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Posted On Saturday, 09.22.2012 / 8:33 AM

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

Varied results for MacKinnon, Jones in season debuts

Halifax Mooseheads forward Nathan MacKinnon and Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones, the top two candidates to hear their names called first at the 2013 NHL Draft, made their season debuts Friday night, but had very different levels of success.

MacKinnon, the 6-foot, 182-pound center starting his second season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, scored an overtime power-play goal to help the Mooseheads to a 4-3 road win against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

MacKinnon drew a tripping penalty on Cape Breton's Jonathan Oligny 51 seconds into the 4-on-4 overtime, and then beat goalie Philippe Trudeau on a one-timer at 1:17 to give Halifax the win after it had surrendered a 3-1 third-period lead.

MacKinnon finished with five shots, a plus-2 rating, and won 21 of 28 faceoffs.

MacKinnon wasn't the only top-rated Halifax draft prospect to have an impact on the game. Goalie Zachary Fucale, rated as an A goaltender in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings, stopped 15 of 18 shots. And left wing Jonathan Drouin, an A-ranked skater, scored Halifax's first goal and added an assist.

On the other side of the continent, things didn't go as well for Jones, who was a minus-1 in the Winterhawks' 5-2 home loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds.

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Posted On Friday, 09.21.2012 / 8:08 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Robitaille takes Stanley Cup to honor ailing mom

Luc Robitaille proved he is a son who will do what his mom says.

The Los Angeles Kings executive brought the Stanley Cup to his parents' home in Quebec to honor a request made by his mother Madeleine, who is suffering from liver cancer.

"She's never asked me for anything, my mom," Robitaille told the Los Angeles Times. "She said, 'Hey, if you win the Cup, can you take it home this time?' It was very matter of fact. I was like, 'Yeah, sure.' I hung up the phone thinking, 'We're going to win the Stanley Cup.'"

The exchange took place during the Kings' second-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the St. Louis Blues.

"When someone who has never asked you to do something asks you, it means something," Robitaille said.

The newspaper provided details of the visit to Norbertville, which occurred this week before the Cup went to be engraved.

The village of 1,261 was treated to a short parade that was followed by a proclamation from the mayor. More than 400 people had their picture taken with the trophy.

Robitaille won the Cup while a player with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002; that offseason the Montreal native brought his parents to Los Angeles to celebrate.

This time, the Kings president of business operations took the Cup to his parents, as his mom asked.

"She figures it's the last time she'll see it," Luc's father Claude said.

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Posted On Friday, 09.21.2012 / 10:02 AM

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

Solid opening night for Ottawa's Monahan

Sean Monahan is a name fans will hear a lot about in reference to the 2013 NHL Draft. The Ottawa 67s center is rated an A player to watch in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings, and he showed why as the Canadian Hockey League season opened Thursday.

Monahan, named a team co-captain -- he'll wear the C for road games, while defenseman Cody Ceci will wear it for home games -- had a pair of goals and an assist as the 67s opened the Ontario Hockey League season with a 6-4 loss to the Barrie Colts.

Barrie took a 2-0 lead late in the first period, but just 19 seconds after Barrie scored its second goal, Monahan scored to cut Ottawa's deficit to one, and then set up Michal Cajkovsky's power-play goal to tie the game with 19 seconds left in the first.

After Barrie went ahead in the second, Monahan scored a power-play goal late in the period to make it 3-3.

Monahan wasn't the only draft-eligible player to have a good night.

In the OHL, Niagara left wing Anthony DiFruscia scored the game-winning goal 4:34 into the third period of the IceDogs' 4-2 win against the Erie Otters. Niagara goalie Christopher Festarini stopped 27 of 29 shots to register the win.

Owen Sound center Cameron Brace had two goals and an assist in the Attack's 6-1 win at the Windsor Spitfires.

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Posted On Thursday, 09.20.2012 / 5:40 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Stanley Cup making final stop for engraving

The Stanley Cup is taking the final trip of its summertime journey with the Los Angeles Kings.

"We are heading up to Canada on Thursday, it actually goes to get engraved," keeper of the Cup, Phil Pritchard, said on the Kings' website. "The 2011-12 Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings are going to get their names on it."

The Cup made its final stops in Cape Cod, Mass., and at a rally in Manchester, N.H., site of the Kings' minor-league affiliate, on Sunday.

"If it was not for the Monarchs we would not have won the Cup," Kings president of business operations Luc Robitaille said. "... We are very thankful but we wanted to make sure the fans that follow the Monarchs understood that. For us, we know we would not have the success we have had without this team and organization and fans."

More than 2,000 fans attended an event at the Monarchs' arena.

"It has been amazing. It is amazing to see the crowd," Robitaille said. "I was overwhelmed just to drive in and see the crowd, I could not believe it. It went all the way around the block. It is pretty neat to see. I was surprised. I have to admit I did not expect that."

The Stanley Cup spent its final days on tour in Hollywood then on the East Coast on its way to the traditional engraving.

"The Stanley Cup is the greatest trophy in sports," Robitaille said. "There is nothing like it. There is only one. Each player gets it and there is so much tradition. It is almost over 120-years-old now and it has so much history. If it could talk it would have amazing stories, and there is nothing else like it. To a certain point, the game of hockey is such a high level, but the Stanley Cup stands on its own. It is such a special trophy and it makes it unbelievable any time you can see it live."

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Posted On Thursday, 09.20.2012 / 5:36 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Ottawa 67's name Monahan captain

Sean Monahan, rated as an A player in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft, was named captain of the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League on Friday.

He will share the captaincy with Ottawa Senators prospect Cody Ceci, who was chosen No. 15 in the 2012 NHL Draft.

"Ceci and Monahan are both extremely capable players, on the ice and in the room," 67’s coach and general manager Chris Byrne said in a statement. "They get along very well and, since one plays forward and the other plays defense, they relate very well with everybody on the team."

Ceci, a defenseman, will serve as captain in home games during the first half of the season and Monahan will do so on the road, the team said. They’ll switch in the second half.

Monahan, a center, had 33 goals and 78 points last season, his second in the OHL. He also had eight goals and 15 points in 18 playoff games.

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Posted On Thursday, 09.20.2012 / 2:19 PM

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

Wheat Kings name Pulock captain

Earlier today it was Medicine Hat's Hunter Shinkaruk, and now another top-rated 2013 NHL Draft prospect has been named his team's captain.

The Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League on Thursday handed the captaincy to defenseman Ryan Pulock, rated an A list player by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary ranking of players for this year's draft.

A 6-foot, 210-pound defenseman, Pulock was third among WHL defensemen last season in goals (19) and points (60) while posting a plus-33 rating in 71 regular-season games, and added five points in nine playoff games. He also had two points in six games to help Canada win the bronze medal at the 2012 World Under-18 Championship.

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

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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 Thursday, 09.20.2012 / 9:23 AM

By Ian McCoshen -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Ian McCoshen Draft blog

McCoshen ready for season; excited for Prospects Game

Ian McCoshen will be entering his third season with the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League in 2012-13. The 6-foot-2 1/2, 207-pound defenseman, regarded as an 'A List' prospect by NHL Central Scouting entering the 2012-13 season, has produced eight goals and 26 points in 97 career games in the USHL. McCoshen, who will take part in the All American Prospects Game in Buffalo on Sept. 29, has agreed to take the time and maintain a blog for NHL.com all season long leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

Hello everyone. My name is Ian McCoshen, and I play for the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey league. This will be my third year with the Black Hawks.

I am tremendously excited for the season to start back up again. We have a talented group of guys this year, but we need to work all the time in order to really utilize the skill we have.

Overall, all of the boys are pretty excited to start up as well.

Our trip to Russia to participate in the Junior Club World Cup last month was an unbelievable experience for our team and myself. Systematically, we progressed each game throughout the tournament. I believe, if you ask any guy on the team, they would all say that our time in Omsk and Moscow was the best training camp we could have asked for. We collectively bonded as a team far earlier in the season than usual, which I believe, gives us an edge to begin our USHL season.


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Posted On Wednesday, 09.19.2012 / 12:53 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Kings keep promise with special Cup party

It's not always easy to take a man at his word, but businessman Chris Byrne had a good feeling in May when he received an email from Los Angeles Kings governor Tim Leiweke. Based on their correspondence, if everything went according to plan, Byrne, a longtime Kings fan, could be the host of his very own Stanley Cup party.

It started weeks earlier, when the Kings were struggling to secure the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Byrne, whose roofing materials company has had Kings season tickets since the team played at the Great Western Forum, attended an event held by Leiweke. Though the presentation was intended to discuss plans for a football stadium in Los Angeles, the Kings governor spent much of his time talking about his hockey team. Inspired by Leiweke's passion, Byrne sent an email weeks later sharing his love for the Kings. It was a spirited message that included one small request.

"I just ended it with, assuming the Kings win the Cup, he'd make a fan from the beginning very happy if he would bring the Cup to an Irish pub in West Hollywood that we own a little part of," Byrne told NHL.com. "Amazingly enough, he wrote back the next day and said, 'Absolutely.' It's a tribute to that organization."

By the time Leiweke got in touch with Byrne, the Kings had already knocked off the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and had won the first two games in their Western Conference semifinal against the St. Louis Blues. A Kings fan practically since the team's arrival in Los Angeles, Byrne was confident the team could win the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. But the 60-year-old wasn't completely sure if the iconic trophy would really make an appearance at his bar, Rock & Reilly's, in West Hollywood.

"They were playing St Louis and I told a guy, 'They're going to sweep St. Louis and win the Cup.' I felt it. After they beat Vancouver, I thought they were the best team there," Byrne said. "Time went by and he [Leiweke] made good on his word. He's a really good guy."

Sure enough, Leiweke came through on the promise he made almost four months earlier when he brought the Stanley Cup to a party held last week at Rock & Reilly's. Team president Luc Robitaille also was on hand.

"I have three girls who grew up watching the Kings. Kristen, my daughter, got her picture taken with Luc near the end of the party," Byrne said. "She told me later on it was the best day of her life."

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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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