2011 NHL Entry Draft
2011 NHL Entry Draft Hats
Posted On Tuesday, 11.16.2010 / 11:00 AM

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

Preliminary Central Scouting ratings released; Oilers' Eberle warns not to get too hyped-up

They're here…

Yes, the day every prospect prognosticator and player wishing to hear his name announced at the Entry Draft craves. The NHL's Central Scouting service on Tuesday unveiled their preliminary North American and European ratings for the upcoming draft in St. Paul, Minn. It's the first of three big ratings' installments -- a midterm release in January and final release in April are forthcoming.

A special thanks to those gentlemen over at Central Scouting, who do a fantastic job at compiling these lists for the benefit of the 30 NHL franchises. I especially want to commend the boys who spend countless hours on the road yet still find the time to return a phone call or email at the drop of a hat whenever a question arises about a potential star in the making.

The preliminary rankings, which include the top 25 skaters and most coveted goalies from the OHL, WHL, QMJHL and the USHL, may be accessed off the main story that ran on NHL.com Tuesday morning. There are also sidebars on those top-ranked European standouts and those in the collegiate ranks, including two from Boston University and two from the University of Wisconsin.

For those players checking in for the first time to learn where they stand, my suggestion is to not get too wrapped up in having a number attached to your name. Continue playing hard while conducting yourself in a professional manner.

I recently had an opportunity to chat with Edmonton Oilers 20-year-old rookie Jordan Eberle about the preliminary draft lists.

Eberle, of course, was drafted in the first round (No. 22 overall) in 2008 by the Oilers. If you'll recall, he was told he would be an early choice in the WHL bantam draft but, despite great numbers, scouts shied away because of his size (5-foot-8, 145 pounds at the time). He ended up falling all the way to the seventh round, where the Regina Pats grabbed him 126th overall. He'd go on to score 70 goals and 130 points in two seasons -- that's hard work.

Eberle's advice to those starry-eyed prospects:

"I remember (the preliminary lists) clearly," Eberle told NHL.com. "It's something as you go through your draft year … there's so many ups and downs but I think the big thing is you can't get too hyped up and focused in on all of that stuff.

"It really affects your game. You see guys rated high and they worry way too much about their ranking and all that stuff and they start dropping," he continued. "The thing is to just play your game, don't worry if you're high or low. I mean, I'm a seventh-round draft pick in bantam so I don't think that the draft is really … if you're a good enough player people are going to find you, it's as simple as that."

No better words spoken.
Posted On Monday, 11.15.2010 / 9:15 AM

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

USA wins third straight gold medal

Jimmy Mullin scored his team-leading sixth goal 16:07 into the third period to rally the U.S. Junior Select Team to a 6-4 victory over Canada East in the championship game of the 2010 World Junior A Challenge on Sunday at Okanagan Event Centre in Penticton, B.C.

Mullin, who was drafted in the fourth round (118th overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning last June, scored his decisive goal just 40 seconds after Austin Czarnik (2011 draft eligible) had tied the game for Team USA. Austin Czarnik, who scored twice in the game, was named Team USA's player of the game while defenseman Scott Mayfield (2011 draft eligible) and Mullin were named to the tournament all-star team. Mayfield, who has been maintaining a monthly blog for NHL.com, was also named the tournament's most valuable player.

"Our goal for the entire tournament was to climb the mountain," said U.S. coach P.K. O'Handley. "We
were naturally concerned, down 4-1. But we stuck with our plan and came out on top. This was one of my best hockey experiences of my coaching career."

Canada East had taken a 4-1 lead with a pair of goals in the first five minutes of the second by Scott Wilson (East's player of the game, 2011 draft eligible) and Matthew Peca (2011 draft eligible) but the U.S. responded to pull within one on goals by Sam Warning (2011 draft eligible) and Brian Cooper (2011 draft eligible) to close out the middle period.

Michael Parks' empty-net goal with 1:24 remaining sealed the deal while U.S. goalie Casey DeSmith (2011 draft eligible), who replaced starter Zane Gothberg (10 saves in 25 minutes) early in the second period, turned aside all eight shots he faced. Jordan Ruby made 37 saves in the loss for Canada East and was one of three easterners named to the all-star team. He joined defender Tyson Wilson (2011 draft eligible) and forward Evan Rodrigues (2011 draft eligible), who co-led the tournament with 7 points.

Russian forward Mikhail Girgorenko (2012 draft eligible) earned the other all-star forward spot.

In the bronze medal game, Switzerland scored an 8-3 victory over Canada West as 14 different players notched at least one point. Gregory Hofmann (2011 draft eligible) scored twice in the victory.

The Swiss broke open a 2-2 game in the third with six unanswered goals in a span of 11:43 by Reto Schappi  (2011 draft eligible), Manuel Holenstein (2011 draft eligible), Joel Vermin (2011 draft eligible), Romain Loeffel (Swiss player of the game, 2011 draft eligible), Gaetan Haas (2011 draft eligible) and Hofmann. Canada West goalie Matthew Krahn (2011 draft eligible) was named best player for his team.
Posted On Sunday, 11.14.2010 / 1:10 PM

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

Canada East vs. USA in World Jr A Challenge final

The United States and Canada East won semifinal-round contests on Saturday and will face-off in the gold-medal game on Sunday at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, B.C.

The U.S. defeated Canada East, 6-1, on Nov. 8 in its first game of the preliminary around.

Team USA, which has won two straight World Junior A golds, received a goal and one assist from Garrett Allen in the opening 11 minutes of the game and Jimmy Mullin scored his tournament-leading fifth goal via a penalty shot in the third period as the Americans rolled to a 5-1 victory over Canada West.

"I was very pleased with our start tonight," said Team USA coach P.K. O'Handley. "I know it sounds cliche, but this game was just another step. We need to remain focused (Sunday) and compete like we did tonight."

The U.S. took a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the game when Caleb Herbert knocked in a rebound goal. Only three minutes later, Allen, of Delafield, Wis., extended the lead 2-0 with a goal.

The U.S. had beaten Canada West in the last two gold medal games. The loss means Canada West will not be playing for a gold medal for the first time in the tournament's five-year history. Zane Gothberg made 27 saves for the U.S. Allen was named player of the game for the Americans and Dylan Walchuk was best player for Canada West.

The U.S. was 1-for-6 on the power play and Canada West went 0-for-9 -- the U.S. has allowed only one power-play goal in 21 shorthanded situations in the tournament.

Canada East, meanwhile, knocked off previously unbeaten Switzerland, 4-2, as team player of the game Nick Huard scored twice and Jordan Ruby made 39 saves. 

Canada East received goals by Huard and Maxime Dumond in the second period to grabe a 3-1 lead over Switzerland, which will battle Canada West in the bronze medal game on Sunday.

Swiss forward Ryan McGregor, whose late goal in the first had pulled his team into a 1-1 tie, was named Switzerland's player of the game.
Posted On Friday, 11.12.2010 / 9:00 AM

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

Canadian contingent advances to semifinals

Canada West and Canada East each scored quarterfinal-round victories on Thursday to advance into the medal round of the 2010 World Junior A Challenge at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, B.C.

Canada West, which will play the defending champion, United States, in the semifinals on Saturday (7:30 p.m. PT), received a power-play goal by Nolan Kaiser at 5:18 of the third period to snap a 2-2 deadlock and Matthew Krahn made it stand behind 31 saves en route to a 3-2 victory over Sweden. Dylan Walchuk and Ben Gallacher also hit for Canada West and Linus Hulstrom and Sebastian Dyk connected for Sweden. Kaiser was selected as Canada West's player of the game and Dyk was named top player for Sweden, which outshot the Canadians, 33-22.

In the other quarterfinal game, Matthew Peca and Evan Rodrigues scored 42 seconds apart in the second period to give Canada East a four-goal cushion before Russia began a rally only to fall one-goal short, 4-3. Canada East will now face Switzerland in the other semifinal on Saturday.

Matt Chiarantano and Zach Hyman -- Canada's player of the game -- also hit for Canada East, which received a 35-save performance by Jordan Ruby. Mikhail Grigorenko, who scored two goals in the third period to pull Russia within one with over 11 minutes remaining, was named his team's best player in the contest.

Sweden vs. Russia (consolation game)

Saturday - Semifinals
Canada East vs. Switzerland
Canada West vs. United States
Posted On Thursday, 11.11.2010 / 8:40 AM

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

Day 3 at World Junior A Challenge

The United States remained unbeaten and Canada West scored its first victory during the third day of preliminary-round action at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge on Wednesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, B.C.

The U.S. received two points apiece by Seth Ambroz, Max Gaede, Cason Hohmann and Sam Warning, who each scored once, and goalie Zane Gothberg turned aside 32 shots as the Americans secured a spot in the semifinal round by wrapping up first place in Group A with a 5-1 victory over Sweden.

Gaede, Hohmann and Ambroz all scored in a span of 7:25 in the second period to give the United States a 4-1 advantage. Jimmy Mullin also connected for the U.S., notching his tournament-leading fourth goal. Ambroz, a likely top 15 draft pick in June, was named the Player of the Game for the Americans. Ambroz is blogging for NHL.com this season.

Filip Gunnarsson, who had an assist, was named Player of the Game for Sweden, which received its lone goal off the stick of Alexander Lagerstrom. The U.S. will have Thursday and Friday off before Saturday's semifinals while the Swedes (0-2) will face Canada West in Thursday's quarterfinal round.

In the other preliminary contest held Wednesday, Grayson Downing and Dylan Walchuk scored third-period goals to snap a 2-2 tie and give Canada West a 4-2 triumph over Russia before 3,497 in attendance.

Russia, which yielded 52 shots to Switzerland one night earlier, allowed 53 shots to Canada West. Russian goalie Oleg Dyatlov made 49 saves and was named Player of the Game for his team. Downing received similar honors for Canada West, which will next face Sweden. Russia will battle Canada East.
Posted On Wednesday, 11.10.2010 / 8:25 AM

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

Day 2 at World Junior A Challenge

Canada East rebounded from a disappointing opening-day loss and Switzerland won its second straight contest during preliminary round action of the 2010 World Junior A Challenge on Tuesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, B.C.

The Swiss, who are making their first-ever appearance in the tournament, defeated Russia, 5-1, to clinch first place in Group B and solidify a spot in Saturday's semifinals. With the victory, Switzerland has now beaten last year's silver medalist -- Canada West -- and bronze medalists.

The teams combined for 91 shots to set a World Junior A Challenge record for one game, two more than the previous mark of 89 set by Germany and Belarus on Nov. 11, 2006. Switzerland outshot Russia, 52-39. Gaetan Haas (2011 draft eligible) scored a pair of goals in a 61-second span early in the third period to give Switzerland a 4-0 advantage. Russian goalie Denis Perevozchikov (2011 draft eligible) made 47 saves, including 16 in the opening 20 minutes. Perevozchikov, incidentally, plays for Bars Kazan back home.

Goalie Remo Giovannini (2011 draft eligible), who made 38 saves, was named Player of the Game for Switzerland and Maxim Shalunov (2011 draft eligible) received similar honors for Russia.

Canada East, which lost to the U.S. on Monday, received a goal and three assists from their Player of the Game, Evan Rodrigues (2011 draft eligible), while Jordan Ruby (2011 draft eligible) turned aside 34 shots in a 6-2 verdict over Sweden. Canada East connected for the opening four goals of the game in the first period before Sweden's Christian Nyman (2011 draft eligible) and Pontus Netterberg (2011 draft eligible) pulled Sweden to within 4-2. Netterberg, a product of HV 71 in the Swedish Elite League, was named Sweden's Player of the Game.
Posted On Tuesday, 11.09.2010 / 9:01 AM

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

Day 1 recap of World Junior A Challenge

The U.S. Junior Select Team and Switzerland each notched victories in the preliminary round of the 2010 World Junior A Challenge on Monday at the South Okanagan Event Centre in Penticton, B.C.

Jimmy Mullin (Lightning), named the Player of the Game, scored three goals and goalie Zane Gothberg (Bruins) made 23 saves, including three breakaway attempts, to lead the Americans to a 6-1 victory over Canada East.

"We ran into some penalty trouble early, but started to find our game in the second and third periods (when the U.S. outscored CE, 6-1)," U.S. Junior Select head coach P.K. O'Handley said. "We've been working hard to develop chemistry, and we hope to bring this energy throughout the rest of the tournament."

The U.S., which will next face Sweden on Wednesday, has won the last two WJAC golds. Canada
Colten St. Clair, Team USA, Fargo Force USHL
Colten St. Clair Fargo Force USHL
East, which received its lone goal off the stick of Evan Rodrigues (2011 draft eligible), is slated to play Tuesday against the Swedes. U.S. captain Colten St. Clair (2011 draft eligible) and teammates Ryan Dzingel (2011 draft eligible) and Garrett Allen (2011 draft eligible) all had two assists.

The U.S. roster, incidentally, is made up entirely of players from the United States Hockey League.

Switzerland, meanwhile, had a memorable debut in the tournament after scoring a 5-4 victory over Canada West when Nicholas Steiner (2011 draft eligible) connected for the game-winner while on the power-play 1:45 into overtime. Canada West actually erased deficits of 3-0 and 4-2 with a four-goal third period. Penticton native Mark MacMillan (Canadiens) scored twice in the third as CW pulled even before the game entered OT.

Swiss forward Ryan McGregor (2011 draft eligible) was named Player of the Game for the victors and MacMillan received similar honors for Canada West.

The Swiss return to action Tuesday against Russia. The Russians will then meet Canada West on Wednesday in the preliminary-round finale.

Monday, 8 November, 2010
CAN E 1 - USA 6
CAN W 4 - SUI 5 (OT)
Tuesday, 9 November, 2010
Wednesday, 10 November, 2010
Posted On Monday, 11.08.2010 / 10:00 AM

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

Landeskog: No ordinary European

If not for the face, you would swear Gabriel Landeskog were American.

Read about him right here!

That's because his English is that good. It was something he was determined to learn when he turned 3 back in his native Stockholm, Sweden. Not only was he determined to perfect the English language, though, but enhance his chances at becoming a high-end prospect at the 2011 Entry Draft by playing the North American style at a very young age.

Landeskog did just that. After starring at Djurgarden in the Swedish Elite League at the tender age of 16 years, 90 days, Landeskog took his show to Kitchener in the Ontario Hockey League last year, producing an impressive 24 goals and 46 points in 61 games. He was named captain of the team this year, a sure sign he not only speaks the English language, but can relay any message of importance in a clear and concise manner. He wants to be regarded as the prototypical power-forward, following in the footsteps of former Swede Peter Forsberg and current stars Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom.

"Both (Franzen and Holmstrom) are role models, they've won cups and that's someone you want to
look up to," Landeskog told NHL.com. "The strength Johan Franzen brings to the game and how strong he is low in corners is something I can learn from. Holmstrom is very good he is in front. Having a similar role in Kitchener, I try to study that to the best of my ability."

Landeskog told me he doesn't think the path he took to the Canadian Hockey League should be the same for every European player. But, he did go on to say that learning the North American style at a young age was of great importance to him.

"I'm really happy I came over here a year ago," he said. "But saying that, there are a lot of different paths you can take to the NHL and get to that level you want. Some players prefer the Swedish Elite League and go that route. I felt like I wanted to show Sweden and other young players this is possible too; a path you can take.

"Players ask me all the time how the life and hockey is over here," he continued. "I always recommend it and if that's what you want to do, it's not going to make you a worse hockey. It has strengthened me as a person and a player. I've learned a lot about the lifestyle and how playing 68 games plus playoffs is a bonus. It's a lot of games and that's the type of schedule you want to have if you want to reach the next level."
Posted On Wednesday, 11.03.2010 / 1:00 PM

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

Sound advice for 2011 draft prospects

In case you missed it, Edmonton Oilers amateur scout Stu MacGregor offered plenty of interesting insight into his job and what it entails. Read it right here.

MacGregor is in his eighth season with the Edmonton Oilers scouting staff and fourth as the organization's head amateur scout.

He's responsible for the team's amateur scouting staff and is usually the one working the table at the NHL Entry Draft for the Oilers.

"When I'm not on the road, I'm usually completing and reading reports on the players that our scouts have filed and then following up with our scouts via email or phone," MacGregor told NHL.com. "I have to be cognizant that we have the proper coverage in all the leagues and where the players appear to be for that particular league. I also have to be conscious of our budget and work with it."

In addition to that administrative work, MacGregor is also one heck of an evaluator of future talent. Here's some advice he had for those draft-eligible players entering the 2011 Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn.

NHL.com: What would be your advice to those high-end prospects in the 2011 Draft?

MacGregor: "I would just tell them to enjoy it, it's a great experience, and it should be a lot of fun -- the greatest time of your life. Just try to work as hard as you can and keep your head up. Keep trying to push forward. Don't worry about what people are saying. Do as you're told by your coach and work hard and, most importantly, enjoy the whole experience."

NHL.com: What's the best tip you can offer a player about to enter his first interview with an NHL team?

MacGregor: "I just think a player going into that just needs to be himself. Offer conversation and try to step forward as an individual. Show them that you're a good person and interested in the process, interested in the people you're talking to. Have your head up and look people square in the eye."
Posted On Tuesday, 11.02.2010 / 12:20 PM

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

Scholastic stargazing at NIT Tournament

The two Minnesota high school rosters for the Bauer National Invitational Tournament scheduled Nov. 5-7 at New Hope Ice Arena in New Hope, Minn., have been confirmed.

Two teams -- Minnesota White and Minnesota Red -- were selected using players from seven regular-season Elite League squads. Players were notified of their selections on Oct. 31 -- Trick or Treat!

High schools in Edina, Benilde-St. Margaret's and Grand Forks Central (N.D.) are among the scholastic teams possessing three players in the annual event.

For a complete schedule, click here. In addition to the two Minnesota squads, six other teams will compete in the eight-team tournament, including prep powerhouse Shattuck-St. Mary's, Michigan U-18 White, Massachusetts All-Stars, Manitoba Prep, Northwood School (N.Y.) and an all star team from Dallas.

There are a few Minnesota kids competing in the event rated as 'B Players' by NHL's Central Scouting Service. Keep in mind, a 'B' rating represents a potential 2011 selection in the third-to-fifth round in the Entry Draft.

Those players include forwards Joe Labate (Holy Angels) and Tony Cameranesi (Wayzata) of Minnesota White and forwards Steven Fogarty (Edina) and Kyle Rau (Eden Prairie) of Minnesota Red. The Shattuck-St. Mary's roster will likely include 'B rated' forward Tanner Sorenson and defenseman Mike Reilly.

The only 'A' rated player from the Minnesota high school ranks, left wing Mario Lucia of Wayzata HS, is currently on loan to the U.S. Under-18 National Team Developmental Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. Lucia will not be participating in the NIT Tournament.

I'll have more information as it becomes available.

If you haven't already seen it, NHL.com's Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's 'players to watch' list is out. Get it here.
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