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2015 NHL Draft
Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 7:06 PM

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

Shinkaruk waits longer than expected to be picked

NEWARK, N.J. -- Hunter Shinkaruk had to wait a lot longer than expected to hear his name called Sunday at the 2013 NHL Draft. All that extra waiting time did was give him some added incentive.

Shinkaruk, a forward with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League who was rated No. 6 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters, wasn't chosen until the Vancouver Canucks called his named with the 24th pick in the first round. But falling toward the bottom of the opening round did nothing to diminish the thrill of being drafted for the Calgary native.

"I'm so excited to go to Vancouver, it's unbelievable," Shinkaruk told "It definitely was a pretty long wait … a little longer than I had anticipated. But at the end of the day, a lot of things happen on draft day and it's going to be something that motivates me to prove all those teams wrong."

Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 6:29 PM

By Connor Mellas - Staff Writer / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Sabres address size, defense at draft

NEWARK, N.J. -- With the eighth and 16th picks of the 2013 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres addressed two needs: defense and size.

"We want to become bigger. We want to become physical. The game's moving that way now," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said Sunday after making the selections.

The Sabres took Rasmus Ristolainen, a 6-foot-3, 201-pound Finnish defenseman with the eighth pick. In 2012-13, Ristolainen, 18, played 52 games for TPS in SM-liiga, recording three goals, 12 assists, 15 points and 32 penalty minutes.

Buffalo then used the 16th pick to draft 18-year-old Russian defenseman Nikita Zadorav of the London Knights. Zadorav (6-foot-4, 200-pounds) had six goals, 19 assists, 25 points and 54 penalty minutes in 63 games in 2012-13.

"Both big and a little bit different skill set," Regier said, describing Buffalo's picks. "Ristolainen is a little more on the physical side. Zadorov is a little more on the skill side. But they're both skilled, they're both vicious."

Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 4:52 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to / - Seth Jones Draft blog

Seth Jones happy to join Nashville Predators

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. The top-ranked player in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Jones was taken with the No. 4 pick by the Nashville Predators. He was named the best professional prospect in the WHL and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a blog for that chronicled his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

NEWARK, N.J. -- What an amazing day.

I actually slept good last night. I woke up around 8 o'clock. Went and ate breakfast with the family at the prospect breakfast in the hotel. Then I just kind of sat around for two or three hours and waited. And waited. And waited.

It felt like the time was going by really slow. It felt like it was never going to come around.

I got to the arena and did a couple interviews, then I sat down with my family.

I was happy for Nate MacKinnon to go No. 1. He's a great kid. I had a chance to room with him six or seven times now in a span of four years. If I wanted to choose someone to go first, it would be him. I'm very happy for him.

Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 3:36 PM

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

Popeye Jones at draft as 'very proud dad' of Seth

NEWARK, N.J. -- Popeye Jones was standing in the tunnel just off the NHL Draft floor, taking in the sights at Prudential Center. It's a long way from 1992, when he was chosen by the Houston Rockets with the 41st pick of the 1992 NBA Draft.

"This is all new to me," he told "A projected second-round pick, you don't get to come to the draft in the NBA. I was at home watching on TV."

He has a choice seat for the 2013 NHL Draft, where his son, Seth, was chosen with the fourth selection by the Nashville Predators. Rather than fretting for his son's fate, Popeye said he was excited and proud.

"I was more nervous about myself," he said. "Am I going to get drafted? Am I not going to get drafted? With Seth, he's going to get drafted, it's a matter of to who. I'm more excited for him and a very proud dad."

Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 2:00 PM

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

Rolston got first-hand glimpse at Jones' talents

NEWARK, N.J. -- Before becoming coach of the Buffalo Sabres, Ron Rolston got an early glimpse of why defenseman Seth Jones will be one of the first players picked at Sunday at the 2013 NHL Draft (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN).

Rolston was coaching the United States National Team Development Program's under-18 team during the 2010-11 season when Jones was called up from the U-17 team to play 20 regular-season games, and six more during the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Rolston said all of the attributes that have intrigued NHL scouts were obvious from the moment he first saw Jones on the ice.

"Obviously his size and that potential, he's probably going to grow more," Rolston told "His ability to command the game, his hockey sense. He can control the game when he's on the ice. He can attack with the puck, he can move it up with his transition passing. He's a guy that really accelerates your team both defensively and offensively. You can tell the poise he played with as a young player, especially on defense. We're looking at defensemen at the NHL level to have the poise with the puck on the defensive end, and he's one of the guys who has that."


Posted On Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 8:28 PM

By Nathan MacKinnon -  Special to / - Nathan MacKinnon Draft blog

MacKinnon ready for big day in Newark

Nathan Mackinnon is in his second season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this year. The 6-foot, 182-pound forward has 32 goals, 75 points and a plus-40 rating in 44 regular-season games for the Mooseheads in 2012-13. In 17 playoff games, MacKinnon finished with 11 goals and 33 points to help lead his team to the QMJHL championship. He was then awarded with the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as Memorial Cup MVP after finishing with tournament highs of seven goals and 13 points in four games as Halifax won its first Cup crown. MacKinnon, who served as captain for Team Cherry at the 2013 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and represented Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Russia, has offered to provide with a monthly blog leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, N.J.

Hi everyone. I just finished up the clinic at AmeriHealth Pavilion at Prudential Center and had a blast.

It was a lot of fun getting to do some of the stuff on the ice with the young kids. I like seeing the smiles on their faces and it was great to be out there with the Devils Stanley Cup alumni. They've played for so long in the NHL so it was pretty special. It was good to talk to those guys and hang with the kids.

Some of those kids were good too. They're all pretty young and nobody is a natural yet, but some kids were more skilled than others. They all did a great job and it was fun to be a part of it all.

Posted On Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 6:28 PM

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

'Cake Boss' has draft-day surprise planned

NEWARK, N.J. -- Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken where TLC's "Cake Boss" is filmed, is prepared to unveil a special treat Sunday prior to the start of the NHL Draft at Prudential Center (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN).

Valastro, known as Buddy to those familiar with the reality television show, said a life-sized cake will be a part of the pre-draft festivities. Though he wouldn't reveal details of its look or shape, he did admit it is the second hockey cake they have done on "Cake Boss," and the biggest.

"We're doing a really cool cake for the draft and I think they're going to love it," Valastro said. "They are going to unveil it between 2 and 3 o'clock. Sorry, but I can't say too much more about it."

Posted On Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 6:11 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 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.

Posted On Friday, 06.28.2013 / 11:15 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Status quo for Streit's value

Mark Streit, an offensive-minded defenseman, should fit right in with the high-scoring Philadelphia Flyers. Whether his fantasy stock will rise or fall remains to be seen.

The 35-year-old signed a four-year contract Friday with the Flyers, who have finished top-10 in the League in goals-per-game for six consecutive seasons. Only Kris Letang (26), Andrei Markov (25), Cody Franson (25) and Ryan Suter (24) had more games with at least one point than Streit (23) during this past 48-game campaign.

But here's the other side to the story: The former New York Islanders captain is tied with Eric Gudbranson for the NHL's worst combined rating (minus-41) over the past two seasons. The Flyers also posted a worse goal differential (minus-8 in 2012-13) than the Islanders (even). Therefore, it shouldn't be assumed Streit's rating will improve significantly.

Posted On Friday, 06.28.2013 / 6:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 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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Quote of the Day

He is, in my opinion, one of the best defensemen in the NHL and continuing to grow. I think his game, from an offensive standpoint, he continues to drive our offense... I think there's still tremendous upside for Oliver.

— Coyotes GM Don Maloney on defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson