2011 NHL Entry Draft
2011 NHL Entry Draft Hats
(Page 11 of 23)
2011 NHL Entry Draft

Top prospects ready for physical tests at Combine

Thursday, 06.02.2011 / 8:18 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

TORONTO -- After four days of interviews that were akin to speed dating, the top prospects for the 2011 Entry Draft are ready to strip off their suits and ties and get ready for two days of fitness testing here at the NHL Scouting Combine.

NHL teams met with the prospects in 20-minute blocks during the interview process, with some having as many as 15 interviews on one day, and some players meeting with 29 of the 30 teams.

For the top players, however, one question almost all of them heard was whether they felt they were ready to play in the NHL next season.

"I told them yes," said Kitchener Rangers left wing Gabriel Landeskog, NHL Central Scouting's No. 2-ranked skater in its final listing of North American skaters for next month's draft. "I feel like I'm ready. Obviously I feel like there's parts of my game I need to get better at, but I feel like I'm more than willing to put down the work that's needed."

Huberdeau wins Memorial Cup MVP

Monday, 05.30.2011 / 12:59 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Josee Blondin-Huberdeau was all smiles as she watched the parade of reporters lining up to speak to her son, Jonathan Huberdeau, after the Saint John Sea Dogs had just earned a 3-1 victory against the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors in the Memorial Cup final on Sunday.

"Playing in the NHL is something he's always dreamed of since he was a little boy … I think everyone has thought of that. But he knows that even if he gets there, he has to work even harder to reach that. He's not finished when he arrives there."
-- Josee Blondin-Huberdeau

Blondin-Huberdeau stood approximately 30 feet from her son during a festive on-ice celebration. The 17-year-old sniper with the sick set of hands was holding court after it was just announced he had won the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy winner as Memorial Cup MVP.
Huberdeau, who finished with 3 goals and 6 points in Saint John's four games, including an overtime winner last Monday against Owen Sound, certainly proved why he was rated No. 3 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in April. He's a surefire first-round draft choice on June 24 when the opening round of the NHL Entry Draft will be staged at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
By earning the MVP award, in fact, Huberdeau became the sixth forward in 12 years to be named MVP of his league playoffs and the Memorial Cup, joining Brad Richards (2000), Danny Groulx (2002), Derek Roy (2003), Corey Perry ('05) and Taylor Hall ('09).

Sea Dogs loaded with potential draft picks

Monday, 05.30.2011 / 12:33 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Saint John Sea Dogs center Zack Phillips could hardly control his emotions when he realized just 20 seconds remained after peering up at the center-ice scoreboard.
It was a feeling of indescribable elation, really.
"Excitement … that's all I could think," Phillips told reporters after his team had just earned a 3-1 victory against the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors in the Memorial Cup final at Hershey Centre on Sunday.
"I was on the bench with 20 seconds left and my feet were hanging over the side, just waiting to get on the ice with my helmet unbuckled," he admitted. "I didn't even really know what I was doing out there for about a minute … there was just a lot of yelling and screaming. It was the best feeling I've ever had."
And to think, in less than a month, he might have similar range of emotions when he hears his name called in the early rounds of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Missed opportunities doom Mississauga

Monday, 05.30.2011 / 12:09 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- The Mississauga St. Michael's Majors were sixth in the Ontario Hockey League with the man-advantage during the regular season, but all that power deserted their power play during the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup, especially in Sunday's championship game.
The host Majors went 0-for-5 on the power play and allowed the Saint John Sea Dogs to score the game's first goal shorthanded. It added up to a 3-1 victory for the Sea Dogs and Canada's junior hockey championship.
For the tournament, Mississauga went just 4-for-27 on the power play, a 14.8-percent success rate; that's a far cry from the 21.8-percent they averaged during the regular season, and less than half of the 30.1-percent success rate they had in 20 OHL playoff games.
Mississauga got the game's first chance when Saint John's Ryan Tesink was sent off for roughing 2:09 into the game. However, the opportunity passed in the worst way possible. The Majors were sloppy with the puck coming out of their end, Saint John pounced on a turnover and defenseman Simon Despres, a Pittsburgh Penguins' draft pick, grabbed the puck, used Mississauga defenseman Stuart Percy as a screen and fired a shot over the blocker of goalie J.P. Anderson just 2:24 into the game.

Saint John wins Memorial Cup

Sunday, 05.29.2011 / 10:23 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Bill Hoppe - NHL.com Correspondent

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Simon Després, Zack Phillips and Jonathan Huberdeau all scored, and goalie Jacob DeSerres made 34 saves as the Saint John Sea Dogs beat the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors 3-1 on Sunday night in the MasterCard Memorial Cup final.

The title is the first in the Sea Dogs' six-year history.

Després, a Pittsburgh Penguins prospect, and Phillips, NHL Central Scouting's No. 15 prospect in the final ranking of North American skaters for the 2011 Entry Draft, helped the Sea Dogs open up a 2-0 lead just 13:17 into the game inside the Hershey Centre.

Meanwhile, DeSerres, who allowed every goal in the Brandon Wheat Kings' 9-1 loss to the Windsor Spitfires in last year's Memorial Cup final, redeemed himself. The 21-year-old outdueled Majors goalie J.P. Anderson, who stopped 22 shots.

Memorial Cup: Unexpected Records

Sunday, 05.29.2011 / 6:59 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Deborah Francisco - NHL.com Staff Writer

With a history spanning 93 years, it should come as no surprise that many elite players have vied for the honors of hoisting the famed Memorial Cup, including the likes of Sidney Crosby, Manny Malhotra, Jamie Benn and Jarome Iginla, however, here are five records you never would have expected:

5 -- The record for the most goals scored in a single series is 8 goals and includes Hall of Famers Dale Hawerchuk and Luc Robitaille, among others.

Hawerchuk’s 8-goal series helped fuel the Cornwall Royals of the QMJHL to the Memorial Cup championship in 1981. His heroics earned him Memorial Cup MVP honors that same season.  He went on to have a successful 15-year NHL career and he is currently the head coach of the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League.

Robitaille tallied his 8 goals in 1986 as a member of the Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL. He notched so many points in his three years in the league (155 goals, 269 assists) that the QMJHL created a trophy in his name that is awarded annually to the team that scores the most goals each season.

Plenty of intrigue at 2011 Memorial Cup Final

Sunday, 05.29.2011 / 2:32 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Bill Hoppe - NHL.com Correspondent

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- At 11 pm Saturday, center Michael Kirkpatrick found Eminem on his iPod, laid his head down and figured he would get a good night's rest before his Saint John Sea Dogs battled the Mississauga Majors for the MasterCard Memorial Cup on Sunday.

"These guys are city guys, high-end guys. We're just potato farmers. So, game on."
-- Mississauga coach Dave Cameron

"I was putting on my music … getting pumped up, but I couldn't fall asleep until 1:30," Kirkpatrick said Sunday morning inside the Hershey Centre.

Eventually, Kirkpatrick turned to his roommate, defenseman Nathan Beaulieu.

"I was like, 'Nathan, you awake, too?'" Kirkpatrick whispered. "He's like, 'Yeah.'"

Ryan Ellis named CHL top player

Saturday, 05.28.2011 / 7:23 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Bill Hoppe - NHL.com Correspondent

MISSISSAUGA, Ont.Ryan Ellis, who had 24 goals, 77 assists and 101 points this season with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, was named the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year on Saturday.

Ellis, a first-round pick by the Nashville Predators two years ago, became the first OHL defenseman to score 100 points in a season since Jamie Rivers in 1993-94. He won a silver medal at the World Junior Championship and set IIHF and Team Canada records for most career points by a defenseman with 25 in 20 games. He was named the tournament's top defender.

CHL names Nugent-Hopkins as top draft prospect

Saturday, 05.28.2011 / 6:46 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Bill Hoppe - NHL.com Correspondent

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Red Deer Rebels center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the top North American for the 2011 Entry Draft as determined by NHL Central Scouting. The Canadian Hockey League agreed with that decision Saturday, naming him as junior hockey's top draft prospect.

Nugent-Hopkins, who led the Western Hockey league with 75 assists and tied for third with 106 points, beat out Kitchener Rangers left wing Gabriel Landeskog and Drummondville Voltigeurs center Sean Couturier.

Landeskog is No. 2 on Central Scouting's list, while Couturier is No. 6.

Nugent-Hopkins said he's not tired of the constant Entry Draft talk.

Phillips makes good decisions on and off the ice

Saturday, 05.28.2011 / 5:02 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Bill Hoppe - NHL.com Correspondent

"It's a cool life down there (in the U.S.). I like it a lot and it's a big part of me, but I'm definitely happy with the decision I made."
-- Zack Phillips

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Zack Phillips wanted no part of Canadian junior hockey. So at 14 years old, the scrawny 5-foot-2 center left his Fredericton, N.B., home for Massachusetts. He believed a few years in prep school would prepare him for NCAA hockey, which he felt would be a better path for his development.
"I wasn't mature enough for (junior) yet, I think," said Phillips, whose Saint John Sea Dogs will play for their first MasterCard Memorial Cup championship Sunday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet) against the host Mississauga St. Michael's Majors. "I thought college was going to be the better route for me because I was small and I had a couple more years before I could play college if I was in junior."
Phillips played two years at the Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Mass., and one at the Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass. He eventually committed to the University of Massachusetts.
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