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Posted On Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 5:02 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Few trades transpire at this year's draft

PHILADELPHIA -- The trade bonanza that was supposed to happen at the 2014 NHL Draft never came to pass, and a few of the League’s general managers believe it might have been because they were being pulled in too many directions.

After all, this was the first time the interview period prior to the opening of free agency coincided with the draft.

As part of the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, NHL teams were given the ability to speak with impending unrestricted free agents five days before the market opens. However, last year that interview window opened on July 1 because free agency began July 5 due to the NHL lockout pushing back the hockey calendar.

This year, the opening of free agency was moved up to July 1, meaning the interview period opened June 25 and kept general managers busy heading into the draft.


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Posted On Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 4:38 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Flyers' Holmgren proud of team, fans at draft

PHILADELPHIA -- With two days and seven rounds in the book, Philadelphia Flyers president Paul Holmgren was all smiles after his organization hosted the NHL Draft for the first time.

"Obviously the League does a lot of the stuff too, but our staff working behind the scenes did a tremendous job," Holmgren said. "I was really proud of our organization [Friday] and again [Saturday]. We had a good turnout again [Saturday], what's normally a light day, the second day. But [Friday] was incredible."


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Posted On Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 12:58 PM

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

Capitals' Walker aims to be first Aussie to reach NHL

PHILADELPHIA -- The third time was the charm for Australian-trained left wing Nathan Walker.

Walker, passed over in the previous two NHL Drafts, moved one step closer to realizing his dream on Saturday when the Washington Capitals selected him in the third round (No. 89) of this year's event at Wells Fargo Center. This was the final year of draft eligibility for Walker.

The first Australian to be drafted, Walker is now hoping to take it one step further and lock up a roster spot right out of training camp. The Capitals' managerial team is very familiar with the 5-foot-9, 185-pound forward.

Walker, 20, was one of 40 forwards invited to the Capitals' training camp last fall on a tryout basis.

"I had a good rookie camp and then got the invite to the main camp, so it went well," Walker told NHL.com last September. "I thoroughly enjoyed it."


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Posted On Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 12:30 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Hulking Vanier slips to Sharks

PHILADELPHIA -- At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, defenseman Alexis Vanier of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar is one of the biggest players selected at the 2014 NHL Draft.

He's also fairly skilled; he had 15 goals and 21 assists in 61 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and earned good reviews for his physical play and big shot from the point.


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Posted On Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 11:39 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Demko aims to be starter for U.S. at World Juniors

PHILADELPHIA -- Thatcher Demko did more than just see the sights in Malmo, Sweden, during the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

As the third goaltender for the United States at last year's tournament, he did not dress for a game. Instead, he kept a close eye on what was happening around him. He hopes to put that learning experience to good use when he goes to Lake Placid, N.Y., for the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in August.

"I didn't play in any games, but I had a bird's-eye view from the tournament up there," Demko said. "You learn what the atmosphere is like and what to expect. I learned a lot from Jon Gillies, who was the starter there He's rubbing off some of his experiences on me and hopefully that can carry over this year."


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Posted On Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 9:17 AM

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

Islanders trade up to draft outspoken Ho-Sang

PHILADELPHIA -- Joshua Ho-Sang of the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League might be the most outspoken of any of the top prospects eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center.

That didn't discourage New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow from trading his two second-round picks (No. 35 and No. 57) to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for the No. 28 pick and the opportunity to choose Ho-Sang.

"A lot of people question why I'm so outspoken and question my confidence," Ho-Sang said. "Hockey is definitely one of those sports where quiet confidence is encouraged as opposed to the other sports like the NFL or NBA where it's a little bit louder.

"People that speak their mind are people who change the world and can change hockey. Look at guys like P.K. Subban and Patrick Kane, and even Ryan Getzlaf. I'm willing to do whatever the Islanders ask, and if they want me to clean stuff up I'll do it because I just want to play in the NHL."

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Posted On Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 9:04 AM

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

Islanders' Dal Colle gets special call after selection

PHILADELPHIA -- As if being selected with the fifth pick of the 2014 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders wasn't exciting enough, Oshawa Generals left wing Michael Dal Colle had one other reason to crack a huge smile Friday at Wells Fargo Center.

The special moment came minutes after Islanders general manager Garth Snow announced Dal Colle as the team's first draft pick and came courtesy of captain John Tavares.

"It was literally two minutes after I was picked when Tavares called," Dal Colle said. "He was the first call and welcomed me to the New York Islanders. He said the organization is happy to have me aboard.

"It was really pretty cool."

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Posted On Friday, 06.27.2014 / 11:50 PM

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

Family ties run strong in opening round of NHL Draft

Sam Reinhart now owns family bragging rights when it comes to the NHL Draft.

Sam became the third member of the Reinhart family to be taken in the first round of the draft when the Buffalo Sabres selected him with the second choice Friday. That's two picks earlier than older brother Griffin Reinhart was taken by the New York Islanders in 2012 and 10 choices earlier than his dad, Paul Reinhart, was taken by the Atlanta Flames in 1979. Another older brother, Max Reinhart, was the 63rd player taken in 2010 when he went to the Calgary Flames.

Reinhart was one of nine players taken in the first round who had family ties to professional hockey:


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Posted On Friday, 06.27.2014 / 1:38 PM

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

Sabres plan to keep No. 2 pick, make other deals

The top prospects aren't the only people ready to get the 2014 NHL Draft started Friday at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray, speaking with reporters Friday morning in Philadelphia, said he's counting down the minutes until things get underway.

"We're ready," he said. "I hope we're not over-prepared. We've talked a lot about it, the different scenarios. Whatever happens, I have confidence that our guys are ready to execute."

The Sabres have eight picks, starting with the No. 2 pick in the first round and three selections in the second round (Nos. 31, 39 and 49).

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Posted On Thursday, 06.26.2014 / 5:32 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Virtanen's first priority: Get healthy

PHILADELPHIA -- The focus for most of the top prospects who took part in a media availability session at the National Constitutional Center on Thursday was what they could do to make the NHL next season. For Calgary Hitmen left wing Jake Virtanen, the goal is a bit different: He's focused on getting healthy enough to return to the lineup as soon as possible.

Virtanen had surgery on his left shoulder in May to repair a torn labrum. The initial diagnosis was a recovery time of four to six months, and he told NHL.com he's targeting a mid-October return.

Virtanen, No. 6 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the draft, played through the shoulder injury for the second half of the season and had 45 goals and 71 points in 71 Western Hockey League games, as well as six points in seven games for Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.


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Posted On Thursday, 06.26.2014 / 5:13 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Draisaitl briefly shifts focus from hockey to soccer

PHILADELPHIA -- While his attention has been focused on the final things he has to do to get ready for the start of the 2014 NHL Draft on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), Prince Albert Raiders center Leon Draisaitl had his focus tuned to another sport.

The native of Cologne, Germany, tried to watch as much as he could of the World Cup match Thursday between Germany and the United States. Germany won 1-0 but both teams advanced to the round of 16.


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Posted On Thursday, 06.26.2014 / 5:03 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Top Euros eye NHL next season or will play at home

PHILADELPHIA -- It appears it will be the NHL or Europe next season for NHL Central Scouting's top two European skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft.

Kasperi Kapanen of KalPa in Finland and William Nylander of Sodertalje in Sweden's second division both said they would like to play in the NHL in 2014-15. If not, they would rather play against more developed opponents in their home countries rather than play junior hockey in the Canadian Hockey League.

Nylander, Central Scouting's No. 2-ranked European player, played with three teams this season, including Rogle in Sweden's second division, where his teammate was his father, former NHL player Michael Nylander. He also played for Modo in the Swedish Hockey League, but had his most success with second-division team Sodertalje, totaling 11 goals and eight assists in 17 games. He is eligible for the 2014 CHL Import Draft next month, but said junior hockey isn't a consideration.

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.25.2014 / 4:44 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Hitting at Phillies park a thrill for six prospects

PHILADELPHIA -- The Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies were out for early stretching on the field at Citizens Bank Park while a few of the top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft were taking some swings off a batting tee.

None of the baseball players need to be worried about losing their jobs.

Though none of the six prospects came close to clearing the outfield fence, they certainly had a good time.

"It was fun," Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett told NHL.com. "I was a little disappointed we couldn't hit off a pitcher, but it was cool to hit on the field. You don't really realize how far away the wall is. It feels a whole lot farther than it looks."

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.25.2014 / 2:14 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Betsy Ross House offers history lesson for prospects

PHILADELPHIA -- The top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft made a stop at the Betsy Ross House in the historic section of the city.

They posed for pictures with Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin and toured the colonial-era home.

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.25.2014 / 1:26 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Prospects take bite out of Philly, cheesesteak style

PHILADELPHIA -- The top 2014 NHL Draft prospects continued their tour of Philadelphia with a stop for some pictures at Love Park, and then it was off to local culinary landmark Geno's for cheesesteaks.

All six prospects got steaks, some "wiz wit" -- local slang for with cheese wiz -- while others went "wit out." All, however, gave two thumbs up to their meal.

"Let all the people in Philadelphia know that I love cheesesteaks," Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad said.

The players also got an inside look at Geno's, and Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart worked the grill and helped prepare a few sandwiches.

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.25.2014 / 11:56 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

'Rocky' trip as top prospects trolley through Philly

PHILADELPHIA -- The top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft got their first taste of Philadelphia on Wednesday, taking a trolley tour of the city.

The first stop for Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett, Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad, Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart, Prince Albert Raiders center Leon Draisaitl and Oshawa Generals left wing Michael Dal Colle was the famed steps in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Bennett was one of the few players to have seen the Rocky movies and squad images of the famous scene in "Rocky II" when Rocky runs up the steps.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.24.2014 / 4:29 PM

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

Hextall focused on building Flyers through draft

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall is a staunch advocate of building an organization by way of the NHL Draft.

"Your core pieces, or your homegrown pieces, are big," Hextall said during a pre-2014 NHL Draft press conference at the Flyers practice facility on Tuesday.

The 2014 NHL Draft will be held at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia with the first round on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN) and the remaining six rounds on Saturday (10 a.m. ET; NHL Network).

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Posted On Monday, 06.23.2014 / 2:58 PM

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

German-born Draisaitl set for draft, soccer match

Prince Albert Raiders center Leon Draisaitl is scheduled to arrive in Philadelphia on Wednesday to prepare for all the pomp and circumstance that will accompany the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center this weekend.

Draisaitl, No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for this year's draft, is projected to hear his name in the early stages of the first round on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS). Considered a power-forward with good touch around the net, Draisaitl finished with 38 goals and 105 points in 64 regular-season games in the Western Hockey League in 2013-14. He also played for Germany at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship and IIHF World Championship.

"I'm so excited and I can't wait for [draft] day," Draisaitl told NHL.com. "The last couple of weeks have gone by so quick and this will be pretty much the most exciting time of my life."

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Posted On Monday, 06.23.2014 / 10:56 AM

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

Islanders GM Snow open to trading No. 5 pick in draft

New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow told Newsday he's open to trading the fifth pick at the 2014 NHL Draft if the return is a player that can have an immediate impact on the roster.

"We're open to trading the pick for someone we think can come in and help us right away," Snow said recently.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.19.2014 / 5:10 PM

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

Sabres GM feels Panthers will take Ekblad at No. 1

Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray acknowledged Thursday that he expects Ontario Hockey League defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts to be the first player chosen at the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

The Florida Panthers currently have the No. 1 pick in the draft, and the Sabres hold the No. 2 selection.

"I believe that Ekblad is going to go one and then we pick who we have left; the next guy on our list," Murray said at his pre-draft press conference. "If he doesn’t go one, I'd be surprised, I guess, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."


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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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Posted On Monday, 06.09.2014 / 6:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Draisaitl thrilled to be recognized by Messier

NEW YORK -- Leon Draisaitl is a known commodity among NHL scouts and general managers after his outstanding season with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League.

But when members of the Hockey Hall of Fame recognize you, well, that's pretty special.

Draisaitl and the other top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft were leaving a TSN set after taping a segment when they crossed paths with Mark Messier, who was to be next on the set. Messier introduced himself to the star-struck prospects; when Draisaitl said his name, Messier had an immediate reaction.

"Are you related to Peter Draisaitl?" Messier asked Leon.

Peter Draisaitl, Leon's father, played professional hockey for 18 seasons in Germany, including four seasons with the Cologne Sharks. During that time Messier would skate in Cologne in the offseason and became friendly with Peter.


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Posted On Monday, 06.09.2014 / 4:49 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Canada invites McDonald, Moran to goalie camp

Two of the top three North American goaltending prospects were among the 10 players invited by Hockey Canada to the Program of Excellence goaltending camp, to be held June 11-14 at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.

The camp is the first step in Canada picking its team for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be played in Toronto and Montreal.

Among those invited are Mason McDonald of the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Brent Moran of the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.05.2014 / 2:34 PM

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

USHL top prospects share scholar-athlete award

Forwards Alex Tuch of the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team and Anthony Angello of the Omaha Lancers have been named co-recipients of the 2013-14 United States Hockey League scholar-athlete award.

Tuch becomes the first player from the USNTDP to earn the USHL scholar-athlete award, while Angello becomes the fourth player from Omaha to be recognized.

The USHL scholar-athlete award, established in 2007, recognizes players for their success in the classroom and on the ice. The candidates are nominated by their coaches, teachers and academic counselors based on their grade-point-average, coursework and overall school participation.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.05.2014 / 9:20 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Demko among invitees to U.S. goalie evaluation camp

Thatcher Demko, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American goaltender for the 2014 NHL Draft, was one of seven goalies invited to the United States National Junior Goaltender Evaluation Camp.

The camp will be held June 9-11 in Ann Arbor, Mich., and is the first step in evaluating the team the United States will field for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Demko was the third goaltender on the U.S. team that finished fifth after losing to Russia in the quarterfinals at the 2013 WJC. He did not dress for any games.

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Posted On Monday, 06.02.2014 / 4:03 PM

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

New president praises USHL as development model

Bob Fallen, the newly appointed president and commissioner of the United States Hockey League, knows the importance of having players in the crosshairs of scouts and general managers at the NHL draft.

He has every intention of keeping it that way too, Fallen said Monday during a conference call to introduce him to national media.

"Those of us who watch a lot of hockey need to look no further than what we saw [in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final] when people like [Los Angeles Kings defenseman] Alec Martinez and [Chicago Blackhawks left wing] Patrick Sharp were battling for the right to play in the Stanley Cup [Final]," Fallen said. "Both played in the USHL; Alec at Cedar Rapids and Patrick at Thunder Bay.

"It's all about the American developmental model, and we consider the USHL to be an absolute lynchpin step in that path for developing players."

The 2013 NHL Draft marked the ninth straight year at least one player from the USHL was among the top 30 picks. In total a record 32 players competing in the league in 2012-13 were selected last June.

"I cannot in any way, shape or form disparage any other alternatives for developing hockey players; if people have another path to follow to the NHL, more power to them," Fallen said. "We just consider the USHL a really excellent opportunity for people and players developing not only for the NHL but college hockey before they reach the NHL."

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Posted On Monday, 06.02.2014 / 3:58 PM

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

First-round order for 2014 NHL Draft almost set

With the conference finals finished, the draft order for the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft has been established for the 28 teams watching with the rest of hockey fans around the world.

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 the team 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.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 4:38 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Frontenacs' Bennett named top CHL prospect

There might not be a consensus top pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, but the Canadian Hockey League award voters made their choice Saturday, naming Samuel Bennett the top prospect in the league.

Bennett, a center with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League, was ninth in the OHL with 91 points in 57 games. He led his team in points, goals (36), assists (55), plus/minus rating (plus-34) and power-play goals (10). He had a league-best 25-game scoring streak in which he scored 17 goals and 46 points.

The 6-foot, 178-pound forward is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 Draft.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 12:45 PM

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

Virtanen out 4-6 months after shoulder surgery

Calgary Hitmen forward Jake Virtanen, No. 6 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft, will need 4-6 months to recover from recent shoulder surgery, the team announced Thursday.

Virtanen will attend the NHL Scouting Combine, held in Toronto May 25-31, but will not take part in any of the physical testing.

The 6-foot, 208-pound right wing was sixth in the Western Hockey League with 45 goals in 71 regular-season games. He was third on the Hitmen with 71 points, and had one goal and three assists in six WHL playoff games.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.21.2014 / 11:06 AM

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

Pawloski helps Indiana Ice to Clark Cup championship

The Indiana Ice celebrated their second Clark Cup championship of the United States Hockey League on Tuesday following a 3-2 victory in Game 5 against the Waterloo Black Hawks before 3,500 at Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa.

Alex Talcott, who is eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, and Washington Capitals prospect Brian Pinho scored goals in the third period when Indiana rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the best-of-5 series. The Ice won their first league title since 2008-09. Waterloo was seeking its first championship since the 2003-04 campaign.

Indiana goalie Jason Pawloski, who was No. 34 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings of the top North American goalies eligible for the 2014 draft but failed to make the final list in April, made 33 saves to notch his eighth win of the playoffs. He finished with a 1.80 goals-against average and .928 save percentage on the way to being named most valuable player of the 2014 Clark Cup Playoffs.

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Posted On Friday, 05.16.2014 / 10:40 AM

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

Top 2014 prospects highlight USHL All-Star teams

Top 2014 NHL Draft prospects Brandon Montour of the Waterloo Black Hawks, Jacob Randolph of the Omaha Lancers and Matheson Iacopelli of the Muskegon Lumberjacks were recognized Thursday as First Team All-Stars by the United States Hockey League.

The USHL All-Star Teams were determined by a vote of league coaches and general managers. Seven different teams were represented on the First and Second All-Star teams.

Montour, No. 92 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for this year's draft, was named the USHL player of the year and best defenseman for 2013-14. He finished ninth in scoring with 62 points (14 goals, 48 assists). Montour put together an 18-game point streak, a span that saw him total four goals and 27 points as Waterloo went 16-1-1. The University of Massachusetts recruit ranked sixth in the league with a plus-35 rating.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 1:44 PM

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

Ekblad, Nedeljkovic named OHL First Team All-Stars

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts and goalie Alex Nedeljkovic of the Plymouth Whalers, two top prospects from North America eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, were recognized as First Team All-Stars by the Ontario Hockey League on Wednesday.

The OHL All-Star teams were selected by the league's general managers.

Ekblad, who was named the defenseman of the year in the OHL after finishing with career highs in goals (23), assists (30), power-play goals (16), points (53) and penalty minutes (91) in his third season, is No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters. He is projected by many scouts to be the first defenseman off the draft board in the first round on June 27 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 3:10 PM

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

Waterloo defenseman Montour wins top USHL player

Waterloo Black Hawks defenseman Brandon Montour on Tuesday was named the top defenseman and player of the year in the United States Hockey League.

Montour, No. 92 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, becomes just the third defenseman in USHL history to be named the league's Player of the Year.

"What Brandon did on both ends of the ice this season was phenomenal and a big part of the magical year for the Waterloo Black Hawks," said USHL president and commissioner Skip Prince. "He may have come into the USHL a little under the radar, but he made everyone take notice this season with his tremendous abilities and talent. Congratulations to him on this dual honor and for standing out in a league full of stars."

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Posted On Friday, 05.09.2014 / 9:34 AM

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

Top 2015 prospect McDavid selected in KHL draft

Erie Otters center Connor McDavid, who many project to be the No. 1 pick at the 2015 NHL Draft in Florida, was selected by Medvescak Zagreb in the second round (No. 77) of the Kontinental Hockey League draft on Thursday.

Zagreb will hold McDavid's KHL rights, but that likely won't matter since the 17-year-old prodigy is expected to suit up for an NHL team in 2015-16 right out of training camp.

It's not the first time a player projected to be a top pick in a future NHL draft was selected by a KHL team. Ak Bars Kazan chose Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers) No. 89 in 2009; Vityaz Podolsk chose Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) No. 114 in 2012 and Podolsk chose 2014 top prospect Aaron Ekblad No. 171 in 2013. Ekblad is projected to be the top defenseman off the board at the 2014 draft in Philadelphia.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 11:02 AM

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

Notable last names part of 2014 USHL draft

The latest edition of the United States Hockey League draft concluded on Tuesday with some familiar names prepared to take the next big step in their hockey-playing careers with the hopes of following the successful paths of their fathers.

Topping the list was Edina High School forward Keiffer Bellows, the son of 1993 Stanley Cup champion Brian Bellows, who played 17 seasons with five NHL teams. Bellows was selected in the first round (No. 13) by the Sioux Falls Stampede after scoring 10 goals and 27 points in 25 games as a sophomore at Edina.

Bellows was part of Phase 1 of the two-part draft conducted over two days beginning on Monday when 124 players with 1998 birth years were chosen over eight rounds. These players normally don't play immediately in the USHL, but remain on the affiliate lists of USHL teams and compete for roster spots in the future.

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Posted On Friday, 05.02.2014 / 4:32 PM

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

Panthers GM Tallon will shop No. 1 pick in draft

Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said he would consider trading the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft for the right price in return.

Tallon made the announcement during a radio interview Thursday on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.

"I definitely will [shop the pick], especially this year," Tallon said.

The first round of the draft will take place on June 27 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 3:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

League finals begin this week in OHL, QMJHL, WHL

While the NHL stars of today are ready to start the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the players of tomorrow are focused on their goal of reaching the Memorial Cup.

The Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League all will start their league finals this week, with the winning teams advancing to join the host London Knights in the Canadian Hockey League championship series May 16-27.

The first series to start is the OHL final between the Guelph Storm and North Bay Battalion, which begins Thursday.

Leading the way for Guelph is center Robert Fabbri, who is No. 21 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft. The 5-foot-10, 164-pound center had nine goals and nine assists in 11 playoff games; his nine goals are tied for second on the team and he has at least a point in eight straight games.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 2:40 PM

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

U.S. captures gold medal at U-18 Worlds

Left wing Sonny Milano, No. 16 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, had a goal and two assists to help lead the United States Under-18 National Team to a 5-2 victory against the Czech Republic in the gold medal game of the 2014 IIHF World U-18 Championship at Lappeenranta Arena in Finland.

Auston Matthews, a 16-year-old from Scottsdale, Ariz., not eligible until the 2016 NHL Draft, scored two goals, and center Dylan Larkin and defenseman Jack Dougherty also scored for the Americans.

Matthews, a third-line center, closed out the tournament on a six-game point streak with five goals and two assists over that stretch. The 6-foot, 192-pound left shot forward had 22 goals and 48 points in 42 games for the National Team Development Program in 2013-14.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 11:40 AM

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

U.S. advances to World U-18 final

Dylan Larkin, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had a goal and an assist as the United States advanced to the gold-medal game at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with a 4-1 win against Sweden in a semifinal game played Saturday at Lappeenranta Arena in Lappeenranta, Finland.

The United States will face the Czech Republic in the championship game on Sunday at Imatra Arena in Imatra, Finland. The Czech Republic beat Canada 4-3 in overtime, with David Kase scoring the winner 6:17 into extra time.

Canada, the defending gold medalists, got a goal and an assist from Matt Barzal, a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft. Joseph Hicketts and Daniel Audette also had goals. Mason McDonald, No. 2 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American goaltenders for the 2014 NHL Draft, made 29 saves.
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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 3:15 PM

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

Barrie's Ekblad named OHL Defenseman of the Year

Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, on Thursday was named Defenseman of the Year in the Ontario Hockey League.

Many NHL scouts project the 6-foot-3, 216-pound right-handed shot to be the first defenseman taken in the first round of the draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on June 27.

Ekblad, who finished with career highs in goals (23) power-play goals (16), assists (30), points (53) and penalty minutes (91) in his third OHL season, earned first-place finishes for best shot, hardest shot, best offensive defenseman and best defensive defenseman in the Eastern Conference of the OHL this season. The captain of the Colts was also voted second in the category of best penalty killer.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 2:42 PM

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

Konency's late goal lifts Canada into U-18 World semis

Forward Travis Konecny scored with 30 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Canadian Under-18 National Team a 3-2 victory against Switzerland in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 IIHF World U-18 Championship on Thursday at Imatra Arena in Finland.

Canada, the defending champion, will face the Czech Republic in the semifinal round of the tournament on Saturday. The other semifinal pits the United States against Sweden. The gold-medal game is slated for Sunday at 12 p.m. ET.

Konecny, a 5-foot-9, 172-pound center from the Ottawa 67's in the Ontario Hockey League, was assisted by Travis Sanheim on the game-winning goal.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 1:34 PM

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

MacLeod powers U.S. into semifinals at U-18 Worlds

Defenseman Johnathan MacLeod scored two power-play goals and Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists as the United States Under-18 National Team scored a 6-2 victory against Slovakia in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 IIHF World U-18 Championship at Lappeenranta Arena in Finland.

Eichel and MacLeod, No. 44 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, scored goals in the opening 3:28 of the first period. The U.S. scored three times in the first and held Slovakia without a shot (20-0) to build a 3-0 advantage.

Eichel, who was named the player of the game and is on a four-game point streak (four goals, four assists), is eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft in Florida.

"It's definitely a high right now," Eichel told the IIHF website. "Our coaches do a great job preparing us for the games and I think that we've trained so hard for two years and we know what we have to do."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 11:22 AM

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

Bettman praises Philadelphia as 2014 NHL Draft host

PHILADELPHIA -- Though it remains to be seen who will hear his name announced as the No. 1 choice at the 2014 NHL Draft in June, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is sure of one thing.

The city of Philadelphia will prove to be an outstanding host over the two-day event on June 27-28 at Wells Fargo Center.

Commissioner Bettman spoke about the upcoming draft during a media availability session prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.

"Philadelphia, from the outset, has always been a terrific hockey town," Bettman said. "When you look at the grassroots level, there were 14,000 or more kids who were playing in 50 rinks throughout greater Philadelphia. You look at Snider Hockey, which Ed Snider has created; you look at everything the Flyers have done in the community. When you look at the entry of youngsters, our new players, the future of the League coming into the draft, what better place than Philadelphia?"

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 4:14 PM

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

Eichel's late goal propels U.S. to win at U-18 Worlds

Jack Eichel, a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, scored with 1:04 left in the third period as the United States beat Finland 4-3 on Tuesday in preliminary-round play at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship at Lappeenranta Arena in Lappeenranta, Finland.

The game was tied late when Sonny Milano, a forward ranked No. 16 among North American skaters for the 2014 draft, sent a pass to Eichel that he played from between his skates onto his stick. He fired a quick shot that beat Finland goalie Kaapo Kahkonen.

"We had a scouting report on [Kahkonen] before the game and we wanted to get a lot of shots on him and make him work," Eichel told the IIHF website. "End of the shift I'm kind of low and Milano makes a good pass to me. Didn't really have a lot of options, but I was in a spot where we said was a good place to shoot."

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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 9:31 PM

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

Czechs top host Finns at U-18 Worlds

Jakub Vrana, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had one goal in regulation and scored the deciding goal in the shootout as Czech Republic beat Finland 4-3 on Monday in preliminary-round play at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Vrana, who plays for Linkoping in the Swedish Hockey League, is No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of European skaters for the 2014 draft.

Vaclav Karabacek, who plays for Gatineau in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and is No. 41 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, also had a goal in the game, which was played at Lappeenranta Arena in Lappeenranta, Finland.

Antti Kalapudas had a goal and an assist for Finland. He plays for Karpat's team in Finland's junior league, and Central Scouting ranked him No. 32 among European skaters.

The Czechs took a 3-2 lead on Karabacek's goal with 3:21 left in the third, but Kalapudas set up Sami Niku for the tying goal with 1:12 remaining.

After overtime couldn't settle things, Vrana scored on the Czechs' first turn in the shootout, and David Pastrnak, No. 5 on Central Scouting's list of the top European skaters, scored to close the game.

Czech goaltender Vitek Vanecek, ranked No. 8 among European goalies, made 29 saves in regulation and stopped Kalapudas and top-rated European skater Kasperi Kapanen in the shootout.

The loss was host Finland's first, but the point they gained left them in first place in Group B, one point ahead of Switzerland and the United States. The Czechs are fourth with five points.

"We talked to each other about it before the game, that we needed to go aggressively to the net and do a lot of forechecking," Vrana told the IIHF website. "I think we did a good job in the end, though we stopped playing as hard in the third and we gave up a few unlucky goals."

The Czechs finish preliminary-round play Tuesday against Switzerland. Finland plays the U.S. on Tuesday.

In other action Monday:


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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 9:36 AM

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

Whalers' Nedeljkovic named OHL's top goaltender

Plymouth Whalers goalie Alex Nedeljkovic of Parma, Ohio, has become the first player in team history to win the Ontario Hockey League's Goaltender of the Year award.

Nedeljkovic, No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American goalies eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, faced the second most shots (2,207) in the OHL and finished with a 26-27-7 record, 2.88 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 61 games.

"To receive this award is an incredible honor," Nedeljkovic said. "There were many other goaltenders in the league this year that also had great seasons. Credit must be given to all of my teammates that helped me to achieve this award. Game in and game out they would do their best to help make my job easier, and I would try my best to do the same for them. This award recognizes what a goalie has accomplished throughout the season, but it is also a symbol of what the entire team did over the course of the season to be as good as they possibly could defensively."

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Posted On Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 6:04 PM

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

Perlini sparks Canada past Slovakia at U-18 Worlds

Brendan Perlini's goal with 6:37 remaining in regulation was the game-winner as Canada beat Slovakia 2-1 Sunday in a preliminary-round game at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship at Imatra Arena in Imatra, Finland.

Perlini, No. 8 among North American skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft, scored two goals after Slovakia took a 1-0 lead after one period.

Mason McDonald, ranked No. 2 by Central Scouting among North American goaltenders, stopped 21 of 22 shots, and Canada improved to 3-0 in the tournament and remained alone atop Group A.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 2:29 PM

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

Nedeljkovic leads U.S. to 3-0 win at U-18 Worlds

Alex Nedeljkovic stopped all 24 shots he faced and the United States rebounded from a loss in its opener of the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with a 3-0 win Saturday against the Czech Republic at Lappeenranta Arena in Lappeenranta, Finland.

Auston Matthews, Sonny Milano and Kyle Connor scored for the U.S., which needed points after letting a third-period lead slip away in a 4-2 loss to Switzerland in its opener.

"We started off slow in the tournament, but that would be the game to lose if you're going to lose one," U.S. captain Louis Belpedio told the IIHF website. "We played our game and it was a good team game all around. Today [Nedeljkovic] really made a name for himself."

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Posted On Friday, 04.18.2014 / 10:01 PM

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

Karabacek keys Czech Republic win at World U-18s

Vaclav Karabacek, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had two goals and two assists as the Czech Republic routed Denmark 9-2 at Lappeenranta Arena in Lappeenranta, Finland, on the second day of the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Karabacek, who plays for Gatineau in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is No. 41 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters for this year's draft.

Jakub Vrana, ranked No. 4 among European skaters, had two goals and an assist. David Pastrnak, No. 5 on the European list, had two assists.

Slovakia beat Germany 4-1 in the other game played Friday.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 4:51 PM

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

World U-18 roundup: Canada tops Sweden in opener

Jake Virtanen, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, scored two goals as Canada opened the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with a 3-1 win against Sweden on Thursday at Imatra Arena in Imatra, Finland.

Mathew Barzal also had a goal for Canada and goaltender Mason McDonald made 24 saves.

Gustav Forsling scored for Sweden.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 5:04 PM

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

Canada names roster for U-18 World Championship

Forwards Jake Virtanen and Brendan Perlini and defenseman Haydn Fleury, all projected to be selected in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft, highlight the roster of players that will represent Canada at the 2014 IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship beginning Thursday in Finland.

Virtanen of the Calgary Hitmen, Perlini of the Niagara IceDogs and Fleury of the Red Deer Rebels were all ranked among the top 10 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the North American skaters eligible for the 2014 draft. Defenseman Roland McKeown, No. 27 on Central Scouting's final ranking, is the only returning player from last year's gold medal-winning performance. Canada is the defending U-18 World Championship gold medal winner.

The Canadian roster includes three goalies, seven defensemen and 13 forwards. There are 12 players representing the Western Hockey League, six from the Ontario Hockey League and five from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The roster includes 18 players eligible for the 2014 draft and five more eligible for the 2015 draft.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 12:12 PM

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

Kingston's Bennett turns focus to NHL Draft

Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett watched with great interest the Florida Panthers win the NHL Draft Lottery Tuesday evening in Toronto.

Bennett is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft.

"It was really exciting," Bennett told NHL.com. "It's really interesting but there still are a lot of questions, so whatever happens in June will happen, but I'm really excited."

Bennett acknowledged that as the teams were revealed one by one by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, he couldn't help but envision where he might land on June 27 when the first round of the draft is held at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

"It's all up in the air, no one knows who will go where and it's hard to figure out, but I'll admit I was trying to guess and see where I might go," Bennett said.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 2:26 PM

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

Fabbri powers Guelph into Western final in OHL

The Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League have advanced to the Western Conference final for the first time in eight seasons.

The Storm will play host to the Erie Otters in Game 1 of the best-of-7 series beginning Thursday. Not surprisingly, center Robert Fabbri, No. 21 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, has played a huge role for the Storm this season.

Fabbri was named the OHL Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 13 after posting four goals, seven points and a plus-5 rating in three victories. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Fabbri helped lead the Storm to a five-game series win against the London Knights in the OHL's Western Conference semifinal with three multi-point performances last week.

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Posted On Monday, 04.07.2014 / 4:52 PM

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

Windsor's Ho-Sang suspended 15 games

Windsor Spitfires forward and top 2014 NHL Draft prospect Joshua Ho-Sang has been suspended for the first 15 games of the 2014-15 Ontario Hockey League season for an incident during a playoff game against the London Knights on March 27.

In the second period of Game 4 of the teams' first-round playoff series, Ho-Sang was chasing London defenseman Zach Bell when he pushed Bell from behind. Bell fell feet first into the boards and sustained a broken leg. Ho-Sang received a minor penalty for holding on the play.

London won the game 4-3 to finish the four-game sweep.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 11:06 AM

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

Fleury, Perlini highlight invites for Canada U-18 camp

Two players ranked in the top 10 in NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft will take part in Hockey Canada's evaluation camp for the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Defenseman Haydn Fleury of the Red Deer Rebels and forward Brendan Perlini of the Niagara IceDogs were among the 19 players invited to the camp, which will be held April 5-8 in Toronto.

Fleury had 46 points and a plus-16 rating in 70 games this season. He's No. 6 on Central Scouting's list, No. 2 among defenseman.

Perlini had 34 goals and 71 points in 58 games. He's No. 8 on Central Scouting's list.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.02.2014 / 1:30 PM

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

Ritchie powers Peterborough to Game 7 win

Peterborough Petes left wing Nicholas Ritchie, No. 7 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters, certainly had a tournament to remember against the favored Kingston Frontenacs in the opening round of the Ontario Hockey League's Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Petes, who fell behind 0-3 in the best-of-7 series, capped a remarkable comeback on Tuesday with a 2-1 overtime victory against the Frontenacs in Game 7 in Kingston. Ritchie assisted on the tying goal by Hunter Garlent 2:40 into the second before ending the game and the series 12:17 into overtime.

Peterborough became the fourth team in OHL history to rally from an 0-3 hole in a playoff series.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.02.2014 / 12:10 PM

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

Milano, Eichel top U.S. roster for World U-18

NHL scouts will have a great opportunity to see some of the best American-born prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, to be held April 17-27 in Finland.

Among the players picked for the United States team are two players in the top 30 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters for this year's draft.

Leading that group is Sonny Milano, a 5-foot-11.5, 183-pound left wing who had 24 goals and 73 points in 50 games with the United States National Team Development Program's under-18 team. He's No. 16 on Central Scouting's list.

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Posted On Friday, 03.28.2014 / 3:12 PM

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

Scouts' challenges: rough winter, unpredictable draft

TORONTO -- As if the life of a scout isn't unforgiving enough, the tireless job of viewing the hundreds of prospects eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft in June was made more difficult this season with the brutal weather that hovered over most of North America like a dark shadow.

It's something NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr acknowledged when asked for his final assessment of the meetings at the NHL offices here this week to determine the final rankings of the top North American skaters and goalies eligible for this year's draft.

"This has proven to be an exceptionally difficult winter," Marr told NHL.com. "All travel was affected. Storms left scouts stranded and unable to get to viewings or games. We have a job where we have to try and maintain our coverage, but it was a struggle and guys had to go the extra mile to make sure they got to the games and saw the players.

"So when our final list is determined and we dot the I's and cross the T's, it's going to be a job well done because when you think about it, the winter that hit all of North America never seemed to subside. It's a credit to our staff."

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Posted On Friday, 03.28.2014 / 11:24 AM

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

2015 shaping up as battle between McDavid, Eichel

TORONTO -- It's never too early to begin to compare, contrast and ultimately predict who the better pick will be when the 2015 NHL Draft takes place at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

In a draft that looks to be loaded with offensive and defensive talent across the board, there are two headliners starring at center for their respective teams in Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League and Jack Eichel of the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program in the United States Hockey League.

NHL.com asked nine scouts in attendance at NHL Central Scouting's final meetings this week for their personal choice between the two. The impromptu poll had McDavid earning a slim 5-4 victory.Both players possess two qualities that are tough to teach: work ethic and big-game ability. They each represented their country at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Sweden; McDavid for Canada and Eichel for the United States.

"You're talking about two wonderful players who are going to be a big part of the NHL in the future," USA Hockey director of hockey operations Jim Johannson told NHL.com.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 2:42 PM

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

Central Scouting breaks down league lists

TORONTO -- It's Thursday afternoon and NHL Central Scouting is in the difficult stage of ranking the top North American skaters and goalies for the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

The process will continue at League headquarters in Toronto until the top 210 North American skaters and 30 goalies are finalized.

Lists were made for players in the top three Canadian junior leagues -- the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League -- as well as regional lists for USA East, USA West and Canadian junior/midget leagues.

The six area lists and top goalies, all completed Thursday afternoon, were discussed in detail over the past two days. NHL.com was given permission to provide a rough draft of the top players in each area in alphabetical order. The lists aren't necessarily final at this stage as changes could be made before the final rankings list is released in April.

Without giving away the order, this is the closest thing you'll get to a top 10 from each area at this point.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 10:58 AM

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

Marr: 120 players invited to NHL Scouting Combine

Once NHL Central Scouting finalizes the rankings for the top 2014 NHL Draft-eligible North American prospects, the scouting staff will begin making preparations for the NHL Scouting Combine, which will be held May 25-31 in Toronto.

NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr confirmed for NHL.com that 120 players, including North American and international skaters and goalies, have been invited to the Combine this year. The 2013 Combine had the top 101 players from North America and Europe.

All NHL teams will have the opportunity for 1-on-1 interviews with the invited prospects between May 26 and May 30. The medical examinations of each player will take place May 30 and fitness testing will be May 31.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 9:08 AM

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

Wheat Kings' Hawryluk hospitalized after collapse

Brandon Wheat Kings center Jayce Hawryluk, No. 42 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, is alert and talking after collapsing in the dressing room after a 5-4 victory against the Regina Pats in Game 3 of the Western Hockey League playoffs on Wednesday in Brandon.

Hawryluk was taken by ambulance to Brandon Regional Health Centre.

Wheat Kings general manager and coach Kelly McCrimmon released the following statement after the game:

"Jayce was taken to hospital after [Wednesday's] game. While concerned, the club believes it is not serious. Until we have more information we cannot pinpoint the cause. Jayce is resting comfortably."


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Posted On Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 4:28 PM

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

Day 1 recap: How Central Scouting has evolved

TORONTO -- The opening day of NHL Central Scouting's meeting to determine the final rankings of the top draft-eligible North American skaters proved to be entertaining as well as enlightening.

Entertaining in the fact the top players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia in June were discussed and debated for eight hours. Enlightening in the way Central Scouting has taken a proactive approach in making projections at a time when the game has certainly evolved since the bureau was established prior to 1975-76 as a courtesy to NHL teams.

"Our whole business is projection so you have to project where the game will be a little bit down the road," Central Scouting's David Gregory said. "We have to look at those trends. We have to know that the game is evolving this way because we're telling you who will play there in the next three-to-five years; it's one of the hardest but best things about our job.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 12:55 PM

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

Familiar top prospects dominate OHL discussion

12 p.m. ET -- The Ontario Hockey League was the next league on the itinerary for discussion at NHL Central Scouting's final meeting of the top draft-eligible players in North America.

The top five OHL players listed at the midterm -- Samuel Bennett of Kingston, Aaron Ekblad of Barrie, Michael Dal Colle of Oshawa, Nicholas Ritchie of Peterborough and Brendan Perlini of Niagara -- continued to gain high praise.

On Bennett: "He's done nothing to change my mind. I think he's done a great job all season."

On Ritchie: "This guy is big (6-2.25, 231), but can still play at top speed and play well at top speed. He can up his game when he has to."

On Dal Colle: "He's had that consistency you need. He would project to be even better once he gets that strength; this kid continues to grow. He's got a good stick and his hockey sense is solid."

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 11:24 AM

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

Eastern U.S. defensemen receive CSS spotlight

11 a.m. ET -- The scouts started discussion on the Eastern part of the United States and there were plenty of players up for discussion.

Several defensemen, including Gavin Bayreuther of St. Lawrence in the ECAC, Miles Gendron of Rivers Academy in Massachusetts, Scott Savage of Boston College and John-Claude Brassard of Noble & Greenough School in Massachusetts were players open for talks.

Bayreuther (6-0.5, 195) had nine goals and 36 points in 38 games for St. Lawrence. Gendron (6-1.5, 181) had six goals and 19 points for Rivers Academy. In 29 games for the Boston College Eagles, Scott Savage (6-1, 171) had four goals and 16 points. Brassard, who will attend Union College in New York in 2015-16, also had a productive season with 11 goals and 43 points in 27 games for Noble & Greenough.

Steven Merl (6-3, 186) of Belle Tire U18 (T1AAA) produced six goals and 23 points in 36 games as a right-handed center. He'll play in the United States Hockey League next season.

The scouts took a 15-minute coffee break and are now beginning to discuss players from the Ontario Hockey League. At the midterm release in January, Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs in the OHL was No. 1 among North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 11:10 AM

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

Early focus on top 'Q' talents at CSS meetings

10 a.m. ET -- Chris Bordeleau, who does much of the scouting in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, began Day 1 with discussion on the top players within the league. At the midterm, forward Ivan Barbashev of Moncton was the top player from the QMJHL and left wing Nikolaj Ehlers was the second highest.

Left wing Vladimir Tkachev (5-foot-9, 141 pounds) of Moncton was discussed in detail, including his compete level, the type of player he is and can become. Tkachev had 10 goals, 20 points in 20 games after joining the Wildcats from Omsk in the Kontinental Hockey League in the middle of the season.

Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb had Tkachev ranked No. 14 on the midterm list of the top international skaters when he played overseas. Center Alexandre Goulet of Charlottetown, left wing Julien Pelletier of Cape Breton, center Cameron Darcy of Cape Breton and center Jan Mandat of Victoriaville were also discussed in length.

What was interesting, in addition to hearing the commentary on the players, was how scouts were figuring out how to rank players based on how the game has changed in recent seasons. The speed and quickness with which the game is now played might change some opinions.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 9:30 AM

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

Final meeting to rank top players for 2014 Draft begins

So the scouts are in place and we're ready to roll here at the board offices in Toronto. The final meeting to determine the top 2014 draft-eligible prospects is under way.

Scouts in attendance are director of Central Scouting Dan Marr, along with Chris Edwards, David Gregory, Al Jensen, B.J. MacDonald, Peter Sullivan, Chris Bordeleau and Greg Rajanen. Jensen is also responsible for ranking the top North American goaltenders. Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb will make his recommendations to Marr from a separate location on the top international skaters and goaltenders.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 6:24 PM

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

Reinhart, Draisaitl earn WHL first-team honors

Prince Albert Raiders center Leon Draisaitl and Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart, two of the top 2014 draft-eligible point producers in the Western Hockey League this season, were named First Team All-Stars of the WHL's Eastern Conference on Thursday.

Draisaitl, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, finished fourth in the league with 105 points (38 goals, 67 assists) in 64 regular-season games. Reinhart, No. 4 on Central Scouting's midterm list, also had 105 points (36 goals, 69 assists) in four fewer games.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.19.2014 / 4:42 PM

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

Ekblad earns four top honors in OHL coaches poll

Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad, No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, won top honors in four different categories in the Eastern Conference of the Ontario Hockey League.

The results of the OHL Coaches Poll, which enables teams from each conference to recognize the top three players in 20 different categories, were released Wednesday in Toronto.

Ekblad, considered to be the top draft-eligible defenseman on the board this season, earned first-place finishes for best shot, hardest shot, best offensive defenseman and best defensive defenseman. He also was voted second in the category of best penalty killer, behind Philadelphia Flyers prospect and Oshawa Generals forwards Scott Laughton.


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Posted On Monday, 03.17.2014 / 1:21 PM

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

Top prospects set for tiebreaker

Prince Albert Raiders center Leon Draisaitl, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, will lead his charges against the Red Deer Rebels on Tuesday in a tiebreaker game to determine the final playoff spot in the Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference playoffs.

The winner will play the top-seeded Edmonton Oil Kings in the first round of the best-of-seven WHL playoffs on Saturday in Edmonton.

The WHL, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League begin postseason play this week.

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Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 12:10 PM

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

DeAngelo expected to return Saturday for Sarnia

Sarnia Sting defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, No. 10 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, will sit out his third straight game on Friday with a lower-body injury when his team plays against the Guelph Storm at Sleeman Centre in Guelph, Ontario.

DeAngelo informed NHL.com that the injury, which he sustained in the first period of a 7-0 loss against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on March 7, is "nothing too serious." He expects to be back in the lineup on Saturday in his team's regular-season finale against the Erie Otters.

The offensive-minded defenseman remains the highest-scoring player at his position in the Ontario Hockey League with 70 points (15 goals, 55 assists) in 50 games. In three seasons with the Sting, DeAngelo has 30 goals and 151 points in 180 games.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 10:36 AM

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

Kingston's Bennett suspended five games by OHL

Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, on Tuesday was given a five-game suspension by the Ontario Hockey League for his actions in a game against the Peterborough Petes earlier this month.

The suspension is retroactive to March 7, meaning Bennett would be eligible to return to the lineup for his team's regular-season finale against the Mississauga Steelheads on March 16.

Bennett had already served two games of the suspension while the league was reviewing his double minor for high sticking against defenseman Clarke Seymour 13:38 into the third period of a 5-4 loss to the Petes on March 6. Seymour was a fifth-round selection (No. 143) of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2012 NHL Draft.

The Frontenacs have 36 wins and 78 points and are in third place in the conference standings with four regular-season games remaining.


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Posted On Monday, 03.10.2014 / 2:04 PM

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

Prince Albert's Draisaitl named WHL player of week

Prince Albert Raiders center Leon Draisaitl, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft, on Monday was named the Denny's Western Hockey League Player of the Week.

Draisaitl, who had five goals, nine points and a plus-5 rating in three victories this past week, is tied for fourth in the league scoring race with 97 points in 60 games. Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart, No. 4 on Central Scouting's midterm list, also has 97 points in 56 games.

Draisaitl, chosen No. 2 in the 2012 CHL Import Draft by Prince Albert, has 56 goals and 155 points in 124 career regular-season contests spanning two seasons.

"All season long, he's continued to develop as a prospect," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "You noticed him all the time last year and he's gone out there and become a dominant player for Prince Albert this year. We like him as a top-five pick."

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Posted On Sunday, 03.09.2014 / 11:34 AM

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

Top prospect Bennett out 'indefinitely'

Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top draft eligible skaters from North America, missed his second straight game on Sunday as the Ontario Hockey League continues to review an incident that occurred three days ago involving the top 2014 draft prospect.

The Kingston Whig-Standard reported on Friday that Bennett is serving an "indefinite" suspension after being issued a double minor for high sticking 13:38 into the third period of a 5-4 loss to the Peterborough Petes on March 6.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.06.2014 / 5:25 PM

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

Guelph's Fabbri, Oshawa's Appleby honored by OHL

Two prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft were honored Thursday by the Ontario Hockey League.

Guelph Storm forward Robert Fabbri was named OHL Player of the Month for February, and the Oshawa Generals' Ken Appleby was named the league's goaltender of the month.

Fabbri had 11 goals, 12 assists and a plus-9 rating for Guelph in 12 February games. He had at least two points in nine of the 12 games, including a four-point game Feb. 21 against the Windsor Spitfires.

The 5-10.25, 170-pound center is No. 25 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American forwards eligible for the 2014 draft.

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Posted On Monday, 03.03.2014 / 7:25 PM

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

Samuel Bennett named OHL player of the week

Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top draft eligible skaters from North America, was named the Ontario Hockey League player of the week on Monday.

Bennett, who had four goals, six points and a plus-3 rating in three games, helped the Frontenacs earn five of a possible six points in the standings. Kingston (34-22-5) currently holds the third seed in the OHL's Eastern Conference playoff race with 73 points.

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Posted On Monday, 02.24.2014 / 3:39 PM

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

Eden Prairie's Snuggerud, Spinner up for Mr. Hockey

The top 10 candidates for the 2014 Mr. Hockey Award for the state of Minnesota have been announced.

The Mr. Hockey Award is given to the outstanding senior high school hockey player in the state of Minnesota and is selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts, NCAA Division I coaches and selected media members from around the state.

The nominees include five players ranked on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft.

The 10 finalists are forwards Tyler Cline (Blaine), Spencer Naas (Benilde-St. Margaret's), Avery Peterson (Grand Rapids), Mitch Slattery (Hill-Murray), Steven Spinner (Eden Prairie) and Zach Yon (Roseau), and defensemen Phil Beaulieu (Duluth East), Tyler Nanne (Edina), Luc Snuggerud (Eden Prairie) and Nick Wolff (Eagan).

Nanne, Slattery, Spinner, Snuggerud and Wolff are on Central Scouting's midterm list.

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Posted On Friday, 02.14.2014 / 4:57 PM

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

Top draft prospect DeAngelo suspended eight games

Sarnia Sting defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, No. 10 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft, was suspended for eight games by the Ontario Hockey League for violation of the league's harassment and abuse/diversity policy.

The suspension was announced on the OHL website Friday afternoon.

DeAngelo hasn't played since he was involved in an incident in a game Jan. 31 against the Guelph Storm. According to the report DeAngelo made "a most inappropriate statement to a teammate" to incur his suspension. The suspension is retroactive to Feb. 1, meaning DeAngelo needs to serve three more games before being eligible to return to the lineup, Feb. 22 against the Ottawa 67's.

DeAngelo leads all OHL defensemen with 47 assists and 60 points in 43 games.

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Posted On Friday, 02.14.2014 / 9:50 AM

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

Reinhart named CHL's player of the week

Kootenay Ice captain Sam Reinhart, No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top draft-eligible skaters in North America, on Tuesday was named the Canadian Hockey League player of the week for games ending Feb. 9.

Reinhart, who was the unanimous top pick for the 2014 NHL Draft in three mock drafts revealed Thursday by NHL.com's draft experts, had three goals, 11 points and a plus-8 rating in a win against the Saskatoon Blades and back-to-back victories against the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League.

Reinhart, 18, has a point in 15 straight games, a stretch that has seen him total 13 goals and 34 points. He has 29 goals and 80 points in 45 games this season and 94 goals and 229 points in 188 WHL games spanning three seasons.

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Posted On Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 1:55 PM

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

Minney backstops U.S. to Five Nations title

Edwin Minney, one of the top goaltender prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft, made 20 saves and the United States beat the Czech Republic 3-2 on Saturday to win the 2014 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.

The U.S. jumped to an early lead on Joe Wegworth's goal 4:15 into the game. Dylan Pavelek scored at 15:51 of the first to make it 2-0 and Brandon Fortunato's goal with 47 seconds remaining in the opening period gave the U.S. a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.

The Czechs responded with two goals in just over a minute in the second period to make it a one-goal game, with top European draft prospect Jakub Vrana having a hand in both scores. Vrana, No. 5 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of European skaters for the 2014 draft, scored a power-play goal at 7:30 of the second. Just 64 seconds later, Vrana set up Filip Pyrochta for a goal at 8:34.

The Americans tightened up in the third period, allowing the Czechs just three shots. Minney, No. 2 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American goaltenders for the 2014 draft, stopped all three shots in the third. In two games at the tournament, Minney went 2-0-0 while allowing five goals on 50 shots for a .900 save percentage.

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Posted On Friday, 02.07.2014 / 2:35 PM

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

Larkin scores twice to lead U.S. at Five Nations

Dylan Larkin, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had two goals and an assist as the United States beat Sweden 4-2 Friday for its third win in as many games at the 2014 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.

Larkin, a 6-foot-0.75, 190-pound center with the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team, is No. 17 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 draft.

Alex Tuch and Ryan Wagner also had goals and Blake Weyrick, No. 2 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American goaltenders, made 24 saves.


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Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 1:37 PM

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

Eichel leads U.S. rout at Five Nations Tournament

Jack Eichel, Sonny Milano and Alex Tuch each had three points and Edwin Minney made 25 saves to lead the United States to an 8-3 victory against Finland in the second game of the Under-18 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.

Eichel, considered by many to be a top-five pick for the 2015 NHL Draft scored two goals.

Johnathan MacLeod, Dylan Pavelek, Shane Gersich, Dylan Larkin and Ryan Wagner also had goals for the United States, which will play Sweden on Friday at Dmitrov Arena.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 2:38 PM

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

U.S. tops host Russia to open Five Nations

Center Dylan Larkin, No. 17 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, scored two power-play goals and goalie Blake Weyrick made 19 saves as the United States Under-18 National Team scored a 5-2 victory against host Russia in the opener of the 2014 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.

Weyrick is No. 3 on Central Scouting's midterm list of the draft-eligible North American goaltenders. Jack Eichel, a top prospect for the 2015 draft, had a goal and an assist. Sonny Milano, No. 16 on Central Scouting's ranking of North American skaters, and Louie Belpedio also scored for the United States, which seeks its first title at the Five Nations Tournament since 2011.

The Americans opened a 5-0 lead before Russia scored twice in the third period. The U.S. next plays Finland on Thursday at Dmitrov Arena at 6:30 a.m. ET.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 11:24 AM

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

Demko's 27 saves power BC into Beanpot title game

Boston College goalie Thatcher Demko, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top 2014 draft-eligible goaltenders in North America, made 27 saves to help lead the nation's No. 2-ranked team to a 3-1 victory against Boston University on Monday before a packed house in the semifinal round of the 62nd Beanpot Tournament at TD Garden in Boston.

The Eagles (20-4-3), the four-time defending champion, will face Northeastern in the championship game on Monday at TD Garden for the third time in the past four Beanpot finals. BC scored a 6-3 victory against the Huskies in the 2013 Beanpot championship game.

Demko, who even earned an assist on a third-period goal by Johnny Gaudreau, won his sixth straight game and improved to 9-1-2 with a 1.90 goals-against average and .930 save percentage for the Eagles. Boston College received goals by Ryan Fitzgerald (Boston Bruins), Kevin Hayes (Chicago Blackhawks) and Gaudreau (Calgary Flames). The Terriers received their only goal of the game by Robert Baillargeon (Ottawa Senators).

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 11:17 AM

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

Windsor's Ho-Sang named OHL Player of the Week

Windsor Spitfires forward Joshua Ho-Sang, No. 18 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft, on Monday was named the Ontario Hockey League's Player of the Week.

Ho-Sang, whose has a Jamaican father, Chilean mother and Chinese-born great-grandfather, currently is riding a four-game point streak during which he's accounted for four goals and 11 points. Ho-Sang has 23 goals, 62 points and a plus-25 rating in 23 games for this season.

He also had a goal and an assist playing for Team Orr in the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game earlier this month at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 9:34 AM

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

Triumphant return for Kingston's Bennett

Kingston Frontenacs forward Samuel Bennett wasted little time picking up where he left off when he rejoined his teammates Sunday for his first game since being tabbed No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft.

Bennett, who missed five Ontario Hockey League games, as well as the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, with a lower-body injury, had a goal and an assist in a 6-1 victory against the Belleville Bulls and was named the game's second star.

The 6-foot-0.25, 178-pound left-shot center is riding a 25-game point streak during which he's totaled 17 goals and 46 points.

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Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 2:30 PM

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

Virtanen aces Top Prospect testing

Calgary Hitmen forward Jake Virtanen was the top performer of the 40 skaters at the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

According to data released by Sport Testing, Virtanen had the highest overall grade from the on-ice testing, which was performed Tuesday, the day before the Top Prospects Game.

Among the highlights for Virtanen was his top time in the 30-meter forward sprint at 3.92 seconds, as well as the top time in the 30-meter backward sprint, 4.55 seconds.

Virtanen, a 6-foot-0.75, 208-pound right wing, is ranked ninth by NHL Central Scouting in its midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft.


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Posted On Monday, 11.18.2013 / 12:24 PM

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

Milano switches commitment to Boston College

Forward Sonny Milano, who stars for the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 team, has withdrawn his commitment to the University of Notre Dame and instead has committed to Boston College starting next season.

Milano has 10 goals and 21 assists in 19 games this season, and is one of three players from the United States Hockey League to earn an A rating on NHL Central Scouting's November players to watch list.

"He probably has as much skill and puck skills as anyone I've coached in 15 years," USNTDP U-18 coach Danton Cole said of Milano. "He does some amazing things with the puck."


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Posted On Wednesday, 11.13.2013 / 5:14 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Moncton's Barbashev to lead Russia at Super Series

Ivan Barbashev, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, was named to Russia's roster for the 2013 Subway Super Series games.

Russia will play six games across Canada -- two each against all-star teams from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League.

The Super Series games are part of the decision-making process toward picking the team that will represent Russia at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. That tournament runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014.

QMJHL fans certainly know about Barbashev, who plays for the Moncton Wildcats. A 6-foot-1, 185-pound left wing, Barbashev is tied for ninth in the QMJHL with 29 points in 20 games. His 19 assists lead Moncton and he also has 10 goals.


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Posted On Wednesday, 11.13.2013 / 4:20 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Reinhart to skate for WHL in both Super Series games

Sam Reinhart, expected to be one of the first players taken at the 2014 NHL Draft, will play in both games for the Western Hockey League against Russia in the 2013 Subway Super Series.

Reinhart, a 6-foot-0.75, 185-pound center with the Kootenay Ice, is fifth in the WHL with 34 points in 21 games. He received an "A" rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary list of players to watch for the 2014 draft from the WHL.

The Super Series games against Russia will be played Nov. 27 in Red Deer, Alberta, and Nov. 28 in Lethbridge, Alberta. The games are part of Canada's decision-making process toward picking the team that will play for Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. That tournament runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014.


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Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 5:37 PM

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

United States wins World Junior A Challenge

Kyle Connor scored the decisive goal late in the second period and Cal Petersen made it stand behind 16 saves when the United States Junior Select Team scored a 4-1 victory against Russia on Sunday in the gold medal game of the 2013 World Junior A Challenge at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The championship triumph was the second straight for the U.S. and the fifth in the eight-year history of the tournament.

Connor, who plays for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League, snapped a 1-1 tie with just 14 seconds left in the second period.

"Our line just got the puck and I got a good pass and just buried it," Connor said. "Me, [Nick] Schmaltz and [Connor] Hurley got in on the forecheck and that was a key for us. I think looking forward and playing our game, getting pucks deep, was critical all tournament."

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Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 1:36 PM

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

U.S. finishes second at Four Nations

Alex Tuch, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had two goals and an assist as the United States finished the Four Nations Tournament with a 6-2 win against Switzerland.

The win allowed the U.S. to finish second at the tournament, which was played in Turku, Finland.

Tuch, a forward who plays for the United States National Team Development Program’s under-18 team, earned a “B” rating from NHL Central Scouting on its preliminary player to watch list for draft-eligible players in the United States Hockey League.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.09.2013 / 3:16 PM

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

U.S. top Finland in Four Nations tourney

Jack Eichel capped a three-point night Saturday with a goal in overtime to help the United States defeat Finland 4-3 in the Four Nations Tournament in Turku, Finland.

Eichel, a prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft who is committed to play at Boston University next season, scored 2:34 into the extra session to help the Americans to their first win in the competition after a 3-2 loss Friday to Sweden.

Sonny Milano, one of the top American-born players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, set up Eichel's overtime score and had a goal of his own 1:25 into the first period to give the United States an early lead. Milano, who was one of three "A" rated skaters from the United States Hockey League in NHL Central Scouting's preseason rankings, has two goals and 11 points in seven USHL games this season while playing for the United States National Team Development Program's entry in the league.

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Posted On Friday, 11.08.2013 / 2:48 PM

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

Nylander's goal lifts Sweden past U.S. at Four Nations

William Nylander, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, scored the game-winning goal at 11:49 of the third period to give Sweden a 3-2 win against the United States at the 2013 Under-18 Four Nations Tournament, being held in Turku, Finland.

With Sweden skating on a 5-on-3 power play, Nylander beat U.S. goalie Edwin Minney.

Nylander, who plays for Rogle in Sweden's second division, earned an "A" rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary list of players to watch for the 2014 draft. He is the son of former NHL center Michael Nylander.

Nylander's goal came after Jack Eichel's second goal of the game tied things at 8:11 of the third. Eichel, who plays for the United States National Team Development Program's under-18 team, also had a power-play goal in the second period. He is eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft.


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Posted On Friday, 11.08.2013 / 9:00 AM

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

Kapanen out for Four Nations Tournament

Top Finnish prospect Kasperi Kapanen, an "A"-rated international skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch for the 2014 NHL Draft, will be sidelined the duration of the 2013 Under-20 Four Nations Tournament in Russia this weekend due to an illness.

Goran Stubb, NHL Director of European Scouting, confirmed the news for NHL.com.

"My guess is he'll return to his club lineup at some point next week," Stubb told NHL.com.

The three-day tournament, scheduled to begin Friday, will take place in Novogorsk, Russia.


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Posted On Thursday, 11.07.2013 / 10:55 AM

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

Edwards' three stars from World Junior A Challenge

The United States and Canada West each earned byes into the semifinal round of the 2013 World Junior A Challenge after winning their preliminary-round games this week at Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The semifinals will be held Friday with the championship game slated for Sunday at 11 a.m. ET. The United States, winner of four of the past five tournaments, is the defending gold medalist.

The U.S. had won three consecutive tournament titles from 2008 to 2010 before Canada West ended the run in 2011. The Americans regained their crown last year.

NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards, who has been in Yarmouth this week to view the prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft, checked in with his three stars from Wednesday. For more of Edwards' insight into those top players competing at the tournament, read this week's "Prospector Files."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.07.2013 / 9:54 AM

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

U.S. moves into semis of World Junior A Challenge

The United States can thank a trio of players from the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League for helping lead the team into the semifinals of the 2013 World Junior A Challenge with a 4-2 victory against Canada East on Wednesday in preliminary-round play at Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

In addition to starring for the Fighting Saints this season, the three players, who accounted for all four goals Wednesday, are on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2014 NHL Draft.

Karson Kuhlman, a "C"-rated prospect, scored a pair of goals and Shane Eiserman and Seamus Malone also scored in the victory. Chris Birdsall of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL made 24 saves in his first start for the United States.


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Posted On Wednesday, 11.06.2013 / 3:28 PM

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

Chanter healthy, returning to Dubuque lineup

Defenseman Dylan Chanter of the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League is set to return to the lineup less than a month after sustaining a separated shoulder and concussion following a fight in an Oct. 12 game against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

Chanter's availability was made official by the team in an announcement Wednesday. The 18-year-old, who will attend the University of New Hampshire beginning in 2014-15, was activated from the 25-day injured reserve list and he is eligible to play as soon as the team's next game, Friday against the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

"It's a great feeling to be back," Chanter told Dubuque's website. "I'm really excited to be back and get going. I couldn't give enough thanks to our trainer Sean Murdoch as well as all the staff in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. They did a fantastic job and my neurologist couldn't have been a better guy. I'm excited to get back in the lineup. I really can't wait to be in the dressing room before a game and know I am about to play."


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Posted On Wednesday, 11.06.2013 / 9:50 AM

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

Schmaltz powers U.S. in World Junior A opener

Nick Schmaltz, an "A"-rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2014 NHL Draft, had two goals and two assists to help lead the United States to an 8-3 victory against Russia in its first game at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge, being held at Yarmouth Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The U.S., which has won four of the past five tournament titles, outshot the Russians 41-27. Schmaltz, who plays for the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League, scored twice in the Americans' five-goal second period as the U.S. opened a 6-1 advantage.

"Great chemistry and our power play was clicking [5-for-9], so that helps," Schmaltz told Tina Comeau of the Yarmouth County Vanguard. "We've got a lot of skill on this team, we're comfortable playing with these players, we've got one line that's been playing together for 100 games. I thought we had a great game."


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Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 10:54 AM

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

Gillies' late goal leads Canada West at World Junior A

Alex Gillies, a "C"-rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for 2014 NHL Draft prospects from the Canadian junior leagues, scored the game-winning goal early in the third period Monday to send Canada West to a 4-3 victory against Switzerland on the opening day of preliminary-round action in the 2013 World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Dylan Hollman, who was named player of the game for Canada West, scored a pair of power-play goals in the first period to give his team a 3-2 lead. Switzerland squared the game 3-3 in the second on a goal by left wing Matteo Romanenghi.

Gillies then scored the game-winner 1:07 into the third. The Michigan Tech University commit plays for the Salmon Arm SilverBacks in the British Columbia Hockey League. Nicholas Jones, also considered a "C"-rated prospect for the 2014 draft, scored in the victory. Jones, who stars for the Sherwood Park Crusaders in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, is committed to Ohio State University in 2014-15.


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Posted On Monday, 11.04.2013 / 2:58 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Reinhart named to WHL Super Series roster

Sam Reinhart, expected to be one of the first players taken at the 2014 NHL Draft, was named Monday to the preliminary roster the Western Hockey League will use in its portion of the 2013 Subway Super Series.

Reinhart, a 6-foot-0.75, 185-pound center with the Kootenay Ice, is fourth in the WHL with 28 points in 17 games. He received an "A" rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary list of players to watch for the 2014 draft from the WHL.

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Posted On Friday, 11.01.2013 / 10:18 AM

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

Barbashev returning to Moncton lineup

Moncton Wildcats left wing Ivan Barbashev, the only "A"-rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary list of the top 2014 NHL Draft-eligible players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will return to the lineup Friday at the Saint John Sea Dogs after sitting out the previous five games with a lower-body injury.

Wildcats coach Darren Rumble said he intends to give Barbashev between 15 and 20 minutes of ice time in his anticipated return. The coach said the 6-foot-1, 185-pound left wing has looked good in practice the last few days.

"I'll ease him in, but I'm not a big believer in [easing a player in]," Rumble said. "If you're cleared to play, you're cleared to play. Now I'm not going to give him 30 minutes but I think he'll get a regular shift and power-play time, so we'll try and get him no more than 20 minutes; about to the 15-minute mark."

Barbashev was injured while taking a faceoff in a game against Saint John on Oct. 16 when he attempted to kick the puck but instead caught his skate in a rut. At the time of his injury Barbashev led the team in points (18) and was tied for the team lead in goals (seven) and assists (11). He's averaging 1.29 points per game.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.30.2013 / 5:25 PM

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

St. Michael's Evans highlights Canada East roster

Jake Evans, a center with St. Michael's of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, was among the 22 players named to the Canada East roster for the 2013 World Junior A Hockey Challenge.

The roster was chosen after a four-day camp in Oakville, Ontario.

"It has been an exciting four days in Oakville, and as we expected there were some tough decisions to get down to 22 players," Canada East coach Ian MacInnis said. "As a coaching staff we're confident we've assembled the best roster and we're looking forward to getting to Yarmouth and getting started."

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.30.2013 / 12:57 PM

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

Hockey Canada announces World Junior A roster

Hockey Canada on Wednesday announced the 22 players who will represent Canada West at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge to be held Nov. 4-10 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The roster was named following a four-day selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary. Jason McKee, who coaches the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, will coach Canada West at the tournament.

"Canada West has a proud tradition at the World Junior A Challenge, and we're confident this group of players will continue that tradition," McKee said in a statement. "These 22 young men earned their spots on the roster, and we believe they will represent western Canada well in Yarmouth."


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.30.2013 / 11:45 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Drouin headlines Team QMJHL Super Series squad

Five players taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft highlight the team the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will field for its two games against Team Russia in the 2013 Subway Super Series.

Games will be played Nov. 18 in Gatineau, Quebec, and Nov. 20 in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The games serve as another step in the evaluation process used by Canada to pick its team for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Among those taking part is Halifax Mooseheads forward Jonathan Drouin, the third pick of the draft, who has 15 points in nine games. Also playing are Rimouski Oceanic defenseman Samuel Morin (No. 11, Philadelphia Flyers) and forwards Anthony Mantha (No. 20, Detroit Red Wings) of the Val-d'Or Foreurs, Rimouski's Frederik Gauthier (No. 21, Toronto Maple Leafs) and Emile Poirier (No. 22, Calgary Flames) of the Gatineau Olympiques.


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.30.2013 / 10:45 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Ekblad to showcase skills at Super Series games

Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad, expected to be one of the top players picked at the 2014 NHL Draft, is one of 13 players who will skate in both games for Team Ontario Hockey League during the Subway Super Series against Team Russia.

A 6-foot-3, 216-pound defenseman, Ekblad has six goals and seven assists in 14 games, and received an "A" rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary list of players to watch from the OHL. He also is the only player eligible for the 2014 draft that will play in both games, which serve as another step in the evaluation process used by Canada to pick its team for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.


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Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 4:42 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Canada WJC coaches to lead Super Series teams

Canada's coaching staff for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship will have a big hand in the next step in the selection process for the team that will go to Malmo, Sweden for this year's tournament.

Brent Sutter, who will coach the team as it looks to return to the medal stand after finishing fourth at the 2013 WJC, will serve as coach for the two games the Western Hockey League stars will play against Russia in the 2013 Subway Super Series.

Sutter, who coaches the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL, will lead the team in games Nov. 27 in Red Deer, Alberta, and Nov. 28 in Lethbridge, Alberta. Serving as Sutter's assistant coach in those games will be Kootenay Ice coach Ryan McGill, who also will be on Sutter's staff for the WJC.


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Posted On Tuesday, 10.22.2013 / 3:53 PM

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

Miller to serve as coach/GM of new USHL team

The United States Hockey League on Tuesday announced that Steve Miller, an associate coach at the University of Denver the past 20 years, will serve as the first coach and general manager of the league's new team in Madison, Wisc., which will begin play in the 2014-15 season.

As part of his responsibilities at Denver, Miller worked primarily with the defensemen and was the school's recruiting coordinator. In addition to on-ice coaching, he assists with video breakdown and game analysis.

The new Madison team marks the return of USHL hockey to the city after nearly 20 years. The city was first part of the league for 11 seasons (1984-95), competing as the Madison Capitols (1984-91) and the Wisconsin Capitols (1991-95). The Capitols won more than 200 games during their time in Madison, including a team record 33 games in the 1986-87 and 1988-89 seasons under coach Scott Owens, who now coaches Colorado College.

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Posted On Friday, 10.18.2013 / 10:06 AM

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

Top QMJHL prospect Barbashev out at least 10 days

Moncton Wildcats left wing Ivan Barbashev, NHL Central Scouting's only "A"-rated player on the list of top 2014 NHL Draft-eligible players in its preliminary players to watch list for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will be sidelined at least 10 days after sustaining a lower-body injury on Wednesday.

Barbashev was injured while taking a faceoff in a game against the Saint John Sea Dogs when he attempted to kick the puck but instead caught his skate in a rut. Wildcats coach Darren Rumble said Barbashev "tweaked it a little bit."

"It's a huge loss to be missing him for a couple of days, but that's what happens when somebody goes down," Rumble told NHL.com. "It's an opportunity for someone else to step up."


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Posted On Sunday, 10.13.2013 / 8:22 AM

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

USHL defenseman released from hospital

Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman Dylan Chanter was released from an area hospital early Sunday morning after sustaining a head and shoulder injury in the second period of his team’s game against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in a United States Hockey League matchup on Saturday at Cedar Rapids Arena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The injury was severe enough at the time that the Office of the USHL Commissioner and management of both teams agreed to suspend the contest after the incident at the 11:58 mark of the second. Details for a rescheduled date of the game will be announced at a later time.

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Posted On Sunday, 10.13.2013 / 12:20 AM

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

USHL game suspended following injury

The United States Hockey League on Saturday suspended play in the second period of a game involving the Dubuque Fighting Saints and Cedar Rapids RoughRiders following an injury to Dubuque defenseman Dylan Chanter at Cedar Rapids Arena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Chanter (6-foot-3.25, 213 pounds) was injured 11:58 into the second when he fell to the ice following a fight. The 2014 draft-eligible native of Armstrong, B.C., who is committed to the University of New Hampshire in the fall of 2014, was conscious while being attended to by trainers and medical staff at the arena. He was transported to a local hospital for additional evaluation and testing.


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Posted On Monday, 10.07.2013 / 3:54 PM

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

Kapanen returning to Kalpa lineup

The top 2014 NHL Draft-eligible prospect from Finland, forward Kasperi Kapanen, will return to the lineup for Kalpa in SM-liiga on Tuesday after sitting out the past three games with a lower-body injury.

Kapanen, an "A"-rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list of the top prospects from Finland, sustained his injury Sept. 24. According to European Director of Central Scouting, Goran Stubb, Kapanen is expected to resume his role on the team's top line, alongside his father Sami, against HIFK on Tuesday.

Kapanen (5-foot-11, 172 pounds) has a goal and two points in four games for Kalpa in SM-liiga in 2013-14. Barring injury, he'll likely play for Finland at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. Kapanen had eight points, including a team-leading five goals, for Finland at the 2013 WJC.

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