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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 4:59 PM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba: Best advice I got was to be myself

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Things have been going pretty well for me here at the Scouting Combine. All the interviews have been really solid. I've been happy with all of them.

I haven't gotten any silly or crazy questions. Everyone else seems to be getting them except for me. We'll see as the weekend progresses, but none yet.

It's been interesting all-round being here. It's different. You're passing guys in the hallway all the time, running to each interview. But it's all fun. I'm just having a good time with it and enjoying it.

That's pretty much what everyone I know who's been here before has said.

Alex Petrovic, he told me go and enjoy it and don't get caught up in anything. Just stay level-headed no matter what the interview goes like. Jeff Glass, he trains at my gym, and he's been through it all as well -- been to World Juniors, been drafted in the third round. He's a great guy. He just told me be myself and have fun with that. Don't be shy, be honest with all the teams and that's what I've been doing.

I have six more interviews tomorrow, and then the fitness testing is Friday. I'm still eating properly and drinking a lot, staying hydrated for that. I'm looking forward to it. Shouldn't be all that bad. I'm ready for it.

Everyone talks about the bike tests, but I've done them before at my gym. I'm not too concerned.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 3:19 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Reinhart will opt out of bench press at Combine

A nagging shoulder injury will likely keep Edmonton Oil Kings defenseman Griffin Reinhart from taking part in the bench press during his fitness portion of the NHL Scouting Combine schedule on Friday.

Reinhart, ranked No. 10 by NHL Central Scouting among draft-eligible North American skaters, on Wednesday was making his rounds to those teams that scheduled interviews with him over the next two days.

"I don't think I'm going to do the bench press because I have a bit of a hurt shoulder," Reinhart told NHL.com. "It's fine to play with … I just haven't been able to rehab it yet. It's something I've been dealing with all season."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 1:46 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Gagne available, but still not in the lineup

NEWARK, N.J. -- Simon Gagne won't be in the Kings' lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, but coach Darryl Sutter reiterated that the forward's chances of playing in the next two weeks are better than they had been in the past.

"I'm not answering that question again about Simon," said Sutter, who has been receiving the question pretty steadily since the end of conference finals. "Cleared for contact, cleared for practice, traveling with the team. So there won't be any further update on that one because, quite honestly, the answer is the same and I don't know how to answer it. You tell the truth or say nothing."

The honest Sutter will likely ice the same lineup that got the Kings to the Cup Final with a 12-2 mark and 8-0 road record. Here are the expected lineup combinations the Devils will face:

Justin Williams - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown
Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
Dwight King - Jarrett Stoll - Trevor Lewis
Jordan Nolan - Brad Richardson - Colin Fraser

Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell - Slava Voynov
Matt Greene - Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 1:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Mahoney: Caps will take best player available

TORONTO -- For the fifth time in the last nine drafts, the Washington Capitals will have multiple first-round picks when the teams convene in Pittsburgh for the 2012 NHL Draft.

They have the Colorado Avalanche's choice at No. 11, and their own pick at No. 16, and Capitals director of amateur scouting Ross Mahoney told NHL.com that those are pretty nice places to be.

"We think we're in a good position at 11 and 16, if we maintain those picks, to pick up some good prospects," he said.

Mahoney said the GM George McPhee will listen to all options, as he does every year, and said moving up or down certainly could be an option.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 1:11 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Business as usual for Devils on morning of Game 1

NEWARK, N.J. -- Two-time Stanley Cup winner Patrik Elias admitted he is nervous.

"There's a lot at stake here," Elias said after the Devils morning skate Wednesday in advance of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Zach Parise said nothing about the Devils morning routine on a gameday was different, but he expects the afternoon and evening to not feel like anything he has experienced before as a Devil.

"I'm sure once we get to the rink tonight the nerves will be a little different than every other game," Parise said, "but so far it's been the same."

The Devils are going for their fourth Stanley Cup championship in the last 17 years, but of the guys that will be in the lineup for Game 1, only Elias, Martin Brodeur, Dainius Zubrus, Ryan Carter and Anton Volchenkov have experienced the calm before the storm of the Stanley Cup Final.

It's different even for a guy like coach Peter DeBoer, who never reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a player or a coach prior to this season.

"Just excited," DeBoer said when he was asked how he was feeling Wednesday morning. "You want to play. You're tired of waiting around. You're tired of looking at film. You're tired of practicing. It's anxious energy.

"Whatever I'm feeling, I'm sure it's doubled for the players."

DeBoer, though, has an experienced coaching staff and front office that he can lean on. Guys like Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello and assistant coach Larry Robinson have been on this big stage multiple times over the course of their careers in hockey.

Lamoriello has won the Stanley Cup three times as an executive. Robinson won the Cup six times as a player with the Montreal Canadiens (he played in the Cup Final seven times), and three times in the Devils organization, including 2000, when he was the team's head coach.

"The one advantage I think our organization has here is the experience we have from the top down," DeBoer said. "They've been there, seen it all, won, lost. Then filtering down (to) my assistant coaches, with Larry Robinson -- we have a wealth of experience all the way through the organization right to the locker room. We've got that in abundance. It makes my job easy."

All that experience, plus his own natural coaching chops, has convinced DeBoer that changing the approach and routine at this stage of the game would be detrimental to the group.

He doesn't plan on doing anything different Wednesday in advance of Game 1.

"I think the natural reaction, when you talk to people, is all of a sudden you have to pull out these great speeches, change the way you've done things," DeBoer said. "Part of the thing that we do well here is, it's business as usual. We've tried not to change a routine. I'm not planning on pulling out any great speeches. We've done our preparation. We're a workman-like team and we'll be ready to play."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 12:42 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Rielly excited to get opportunity at NHL Combine

Moose Jaw Warriors defenseman Morgan Rielly is pretty excited to be back in the mix after missing five-plus months of playing time after undergoing surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament earlier this season.

Rielly played five playoff games for the Warriors and produced three assists but the simple fact he was back on the ice was certainly a positive sign. Now he's going through the rigors that is the NHL Scouting Combine this week in an attempt to show NHL scouts and general managers that he is 100 percent.

"I think it's important just to prove that you're healthy and you're here and you have a pretty good attitude," Rielly told NHL.com. "I don't think this week will make or break anybody, but it's important to come and have a positive attitude."

Really, a positive attitude is all that the 5-foot-11 1/2, 190-pound left-hander has exhibited throughout the most trying season of his hockey career.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 12:38 PM

By Alex Galchenyuk -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Alex Galchenyuk draft blog

Galchenyuk: It's fun meeting the teams

Alex Galchenyuk is a forward for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot, 198-pound forward was born in Milwaukee but is of Russian decent -- his father, Alexander, spent five of his 22 professional seasons playing in the U.S. Alex was the first pick of the 2010 OHL draft, and last season had 31 goals and 52 assists in 68 games. He had 2 goals and an assist in five games for Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, and returned to take part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Despite suffering a major knee injury that nearly ended his season before it really began, Galchenyuk has maintained a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

It's Day 2 for me at the NHL Scouting Combine. Day 1 was tough. Well, not really tough. It was just exciting. A long day -- probably the longest day of my life so far. I had nine interviews. It was long, and it was longer because I had big breaks. I had a lot of time, and it got boring. I wish each one was right after the other, 1-2-3. But it was good.

No interesting questions to report. I was waiting for that the whole day yesterday, some weird, weird questions, because I've heard about them in the past. But so far this year, no. No weird questions.

I have seven interviews today, and they're spaced out a bit better today. I think I have one break, from 12 to 4 p.m., but that's not too bad.

Someone asked me if this is what I thought it would be like, and I'd say kind of yes and kind of no. I thought it would be like the Research and Development Camp -- same hotel, lot of media and GMs and players walking around. But obviously this is more NHL people here. I didn't know what to expect. I'd never been to Combine before. Now I know what's happening.

I have 22 interviews in all, and then I have my fitness testing Friday morning. I've heard about the bike tests, but I'm not nervous. I'm just really excited for it. You're going to do some stuff and a lot of people are going to watch you. I'm new to the experience, like I was new to the interviews. I'm just waiting and I want to see what's going to happen.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 12:12 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Pearson has good excuse to skip Combine bike tests

TORONTO -- The two bike tests -- the Wingate Cycle Ergometer and the VO2 Max test -- are the double-feature horror show at the annual NHL Scouting Combine. Every player has to go through it, and all greet it with some level of trepidation.

Well, not every player. Barrie Colts forward Tanner Pearson is excused from the bike tests while he recovers from the broken right ankle that ended his season.

Pearson told NHL.com he's been skating since the beginning of the month, and while he's close to 100-percent healed, he's still doing strengthening and balance work in his leg. Because of that, Pearson will sit out the jumping and bike portions of the fitness testing.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 10:39 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Devils expected lineup for Game 1

NEWARK, N.J. -- Johan Hedberg was the eager one. The backup goalie was the first Devil on the ice for the morning skate Wednesday.

He came on at 10:09 a.m. ET, and soon enough his teammates joined him. It's an optional skate for New Jersey, but of the players expected to be in the lineup for Game 1 against the Kings (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) only Marek Zidlicky is not skating.

The Devils expected scratches (Henrik Tallinder, Petr Sykora, Cam Janssen, Eric Boulton and Adam Larsson) skated on the practice rink with the Devils black aces.

Here is the expected lineup for the Devils:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Dainius Zubrus
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Patrik Elias - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 7:53 AM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

Trouba offers insight into NHL Combine

Jacob Trouba is a defenseman for the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound native of Rochester, Mich., was the youngest player on the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta. He also won his second straight gold medal for Team USA at the Under-18 World Championship in Czech Republic, connecting for one goal, three points and a plus-5 rating in six games. Trouba has agreed to give fans a players' perspective while attending the 2012 NHL Combine, scheduled May 28-June 2, by maintaining a blog of his experiences. Check back often.

Hi everyone. I just concluded my first day of interviews here at the NHL Combine in Toronto. I have 21 interviews scheduled -- 10 of those were on Tuesday.

I must say that each team is different. Some are laid back and some are intense. You get hot in those rooms, that's for sure! The one question that really got me was 'What is success?' I wasn't really prepared for that, so that was one I really had to think about. Boston gave a test that involved colors that was pretty hard and I messed up a lot on that.

It was all cool though, but I was certainly nervous at the start. In the morning, I woke up and spilled toothpaste all over my shirt … so I had to change shirts. That's one shirt down. I think tomorrow will be a lot better because I'll know what to expect. It's something you don't get to do every day, so you just have to have fun with it. Wednesday [six interviews] will be a lot easier.

I know a lot of the guys are thinking about the fitness tests and while I am too, I just feel like I'll be able to rely on the hard work I put in the last two years [with the NTDP] to get me through these tests and show what I have. I didn't work that hard for nothing. I think, historically, the NTDP guys have done well at these tests, and a big reason for that is because of what the program has you do. That's the type of work I've put in the last two years in the program.

On Tuesday night, a few of the NTDP guys got together with several of the Swedish players (Filip Forsberg, Oscar Dansk and Ludwig Bystrom) and we went out to dinner. It was pretty cool.

Until next time …

Follow Jacob Trouba on Twitter at: @JacobTrouba

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