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Posted On Monday, 12.17.2012 / 11:48 AM

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

QMJHL honors for Moncton's Lalonde

Moncton Wildcats left wing Christoph Lalonde, a 2013 NHL Draft prospect, was honored Monday by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as the Second Star of the Week.

In three games last week, the 5-foot-9, 173-pound forward totaled six goals and an assist, even though his team lost two of the three games.

His big week started Tuesday, as he had a pair of goals in a 5-3 win against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan for his first multi-goal QMJHL game. He had an assist and seven shots on goal in a 4-3 overtime loss Friday to the Saint John Sea Dogs. He saved his best for last, however, as he tied a team record with four goals in an 8-6 loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Saturday.

Lalonde now has 11 goals in 29 games this season, nearly tripling the four he scored in 65 games last season. His 16 points this season is one more than he scored last season.

Lalonde wasn't the only QMJHL draft-eligible player to have a big weekend. Here is how a few others fared:

* PEI Rocket left wing Victor Provencher had a pair of goals Friday in his team's 5-2 win at the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Then on Sunday he had a goal and two assists in the Rocket's 6-3 win against Saint John.

* Saint John left wing Jakub Izacky scored a pair of goals in his team's 4-3 overtime loss at Moncton on Friday.

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Posted On Monday, 12.17.2012 / 9:56 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Jones ready for the extra attention

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The player most in the spotlight for USA Hockey at this week's World Junior Championship selection camp is defenseman Seth Jones. The 6-foot-4 blueliner is considered by some to be the most talented player in the 2013 NHL Draft class, and after losing a spot on last year's WJC team due to an injury in the final exhibition game, he's considered a lock to fill a major role on this year's team.

"He continues to be a dynamic player that happens to be 6-foot-4 and a defenseman that can do so much in the game. That's rare," U.S. team GM Jim Johansson said. "I think decision-making continues to get better and better. Not that it was poor before, but it seems like his game matures as the competition matures."

He's certainly shown the ability to step up his game to match the competition. In his first season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League this season, he's tied for fifth among WHL defensemen with 28 points, and he recently had a nine-game point-scoring streak.

"At the start I got a little uncomfortable in the league for it being my first season," Jones said. "The first couple games it really took me a while to get comfortable with the speed of play and the type of play in the league. Right now I think I'm doing great. I'm very comfortable with the way I'm playing. My teammates have been great, they've really helped me get comfortable with the league and develop with the speed of play. It's been an unbelievable year."

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Posted On Sunday, 12.16.2012 / 9:14 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Mini-game fun end to first day of practice

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- For their first day on the ice as a full group, U.S. coach Phil Housley focused on drills that got his players' legs moving and blood pumping. And the players afterward said it was just what they needed.

"Everybody's upbeat today, good tempo, try to get the feet moving," forward J.T. Miller said. "It wasn't all that grueling of a practice. We all played [Saturday] for the most part. We've just got to make sure we take every practice like it's a game and come out ready to go."

Most of the drills focused on transition play, which Housley said will be a major part of the team's game plan when they arrive in Ufa, Russia for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

A number of the drills were familiar to most of the 27 players here at the MSG Training Center, as they were the same as the ones Housley ran at the USA Hockey summer evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.16.2012 / 8:53 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Murphy healthy, happy heading into WJC for USA

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Saying Connor Murphy has been unlucky the past few seasons would be a major understatement.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is considered one of the best defense prospects in the Phoenix Coyotes' system, but a series of back issues and a knee injury has seen him play about 80 games over three seasons.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.16.2012 / 6:10 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Noesen's status still unknown

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Stefan Noesen is one of 27 players taking part in USA Hockey's National Junior Team Training Camp here at the MSG Training Center, but his eligibility for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship remains in question.

Noesen, a forward with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, was handed a 10-game suspension by the OHL on Dec. 8 for a hit to the head during a game.

Team USA general manager Jim Johannson said he's hoping to have a resolution either way prior to the team's departure for Finland on Tuesday.

"It's still a pending situation, and in fairness to everybody that's involved in it right now I really don't have much more of a comment," Johansson said prior to the U.S. team's first practice. "In our opinion it's pending. It's a matter that's not closed and we're working on that. We hope to have resolution on that before we leave here.

"There's a lot of conversations. Ultimately he has to be eligible for an IIHF tournament. We're working on it as best we can. It takes a lot of communication with a lot of people right now. It's a little bit of uncharted territory for everybody. All I can say is I'm working on it as hard as I can. And I've been happy with the cooperation but it’s a difficult position for everybody and everyone involved is giving it the right diligence right now."

Noesen, a 6-foot, 187-pound right wing taken by the Ottawa Senators with the 21st pick of the 2011 NHL Draft, was part of the best line at USA Hockey's summer evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., along with Sean Kuraly and Mario Lucia.

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

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Posted On Saturday, 12.15.2012 / 5:05 PM

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

OHL's London Knights win 20th straight game

Mat Rupert's goal in the third round of the shootout gave London a 4-3 victory against Guelph on Saturday, the Knights' franchise-record 20th consecutive win.

The Knights (28-5-2) led 2-0 and 3-2, but the Storm tied the game with 7:30 remaining in regulation on a power-play goal by Hunter Garlent. Kyle Platzer had put the Knights ahead 1:29 into the third period with his first goal of the season.

After a scoreless overtime, London's Seth Griffin and Guelph's Jason Dickson scored in the first round of the shootout. Neither team scored in the second round, but Rupert beat Guelph goaltender Garret Sparks to start the third round and Garlent was unable to beat Kevin Bailie, giving the Knights the win.

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Posted On Friday, 12.14.2012 / 10:29 PM

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

Late goal gives London 19th straight win in OHL

Seth Griffith scored with four seconds remaining, and the London Knights defeated the Owen Sound Attack, 3-2, Friday for their 19th straight win, a new team record.

Owen Sound had tied the game by scoring with 24 seconds to go.

Bo Horvat, the No. 5 rated skater from the Ontario Hockey League in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of players eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, scored a second-period power-play goal to break a 1-1 tie. The center has 14 goals this season.

Jake Patterson, the No. 5 OHL goalie in Central Scouting's rankings, made 27 saves and is 12-1-1 this season.

The team record of 18 games was set in 2004-05 and equaled Sunday.

The OHL's record win streak is 25 games by the 1983-84 Kitchener Rangers.

The Knights are 27-5-0-2 and in first place in the Midwest Division.

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Posted On Friday, 12.14.2012 / 2:10 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Nugent-Hopkins named Canada's captain for WJC

Watch WJC on NHL Network-US

NHL Network-US is the home of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship with coverage of more than 15 games as well as highlights and analysis.

Less than 24 hours after solidifying the roster for the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, later this month, Canadian National Junior Team coach Steve Spott named his captain.

Not surprisingly, forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will don the "C" on his Canadian jersey when he represents his country at the WJC for the first time. Nugent-Hopkins, the first selection of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, is in his last year of WJC eligibility.

Additionally, defenseman Scott Harrington (Pittsburgh Penguins) and forward Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida Panthers) were named alternates. Spott made the announcement Saturday prior to Canada's departure for Helsinki, Finland, for a pre-competition camp.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.13.2012 / 7:20 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Struggling Subban rebounds, named to WJC team

Entering this week's selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, there were several players considered to be virtual locks as starters for the Canadian National Junior Team at the 2013 World Junior Championship later this month.

Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls in the Ontario Hockey League -- one of four goalies invited to the camp -- was among the "locks." Fact is, however, Subban's lackluster performance through the first two exhibition games was rather un-Subban-like.

During the four-game series in the Canada-Russia Challenge in August, Subban was superb, allowing four goals for a 1.97 goals-against average in two victories. In five appearances for Canada's Under-18 National Team, the 6-foot-1, 187-pound goalie sported an impressive 2.98 GAA and .913 save percentage.

Perhaps that's why coaches and fans were willing to give Subban the benefit of a doubt through the first two days of selection camp. But there's no question Subban realizes he must play better. After all, the 2013 WJC will be the biggest event of his hockey career.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.13.2012 / 7:16 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada sets final 23-man roster for WJC

The last day of Canada's National Junior Team selection camp at Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary also provided the final round of cuts as coach Steve Spott trimmed his roster in preparation for the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, later this month.

The eight players released Thursday were forwards Mark McNeill (Chicago Blackhawks) of the Prince Albert Raiders, Daniel Catenacci (Buffalo Sabres) of the Owen Sound Attack, Tom Wilson (Washington Capitals) of the Plymouth Whalers and Hunter Shinkaruk (2013 draft eligible) of Medicine Hat Tigers; defensemen Mathew Dumba (Minnesota Wild) of the Red Deer Rebels, Frank Corrado (Vancouver Canucks) of the Sudbury Wolves, Ryan Sproul (Detroit Red Wings) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds; and goalie Laurent Brossoit (Calgary Flames) of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Spott's 23-man roster consists of 13 forwards, seven defenseman, two goalies and one emergency goalie in case of injury. The club will depart for pre-competition camp in Finland on Saturday.

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