2011 NHL Entry Draft
2011 NHL Entry Draft Hats
(Page 13 of 23)
2011 NHL Entry Draft

Hamilton learning to enjoy game's physical side

Tuesday, 05.24.2011 / 2:36 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"It becomes more fun being able to push guys off the puck. When you're stronger it's easier to do that. I realize I'm able to do that this year and that's … I do have fun with it. I do have fun battling with guys in corners. I like doing it." -- Dougie Hamilton

Last season at practice, Niagara IceDogs forward Freddie Hamilton sometimes would give a little extra shot to his teammate and younger brother Dougie, a defenseman on the team.

"It's fun going against him in practice," Freddie told NHL.com. "I give him a shove when I get the chance because I know I might not get the chance in the future if he keeps on growing. I'll take as much opportunity as I can doing that."

Now that Dougie Hamilton has grown into a 6-foot-4, 187-pound top defense prospect for the 2011 Entry Draft, those opportunities might have run out.

Hamilton is the top-rated North American defenseman (No. 4 among all skaters) in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings for the 2011 Entry Draft.

Jurco more than just a puck magician

Tuesday, 05.24.2011 / 12:50 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Bill Hoppe - NHL.com Correspondent

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- It was exciting at first. When Tomas Jurco began performing some of his incredible stick and puck tricks earlier this season, the slick Saint John Sea Dogs right wing instantly became an Internet sensation.

Jurco looked more like an illusionist than a hockey player in January at the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game festivities in Toronto. The videos peppered all over NHL.com and YouTube have received hundreds of thousands of hits.

The 18-year-old lifted the puck off the ice on a breakaway and then quickly whipped it across his back and into the net like a lacrosse player. In the dressing room, he placed a puck on his blade, and then twirled the stick like a baton, never letting it fall off. Those were just a few of his gravity-defying tricks.

Top Avs prospect Hishon out for Owen Sound

Monday, 05.23.2011 / 1:43 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Bill Hoppe - NHL.com Correspondent

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Owen Sound Attack center Joey Hishon will miss Monday's MasterCard Memorial Cup game against the Saint John Sea Dogs with an undisclosed injury after he was elbowed in the face late in the team's tournament opener Saturday against the Kootenay Ice.

Attack coach Mark Reeds said Hishon, whose 24 playoff points (5 goals, 19 assists) tied for the Ontario Hockey League playoff scoring lead, underwent a baseline concussion test.

"We'll have some indication when we get the results back," Reeds said following Owen Sound's morning practice here at the Hershey Centre.

Hishon, taken by the Colorado Avalanche with the 17th pick of the 2010 Entry Draft, was "doing fine," Reeds said.

Smith-Pelly can make an impact in multiple ways

Sunday, 05.22.2011 / 11:38 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Bill Hoppe - NHL.com Correspondent

"He's built like a brick. You look at his back and it's ginormous. You could park a car on there. He's very strong."
teammate Justin Shugg

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Devante Smith-Pelly's thick frame can be spotted anywhere inside an arena. At 6-foot and 211 pounds, the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors right wing often is one of the strongest and most intimidating players on the ice.

Beware of the 18-year-old at all times. He can thump with authority.

Early in the Majors' 2-1 triumph Sunday against the Kootenay Ice, the host team's first win at the MasterCard Memorial Cup, Smith-Pelly knocked 6-foot-3, 187-pound defenseman Joey Leach, a Calgary Flames prospect, down on his back.

"He was a pretty strong guy," Smith-Pelly said. "He kind of winded me a bit. I got a lot of him on that one."

Sabres prospect McNabb suspended one game

Sunday, 05.22.2011 / 12:58 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Bill Hoppe - NHL.com Correspondent

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Kootenay Ice captain Brayden McNabb has been suspended for one game by the Canadian Hockey League for elbowing Owen Sound Attack center Joey Hishon in the face late in Saturday's MasterCard Memorial Cup game between the teams.

McNabb, a defenseman taken in the third round of the 2009 Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, will miss the Ice's game Sunday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SportsNet) against the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors here at the Hershey Centre. It's the first Memorial Cup suspension since 1999.

Brian O'Neill, the Memorial Cup discipline chair, said in a statement: "Following a review of the referee's report and watching all of the television footage of the incident, I determined that it was a reckless action by the player but not a deliberate attempt to injure."

With 5:35 left in the Ice's 5-0 loss to the Attack, the 6-foot-4 McNabb met the 5-foot-10 Hishon near center ice. As Hishon tried to get away from the hit, McNabb elbowed him. Hishon did not return to the game. McNabb received an elbowing major and a game misconduct.

Three goalies, no problems for Owen Sound

Sunday, 05.22.2011 / 12:19 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Bill Hoppe - NHL.com Correspondent

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Jordan Binnington smiled and moved his head slightly. The Owen Sound Attack goalie wanted to give someone a better glimpse of an upper lip with some serious peach fuzz.

"Do you not see my moustache?" Binnington, NHL Central Scouting's No. 3 North American goaltender in its final rankings for the 2011 Entry Draft, joked Saturday morning prior to his splendid 29-save shutout in the Attack's 5-0 win against the Kootenay Ice in the MasterCard Memorial Cup here at the Hershey Centre.

Binnington, the lone Attack player sporting a smooth face during the postseason, then tugged at a few tiny hairs on his chin. He claims he last shaved about 75 days ago.

Naturally, teammates mock Binnington, especially the Attack's other two goalies, Scott Stajcer and Michael Zador

Huberdeau shows full range of smarts and skills

Saturday, 05.21.2011 / 12:12 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Bill Hoppe - NHL.com Correspondent

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- It started last season; it just took some time for the hockey world to catch on to Jonathan Huberdeau, the quiet superstar whose dynamic postseason helped the Saint John Sea Dogs roar into the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

The 17-year-old's scintillating 43-goal, 105-point regular season eventually began to turn heads, earning him the No. 3 spot in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2011 Entry Draft. The left wing then dominated the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs, compiling 16 goals and 30 points in only 19 games as the Sea Dogs won the league title.

Huberdeau saved some of his best for the Sea Dogs' 4-3 win against the host Mississauga St. Michael's Majors in the Memorial Cup opener Friday here at the Hershey Centre, showcasing his slick skills while scoring once and setting up fellow top prospect Nathan Beaulieu's game-winning goal.

Sea Dogs have sights set on Memorial Cup title

Tuesday, 05.17.2011 / 3:37 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"Our goal all along was to reach the Memorial Cup and see how it goes. We've had a great season here and we'd be disappointed if we lost out. That said, we know things happen in the playoffs … we just hope to stay healthy, hope to play to our limitations and work hard every night." -- Gerard Gallant

There's just one trophy in the eyes of players and coaches for the Saint John Sea Dogs that will fulfill the most memorable season in the six-year existence of the franchise.

That would be the MasterCard Memorial Cup, which gets under way on Friday when the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Sea Dogs battle the host Mississauga St. Michael's Majors at Hershey Centre. Additionally, the Ontario Hockey League champion Owen Sound Attack will battle the Western Hockey League winner, Kootenay Ice, on the second day of the nine-day, round robin tournament.

After spending the last 15 weeks of the regular season as the top team in Canadian junior hockey, Sea Dogs coach Gerard Gallant feels anything less than a Memorial Cup would be a disappointment. Saint John won its first President's Cup following a six-game series victory over the Gatineau Olympiques last week.

Beaulieu learned from others to create his game

Tuesday, 05.17.2011 / 9:00 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Nathan Beaulieu gained a love for ice hockey at a very impressionable age.

In addition to tagging along with his dad, Jacques, who was his hockey coach in pee-wee and bantam, he would meet many professionals and watch closely how they prepared for games while his father also coached in the Ontario Hockey League.

It was addictive, actually.

"My dad coached Rob Schremp and I'd watch him tape his sticks up in the stands before every game," Beaulieu told NHL.com.

Beaulieu was an assistant coach with the London Knights when Schremp was named OHL rookie of the year in 2003-04 and then scored a league-high 145 points in 2005-06.

NHL.com experts agree: Nugent-Hopkins first pick

Friday, 05.13.2011 / 12:30 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Now that the NHL conference finals are set and the invitations have been sent to the top prospects for the NHL Scouting Combine later this month, it's time to take one more crack at predicting the opening round of the 2011 Entry Draft, which will be held June 24-25 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

All 30 NHL teams have been hard at work since the release of NHL Central Scouting's final rankings of the top draft-eligible players last month. They're making their own lists and preparing accordingly with the hope of finding that diamond in the rough.
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