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Posted On Thursday, 09.20.2012 / 12:15 PM

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

Medicine Hat names top prospect Shinkaruk captain

Hunter Shinkaruk, rated as an A player in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft, received a C from his team, the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League.

The Tigers named Shinkaruk, a 17-year-old forward considered one of the top prospects for this year's draft, team captain on Wednesday.

Medicine Hat coach Shaun Clouston told the Medicine Hat News that he's sure Shinkaruk, starting his third season with the Tigers, is ready for the role.

"He is a very mature young man," Clouston said. "I believe he is going to be a great captain for this team. Hunter is a great example on and off the ice. He is focused, committed and he is a determined athlete. He works hard at his game. We are going to rely on Hunter a lot this year."

Shinkaruk was second on the Tigers last season with 49 goals and 91 points. He also had a plus-17 rating in 66 games, and added 11 points in eight playoff games. He got his season off to a solid start with two goals and four assists in six games.

The 5-foot-10, 166-pound center was ranked as an A player on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary watch list.

Shinkaruk said Wednesday he wasn't sure if he was ready for the role, but said he's proud to take it on.

"It was a huge honor," Shinkaruk told the newspaper. "Obviously, the Medicine Hat Tigers organization has been around for a long time. There has been a lot of good captains that have come through this team. When they told me, I was pretty excited."

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

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.19.2012 / 10:00 AM

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

NHL Central Scouting releases preliminary watch list

There's little doubt NHL scouts and fans of the game began digesting NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch from North America and Europe the moment the lists hit the pages of NHL.com.

The preliminary lists are really the first indication of which players among the major junior and collegiate ranks we should be tracking entering the 2012-13 campaign. Who doesn't like to speculate on who might be the next great player in the NHL?

In addition to the main story, NHL.com also spoke to NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb for his take on a few of the top international skaters to watch.

By now, many are aware of a few high-profile prospects with familiar bloodlines expected to get plenty of publicity leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., June 28-29. Forward Max Domi of the London Knights is the son Tie Domi. Defenseman Seth Jones, considered to be a certain top five pick at the Draft, is the son of former NBA forward Popeye Jones.

While he might be a 'C'-rated prospect entering the season, goalie Anthony Brodeur of Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota certainly won't fly under the radar as the son of future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.

There are a few other prospects on the board this season with name recognition.

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Posted On Monday, 09.17.2012 / 2:32 PM

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

USHL Fall Classic set to begin this week

The 2012 United States Hockey League Fall Classic, one of the more heavily scouted junior tournaments in North America, is slated to begin Wednesday at two venues in Sioux City, Iowa.

This marks the sixth consecutive season that the league's annual preseason showcase, which concludes Saturday, will be hosted by the Sioux City Musketeers. All 16 USHL member clubs will compete in three preseason games during the event at either the Tyson Events Center or I.B.P. Ice Center.

"The event continues to be a boon for the city, while fans and organizers get to watch the most talented junior hockey players in the country,'" Musketeers Executive Vice President Rich Zaber said in a release.

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Posted On Friday, 08.31.2012 / 1:29 PM

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

MacKinnon and Jones headline 2013 draft pool

The 2013 NHL Draft is certainly shaping up to be a good one.

While the Draft may not come close to the number of high-caliber defensemen selected in the first round last June, the depth across the board is quite impressive. During the 2012 Draft at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, 13 defensemen were plucked in the first round to match a record set in 1996.

The run on defensemen started early, too, as three of the top five and eight of the top 10 players picked star on the back end.

The top two players on the board entering this season are center Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League.

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