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Posted On Thursday, 06.19.2014 / 12:44 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

USHL announces 2014 Fall Classic schedule

The United States Hockey League on Friday announced the schedule for the annual Fall Classic to be held at two regional sites in September.

The Fall Classic East will be hosted by the Green Bay Gamblers at Resch Center, Sept. 15-17. The tournament will include the debuts of the league's newest expansion teams, the Madison Capitols and Bloomington Thunder.

The Sioux City Musketeers will host the Fall Classic West at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, Sept. 18-19.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.19.2014 / 12:36 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Swedish prospects Kempe, Englund earning praise

Left wing Adrian Kempe and defenseman Andreas Englund are two intriguing blue-chip prospects from Sweden who could be playing in the NHL sooner rather than later with the proper development.

Born on Sept. 13, 1996, Kempe is not only the youngest European skater among the top 30 on NHL Central Scouting's final rankings of international skaters, but also the youngest among the top 30 skaters on the North American list.

The 6-foot-1, 187-pound left-handed shooter is No. 6 on Central Scouting's final ranking of the top international skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on June 27-28.

Kempe, a power forward type, is considered a first-round pick by many NHL scouts. Some have compared him to Loui Eriksson of the Boston Bruins as an exceptional skater with a two-way approach to the game.

"He's a big, strong, bullish forward who can play center or wing," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb said. "He likes to drive hard for the net, using his strength and skating to his advantage. He plays the body and is aggressive when forechecking. He has a good defensive game for a player with his offensive skills; mobile, solid and strong."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.17.2014 / 3:52 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Predators could move No. 11 pick for 'top-six forward'

The Nashville Predators have the No. 11 pick in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft but general manager David Poile said he is open to trading the selection.

During a press conference Tuesday in Nashville, Poile said he would trade the pick if a "top-six forward" was the return.

"I've already been approached and … it's a possibility," Poile said. "There's always that possibility I would trade that first-round pick. I've made that open to some people I've talked to. It would be for a top forward if we could do that. I'm not predicting that [a trade] will happen, but if someone had that top-six forward I would certainly consider trading that first-round pick."

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Posted On Monday, 06.16.2014 / 3:29 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Capitals' new assistant GM experienced at draft table

Don't expect the 2014 NHL Draft strategy of the Washington Capitals to change now that Ross Mahoney has been promoted to assistant general manager.

Mahoney, who will aid new general manager Brian MacLellan, had served as Washington's director of amateur scouting the past 16 years before his promotion was announced Monday.

Mahoney confirmed that in addition to his new duties, he will continue to head the table at the draft in addition to coordinating the club's developmental programs to establish a solid foundation for the future of the organization.

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Posted On Monday, 06.16.2014 / 9:00 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

2014 NHL Draft order now complete

With the Stanley Cup Final complete and the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons, the order for the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft has been finalized.

The first 13 slots were set by the NHL Draft Lottery, which was held April 15 and won by the Florida Panthers.

In addition, the New Jersey Devils were awarded pick No. 30 as relief from an earlier penalty for circumventing the salary cap when they signed Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010.

Among teams that made the Stanley Cup Playoffs, non-division winners eliminated in the first two rounds were placed in inverse order of regular-season points, followed by division winners in inverse order of regular-season points.

The teams eliminated in the conference finals, the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks, will choose 26th and 27th, respectively.

The New York Rangers' pick will be No. 28 and the Cup champion Kings will pick 29th.

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Posted On Friday, 06.13.2014 / 3:18 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Canes hope for repeat of good fortune at No. 7 in draft

The last time the Carolina Hurricanes had the seventh pick in the draft was 2010, and it worked out OK for them when they selected forward Jeff Skinner.

"If we come up with another guy like that, we'll be OK," Hurricanes director of amateur scouting Tony MacDonald told the team's website.

The quest to find a player in the 2014 NHL Draft who can make the same kind of impact as Skinner won't be as easy. MacDonald said his assessment of this year's draft crop has made the job for him and his scouts that much tougher.

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Posted On Friday, 06.13.2014 / 11:11 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Canucks like local prospects Reinhart, Virtanen

Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden feels the organization might target a skilled forward with its first pick at the 2014 NHL Draft, currently No. 6.

In an interview with the Global News last month, Linden acknowledged how thrilled the organization is to be selecting No. 6. It is the highest draft slot for the Canucks since choosing Daniel and Henrik Sedin with the Nos. 2 and 3 picks in 1999.

"The fact the top of the draft is thin on defensemen … it would appear there are good, big power forwards available," Linden said.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.12.2014 / 2:17 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Blues happy to hold nine picks in NHL Draft

After having four picks last year, St. Louis Blues scouts are excited to go into the 2014 NHL Draft with nine selections.

"It's a good thing for our staff, because you travel all year and you get to this point and you want to pick," Blues director of amateur scouting Bill Armstrong told the team website. "The more picks you have, the more excited you get. Our staff is well-prepared. They've traveled the world and they're excited about, as we say in the business, taking a swing."

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.11.2014 / 12:28 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Maple Leafs looking to move up in first round

The Toronto Maple Leafs have the eighth pick in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft. They do right now, at least.

Maple Leafs general manager David Nonis told the Toronto Sun he has had discussions with other teams about moving up in the first round.

"It's a deep draft," Nonis said. "That's why you have four teams at the top open to trading down."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.10.2014 / 10:46 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Panthers could take Ekblad with No. 1 pick: report

If the Florida Panthers retain the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, they likely will select Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad out of the Ontario Hockey League, according to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The 6-foot-3, 213-pound defenseman is No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2014 draft.

"Ekblad is this year's player most likely ready to step in and play in the NHL," Panthers director of scouting Scott Luce told the Sun Sentinel last week. "He's physically mature and has got lots of mileage underneath him at the OHL level.''

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