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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 9:54 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Senators: Zibanejad staying in North America

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Mika Zibanejad got a short taste of hockey and life in North America last season, after the Ottawa Senators picked him No. 6 at the 2011 NHL Draft.

This season, he'll be on this side of the Atlantic far longer.

Ottawa Senators assistant general manager Tim Murray told NHL.com that Zibanejad will spend the 2012-13 season in North America, either in the NHL with the Senators or with the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators.

"He's staying no matter what," Murray said. "Whether its Ottawa or Binghamton, we're not sending him back. So he's here."

Zibanejad, currently here with Team Sweden for the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, started last season in Ottawa, but was returned to his Swedish team, Djurgardens, in late October.

"We wanted to keep him, that was the intent," Murray said. "Just the longer it went, you could see with him the loss of confidence. The NHL is a tough league for anybody, especially an 18-year-old kid coming from Europe for the first time. I thought he played pretty well. He had some good games. I think it was the right thing to do to send him back. Hopefully that comes through in the next couple years."

Zibanejad, who scored the overtime goal in the championship game at the 2012 World Junior Championship, remains eligible for the 2013 tournament. Murray said there's a chance the Senators could let Zibanejad play in the tournament. It's a similar situation they faced last year with goalie Robin Lehner. The Senators opted to keep Lehner in Binghamton rather than release him for Team Sweden.

"For the World Juniors, obviously then that's not a decision we have to make today," Murray said. "He's obviously on their team. … We'll just have to do what we think is right for him. Is he playing 18 minutes a night in Ottawa? Is he playing 23 minutes a night in Binghamton? Who knows? Potentially he will be back playing in this tournament, but if I had to put odds on it I wouldn't even know where to place the odds."

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 10:07 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Gostisbehere stole the show for Team USA

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Most of the attention Thursday was focused on U.S. defensemen Seth Jones and Jacob Trouba, but it was another blueliner who stole the show in Team USA's 10-2 rout of Sweden.

Shayne Gostisbehere, a 2012 third-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, scored a pair of power-play goals and had an assist. He also played solid defensively, which U.S. coach Phil Housley was quick to point out.

"His all-round game was good," Housley said. "His defense is getting better throughout the whole week. The stick is definitely good. He can skate it out of trouble. He moves the puck quite well. He's improving all week, and I think he played excellent tonight."

Gostisbehere, who had 22 points in 41 games to help Union College reach the Frozen Four last season, has had a memorable summer. Start with the NHL Draft in June, when even he was surprised to hear his name called with the 78th pick.

"I wasn't expecting third [round]," he told NHL.com. "I was expecting more fourth or fifth. It was a big surprise for me."

He also got his first experience at a professional development camp last month, and now he's still a big part of the evaluation process for USA Hockey.

"Make new friends and play well and play for your country," Gostisbehere said of his expectations for this week's National Junior Evaluation Camp. "I wasn't hoping (to just make the cut). I went through it, tried my hardest and thankfully it turned out well for me."

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, Gostisbehere isn't going to intimidate anyone in the defensive zone, but he has performed well in camp by outsmarting bigger, stronger forwards.

"It's using your stick first," he said. "Use your body as your last form of defense. Use your stick first and keep everyone in front of you and you won't have any problems."

He certainly didn't appear to have any problems against Sweden.

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 7:46 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Lineup changes put charge in U.S. power play

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The biggest beneficiary of the lineup changes for the United States on Thursday might have been the team's power play.

Inserting defensemen Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba and Mike Reilly against Sweden paid immediate dividends when the extra-man unit scored Team USA's first two goals and went 4-for-5 in a 10-2 win.

Without those three Wednesday, the U.S. team went 0-for-3 with the extra man in a 5-2 win against Finland.

Shayne Gostisbehere, who partnered with Trouba on one unit, had a pair of power-play goals. Reilly, who was paired with Jones on a second unit, set up a pair of extra-man goals.

"With Reilly and Jones on the one unit and Trouba and Gostisbehere on the other unit, it brought a lot of offense from our defensive side of the puck," U.S. coach Phil Housley said. "They really created and were the quarterbacks. It made a big difference, especially early. We got two power-play goals early which really helps us get off to the right start."

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 7:35 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Gibson's play big part of U.S. win

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- It's not often a goalie is one of the stars of a 10-2 game, but U.S. netminder John Gibson was a big part of Team USA's win over Sweden on Thursday.

Gibson, an Anaheim Ducks prospect, stopped 35 of 37 shots, including a number of outstanding saves. There was a strong glove stop with 2:20 left in the first period with the game tied 1-1, and a spectacular lunging glove save to deny William Karlsson on a shorthanded attempt midway through the second.

Gibson helped hold Sweden to 1-for-7 on the power play, with the only goal coming when it had a five-on-three advantage.

"It wouldn't have been 10-2 without John," U.S. defenseman Jacob Trouba told NHL.com. "He played great. He had some sweet saves and he was there to back us up whenever we made a mistake."

U.S. coach Phil Housley said, "In the second period when we really needed saves, he made a glove and a pad save that kept the game out of reach for Sweden and was a big-time difference-maker. His game has come a long way this week. It's great to see everybody improving, but John certainly provided us with solid goaltending."

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 6:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

USA defeats Sweden 10-2

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Mario Lucia, Jacob Trouba and Sean Kuraly scored in the third period as the United States finished its rout of Sweden 10-2 in a game at the National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Shayne Gostisbehere led the U.S. team with a pair of goals and an assist, and Jacob Trouba, J.T. Miller, Tyler Biggs and John Gaudreau each had a goal and an assist.

John Gibson had an excellent game in net, further solidifying his position as the team's No. 1 goalie for the 2013 World Junior Championship.

Mika Zibanejad and Joachim Nermark had the goals for Sweden. Niklas Lundstrom let in all 10 goals as his team had no backup. Oscar Dansk was out with a knee injury, and Alexander Wennberg, a center projected to go in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft, dressed as the emergency backup goaltender.

Back with more from the locker rooms.

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 5:28 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

U.S. extends lead over Sweden to 8-1 after two

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The U.S. turned up their level of play in the second period, turning what was expected to be a close game against the defending World Junior Championship gold medalists into a rout.

Vincent Trocheck and Alex Galchenyuk scored 21 seconds apart in the first two minutes of the period to make it 4-1. Trocheck, a Florida Panthers product, drove to the net to bang in a loose puck at 1:31. Then Galchenyuk, the third pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, got a gift when Sweden goalie Niklas Lundstrom stopped his shot under his pads. But when he stood up, the puck trickled over the goal line at 1:52.

They cranked up the pressure minutes later, scoring a pair of goals 24 seconds apart.

Shayne Gostisbehere, a Philadelphia Flyers' 2012 draft pick, scored his second power-play goal of the game when he wired a shot from the right circle short-side past Lundstrom at 6:19 to make it 5-1, and then Anaheim Ducks prospect Nicolas Kerdiles scored at 6:43 to make it 6-1.

Tyler Biggs made it 7-1 with a nice give-and-go goal with John Gaudreau at 15:16 of the period, and then J.T. Miller scored a power-play goal at 18:28 to make it 8-1.

Back with more when the game ends.

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 5:01 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Devils sign forward Bobby Butler

The New Jersey Devils on Thursday signed forward Bobby Butler to a two-way contract. No other terms of the deal were disclosed.

Butler spent the past two seasons with the Ottawa Senators, producing six goals and 16 points in 56 regular-season games last season. He was scoreless in three Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"He signed a two-way (contract), so we’ll just see what develops, but he has the potential of being a top-six forward," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told The Record.

Butler, who was undrafted, signed with Ottawa as a free agent on March 29, 2010.

The Senators bought out Butler's contract on July 27, making him a free agent.

"It’s going to be really up to him," Lamoriello said. “He’ll be given every opportunity. He visited and spent some time here and had some other opportunities."

The 6-foot, 185-pound native of Marlborough, Mass., split the 2010-11 season between Ottawa and the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton. He played in all 23 games for Binghamton en route to the team's 2011 Calder Cup Championship.

Butler spent four seasons at the University of New Hampshire, scoring 61 goals and piling up 121 points in 153 games for the Wildcats. As a senior, he was named a Hockey East First Team All-Star and the conference's player of the year after scoring a career-high 29 goals and 53 points in 39 games. With Butler in the lineup, New Hampshire went 87-49-17.

"He also played in Binghamton for (former Devils assistant and AHL head coach) Kurt Klienendorst when they won the Calder Cup, so we know a lot about him there, and also his college coach (Dick Umile) I had at Providence," Lamoriello told the newspaper. "So, we know enough about him."

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 4:42 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

U.S. holds 2-1 lead over Sweden after first period

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Special teams were the difference in the first period of Thursday's game between the U.S. and Sweden here at Herb Brooks Arena, as the U.S. took a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

All three goals in the period were scored with the man advantage, capped by John Gaudreau's power-play goal with 55.9 seconds left. Defenseman Mike Reilly led a rush up the ice and sent the puck to Gaudreau, who beat Sweden goalie Niklas Lundstrom.

Shayne Gostisbehere put the U.S. up 9:23 into the game late in a Team USA power play when he took a pass from defense partner Jacob Trouba, skated into the right part of the slot and beat Lundstrom.

Gostisbehere wasn't a hero for long, as he took a delay of game penalty 28 seconds after Reid Boucher had been sent off for slashing. Sweden's Mika Zibanejad took advantage of the five-on-three power play, getting low to bang in the rebound of an Emil Lundberg shot.

More after the second period.

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 4:28 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Top 2013 prospect Wennberg scratched

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Alexander Wennberg, a center originally listed as a defenseman, is not in the lineup for Sweden for Thursday's game against the U.S.

Sweden originally listed two players wearing No. 7, Wennberg and Tom Nilsson, a defenseman. With the U.S. opting to dress eight defenders Thursday, Sweden answered in kind and made Wennberg a scratch.

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 3:32 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

USA-Sweden lineups

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Here are the lineups the U.S. and Sweden will use for Thursday's game here at Herb Brooks Arena.

Some new faces for the U.S., but the top line of Sean Kuraly with Mario Lucia and Stefan Noesen remains intact.

Alex Galchenyuk and J.T. Miller will have a new linemate -- Reid Boucher, Galchenyuk's teammate with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. Boucher played at times on a line in Sarnia with Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov, so that familiarity should bode well for Galchenyuk, who still is looking to rediscover his game after sitting out for most of last season recovering from a knee injury.

Sitting out for the U.S. are forwards Stefan Matteau, Ryan Hartman, Thomas Di Pauli, Cole Bardreau, Steven Fogarty and Jimmy Vesey; defensemen Jake McCabe, Andy Welinski and Connor Murphy; and goaltenders Anthony Stolarz and Jon Gillies.

The big change to the Sweden lineup comes in goal, where Niklas Lundstrom will start in place of Oscar Dansk, who sustained a minor knee injury in Tuesday's game against Finland.

With the U.S. opting for eight defensemen today, top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Alexander Wennberg, a center, is listed on the roster as a blueliner, so it should be interesting to see how that works out. Earlier this week I asked Wennberg if he had always played center. He said he did try playing defense as a youngster, but it didn't work for him.

"I've always been a center," he told NHL.com. "I didn't like to play [defense]. I like to play offense."

U.S.

Mario Lucia - Sean Kuraly - Stefan Noesen

John Gaudreau - Vincent Trocheck - Nicolas Kerdiles

Reid Boucher - Alex Galchenyuk - J.T. Miller

Blake Pietila - Travis Boyd - Colin Blackwell

Tyler Biggs

Mike Reilly - Seth Jones

Matthew Grzelcyk - Jacob Trouba

Garrett Haar - Shayne Gostisbehere

Patrick Sieloff - Brady Skjei

John Gibson

Garret Sparks

SWEDEN

Pontus Aberg - William Karlsson - Filip Forsberg

Jeremy Boyce Rotevall - Joachim Nermark - Mika Zibanejad

Emil Lundberg - Victor Rask - Viktor Arvidsson

Linus Froberg - Oskar Sundqvist - Max Gortz

Jakob Lilja

Hampus Lindholm - Oscar Klefbom

Rasmus Bengtsson - Jonatan Nielsen

Mikael Wikstrand - Alexander Wennberg

Linus Arnesson

Niklas Lundstrom

Oscar Dansk

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

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