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2015 NHL Draft
Posted On Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 2:31 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Blues goalie pick Opilka thrilled to meet Brodeur

SUNRISE, Fla. -- For goaltender Luke Opilka from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, being drafted by his favorite team, the St. Louis Blues, was a wonderful moment.

But it got even better when the fifth-round pick (No. 146), a St. Louis native, reached the Blues' draft table on the floor of BB&T Center. One of the first team officials he met was assistant general manager Martin Brodeur.

This is the first draft as an executive for Brodeur, the winningest goaltender in NHL history, who ended his 22-season career in January.

"I definitely had chills seeing him," Opilka said. "I was already shocked just being drafted to the home team and then I saw him. I was speechless almost. Couldn't get anything out."

Posted On Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 11:55 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Sabres get two top performers at Scouting Combine

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Two of the players who performed best during the physical testing at the NHL Scouting Combine earlier this month in Buffalo were Boston University center Jack Eichel and Prince Albert Raiders defenseman Brendan Guhle.

They're now teammates with the Buffalo Sabres, who used the No. 2 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft on Friday to select Eichel. On Saturday, they selected Guhle at No. 51 in the second round.

Posted On Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 11:14 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Sharks' Roy proud to be first pick of second round

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Sherbrooke Phoenix defenseman Jeremy Roy was flattered to be the first pick of the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft on Saturday.

Knowing the San Jose Sharks traded up to get him made it an even better feeling.

"It's definitely great," Roy said. "Having a team moving up for you, it shows they really want you. It's a great feeling."

Posted On Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 9:28 AM

By Kyle Connor -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Kyle Connor blog

Connor: Interviews over, time for fitness testing

Kyle Connor, No. 13 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, concluded his third season with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League in 2014-15. Committed to the University of Michigan in 2015-16, the 6-foot-1, 177-pound center had 34 goals and a League-leading 80 points in 56 games for the Phantoms this season. Connor has offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla. His latest entry comes from the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.

Hello from Buffalo!

I had a few final interviews with teams here at the Scouting Combine on Friday. I met with 25 teams. It was really good experience. For the most part the teams are trying to get to know you as a person. I think I really expressed who I am well. 

None of the interviews stood out as anything out of the ordinary. No really strange questions. Different teams asked different questions, and some were a little more intense than others. But it was pretty much very straightforward with their questions.

Posted On Friday, 06.26.2015 / 9:36 PM

By Noah Hanifin -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Noah Hanifin blog

Hanifin: Being chosen No. 5 by Hurricanes an honor

Noah Hanifin , No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, completed his freshman season at Boston College in Hockey East in 2014-15. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound left-shot defenseman had five goals and 23 points in 37 games. He also represented the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. He had eight goals and 33 points in 45 games for the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team in 2013-14. The native of Norwood, Mass., has offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla. His latest entry comes after he was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes with the fifth pick.

What an amazing day.

I didn't really get too much sleep last night; so many nerves. You dream of this moment your whole life and this day was pretty surreal. It's definitely a relief to get it over with and know what organization I'll be representing in the future.

I got up probably at 8 a.m. and went downstairs to the breakfast with Commissioner Bettman and all the top guys. We saw the Stanley Cup and some highlights from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and that was pretty cool. I met with two teams this morning, Carolina was one of them and it went really well.


Posted On Friday, 06.26.2015 / 6:36 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Blues' Brodeur seeing draft from new perspective

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Martin Brodeur is at the 2015 NHL Draft, his first as an executive, 25 years after he was drafted by the New Jersey Devils.

Brodeur joined the St. Louis Blues' front office in January after retiring as a player. He spent the remainder of the season as a special assistant to general manager Doug Armstrong and started learning how an NHL front office works. Then, on May 20, he was hired as Blues assistant general manager.

Most of his work has been on the professional side, but once St. Louis' season ended, he began sitting in on amateur scouting meetings.

Brodeur said Friday that it's been an eye-opening experience for him. During his 22-season playing career, the final seven games of which he played with the Blues after 21 seasons with the Devils, he rarely took time to think about how the amateur scouting department worked.

"A lot of the things we're doing now, I had no clue how they worked," he said. "As a player I didn't pay attention; I just showed up and played hockey. There's a lot of hard work for our scouts and days like today you realize how important it is for them and its pretty cool."

Posted On Friday, 06.26.2015 / 12:11 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Soderberg has sneaky upside with Avs

Hours after having his rights traded from the Boston Bruins to the Colorado Avalanche, Carl Soderberg has booked a long-term stay in the Mile High City.

Soderberg, 169th in Yahoo's season-end fantasy rankings, signed a five-year contract with the Avalanche on Friday. After playing for years in Sweden, Soderberg (C/LW in Yahoo leagues) had a taste with the Bruins in 2012-13 before playing 155 of a possible 164 regular-season games from 2013-14 to 2014-15 with 92 points and a plus-14.

Posted On Friday, 06.26.2015 / 12:00 PM

By NHL Public Relations -  /NHL.com - NHL Green Slapshots™

NHL Green legacy tree project set for 2015 draft

NEW YORK -- As part of the League's commitment to preserve and support the local environments of host cities for NHL events, NHL Green announced today a legacy tree project at the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla.

In cooperation with the Florida Panthers Foundation, the NHL is donating 30 trees to represent each Club's commitment to sustainability. NHL Green first launched the initiative at the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh and continued the project in New Jersey (2013) and Philadelphia (2014).

This year's project will plant mature hardwoods and sabal palms, reminiscent of those featured on the Florida Panthers jersey shoulder patch. The State of Florida designated the sabal palm as the official state tree in 1953. The species is remarkably resistant to salt, cold, high winds and drought and requires little maintenance.

"The Florida Panthers are pleased to join NHL Green and the City of Sunrise in our efforts to promote a greener community at Welleby Park," said Executive Chairman Peter Luukko. "We appreciate the NHL's commitment to help beautify Welleby Park for the residents of Sunrise."

Posted On Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 8:05 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Unpredictability surrounds draft after first two picks

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- It's almost a certainty that when the 2015 NHL Draft starts Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) that Erie Otters center Connor McDavid will be the No. 1 pick by the Edmonton Oilers and Boston University center Jack Eichel will go No. 2 to the Buffalo Sabres.

The drama will start with the No. 3 pick, held by the Arizona Coyotes, and the player selected in that spot will steer the direction of the rest of the selection process, all the way through rounds two through seven on Saturday (10 a.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports).

For the players involved, they're doing their best to tune out all the rumors.

Posted On Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 6:55 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Rantanen sets goal of sticking in NHL next season

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Mikko Rantanen has spent the past two seasons excelling in Liiga, Finland's top professional League. Now he could be ready to conquer a higher level.

The 6-foot-4, 211-pound right wing with TPS is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of European skaters for the 2015 NHL Draft and likely will be a top-10 pick when the draft starts Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports). Both of NHL.com's mock drafts have Rantanen going at No. 7 to the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I know the NHL is a tough League," Rantanen said. "The best players play in the NHL. My goal is to train this summer so hard that I will be ready to find a place in an NHL lineup. I know it's hard but I will do everything I can to be ready."

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After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.

— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016