REGINA, Sask. --
In the hour leading up to the contest between Team WHL and the Russians at Brandt Centre, NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards sat down beside scouts from the Calgary Flames
and Dallas Stars
and began reflecting on the upcoming contest and the players.
Calgary amateur scout Blair Reid even discussed one player not in action for Russia on Wednesday but earning plenty of accolades in the Ontario Hockey League of late -- Sarnia's Nail Yakupov.
"He showed up on the game sheet when he played against the OHL stars in Ottawa and me and Blair were just talking about his overall game, how he really showed off his puck-handling ability," Edwards said. "He can get open."
Edwards set the lineups for the game and was glad that Russian goalie Andrey Makarov would be in action as it enables him to catch a viewing of another 2012 draft eligible prospect in addition to Western Hockey League blue chippers Matt Dumba of Red Deer and Colton Sissons of Kelowna.
Edwards also informed me that representatives from all 30 NHL teams were present for the game, including Al Murray of the Tampa Bay Lightning
and Tony McDonald of the Carolina Hurricanes
. McDonald, of course, struck gold at the 2010 Draft with the selection of Jeff Skinner
in the first round.
"You could see some GMs in the crowd as well at some point as Steve Yzerman
was in Ottawa; probably to see Yakupov," Edwards admitted.
Edwards just watched closely when the players took their pregame warmups. "You just watch how the players skate and, sometimes, you can pick up other things, but you won't really know until the actual game begins," he said.