. "He's getting it on net, making the goalie make a save," unlike another player he recently watched, who he said, "took eight shots and missed the net on all eight."

Trevor Carrick, D, Mississauga St. Michael's -- He hasn't produced much offensively yet, but the 6-1.5, 172-pound blueliner is earning attention for his smart play on the ice.

"He's a very poised guy," said Edwards. "He's got good mobility, and he picks it apart on the back end with good outlet passes. At times you look at him and he might be high-risk, but he makes it work. He's a real smart, heady type of defenseman."

Edwards said in the games he's seen Carrick play, it's been a slow build to his game.

"Early in the game he's on the third defense pair, in the first period he takes a regular shift," said Edwards, "but by the end of the night he's logging all the ice and playing against the other team's top line. He's a really reliable guy. Not many mistakes."

Michael Clarke, C, Windsor -- The 5-11.25, 184-pound center is tied for the lead among all first-year OHL players with 8 goals, but it's his work ethic that has impressed scouts.

"He's going to get his goals by going to the net and knocking in rebounds," said Edwards. "I'm not sure you'll see him go end-to-end and dangle people. He's going to get his points in setting up plays, scoring dirty goals, ugly goals."

Edwards said Clarke reminds him of a top player from last year's draft, Blue Jackets second-round pick Boone Jenner.

"He'll do anything you have to do to win," said Edwards. "He's great in the faceoff circle, he's a great competitor, he'll block shots. He's used in all situations, he's on the second line, killing penalties. He might be a little better skater than Jenner was. … This guy is a competitor. So far from what I've seen, he might be best competitor in the draft."

Brendan Gaunce, C, Belleville -- The hard-working forward is scoring at a near point-per-game clip this season and is showing improved skill in the offensive zone.

But like Clarke, it's Gaunce's work ethic that is earning positive reviews from scouts.

"He's a hard-working, up-and-down guy," said Edwards. "On the power play he really handled it well, creating good scoring chances. Five-on-five he's also solid. He'll get involved and win battles for pucks. He's tough. He'll separate guys from the puck and knock people down. To go along with his good skill set, he can be a pretty dangerous player."

Matthew Murray, G, Sault Ste. Marie -- The 6-4 netminder is tied for third in the OHL with nine wins, to go with a 3.29 goals-against average and .891 save percentage.

Jensen told NHL.com what impresses him most is Murray's technical skill.

"He's got that NHL presence of a goalie," said Jensen. "He just looks like a goalie in there. He's big, his net coverage is very good, he's very controlled in the net. He plays the bulk of the games and is very consistent. His technical part of the game is very good. He's very controlled in his movements. He gives himself a chance to stop the puck because he's always in the proper position. He doesn't have to come all the way out all the time. He plays mostly in the paint because he covers all the holes."

Jake Paterson, G, Saginaw -- Jensen said the three times he's seen Patterson in action, "all three were 'A' games."

The numbers the 6-1.5, 183-pound goalie has posted so far -- 5-6-0, 3.95 GAA, .893 save percentage -- don't look all that great, but Saginaw is ninth in the 10-team Western Conference and has allowed the second-most goals in the league.

"He's got a great feel for the game," said Jensen. "He challenges when he has to, he battles, he's quick, he's strong, he's smart. … He's given his team a chance to win every night.

"I like his size in there. He's got great quickness and a great glove hand. He moves very well technically. He really reads the play well."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 3:59 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Yakupov named OHL Player of the Month

Sarnia Sting right wing Nail Yakupov, who many consider will be the No. 1 pick in the 2012 Draft at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on June 22, was named the Ontario Hockey League's player of the month for October.

Yakupov led the league in scoring with 29 points in 13 games for Sarnia, including 11 goals and a league-leading 18 assists in October.

"Yakupov is a dynamic exciting player … he's one of the few players that you can say this guy is worth the price of admission," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr told NHL.com. "He can put on that type of a show, he's that skilled."

Yakupov, who began skating when he was 3-years-old in Nizhnekamsk, Russia, had a point in 12 of his 13 games in the month. He produced nine multi-point games and finished with the second highest plus-minus rating in the League (plus-13).

In the upcoming six-game 2011 Subway Super Series, featuring the top junior-aged players of the Canadian Hockey League against those from the Russian National Junior Team, Yakupov will represent his country against Team OHL on Nov. 10 in Ottawa.

"When you watch him, I don't think there's one singular player that you would say, 'Wow, that's a guy he could be just like,'" said NHL Network analyst Craig Button. "But his ability to maneuver out of traffic and out of the corners from tight areas reminds you a Pavel Datsyuk. When you watch him explode in his skating, he reminds you of Pavel Bure."

Yakupov was one of 36 top 2012 prospects on the ice for the NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in Etobicoke, Ont., in August. Yakupov (6-foot, 190 pounds), selected second by the Sting during the 2010 CHL import draft, had the fourth-highest total in the OHL and most by a first-year player when he struck for 101 points in 2010-11. He won the OHL's Rookie of the Year award and his point total, which included 49 goals, shattered Steven Stamkos' team record for a rookie (92 points in 2006-07).

Yakupov claimed OHL and CHL Player of the Week honors for the week ending Oct. 16 when he matched a career-high with 4 assists on Oct. 14 in a 7-2 win over the Saginaw Spirit. During a stretch of three straight games from Oct. 22-29, he scored 7 points in three games. Yakupov was also named the game's first star in a 7-2 win over the Sudbury Wolves after notching 2 goals and 2 assists on Oct. 1.

Yakupov, 18, currently leads the OHL in scoring with 34 points in 16 games with 12 goals and a league-high 22 assists. He's looking to become the first Russian-born player since Alex Ovechkin in 2004 to go first overall.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 1:08 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Reinhart replaces injured Ryan Murray in Super Series

The Canadian Hockey League on Thursday announced a roster replacement and additions for the Western Hockey League team that will play the Russians in the 2011 Subway Super Series on Nov. 16 in Regina and Nov. 17 in Moose Jaw.

Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton Oil Kings defenseman
Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray, originally scheduled to participate with Team WHL on Nov. 16, will be sidelined the next five weeks with a sprained ankle suffered in an 8-2 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings on Oct. 19. Prior to the injury, he had 3 goals and 6 points in 10 games.

Murray will be replaced in the lineup by fellow 2012 draft-eligible prospect Griffin Reinhart of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Also added to the Team WHL roster to compete in Regina is the Kelowna Rockets' Brett Bulmer and Zach Franko, along with Kamloops Blazers' Colin Smith. For the final game of the series on Nov. 17, the WHL added the Oil Kings' Michael St. Croix and Cody Beach of the Moose Jaw Warriors.

While the team loses an extremely reliable defensive-defenseman in Murray, Reinhart will bring a bit of an edge along the blueline.

He's already earning comparisons to Nashville's Shea Weber with his hulking size (6-foot-4, 210 pounds) and tremendous mobility in the back end. His father is former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart, who scored 560 points over 11 seasons and 648 games with the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. His older brother, Max, a third-round pick (No. 64 overall) of the Calgary Flames in 2010, began his fourth season with the WHL's Kootenay Ice in 2011-12.

Reinhardt will no doubt receive much more ice time in his second full season with the Oil Kings after notching six goals, 25 points, 36 penalty minutes and a plus-7 rating in 46 games as a rookie last year. He has produced 2 goals, 6 points, 9 penalty minutes and a plus-2 rating in 11 games for the Oil Kings this season.

"He's a big package and knows how to use it," MacDonald said. "He's very strong in the corners and battles in front of his own net. He's solid one-on-one, can eliminate opposing forwards convincingly and is physically strong in all areas of the ice.

"He'll develop into a rock solid, big presence for an NHL team … he has huge upside."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 10:17 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Girgensons talks future plans ... in Vermont

If there was any question of the future plans for 2012 top draft eligible prospect Zemgus Girgensons, the 6-foot-1 Latvian did his best to answer them this week.

In an interview with hockey blogger Ryan S. Clark of 'Slightly Chilled', Girgensons of the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the United States Hockey League said he doesn't see himself playing in the Canadian Hockey League.

Girgensons, committed to the University of Vermont for the fall of 2012, was also drafted 45th overall by the Kelowna Rockets during the CHL Import Draft and was taken in the second round of the KHL Junior Draft by CSKA Moscow.

"You know, first of all I don't see my future in the CHL," Girgensons told Clark. "I talked with other CHL teams that were interested in me. I thought about the (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) and the Quebec Remparts (where fellow blue chip prospect Mikhail Grigorenko stars), but Kelowna drafted me and didn't say anything to me about it. After that, I felt they disrespected me a little bit. They pushed it a little bit onto my adviser and I don't think he really liked it."

Girgensons finished third overall on Dubuque with 49 points, including 21 goals, in 51 games last season and was selected to the mid-season Western Conference All-Stars. Through nine games this season, Girgensons has 6 goals, including 3 game-winners, 13 points and a plus-2 rating.

Adding coal to the fire was a blog that Clark pointed to which specializes in news out of the Western Hockey League. The outlet, 'DubNation', quoted Rockets owner and general manager Bruce Hamilton when asked about Girgensons.

"His agents think (Dubuque) is where he should be playing and he's very loyal to that program but I know as soon as he's drafted, the NHL team is not going to want him in Dubuque and they're not going to want him going to the University of Vermont, either," Hamilton told DubNation. "We'll have a real good opportunity to have him here for sure next year, and potentially after Christmas this year. When the Latvian team plays in the world juniors, we'll be very aggressive again there."

Girgensons represented Latvia at the 2010 World Under-18 Championships, notching two assists in six games.

Dubuque coach Jim Montgomery, a collegiate standout at the University of Maine, responded this way:

"First of all, I was wondering how he could be tampering with a player that plays with another junior team in the middle of the season. I was also wondering about his ethics and why would you want to try and approach someone trying to win a gold medal for his nation," Montgomery told 'Slightly Chilled'. "Being a Canadian, he should know how important it is to win a gold medal. If junior hockey is coming to this type of level where you're going to bother someone while they’re trying to win a gold medal for his country speaks volumes about the integrity of some of the people in junior hockey. I know for a fact that (Girgensons) hasn't spoken to an adviser and (Girgensons' adviser) hasn'’t spoken to the kid either. He's defending his draft pick and that's why he's putting a positive spin on it as possible. Really, he's making himself look like he's unethical."

Girgensons was also perturbed by Hamilton's comments, according to 'Slightly Chilled.'

"I don't think it was a great move by them," Girgensons said. "If they had said 'We support his decision to go to Vermont', that would have been fine but they said I should not go there. They disrespected my thoughts and I felt like they didn't even trust me."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 4:23 PM

By Alan Robinson -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Pens hope All-Star Game follows draft to Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH -- The Stanley Cup Final in 2008 and 2009, the 2011 Bridgestone Winter Classic, now the 2012 Draft. Obviously, Pittsburgh has been a busy port of call for the NHL over the past few seasons.
 
According to Penguins CEO David Morehouse, not quite busy enough.
 
Now that the much-praised Consol Energy Center is their home, the Penguins are making a major push to also play host to the NHL All-Star Game. The All-Star game was last played in Pittsburgh in 1990, when Mario Lemieux scored four goals in his one and only all-star appearance on home ice. A season later, he would lead the Penguins to the first of two successive Stanley Cups.
 
That 1990 All-Star Game was notable for being the first to stage a Heroes of Hockey Game and an All-Star skills competition.
 
Morehouse promised the Penguins will remain aggressive in pursuing the All-Star Game, which will be played this season on Jan. 29 in Ottawa.
 
"I know we're going to ask an awful lot," Morehouse said. "We're going to see if we can wear them down. In a few years, I think it's a great place to host an All-Star game. It's one of the premier facilities, if not the premier facility, in the NHL. And Pittsburgh has proven itself a great hockey town -- we continue to lead U.S. teams in television ratings and merchandise sales and almost every other category. We're very excited about the growth of hockey in Pittsburgh, and how it continues to grow."
 
The Penguins will play before their 216th consecutive sellout crowd Thursday night when they meet the Islanders, a streak that began when they played in the Civic Arena. The 18,387-seat Consol Energy Center opened last season.
 
At least one more major hockey event will be played in Pittsburgh in the near future -- the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four. Morehouse also wants to bring the world junior championships to Consol, but has been told there is a waiting list for that popular, holiday-time tournament.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 2:39 PM

By Alan Robinson -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

J. Staal has fond draft memories

PITTSBURGH—Jordan Staal said Pittsburgh is in for a treat.
 
Staal, one of the NHL's best two-way centers, said being drafted No. 2 by the Penguins in Vancouver in 2006 remains one of the biggest thrills of his life. He has watched other drafts since then, and he said it's always entertaining to watch a young player learn where he is going to begin his professional career.
 
"The draft was pretty cool for me," Staal said. "It's your first step into your new dream and it's a pretty fun experience that I'm sure a lot of players will never forget. I'm excited that it’s going to be in Pittsburgh, and I'm sure it’s going to be a lot of fun."
 
When the Entry Draft was last held in Pittsburgh in 1997 -- at the now-closed Civic Arena -- Joe Thornton was the No. 1 pick by Boston, followed by forward  Patrick Marleau, San Jose; forward Olli Jokinen, Los Angeles; goalie Roberto Luongo, the New York Islanders; and defenseman Eric Brewer, the Islanders. Other first-round picks included Sergei Samsonov, Marian Hossa and Brenden Morrow.
 
Thornton became only the second 17-year-old to be selected No. 1, joining Pierre Turgeon. Luongo was the first goaltender drafted as high as No. 4 since the draft began in 1969.
 
The Penguins' top pick, forward Robert Dome at No. 17, turned out to be one of their less-successful first-rounders. Dome, who wore his hair long to mimic then-Penguins star Jaromir Jagr, had 7 goals and 7 assists in 53 career NHL games, all but one with Pittsburgh.
 
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
First | Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next | Last
 
2012 NHL Draft