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Top draft prospects Lazar, Shinkaruk lead Team WHL

Tuesday, 11.13.2012 / 11:02 AM / Prospects

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Top draft prospects Lazar, Shinkaruk lead Team WHL
Fans will get a chance to see two of the top 2013 NHL Draft prospects against top-notch competition when the final two games of the CHL Subway Super Series take place Wednesday and Thursday.

Fans will get a chance to see two of the top 2013 NHL Draft prospects against top-notch competition when the final two games of the CHL Subway Super Series take place Wednesday and Thursday.

Playing for Team WHL in the two games will be Edmonton Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar and Medicine Hat Tigers forward Hunter Shinkaruk.

Team WHL will face Team Russia in the final two games of the six-game series Wednesday in Vancouver and Thursday in Victoria, British Columbia. Each game will be televised live at 10 p.m. ET on the NHL Network in the United States and Sportsnet in Canada.

2012 SUBWAY SUPER SERIES SCHEDULE

Game 1: Team Russia 6, Team QMJHL 2
Game 2: Team QMJHL 5, Team Russia 2
Game 3: Team Russia 2, Team OHL 1
Game 4: Team OHL 2, Team Russia 1
Game 5: Nov. 14 at Vancouver, B.C.
Game 6: Nov. 15 at Victoria, B.C.

Lazar, a 5-foot-11.75, 193-pound center, has 14 points in 21 games for the Oil Kings and received an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players for this year's draft. Scouts really took notice last season, when he had 19 points in 20 Western Hockey League playoff games, tops among all first-year players and tied for sixth overall.

"I really like his speed, he has a real nose for the net," Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald told NHL.com. "His skill set is good. I like to say about some of these players that are A players: You watch them play and they get it. He gets it. He gets the game and knows how to filter through it all."

Shinkaruk, a 5-10, 166-pound center, is tied for fourth in the WHL with 33 points in 22 games, including 10 points in six November games. He had 49 goals and 91 points last season, and like Lazar earned an A rating from Central Scouting.

"He's a talented kid," MacDonald said. "No one can give-and-go and go to the net better than he does. He's got a great understanding of the game. He's going to develop his character this year because every team they play against is going to key on him."

Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan said, "As soon as he touches the puck, people in the stands want to stand up and say, 'Here he goes.' … This kid is really exciting to watch. As soon as he touches the puck you go, 'Wow, this is great.'"

Lazar will play in both games for Team WHL, while Shinkaruk will skate only in the game in Vancouver on Wednesday.

Other top 2013 draft candidates set to play for Team WHL are Tri-City Americans goalie Eric Comrie, who will dress for both games, and Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Ryan Pulock, who will play only in the game in Vancouver. Both received A ratings from Central Scouting.

In addition, five of the top eight players picked at the 2012 draft will be skating for Team WHL. Defenseman Ryan Murray (No. 2, Columbus), Griffin Reinhart (No. 4, N.Y. Islanders), Morgan Rielly (No. 5, Toronto), Mathew Dumba (No. 7, Minnesota), and Derrick Pouliot (No. 8, Pittsburgh) will man the blue line for Team WHL, with all but Pouliot playing in both games. Pouliot only will play in the Victoria game.

Also skating for Team WHL will be Kootenay Ice forward Sam Reinhart, a candidate to be the first pick of the 2014 NHL Draft. He'll play only in the Vancouver game.

In addition to playing for the pride of their league, the Team WHL players are aiming for spots on Canada's team for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

"I think for us it's about getting the correct 22 at Christmas," said Steve Spott, who will coach Canada at the WJC. "This is an extremely important evaluation for the players that were there in August [at the Canada-Russia Challenge]. It's a secondary opportunity to make an impression."

Highlighting Team Russia will be Edmonton Oilers prospect Nail Yakupov, the first pick of last June's draft. He has two goals and two assists in the first four Super Series games.

Yakupov is one of a League-high three Oilers prospects who will skate in the final two Super Series games. In all 20 teams will have at least one prospect playing.

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


TEAM WHL
*- players skating in both games
^- injured and unable to participate
VANCOUVER
Goalies: Laurent Brossoit*, Edmonton (Calgary); Eric Comrie*, Tri-City (2013 draft eligible)
Defensemen: Mathew Dumba*, Red Deer (Minnesota); Ryan Murray, Everett (Columbus); Ryan Pulock, Brandon (2013 draft eligible); Griffin Reinhart*, Edmonton (N.Y. Islanders); Morgan Rielly*, Moose Jaw (Toronto); Duncan Siemens, Saskatoon (Colorado)
Forwards: Graham Black*, Swift Current (New Jersey); Brady Brassart*, Calgary (2013 draft eligible); Travis Ewanyk*, Edmonton (Edmonton); Sam Fioretti*, Moose Jaw (2013 draft eligible); Mitchell Holmberg*, Spokane (2013 draft eligible); Curtis Lazar*, Edmonton (2013 draft eligible); Adam Lowry*, Swift Current (Winnipeg); Mark McNeill, Prince Albert (Chicago); Mitchell Moroz^, Edmonton (Edmonton); Trent Ouellette^, Regina (2013 draft eligible); Sam Reinhart, Kootenay (2014 draft eligible); Colton Sissons, Kelowna (Nashville); Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat (2013 draft eligible); Michael St. Croix*, Edmonton (N.Y. Rangers)

VICTORIA
Goalies: Laurent Brossoit*, Edmonton (Calgary); Eric Comrie*, Tri-City (2013 draft eligible)
Defensemen: Mathew Dumba*, Red Deer (Minnesota); Keegan Lowe, Edmonton (Carolina); Derrick Pouliot, Portland (Pittsburgh); Griffin Reinhart*, Edmonton (N.Y. Islanders); Morgan Rielly*, Moose Jaw (Toronto); Tyler Wotherspoon, Portland (Calgary)
Forwards: Graham Black*, Swift Current (New Jersey); Brady Brassart*, Calgary (2013 draft eligible); Travis Ewanyk*, Edmonton (Edmonton); Sam Fioretti*, Moose Jaw (2013 draft eligible); Mitchell Holmberg*, Spokane (2013 draft eligible); Steven Hodges, Victoria (Florida); Curtis Lazar*, Edmonton (2013 draft eligible); JC Lipon, Kamloops (2013 draft eligible); Adam Lowry*, Swift Current (Winnipeg); Mitchell Moroz*, Edmonton (Edmonton); Ty Rattie, Portland (St. Louis); Colin Smith, Kamloops (Colorado); Michael St. Croix*, Edmonton (N.Y. Rangers)

TEAM RUSSIA
Goalies: Andrey Makarov, Saskatoon, WHL (Buffalo); Igor Ustinski, Magnitogorsk 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa 2, Russia Jr. (Tampa Bay)
Defensemen: Kirill Diyakov, Khanty-Mansiysk, KHL (2013 draft eligible); Yaroslav Dyblenko, Mytischi 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Pavel Koledov, Yaroslavl 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Ilya Lyubushin, Yaroslavl 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Andrei Mironov, Dynamo Moscow, KHL (2013 draft eligible); Mikhail Naumenkov, CSKA 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, KHL (Tampa Bay); Alexei Vasilevskiy, Ufa 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Albert Yarullin, Kazan, KHL (2013 draft eligible)
Forwards: Kirill Kapustin, Yaroslavl, VHL (2013 draft eligible); Alexander Khokhlachev, Spartak, KHL (Boston); Yaroslav Kosov, Magnitogorsk, KHL (Florida); Yevgeni Mozer, Omsk 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Valeri Nichushkin, Chelyabinsk 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Nikolay Prokhorkin, Manchester, AHL (Los Angeles); Maxim Shalunov, Chelyabinsk, KHL (Chicago); Anton Shenfeld, Magnitogorsk, KHL (2013 draft eligible); Andrei Sigarev, St. Petersburg, KHL (2013 draft eligible); Vladimir Tkachev, Kazan, KHL (2013 draft eligible); Bogdan Yakimov, Penza, Russia-2 (2013 draft eligible); Nail Yakupov, Nizhnekamsk, KHL (Edmonton); Damir Zhafyarov, Novokuznetsk 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Daniil Zharkov, Belleville, OHL (Edmonton) 

Quote of the Day

I just think about how much it hurts. The feelings aren't going to go away, probably never. It's just something that sticks with you for a long time.

— San Jose forward Logan Couture to The Canadian Press on the Sharks' first-round loss to the Kings after taking a 3-0 series lead