Posted On Tuesday, 11.20.2012 / 12:45 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Top prospect Shinkaruk likely out one week

The Medicine Hat Tigers will be without their captain and top draft-eligible prospect Hunter Shinkaruk for at least one week due to a lower-body injury suffered on Saturday in a loss to the Portland Winterhawks.

The Tigers' public relations department confirmed for that Shinkaruk "will miss one week" via email.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.20.2012 / 11:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

NHL Central Scouting unveils preliminary rankings

NHL Central Scouting on Tuesday completed the next phase on the road to the 2013 NHL Draft with the release of its league preliminary rankings for the top levels of North American junior hockey and Europe.

* An overall take on the release can be accessed here.

* An in-depth review of the top goalies can be accessed here.

* Breakdown of the top European players can be accessed here.

Posted On Monday, 11.19.2012 / 12:17 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Trainor, Nishi earn QMJHL weekly honors

A pair of 2013 NHL Draft prospects were honored Monday by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for their play in the last week.

Rimouski Oceanic left wing Peter Trainor was named Telus Second Star of the week after posting five goals and three assists in four games. He scored a goal and assisted on the game-winning goal Wednesday in a 5-4 defeat of the Quebec Remparts. On Friday, he assisted on the game-tying goal in what ended as a 4-3 shootout loss to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Saturday saw him score two goals and added an assist in a 6-2 defeat of the Baie-Commeau Drakkar. He capped his week with his best game of the season, scoring at 3:15 of overtime to complete his first QMJHL hat trick in a 5-4 win at Baie-Comeau. He also added an assist in the game.

Trainor's big week extended his scoring streak to nine games, during which he has eight goals and nine assists. On the season, he leads the Oceanic with 35 points in 20 games.

Posted On Monday, 11.19.2012 / 9:56 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Not much getting past Tri-City's Comrie

Tri-City Americans goalie Eric Comrie played well in his audition for Canada's World Junior Championship team last week, stopping 17 of 18 shots in a period and a half of action for Team WHL against Team Russia in the finale of the Subway Super Series.

He returned to regular-season Western Hockey League play over the weekend and continued to display his star form.

In two games, Comrie stopped a combined 83 of 87 shots in helping the Americans to a pair of wins.

JC Lipon, Kamloops Blazers

On Friday, he made a career-high 41 saves on 43 shots in a 3-2 win against the Kelowna Rockets. One night later, he set a new personal best with 42 saves on 44 shots in another 3-2 defeat of Kelowna.

The win was Comrie's third straight and fifth in his last six games. On the season, the 6-foot-0.75, 167-pound goalie, who earned an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft, is 14-7-2 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. He ranks in the top five in the WHL in GAA and save percentage, and his two shutouts are tied for third.

Here is how a few other 2013 draft-eligible prospects fared over the weekend:

* Kamloops forward JC Lipon, already leading the WHL in goals and points, had the best game of his WHL career with two goals and three assists in the Blazers' 6-4 win against Portland on Friday, snapping the Winterhawks' 12-game win streak. On Saturday, he had a pair of goals in regulation and then scored the deciding goal in the shootout in the Blazers' 5-4 defeat of the Prince George Cougars.

Posted On Monday, 11.19.2012 / 9:20 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

For one night, Gambardella a scoring star

Des Moines Buccaneers center Joseph Gambardella isn't really a player his team expects to provide a lot of offense. In fact, the 5-foot-9, 174-pound forward had just five points in his previous nine games prior to Friday's meeting with the United States Hockey League's Western Conference-leading Waterloo Black Hawks.

But in 60 minutes Friday, Gambardella matched that nine-game output with his best game of the season, netting a hat trick and adding two assists in Des Moines' 8-6 win.

Gambardella scored the game's first goal, with 16 seconds left in the first period, and drew an assist on William Nong-Lambert's goal 61 seconds into the second period to make it 2-0. After Waterloo tied the game 2-2 early in the second, Gambardella put Des Moines back on top. He assisted on Eric Martinsson's goal 5:10 into the third to make it 5-3 Des Moines, and then he closed the scoring for the night with one more goal with 10 seconds left in regulation.

The five-point night gave Gambardella four goals and 12 points in 17 games.

Here is how a few other 2013 NHL Draft-eligible prospects fared:

Posted On Monday, 11.19.2012 / 9:02 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Halifax duo eyeing draft history

It's been almost 30 years since two players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League were taken in the first five picks of an NHL draft, but Halifax Mooseheads teammates Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin likely will change that.

Nathan MacKinnon

Barring injury, it's likely the Halifax teammates will repeat the feat last done by Sylvain Turgeon (No. 2) and Pat LaFontaine (No. 3) in 1983. Their play certainly has earned them consideration to be picked early.

MacKinnon and Drouin played just two games over the weekend, but combined for 11 points.

In Friday's 8-3 win against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, while Drouin had four assists -- the second time this season he's had as many. On Sunday, Drouin

Jonathan Drouin

scored a pair of goals in a 4-3 defeat of the Val-d'Or Foreurs, while MacKinnon had a pair of assists.

MacKinnon is tied for seventh in the league with 37 points in 22 games, and his 19 goals are tied for fifth. Drouin, who missed more than two weeks last month with an injury, has 35 points in just 16 games.

They weren't the only 2013 NHL Draft-eligible players to have big weekends. Here are a few others:

* Cape Breton Screaming Eagles left wing William Carrier had a personal-best four assists in his team's 5-2 defeat of the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday. Teammate Kyle Farrell had a pair of goals in the win.

Posted On Monday, 11.19.2012 / 8:45 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Brace key in Owen Sound's rise up standings

The Owen Sound Attack won just 32 games all of last season. They enter the week with 16 wins already, and their 35 points are tied with the Barrie Colts for the most in the Ontario Hockey League. A big reason for their success this season can be tied to the play of center Cameron Brace.

The 2013 NHL Draft-eligible forward played a big role in the Attack winning two of its three games over the weekend. He had an assist Friday in a 5-2 loss at the London Knights, then scored a shorthanded goal and was a team-best plus-3 in a 4-0 home win against the Kitchener Rangers on Saturday. He finished the weekend by scoring on a third-period penalty shot, which held up as the game's lone goal in a 1-0 defeat of the Windsor Spitfires on Sunday.

Cole Cassels, Oshawa Generals

The goal gave Brace a point in four straight games. He leads the Attack with 17 goals, and his 28 points are second.

Brace wasn't the only 2013 draft prospect to have a big weekend. Here is how a few others fared:

* Kingston Frontenacs right wing Marc Beckstead had a pair of goals in a 7-3 defeat of the Peterborough Petes on Friday. Teammate Bill Jenkins had a goal and two assists.

* Guelph center Zachery Mitchell had three assists in the Storm's 7-2 win Friday against the Mississauga Steelheads. Teammate Justin Auger had a goal and two assists.

* Oshawa center Cole Cassels had two goals and an assist in the Generals' 5-1 win against the Belleville Bulls on Friday. Teammate Sebastian Uvira had a pair of assists.

Posted On Saturday, 11.17.2012 / 3:45 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

5-point game has Lipon back on track for Blazers

JC Lipon is back on track.

The Kamloops Blazers forward had a five-point night Friday, ending a brief scoring slump that produced three points in six previous November games.

Lipon had two goals and three assists in a 6-4 win over the Portland Winterhawks. He leads the WHL with 48 points (19 goals, 29 assists) in 24 games.

Posted On Thursday, 11.15.2012 / 10:02 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Gauthier cleared to return to Oceanic lineup next week

Rookie forward Frederik Gauthier of the Rimouski Oceanic is expected to return to the lineup Monday following a seven-game absence with an upper body injury.

"Fred will be 100-percent cleared to play starting next Monday," team vice president Philippe Boucher told via email. "It could happen that he plays this weekend, but I would be very surprised."

Gauthier, who reportedly suffered a broken jaw in a Nov. 3 victory against the Quebec Remparts, is an A-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of players to watch in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Prior to his injury, he was opening some eyes this season with 10 goals, 20 points and a plus-12 rating in 18 games for the Oceanic.

Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 6:53 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Ostlie, Lindgren honored by USHL

A pair of 2013 NHL Draft prospects, Ben Ostlie of the Omaha Lancers and Charlie Lindgren of the Sioux Falls Stampede, were among the weekly United States Hockey League award winners.

Ostlie, a 6-foot-1.25, 187-pound defenseman, was named CCM Defenseman of the Week after totaling three assists and a plus-four rating in two games last week. He had a pair of assists Friday in a 6-1 win against the Waterloo Black Hawks, and then he had an assist in a 3-1 win Saturday against the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders. He also was part of a penalty-killing unit that stopped eight of nine opposing power plays in two games.

On the season, Ostlie has a goal and four assists in 15 games.

Lindgren was named co-winner of the Reebok Goaltender of the Week award after stopping 44 of 46 shots in two games last week. On Friday, he stopped all 18 shots he faced in a 5-0 defeat of the Tri-City Storm, earning his first USHL shutout. One night later, he made 26 saves in a 5-2 defeat of the Lincoln Storm.

For the season, Lindgren is 6-3-1 with a 2.56 goals-against average and .904 save percentage. He's fifth in the USHL in wins, and ninth GAA.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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