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2011 NHL Entry Draft
2011 NHL Entry Draft Hats
Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Monday, 02.21.2011 / 1:50 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to St. Paul 2011 Entry Draft Blog

Draft eligible prospect Lucia heads Minnesota HS tourney

The Minnesota State Playoffs commence this week and it appears as though the competition between the top four seeds in Class 2A, Section 6 will be unlike any other in recent tournament history.

Top seed Eden Prairie is followed by Wayzata and Benilde-St. Margaret's. Rounding out this collection of top-10 teams is defending section champion Minnetonka. If both teams advance, the semifinal showdown of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka will be a rematch of last season's section final.

All four teams boast some of the state's top players. In Eden Prairie, it's Mr. Hockey candidate Kyle Rau and defenseman Nick Seeler. In Wayzata, it is Mr. Hockey candidate Tony Cameranesi and Mario Lucia, the top-rated scholastic player on the board heading into the 2011 Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn.

Lucia enters the tournament with 25 goals, 47 points and a plus-26 rating in 24 games.

Benilde-St. Margaret's will count on a deep group of forwards and Wisconsin-bound defenseman Patrick Daly. Two-way forward Thomas Schutt will provide Minnetonka grit and experience.

"We know the ups and downs of these games," Minnetonka coach Brian Urick told the Star-Tribune. "We were the No. 1 seed last year, but none of our games were easy. Coming in No. 4 is nice because I think the higher-seeded teams tend to grip their sticks a little tighter."

Here's the bracket for Class 2A, Section 6: Click here.

Only two Class 2A sections have defending champions that earned No. 1 seeds: reigning state champion Edina (Section 2) and Hill-Murray (4). Both teams have injury concerns. Senior defenseman Max Everson of Edina should return from a wrist injury, and Hill-Murray sophomore Zach LaValle (leg) hopes to return to the second line and top power-play unit. Everson, by the way, is rated No. 81 among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting's mid-term report.
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POSTED ON Monday, 02.21.2011 / 12:55 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to St. Paul 2011 Entry Draft Blog

USHL All Star selections

The United States Hockey League announced its midseason CCM All-Star selections for the Eastern and Western Conference last week.

Four players were named USHL All-Stars for the second straight season, including Omaha Lancers forward and top draft prospect Seth Ambroz, Des Moines Buccaneers defenseman Austin Coldwell and Indian Ice defenseman Nick Mattson. Team USA forward Rocco Grimaldi was also named but unable to participate in the event.

The Green Bay Gamblers, who currently have the best record in the USHL (30-10-2), lead the way with five All-Star selections. The Indiana Ice and the Dubuque Fighting Saints placed five players among the selections. Keep in mind the USHL All-Star Game is absent from the schedule this season as the League is exploring options to develop a format that will build off the success of prior games and provide an improved experience for fans, scouts, and media.

Another top 2011 draft prospect, defenseman Scott Mayfield of the Youngstown Phantoms was also named to the Eastern Conference All-Star squad.

2011 USHL All-Star Rosters

EASTERN Conference


Defensemen: Nolan Zajac (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Aaron Harstad (Green Bay Gamblers), Nick Mattson (Indiana Ice), Alexx Privitera (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Jacob Trouba (Team USA), Andrew Panzarella (Waterloo Black Hawks), Scott Mayfield (Youngstown Phantoms)

Forwards: Cason Hohmann (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Jayson Megna (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Austin Czarnik (Green Bay Gamblers), William Kessel (Green Bay Gamblers), Jean-Paul LaFontaine (Green Bay Gamblers), Blake Coleman (Indiana Ice), Brian Ferlin (Indiana Ice), Peter Schneider (Indiana Ice), Daniil Tarasov (Indiana Ice), Matt Berry (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Ryan Misiak (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Rocco Grimaldi (Team USA), Cody Strang (Youngstown Phantoms)

Goaltenders: Brady Hjelle (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Ryan McKay (Green Bay Gamblers)

WESTERN Conference

Defensemen: Austin Coldwell (Des Moines Buccaneers), Joakim Ryan (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Brian Cooper (Fargo Force), Matt Prapavessis (Lincoln Stars), Ben Marshall (Omaha Lancers), Jordan Schmaltz (Sioux City Musketeers), Rick Pinkston (Tri-City Storm)

Forwards: Cal Decowski (Des Moines Buccaneers), John Gaudreau (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Zemgus Girgensons (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Vinny Saponari (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Tanner Kero (Fargo Force), Jimmy Mullin (Fargo Force), Ryan Dzingel (Lincoln Stars), John McCarron (Lincoln Stars), Seth Ambroz (Omaha Lancers), Nick Oddo (Omaha Lancers), Caleb Herbert (Sioux City Musketeers), Max McCormick (Sioux City Musketeers), Ryan Jacobson (Sioux Falls Stampede)

Goaltenders: Matt Morris (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Ryan Massa (Fargo Force)
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 02.15.2011 / 4:34 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to St. Paul 2011 Entry Draft Blog

Larsson returns to Skelleftea lineup

Highly coveted European prospect, defenseman Adam Larsson of Skelleftea, made his anticipated return to the lineup on Tuesday against the top-seeded team in the Swedish Elite League, HV71.

Larsson, the No. 1-ranked player on NHL Central Scouting's mid-term list of the top draft-eligible European players, was paired with Fredrik Lindgren. Skelleftea entered the game in second place, 3 points behind HV71.

A groin injury, which has hampered Larsson all season, had kept the 6-foot-3, 200-pound blue liner sidelined since the completion of the World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., on Jan. 5.

Larsson, who did play in the semifinals and bronze-medal game at the WJC, is in the midst of his second season playing for Skelleftea. He's projected to be a top five pick in the 2011 Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn., on June 24.

Larsson's produced 1 goal, 8 points and 37 penalty minutes in 28 games this season for Skelleftea. He represented Sweden at the 2010 and 2011 World Junior Championship, finishing as the team's highest scoring defender at the tournament this past season with 1 goal and 4 points.
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POSTED ON Monday, 02.14.2011 / 7:54 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to St. Paul 2011 Entry Draft Blog

Tomas Jurco is at it again during shootout victory

In case you missed it, Saint John Sea Dogs forward Tomas Jurco was at it again on Sunday when he dazzled those in attendance during a shootout victory over the Moncton Wildcats, 3-2, in a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League matchup in Saint John.

First, Jurco and Stanislav Galiev (drafted by the Washington Capitals, 3rd Round-86th overall) connected for third-period goals to send the game into overtime before Jurco and Jonathan Huberdeau ultimately scored in a shootout as the Sea Dogs (46-5-3) won their 11th straight game.

Jurco delivered his fourth shootout goal in five opportunities this season. Starting at center ice, he shifted both skates in a partial turn, then quickly cut back to his forehand, going top shelf. Saint John goalie Jacob DeSerres (23 saves) then stopped Alex Saulnier to set up Huberdeau's clincher.

Jurco led the QMJHL with 9 shootout goals on 11 chances as a rookie in 2009-10. Through 46 games, Jurco has 26 goals, 49 points and a plus-40 rating with Saint John. He happens to be one of four players on the talent-laden Sea Dogs roster rated among the top 24 North American skaters, according to NHL Central Scouting's mid-term rankings. The list includes No. 5 Huberdeau, No. 9 Nathan Beaulieu, No. 12 Zack Phillips and No. 24 Jurco.

Jurco has been featured on NHL.com quite often this season. Read and view his magical stick work right here.

Today's featured prospect on NHL.com is Saskatoon defenseman Duncan Siemens, who just so happens to be the huge admirer of former New Jersey Devil enforcer Scott Stevens. In addition to his physical prowess, Siemens also exhibited a great deal of generosity prior to the 2010-11 campaign. Read about it here.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.13.2011 / 3:16 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to St. Paul 2011 Entry Draft Blog

U.S. wins Four Nations Tournament title

The U.S. National Under-18 Team notched its fourth Five Nations Tournament title in five years on Sunday when Reid Boucher scored three goals to lead the Americans to a 7-4 victory over Finland in its fourth and final game at Hradec Kralove Arena in Czech Republic.

Team USA, which finished 4-0-0 in the tournament, scored three goals in the second to open a 5-3 advantage. The Americans overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 against Finland in the tournament finale.

"I'm so proud of our guys after a very successful event," said coach Ron Rolston. "The experience that these players gain at these international tournaments will stay with them throughout their hockey careers and lives."

Blake Pietila scored twice in the first as the U.S. and Finland ended the opening 20 minutes in a 2-2 deadlock. Boucher tallied his first goal to give Team USA a 3-2 lead early in the second period. After another Finland tally, Cole Bardreau and Adam Reid scored to give the U.S. a 5-3 lead after two.

The U.S. defeated Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic and Finland en route to the tournament title, outscoring its four foes, 26-11, in the process. Forward Rocco Grimaldi, No. 25 on NHL Central Scouting's mid-term list for North American skaters eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft, and Boucher led the U.S. with 5 goals apiece. Boucher totaled 10 points and Grimaldi finished with 9 points.

GAME SUMMARY

Scoring By Period

USA---2 - 3 - 2 - 7
FIN----2 - 1 - 1 - 4

First Period: Scoring: 1, FIN, Hannikainen (Rekonen, Maatta), 1.46; 2, USA, Pietila (unassisted), 7:31; 3, FIN, Hannikainen (Rekonen, Maatta), 10:36; 4, USA, Pietila (Bardreau, Haggerty), 19:26. Penalties: None.

Second Period: Scoring: 5, USA, Boucher (Grimaldi), 1:18; 6, FIN, Jarvelainen (Pokka), 2:48; 7, USA, Bardreau (Pietila), 7:13; 8, USA, Reid (Boyd, Paliotta), 17:45. Penalties: FIN, Lamberg (slashing), 5:05; FIN, Leino (interferece), 13:39.

Third Period: Scoring: 9, USA, Boucher (Miller, Fiala), 5:16; 10, USA, Boucher (Miller), 10:19; 11, FIN, Aaltonen (Wilenius), 18:59. Penalties: FIN, Maatta (holding), 7:59; USA, Pietila (slashing), 11:05.




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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.13.2011 / 10:29 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to St. Paul 2011 Entry Draft Blog

Draft prospect Lucia shines outdoors

There were several reasons to check out the fifth annual Hockey Day in Minnesota festivities on Saturday during which the state-wide celebration of playing on the frozen floor was taken to a whole new level.

One of the most intriguing events occurred earlier in the afternoon, however, when Wayzata High School battled the Roseau Rams in the first of two scholastic games on the outdoor surface at the Moorhead Youth Arena before 4,000-plus fans in sun-drenched 32-degree weather.

Wayzata, which is the No. 4-ranked scholastic team in the state, competes in the formidable Lake Conference with fellow Class 2A powerhouses Eden Prairie, Edina and Minnetonka. The team possesses Mr. Hockey candidate Tony Cameranesi, who is headed to Minnesota-Duluth next fall. Meanwhile left wing Mario Lucio, the son of Minnesota University head coach Don Lucia, and brother of former Gopher and current San Jose Sharks farmhand, Tony Lucia, is projected as the top high school player off the board at the 2011 Entry Draft.

Lucia is not eligible for the Mr. Hockey Award since he's a junior -- only those top seniors are considered.

Still, according to NHL Central Scouting's mid-term ranking, Lucia is rated 30th overall among North American skaters. The 6-foot-2, 183-pound left-handed sniper is the top-rated high school player on the board with Coate-Rosemary Hall forward Philippe Hudon a close second at No. 31 overall. Cameranesi (5-9, 162) is rated No. 160 overall.

Lucia connected for his 23rd goal of the season just 50 seconds into the second period and Wayzata (16-5-2) would ultimately defeat Roseau (10-12) when defenseman Marc Richards controlled the puck off a faceoff and scored in overtime for a 2-1 victory.

In 22 games this season, Lucia has 42 points, including 2 shorthanded goals, and plus-23 rating while scoring in five of the team's last seven games. Cameranesi, who assisted Lucia's goal, has a team-leading 48 points, including 14 goals and 6 power-play goals.

Now, Lucia and his Wayzata teammates have their sights set on a Section 6AA championship. He is also looking forward to the Entry Draft, where he and fellow Minnesota native Seth Ambroz (Omaha Lancers, USHL) will be in high demand among the local hockey prospects. This year's draft will be held June 24-25 in St. Paul, Minn.

"Having the draft in Minnesota is probably the best thing that could of happened to me," Lucia told the Minnesota Wild web site. "My family and friends will be there to watch me walk on that stage. Ever since I started to play hockey it has been my dream to play in the NHL."

In the later game, Mr. Hockey candidate and Hill-Murray (20-3) forward Ben Bahe scored the game-winner with seven minutes remaining to give the No. 1 Pioneers a 3-2 win over the host team and No. 15-ranked Moorhead (14-7-2) Spuds. Bahe has 24 goals and 46 points this season. Hill-Murray, incidentally, has now won 12 straight.

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POSTED ON Friday, 02.11.2011 / 4:34 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Road to St. Paul 2011 Entry Draft Blog

Smart move by Jensen

After spending some time with Oshawa Generals forward Nicklas Jensen, you learn two things. One, he had some really good English lessons growing up in Denmark, because he really doesn't have much of an accent.

And two, he knows where to go find the most exposure.

And it wasn't staying home in Denmark.

"In Denmark there's not that many scouts," he told me in an interview at the Top Prospects Game. "Over here there's scouts at every game. It's better for me, especially in my draft year, to be seen a little more."

And after talking to some scouts, they've liked what they've seen in Jensen.

You can read all about it by clicking here.
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POSTED ON Friday, 02.11.2011 / 4:27 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Road to St. Paul 2011 Entry Draft Blog

U.S. continues to roll at Five Nations

Blake Pietila's second-period shorthanded goal snapped a 1-1 tie and sparked the U.S. to a 3-1 victory against the host Czech Republic on Friday at the 2011 Five Nations Tournament.

The U.S. improved to 3-0, with its final game coming Sunday against Finland.

"This was a tough win against a hard-working Czech team," U.S. coach Ron Rolston told USA Hockey's website. "We found a way to win, and I'm extremely proud of our guys."

Pietila, who plays for the U.S. National Team Development Program, is No. 112 on NHL Central Scouting's mid-term ranking of North American skaters for the 2011 Entry Draft.

Travis Boyd passed to Pietila, who broke in alone, deked to his backhand and deposited the puck behind the Czech goalie Patrik Bartosak.

Reid Boucher and Nicolas Kerdiles also scored for the U.S., and goalie John Gibson, Central Scouting's top-rated netminder, picked up the win.

For more on Gibson's season, take a look at this profile Mike Morreale wrote on him earlier this season.

Rocco Grimaldi assisted on Boucher's goal, giving him a team-leading 8 points.

In three games at the tournament, the U.S. has outscored it's opponents 19-7.
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POSTED ON Thursday, 02.10.2011 / 1:35 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Road to St. Paul 2011 Entry Draft Blog

U.S. 2-0 at Five Nations

The U.S. won its second straight game at the Five Nations Tournament early today, blasting Russia 10-4 in a game played in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.

Rocco Grimaldi, who had a hat trick in the Team USA's opening-game win yesterday, had 2 more goals plus an assist in the win. Grimaldi is No. 25 on NHL Central Scouting's mid-term ranking for the 2011 Entry Draft.

At just 5-foot-6 and 163 pounds, Grimaldi doesn't let anything get in his way, as staff writer Mike Morreale learned earlier this season when he talked to Grimaldi.

Cole Bardreau and Reid Boucher each had 2 goals and an assist, and Tyler Biggs, No. 5 on Central Scouting's list, had a goal.

Matt McNeely, No. 5 on Central Scouting's mid-term ranking of North American goaltenders, picked up the win in net.

"It is not often we beat a quality opponent like Russia 10-4," said Scott Monaghan, senior director of operations for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. "Our challenge now is to come prepared to play the host country, the Czech Republic, on national television tomorrow."

The U.S. next faces the host Czech Republic on Friday.
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POSTED ON Wednesday, 02.09.2011 / 4:34 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to St. Paul 2011 Entry Draft Blog

Team USA wins opener of Five Nations Tourney

It appears as though the U.S. National Under-18 Team is out to atone for last year's second-place finish in the Five Nations Tournament this year.

Leading scorer Rocco Grimaldi, a top 2011 Entry Draft hopeful, scored three goals and added one assist and Reid Boucher chipped in with three assists to lead Team USA to a 6-2 victory over Sweden in Wednesday's opener at the Novy Bydzov Arena in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.

Team USA had won the Five Nations Tournament three straight years before placing second to Russia during the 2010 Six Nations Cup. The tournament was named 'Six Nations' last year.

"Everyone contributed to this win and it was a complete team effort," said USA coach Ron Rolston. "It was an excellent start to a very difficult tournament."

Grimaldi, rated 25th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, scored once in the second and twice in the third en route to earning player of the game honors. Goalie John Gibson, the No. 1-rated North American goalie on the board for the 2011 Draft, earned the victory for the Americans.

Blake Pietila (committed to Michigan Tech), Adam Reid (Northeastern) and J.T. Miller (North Dakota) also hit for Team USA. Miller, rated 13th among North American skaters, scored from the slot 8:44 into the second to snap a 2-2 tie.

Team USA will face Russia on Thursday at Hradec Kralove Arena before battling Czech Republic on Friday and, finally, Finland on Sunday.

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