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2014 NHL Draft
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NHL Entry Draft

Canada invites 42 players to Hlinka tryout camp

Thursday, 07.04.2013 / 9:17 PM / NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Two of the players expected to be among the top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft were among 42 players invited by Hockey Canada to take part in a tryout camp for its entry into the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

The camp will be held July 25-29 at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto.

"These players are the cream of the crop of under-18 talent in Canada, and it's going to be exciting to see them battle for 22 roster spots," said Ryan Jankowski, head scout for Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence. "As it is every year, there were some tough decisions to get down to 42, and they will be even tougher decisions to finalize the roster."

This year's tournament will be played Aug. 5-10 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia. Canada has won the tournament the past five years.

Headlining the camp invitees is a pair of top-flight Ontario Hockey League defensemen, Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts and Roland McKeown of the Kingston Frontenacs.

Ekblad, a 6-foot-3.25, 213-pound blueliner, had seven goals and 27 assists in 2012-13 for Barrie and added seven goals and 17 points in 22 playoff games to help it reach the OHL finals.

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Top draft prospects produce at WJC

Sunday, 01.06.2013 / 10:00 PM / NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Now that the 37th IIHF World Junior Championship has concluded with the United States earning their third title, NHL scouts are sure to be dissecting the performances of all those top draft-eligible prospects at the event this year.

Several top candidates for the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, N.J., including those in North America and Europe, were able to showcase their talents on a national scale at the two-week tournament in Ufa, Russia.

While many of the players remained status quo, the tournament did enable others to elevate their stock, including Slovakia's Marko Dano and Canada's Jonathan Drouin. Drouin, the second-youngest player on the Canadian roster, was even promoted to the top line in the final preliminary-round contest of the tournament.

Here are 15 players eligible for the 2013 Draft who starred overseas at the WJC.

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'Gritty' '13 prospect Hartman to ply trade for Plymouth

Saturday, 09.22.2012 / 10:31 AM / NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

It took Mike Vellucci one viewing to know he wanted Ryan Hartman to play for his team.

Three years later, the coach/general manager of the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League is about to be rewarded for his patience.

Hartman, a 5-foot-11, 187-pound forward, opted to join the Whalers this season after playing the past two with the U.S. National Team Development Program. In 2011-12, he was second on the USNTDP U-18 team with 38 points in 55 games, and added six points in six games to help the United States win the gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Hartman is expected to produce at a high level for Plymouth this season, and NHL Central Scouting has ranked him as a B player on its preliminary watch list for the 2013 NHL Draft.

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Second year of top-level play should help Barkov

Saturday, 09.22.2012 / 3:00 AM / NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

At the age of 16 last season, Alexander Barkov made his debut in SM-liiga, the top professional league in his native Finland. He had seven goals and nine assists in 32 games with Tappara, and his 16 points were fourth among the 64 skaters age 21 and under.

The son of a 22 year pro hockey veteran, Alexander Barkov displayed plenty of skill and maturity as a 16-year-old in Finland's top professional league. (Courtesy: Mika Kylmaniemi)

"It was big step [from the under-20 league], but there's a better game in SM-liiga," Barkov told NHL.com. "I tried to play my own game."

He excelled when he had the chance, but lost time when he was hit in the mouth with a puck and battled mononucleosis.

Healthy and ready for the 2012-13 season, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound center is expected to be among the top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft. NHL Central Scouting listed him as an A player to watch on its preliminary list.

And he's living up to that ranking so far, with four goals, four assists and a plus-4 rating in his first four games.

"He's a skilled, mature center with good size," Goran Stubb, NHL Director of European Scouting, told NHL.com. "Cool, smart center with excellent vision -- very good playmaker and passer. Never panics. Good team player."

Some of that comes from Barkov's bloodlines. His father, Alexander, played professionally for 22 seasons in Russia, Italy, and for the final 10 seasons with Tappara. He helped Tappara win the SM-Liiga title in 2002-03.

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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis