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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 3:43 PM

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

Shawinigan's Cupper honored by QMJHL

Shawinigan Cataractes goaltender Marvin Cupper, a 2013 NHL Draft prospect, was honored by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Wednesday as Telus Third Star of the Week.

The 18-year-old goalie, in his first season in North America, stopped 64 of 68 shots in two games last week. He made 27 saves on 29 shots Friday in a 2-1 loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, but returned one night later to stop 37 of 39 shots in a 3-2 defeat of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

The solid week could be a good sign for Cupper and the Cataractes, who have struggled after winning the Memorial Cup last year. In 18 games this season, Cupper is 4-11-2 with a 3.64 goals-against average and .896 save percentage. Shawinigan enters the week 17th in the 18-team QMJHL, and their 37 goals (in 20 games) are 19 fewer than the second-lowest scoring team.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 9:45 AM

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

Bjorkstrand has made smooth adjustment to WHL

Usually there's some time needed for European players to adjust to the smaller North American ice. But for Danish-born Oliver Bjorkstrand of the Portland Winterhawks, the move has looked awfully easy.

The 5-foot-10.5, 167-pound right wing finished his weekend with back-to-back two-goal games as the Winterhawks extended their win streak to 12 games.

After being kept off the score sheet in Portland's 9-5 win in Vancouver on Friday, he had a pair of goals and an assist in a 9-1 win at the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday. And on Sunday, in a match between the top two teams in the Western Hockey League, Bjorkstrand scored a pair of power-play goals in a 3-1 win against the Kamloops Blazers.

For the season, Bjorkstrand leads all WHL rookies with 11 goals, 20 points and a plus-15 rating. He earned a B rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft.

"This kid is playing really well," Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan told NHL.com. "He finds the holes and he does the little things well. He's always on the puck. As soon as the puck drops, he's got it and something's happening and you notice him. He's just playing really well. I was really impressed with him."

Here is how a few other WHL draft candidates performed over the weekend:

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 9:40 AM

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

Guertler provides the difference for Fargo

The Fargo Force saw the difference between victory and defeat separated by just three goals in three games over the weekend.

Fargo won two of its three games last weekend, all of them one-goal affairs, with a big reason for their success being center Gabe Guertler, who had two goals and two assists in the two victories.

After being held off the score sheet in a 3-2 loss at the Des Moines Buccaneers on Friday, the 5-foot-8.5, 175-pound Guertler assisted on the opening goal of the rematch Saturday, and he scored his 10th goal of the season 30 seconds into the second period of what ended as a 5-4 Fargo win. On Sunday, his unassisted goal late in the first period tied the game and started a four-goal run that sparked the Force to a 5-4 victory at the Tri-City Storm.

For the season, Guertler has 11 goals in 14 games, two more goals than he scored last season in 57 games. He's committed to the University of Minnesota for next season.

Guertler was one of a number of 2013 NHL Draft prospects in the United States Hockey League to have big weekends.

* Indiana goalie Dalton Izyk made 37 saves, including 17 in the third period, in the Ice's 2-1 win Friday against the Green Bay Gamblers.

* Des Moines left wing Luke Voltin had a pair of assists in his team's 3-2 win Friday against Fargo, and had a goal and two assists in Saturday's loss to the Force.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 9:35 AM

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

Solid return for Quebec's Duclair

Quebec Remparts left wing Anthony Duclair certainly made up for lost time over the weekend.

Duclair, who earned an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft, made his return Friday after missing more than a month a successful one, as the 5-foot-11.25, 180-pound forward had a goal and two assists in a 5-3 win against the PEI Rocket.

Anthony Duclair

Duclair was kept off the score sheet in the Remparts' 5-4 shootout win against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Sunday, but he still has eight points in six games this season.

Here is how a few other 2013 draft-eligible Quebec Major Junior Hockey League players performed over the weekend:

* Duclair's teammate, Jason Houde, had two goals and an assist in Friday's win against PEI.

* Saint John right wing Devin Oliver-Dares scored two goals in the Sea Dogs' 8-4 win at the Sherbrooke Phoenix on Friday. Teammate Jakub Izacky had a goal and an assist.

* Sherbrooke defenseman Jeremy Beaudry had two goals and an assist in Friday's loss to Saint John, and had a pair of goals Saturday in the Phoenix's 4-3 win Saturday against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

* Halifax's dynamic duo of Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin combined for four points in the Mooseheads' 5-1 win at Gatineau on Friday. MacKinnon had a pair of assists, while Drouin had a goal and an assist. Teammate Zachary Fucale stopped 20 of 21 shots in the win. Drouin also had a goal and two assists Saturday in Halifax's 5-4 loss at the Victoriaville Tigres.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 9:30 AM

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

Draft prospects driving London win streak

The London Knights extended their win streak to five games with three wins over the weekend, and a major reason for that was the play of their 2013 NHL Draft prospects.

On Friday, goalie Jake Paterson faced a season-high 42 shots, but stopped a season-high 41 to backstop a 4-1 defeat of the Sudbury Wolves. Teammate center Kyle Platzer had a pair of assists in the win.

Saturday saw left wing Matt Rupert post a hat trick and add an assist in a 5-0 win at Plymouth, while teammate Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist. Rupert, who was passed over in last year's draft, had a hand in the Knights' first four goals.

Rupert was at it again Sunday, picking up a goal and an assist in a 5-3 defeat of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Max Domi had two goals and an assist and Horvat had a pair of assists.

London's draft prospects weren't the only 2013 draft-eligible Ontario Hockey League players to perform at a high level over the weekend. Here are a few others:

* Plymouth Whalers right wing Ryan Hartman had a pair of assists Friday in a 5-3 win against the Windsor Spitfires.

* Ottawa 67s center Sean Monahan had a pair of goals and an assist in his team's 8-3 loss to the Saginaw Spirit on Friday. He added an assist in the 67's 3-2 loss to the Belleville Bulls on Sunday to extend his scoring streak to 10 games.

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Posted On Sunday, 11.11.2012 / 11:15 PM

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

Stenglein helps U.S. to World Junior A gold

Jeffrey Stenglein's second goal of the game was the game-winner as the U.S. topped Canada West on Sunday to win the gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge.

Stenglein, a center eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, scored off a cross-crease feed from Luke Johnson at 15:15 of the second period to put the U.S. ahead for good in a game played at Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Vince Hinostroza had two goals and two assists for the U.S., Cangelosi had a goal and an assist, and Alex Kile also had a goal. Eamon McAdam, a B-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of players to watch for this year's draft, stopped 26 of 29 shots.

Devon Toews had a goal and an assist for Canada West, and Seb Lloyd, Evan Richardson also had goals.

The title was the fourth in five years for the U.S.

"This was a complete team victory," U.S. coach Brett Larson said. "We got goals from our big scorers, everyone blocked shots and our goaltender made key saves. I thought the turning point of the game was killing the five-on-three in the third period. We stayed composed and disciplined and stuck to our plan to play as a team and it paid off. I'm extremely proud of this group."

It was a game of big swings, as Stenglein and Hinostroza scored the game's only goals of the first period. Canada West answered with three goals in the first 9:31 of the second period to take a 3-2 lead.

Cangelosi scored with a backhander at 12:40 to tie the game, and after Stenglein put the U.S. ahead to stay, McAdam helped protect the lead early in the third as the U.S. had to kill a two-minute five-on-three Canada West power play. Kile and Hinostroza added insurance goals for the U.S.

Hinostroza, a 2012 sixth-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, finished with a tournament-high eight points (six goals, two assists). He's just the second American ever to lead the tournament in scoring.

U.S. defenseman Ian Brady, who had three assists Sunday, set a tournament record with eight.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelamn@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 11.10.2012 / 10:07 PM

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

Switzerland routs Canada East for bronze medal

Switzerland claimed the bronze medal at the World Junior A Challenge with a 6-0 win against Canada East on Saturday in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Six different players scored for Switzerland, including one by Luca Fazzini, a C-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft. Luka Hoffmann and Jan Neuenschwander each had a pair of assists.

Melvin Nyffeler, another 2013 draft prospect, stopped all 31 Canada East shots.

The physical affair featured one fight, 15 misconduct penalties and a total of 221 penalty minutes.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.10.2012 / 9:19 PM

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

U.S. wins fifth straight U18 Four Nations Tourney title

The U.S. National Under-18 Team received goals from three different players en route to a 3-1 victory over Sweden in the championship game of the U18 Four Nations Tournament on Saturday at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.

Evan Allen, John Hayden and Michael McCarron each scored goals and goalie Thatcher Demko made 22 saves to lead the U.S. to its fifth straight tournament title. Demko stopped 10 shots in the third period.

Allen scored a power-play goal 8:56 into the first to give the U.S. a 1-0 edge before Hayden extended the lead to 2-0 at 3:51 of the second. Sweden pulled to within 2-1 at the 2:45 mark of the third when Altelius Nylander connected for a power-play goal, but McCarron answered right back for the Americans at 10:52 with his team working the power-play.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.10.2012 / 9:59 AM

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

U.S. advances to U18 Four Nations Tourney final

Anthony Louis scored a pair of unassisted goals in the third period to lead the U.S. National Under-18 Team into the 2012 U18 Four Nations Tournament championship following a 5-3 victory over Sweden on Friday at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.

Sweden pulled to within 3-2 on a power-play goal by Robert Hagg 1:26 into the third before Louis converted a wraparound at the 12:52 mark. Hagg then scored his second of the game to cut the deficit to one at 17:23 before his team pulled the goalie for an extra attacker. Louis then completed the scoring on an empty-net goal with 12 seconds remaining.

The United States finished pool play with a 2-0-1 record and will play Sweden on Saturday in the tournament final at 7 p.m. ET. Finland will battle Switzerland in the third place game at 3:30 p.m.

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Posted On Friday, 11.09.2012 / 9:47 PM

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

Friday's three stars from the World Jr. A Challenge

The U.S. Junior Select Team and Canada West have advanced to the 2012 World Junior A Challenge gold medal game after each posted impressive victories in semifinal-round competition on Friday at Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The championship match is slated Sunday at Mariners Centre.

For the United States, it marks the fourth time in five year the Americans have advanced to the gold medal game. The U.S. had won three consecutive tournament titles from 2008 to 2010 before Canada East ended the run last year in the semifinals.

Canada West, which defeated Canada East in the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, will be seeking its second straight gold medal in the tournament.

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