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Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 10:13 PM

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

O'Ree excited to see Jones, Nurse go early in draft

NEWARK, N.J. -- Willie O'Ree knows the journey has only begun for prospects Seth Jones and Darnell Nurse at the 2013 NHL Draft in Prudential Center.

Now comes the hard part -- making an NHL roster.

Jones, a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks, became the second African-American/Canadian player chosen No. 4 at the draft when he was selected by the Nashville Predators on Sunday. Jones now has something in common with Evander Kane, who had originally held that lofty distinction when he was picked fourth by the Atlanta Thrashers on June 26, 2009.

Nurse, also a defenseman with the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, would soon follow in Jones' footsteps when he was tabbed at No. 7 by the Edmonton Oilers.

Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 9:45 PM

By Sean Monahan -  Special to / - Sean Monahan Draft blog

Monahan ready to start NHL future in Calgary

NEWARK, N.J. -- I woke at about 6:30 a.m. this morning. I really couldn't sleep last night. I was trying to, but I kept waking myself up.

We had a little breakfast for some of the prospects this morning, so I went there with my mom and dad to have a good breakfast before the big day. I had some eggs and a little bacon and some fruit.

We went back to the hotel and I was able to spend some time with my family who are here. We headed over to the arena, and we got here at about 12:30. We got here early, because I obviously didn't want to be late for this.

I had some more time to spend with my family and my friends beforehand.

I didn't have to wait very long, which was pretty awesome. Being drafted by Calgary was something I really wanted, and I couldn't be happier about it.

Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 9:28 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Jordan Subban happy to land in Vancouver

NEWARK, N.J. -- Jordan Subban acknowledged that his parents had to wait longer for his name to be called than when his older brothers were drafted.

Eldest brother P.K. was taken in the second round of the 2007 NHL Draft, while middle brother Malcolm was selected in the second round last year.

But despite having to wait until the 115th pick Sunday to hear his name called by the Vancouver Canucks, the youngest Subban, a defenseman, feels he's fallen into a great situation.

"Obviously I was hoping to go a little bit earlier, but it doesn't matter how long you wait. I've waited 18 years for this day," Subban said. "I'm just ecstatic that I've been given this opportunity to be part of an NHL organization. Being a Canadian team is the cherry on top."

Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 8:55 PM

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

Flyers happy to add size on defense in draft

NEWARK, N.J. -- Rimouski Oceanic defenseman Samuel Morin was happy to see Chris Pronger, the NHL player he grew up idolizing, at the table after the Philadelphia Flyers selected the 6-foot-6 defenseman with the 11th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft.

"I just said hi," Morin said. "I didn't know what to say. I just said hi."

The fact Morin and Pronger can look at each other eye to eye is about the only thing the pair has in common right now. The future, though, looks promising.

"Samuel has come a long way in a short period of time," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "He's ultra-competitive. For a guy that big he skates very well. Great range, pretty good understanding of the game, and his puck skills have gotten so much better in a not very long period of time. I think he's a very good prospect with a chance to really blossom over the next year or two."

Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 8:05 PM

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

MacKinnon: 'Pure joy' to be taken with No. 1 pick

NEWARK, N.J. -- Hello hockey fans! I'm coming to you from the media area at the NHL Draft in Prudential Center.

When the Colorado Avalanche selected me No. 1 overall … it was pure joy for sure.

When my name was announced ... I turned to my dad [Graham] and hugged him a few times. It was an unbelievable time and it's still surreal. I've worked my whole life to get drafted and it crept up pretty quick. It's a very proud moment.

Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 7:53 PM

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

Draft produces memorable moments for Halifax crew

NEWARK, N.J. -- Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon was in the middle of an interview when he heard teammate Jonathan Drouin's name announced over the public address system in the early stages of the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center on Sunday.

"It put a smile on my face," said MacKinnon, who was chosen with the No. 1 pick by the Colorado Avalanche.

A little over three hours later, MacKinnon and Drouin were probably both grinning ear-to-ear when teammate Zachary Fucale became the first goalie off the draft board -- going in the second round (No. 36) to the Montreal Canadiens.

It wasn't too surprising when Drouin went two picks after MacKinnon to the Tampa Bay Lightning with the No. 3 choice. After all, MacKinnon was No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters and Drouin was ranked third. They played a major role in helping lead the Mooseheads to the league's President Cup by combining for 23 goals and 68 points in 17 games.

Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 7:13 PM

By Ian McCoshen -  Special to / - Ian McCoshen Draft blog

McCoshen excited to join Panthers

Ian McCoshen was selected 31st in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers on Sunday. He was No. 24 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top draft-eligible North American skaters and completed his third season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2.5, 207-pound defenseman had 11 goals, 44 points and a plus-35 rating in 53 games. Boston College-bound, McCoshen agreed to submit his thoughts to

Hello from the Prudential Center, everyone!

Last night I walked around Times Square with my family, and then we went out to eat at a nice steakhouse. After, we came back and just played around for a little bit because it was pretty exhausting walking around New York City.

It still probably took me two hours to fall asleep last night, though. I wasn't really tired after all.

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.

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It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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