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POSTED ON Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 6:11 PM

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

Former Devils D-men debate Jones vs. MacKinnon

NEWARK, N.J. -- Until Colorado Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic announces that the team will indeed select Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon with the first choice of the 2013 NHL Draft on Sunday at Prudential Center (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), the speculation will continue.

Should the Avalanche instead draft a future franchise defenseman, Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks?

During the NHL Top Prospects clinic at AmeriHealth Pavilion at Prudential Center on Saturday, New Jersey Devils alumni and former standout defensemen Ken Daneyko and Bruce Driver were asked that question.

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.28.2013 / 6:37 PM

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

Prospects review the prospects

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. -- A few of the top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft took part in a media event along the Hudson River on Friday, posing for pictures and having a good time.

It wasn't always this way. Darnell Nurse's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds faced Sean Monahan's Ottawa 67's twice in the Ontario Hockey League, and Hunter Shinkaruk's Medicine Hat Tigers played Seth Jones' Portland Winterhawks once in the Western Hockey League.

Rivalries on the ice, however, led to respect, and each prospect had only good things to say about his counterpart:

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.28.2013 / 6:23 PM

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

Drouin able to shine in MacKinnon's shadow

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. -- Nathan MacKinnon stands 6-feet tall, but on the hockey rink he casts quite a shadow.

It was big enough to block some from discovering how good Jonathan Drouin, his teammate with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, really is.

Drouin certainly produced worthy of the No. 3 ranking NHL Central Scouting gave him in its final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft. He finished second in the QMJHL with 105 points in 49 games, played for Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, helped Halifax win the QMJHL title, and capped a run to the Memorial Cup championship with five assists in the title game. He was named the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year.

"He deserves all that [attention]," MacKinnon said Friday. "He's had a heck of a year and definitely helped carry us to the Memorial Cup championship. He's been a great player and a great teammate all year. He definitely deserves all the attention he's getting."

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.28.2013 / 4:51 PM

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

MacKinnon's father excited for draft, proud of son

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. -- It's been quite the weekend for the family of Nathan MacKinnon as they follow the potential first pick of the 2013 NHL Draft through the metropolitan area in the days leading up draft day Sunday at Prudential Center in Newark (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN).

During the top prospects media luncheon, MacKinnon was joined by his mother and father, Kathy and Graham, and his older sister, Sarah.

"It's very exciting," Graham MacKinnon told NHL.com. "It's almost like we're on vacation and we're here for someone else's draft. Then you look over and it's your son. You see his name and we're very excited and happy for him."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 06.27.2013 / 6:49 PM

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

Nurse's father pushed him to hockey

NEW YORK -- It's no secret that Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defenseman Darnell Nurse comes from an athletic background.

Most sports fans have heard of his uncle, former NFL All-Pro quarterback Donovan McNabb. His father, Richard Nurse, was a wide receiver with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League.

Darnell said he's seen the result of that career crop up as his father has gotten older.

"The other day we were sitting on the back deck and that was one of my questions," Nurse said during a press event Thursday at the Empire State Building. "He can't straighten one of his elbows, he's got a couple fingers pointing the wrong way."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 06.27.2013 / 6:26 PM

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

MacKinnon not focusing on Avalanche's praise

NEW YORK -- While the Colorado Avalanche appear to have decided on taking Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon with the top pick of the 2013 NHL Draft on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN), MacKinnon said he isn't paying much attention to it.

Joe Sakic, the Avalanche's executive vice-president of hockey, said of MacKinnon during a television interview Monday, "I think if we had to do it today, right now, he would probably be the guy, yes."

In an interview with ESPN.com on Monday, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy echoed those sentiments: "It would be tough for us not to take MacKinnon. MacKinnon is ready to play tomorrow."

MacKinnon said he didn't hear the comments directly, but learned pretty quickly what had been said.

“Actually both times I was asleep in bed, so I woke up with a bunch of texts and I didn't know what was going on at first," MacKinnon said during a press event Wednesday at the Empire State Building. "But I kind of just checked my [Twitter] mentions and then people will kind of let me know what's going on in my own life. That's the way it works these days -- you find out from Twitter and not the news or anything. Word gets around pretty quick, I guess."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 3:46 PM

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

Agents looking forward to big day for clients

Pat Brisson, the agent for two of the top players available for the 2013 NHL Draft, recently was asked which of his two high profile clients -- defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks or Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads -- would be selected first at the 2013 NHL Draft, to be held Sunday at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN).

"At this point, you could flip a coin," Brisson told NHL.com. "They're two great players and you don't find too many of them. The teams that will get them will be thrilled for years to come because I've seen a lot of young players come in over the years."

Brisson knows of what he speaks, as his client list includes three consecutive No. 1 NHL draft picks -- Sidney Crosby (2005), Erik Johnson (2006) and Patrick Kane (2007).

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 10:43 AM

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

Murray lets season, not one tournament, be his guide

Tampa Bay Lightning director of amateur scouting Al Murray said he would prefer an accumulation of information over the course of a full season rather than single out one particular tournament in making final evaluations of prospects leading up to the draft.

Murray was asked if he felt the Memorial Cup performance by center Nathan MacKinnon of the champion Halifax Mooseheads would influence those teams who might have had defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks at the top of the their draft board.

"I can't speak for everyone else, but I know the way we think is an accumulation of information and not just one event," Murray told NHL.com. "The last event you see always sticks in your mind, but if you flipped the Memorial Cup to Christmas time and put World Junior Championship in April, then you'd have Seth Jones No. 1 because Seth had a dominant tourney there.

"Nathan played well [at the WJC], but his role with the team wasn't an offensive role with Team Canada and was more of an energy role. But the last time you see a player oftentimes influences people."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 10:18 PM

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

Anthony Brodeur to play for Gatineau

Anthony Brodeur, the son of New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, announced via his Twitter account Tuesday that he will continue his career with the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League next season.

The 18-year-old goalie, who is eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft to be held at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on June 30, just completed his senior year at Shattuck-St. Mary's Prep in Minnesota. Brodeur had been mulling his options for several weeks before finally making a decision Tuesday.

He finished 21-5-2 with a 2.48 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and team-leading five shutouts in 28 appearances for Shattuck in 2012-13. He also had four assists.

Brodeur posted Tuesday afternoon on Twitter: "Really excited to finally announce that I am now part of the @LesOlympiques organization! Can't wait for next year!"

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POSTED ON Saturday, 06.15.2013 / 10:36 PM

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

P.K. Subban: Younger brother Jordan may be better

CHICAGO -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said he believes his younger brother Jordan may one day eclipse what he has accomplished.

That's saying a lot, considering that P.K. was awarded the James Norris Memorial Trophy on Saturday as the NHL's best defenseman. Subban, 23, finished with 38 points this season, tying the career high he set two seasons ago in 71 appearances during his rookie campaign. He also finished with a plus-12 rating.

P.K., a second-round pick (No. 43) of the Canadiens, was ranked No. 102 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of North American skaters heading into the 2007 NHL Draft.

Jordan, who plays the same position as his eldest brother, is No. 55 on Central Scouting's final list of the top 2013 Draft-eligible North Americans released in April. Middle brother Malcolm, selected in the first round (No. 24) in the 2012 NHL Draft, was regarded as Central Scouting's No. 1-rated goalie when he was chosen by the Boston Bruins last year.

"Jordan plays more of a cerebral type of game and is more of a thinker and I play off my instincts and try to do a little bit of everything," P.K. Subban said. "I think Jordan's skill level is much higher than mine. I'm on the ice with him every day during the summer doing skill stuff, and he's the one demonstrating the drill."

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