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Posted On Wednesday, 11.21.2012 / 11:52 AM

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

CHL honors for Kootenay's Skapski

Kootenay Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski was named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week after going 3-0 with a pair of shutouts last week.

Skapski's big week began with a 17-save shutout last Monday in a 4-0 win against the Calgary Hitmen. On Friday he made 32 saves in a 5-3 win against the Brandon Wheat Kings, and he was even better in a rematch with Brandon on Saturday, stopping all 31 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory.

The 18-year-old goalie is 7-7-0 with a 3.64 goals-against average and .887 save percentage, but Kootenay only has seven wins on the season. His three shutouts are tied for the most in the league.

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

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.20.2012 / 1:18 PM

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

USNTDP's Compher returns to lineup on Sunday

U.S. National Under-18 Team forward J.T. Compher, the No. 1-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings release for the United States Hockey League, will return to the lineup on Sunday when the National Team Development Program plays host to St. Mary's University at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.

Compher had missed the previous 15 games with an undisclosed injury.

"He could have played two weeks ago, but we just held him out [as a precaution]," U.S. U-18 coach Don Granato told NHL.com. "He enjoys the game for the game itself. He just enjoys the competitive nature of the game. He always just addresses directly what's in front of him."

The 5-foot-10.5, 184-pound left wing, who will attend the University of Michigan next fall, has two goals and three points in six games this season.

"I'm the happiest coach in hockey right now [knowing Compher is returning]," Granato said. "He's our captain and he was a tough guy to be missing."


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Posted On Tuesday, 11.20.2012 / 12:45 PM

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

Top prospect Shinkaruk likely out one week

The Medicine Hat Tigers will be without their captain and top draft-eligible prospect Hunter Shinkaruk for at least one week due to a lower-body injury suffered on Saturday in a loss to the Portland Winterhawks.

The Tigers' public relations department confirmed for NHL.com that Shinkaruk "will miss one week" via email.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.20.2012 / 12:00 PM

By NHL Green -  /NHL.com - NHL Green Slapshots™

Oilers continue food recovery efforts

It’s hard to imagine 14,000 pounds of food. To put it into perspective, it’s about the same weight as five cars. That’s how much food has been donated to the Edmonton Food Bank’s Second Helping program since October 2010, when the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, Oilers, Oil Kings, Dominion Sports Service and Northlands partnered to save and freeze any left over, prepared and unused food from concerts and hockey games as part of the NHL Rock & Wrap It Up Food Recovery Program.

In 2010, the National Hockey League launched the food recovery program to combat waste and fight hunger across North America. All 30 of the League's Member Clubs have committed to pack up all prepared but untouched concession food on game nights for redistribution to local shelters and places of need.

The League was celebrated by both Beyond Sport and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the initiative, which has diverted over 210 tons of waste from landfill and provided local shelters with more than 320,000 meals since its inception in 2010.

This October, the Oilers continued their program with a gift of over 1,000 pounds of food.

“As fast as it comes in, it goes out,” said Tamisan Bencz-Knight, Manager, Strategic Relations & Partnerships, Edmonton Food Bank. “What’s so nice about (the food) is it’s prepared. You just need to thaw it, warm it and serve it. The quality of the product is amazing and it’s simple and easy program to run.”

The most recent donation from Rexall Place benefited Our House addiction recovery agency which focus their efforts on supporting men working to rebuild their lives.

“When you think that all this food could go to waste rather than being used to benefit other people, it’s clear the program is a win-win for everybody," said Natalie Minckler, Executive Director, Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation. “This program just makes so much sense and the benefits are seen at agencies around Oil Country.”

To read the entire article, visit the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation page.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.20.2012 / 11:00 AM

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

NHL Central Scouting unveils preliminary rankings

NHL Central Scouting on Tuesday completed the next phase on the road to the 2013 NHL Draft with the release of its league preliminary rankings for the top levels of North American junior hockey and Europe.

* An overall take on the release can be accessed here.

* An in-depth review of the top goalies can be accessed here.

* Breakdown of the top European players can be accessed here.

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Posted On Monday, 11.19.2012 / 12:17 PM

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

Trainor, Nishi earn QMJHL weekly honors

A pair of 2013 NHL Draft prospects were honored Monday by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for their play in the last week.

Rimouski Oceanic left wing Peter Trainor was named Telus Second Star of the week after posting five goals and three assists in four games. He scored a goal and assisted on the game-winning goal Wednesday in a 5-4 defeat of the Quebec Remparts. On Friday, he assisted on the game-tying goal in what ended as a 4-3 shootout loss to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Saturday saw him score two goals and added an assist in a 6-2 defeat of the Baie-Commeau Drakkar. He capped his week with his best game of the season, scoring at 3:15 of overtime to complete his first QMJHL hat trick in a 5-4 win at Baie-Comeau. He also added an assist in the game.

Trainor's big week extended his scoring streak to nine games, during which he has eight goals and nine assists. On the season, he leads the Oceanic with 35 points in 20 games.

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Posted On Monday, 11.19.2012 / 9:56 AM

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

Not much getting past Tri-City's Comrie

Tri-City Americans goalie Eric Comrie played well in his audition for Canada's World Junior Championship team last week, stopping 17 of 18 shots in a period and a half of action for Team WHL against Team Russia in the finale of the Subway Super Series.

He returned to regular-season Western Hockey League play over the weekend and continued to display his star form.

In two games, Comrie stopped a combined 83 of 87 shots in helping the Americans to a pair of wins.

JC Lipon, Kamloops Blazers

On Friday, he made a career-high 41 saves on 43 shots in a 3-2 win against the Kelowna Rockets. One night later, he set a new personal best with 42 saves on 44 shots in another 3-2 defeat of Kelowna.

The win was Comrie's third straight and fifth in his last six games. On the season, the 6-foot-0.75, 167-pound goalie, who earned an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft, is 14-7-2 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. He ranks in the top five in the WHL in GAA and save percentage, and his two shutouts are tied for third.

Here is how a few other 2013 draft-eligible prospects fared over the weekend:

* Kamloops forward JC Lipon, already leading the WHL in goals and points, had the best game of his WHL career with two goals and three assists in the Blazers' 6-4 win against Portland on Friday, snapping the Winterhawks' 12-game win streak. On Saturday, he had a pair of goals in regulation and then scored the deciding goal in the shootout in the Blazers' 5-4 defeat of the Prince George Cougars.

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Posted On Monday, 11.19.2012 / 9:20 AM

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

For one night, Gambardella a scoring star

Des Moines Buccaneers center Joseph Gambardella isn't really a player his team expects to provide a lot of offense. In fact, the 5-foot-9, 174-pound forward had just five points in his previous nine games prior to Friday's meeting with the United States Hockey League's Western Conference-leading Waterloo Black Hawks.

But in 60 minutes Friday, Gambardella matched that nine-game output with his best game of the season, netting a hat trick and adding two assists in Des Moines' 8-6 win.

Gambardella scored the game's first goal, with 16 seconds left in the first period, and drew an assist on William Nong-Lambert's goal 61 seconds into the second period to make it 2-0. After Waterloo tied the game 2-2 early in the second, Gambardella put Des Moines back on top. He assisted on Eric Martinsson's goal 5:10 into the third to make it 5-3 Des Moines, and then he closed the scoring for the night with one more goal with 10 seconds left in regulation.

The five-point night gave Gambardella four goals and 12 points in 17 games.

Here is how a few other 2013 NHL Draft-eligible prospects fared:

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Posted On Monday, 11.19.2012 / 9:02 AM

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

Halifax duo eyeing draft history

It's been almost 30 years since two players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League were taken in the first five picks of an NHL draft, but Halifax Mooseheads teammates Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin likely will change that.

Nathan MacKinnon

Barring injury, it's likely the Halifax teammates will repeat the feat last done by Sylvain Turgeon (No. 2) and Pat LaFontaine (No. 3) in 1983. Their play certainly has earned them consideration to be picked early.

MacKinnon and Drouin played just two games over the weekend, but combined for 11 points.

In Friday's 8-3 win against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, while Drouin had four assists -- the second time this season he's had as many. On Sunday, Drouin

Jonathan Drouin

scored a pair of goals in a 4-3 defeat of the Val-d'Or Foreurs, while MacKinnon had a pair of assists.

MacKinnon is tied for seventh in the league with 37 points in 22 games, and his 19 goals are tied for fifth. Drouin, who missed more than two weeks last month with an injury, has 35 points in just 16 games.

They weren't the only 2013 NHL Draft-eligible players to have big weekends. Here are a few others:

* Cape Breton Screaming Eagles left wing William Carrier had a personal-best four assists in his team's 5-2 defeat of the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday. Teammate Kyle Farrell had a pair of goals in the win.

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Posted On Monday, 11.19.2012 / 8:45 AM

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

Brace key in Owen Sound's rise up standings

The Owen Sound Attack won just 32 games all of last season. They enter the week with 16 wins already, and their 35 points are tied with the Barrie Colts for the most in the Ontario Hockey League. A big reason for their success this season can be tied to the play of center Cameron Brace.

The 2013 NHL Draft-eligible forward played a big role in the Attack winning two of its three games over the weekend. He had an assist Friday in a 5-2 loss at the London Knights, then scored a shorthanded goal and was a team-best plus-3 in a 4-0 home win against the Kitchener Rangers on Saturday. He finished the weekend by scoring on a third-period penalty shot, which held up as the game's lone goal in a 1-0 defeat of the Windsor Spitfires on Sunday.

Cole Cassels, Oshawa Generals

The goal gave Brace a point in four straight games. He leads the Attack with 17 goals, and his 28 points are second.

Brace wasn't the only 2013 draft prospect to have a big weekend. Here is how a few others fared:

* Kingston Frontenacs right wing Marc Beckstead had a pair of goals in a 7-3 defeat of the Peterborough Petes on Friday. Teammate Bill Jenkins had a goal and two assists.

* Guelph center Zachery Mitchell had three assists in the Storm's 7-2 win Friday against the Mississauga Steelheads. Teammate Justin Auger had a goal and two assists.

* Oshawa center Cole Cassels had two goals and an assist in the Generals' 5-1 win against the Belleville Bulls on Friday. Teammate Sebastian Uvira had a pair of assists.

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Quote of the Day

You know what? We've played in some pretty special buildings along this playoff run so far. You start in Detroit, you go to Montreal, you come here … I think it's the first team to beat three Original Six teams to get to the Final if I'm not mistaken. That says how tough the road has been. Those are tough places to win.

— Lightning forward Steven Stamkos after Game 7 win vs. Rangers on Friday in New York