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2011 NHL Entry Draft
2011 NHL Entry Draft Hats
(Page 22 of 23)
2011 NHL Entry Draft

Nugent-Hopkins tops list of players to watch in WHL

Friday, 10.29.2010 / 9:00 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The 2011 Entry Draft will mark 15 years since a player from the Western Hockey League was taken with the No. 1 pick. That year, the Ottawa Senators selected Prince Albert Raiders defenseman Chris Phillips.

To commemorate the event, another WHL player could earn the top spot when the NHL holds this year's draft in St. Paul, Minn., this June.

Red Deer Rebels center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is near the top of every NHL team's watch list, and nothing he's done this season has changed anyone's mind.

Nugent-Hopkins, though, isn't the only top prospect skating in the WHL. NHL.com examines a few of them:

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Ambroz has the skill to match his size

Monday, 10.25.2010 / 9:00 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It's amazing to witness the transformation of a fresh-faced rookie who is asked to produce in the only Tier I junior league in the United States despite being its youngest player.
 
But at 6-foot-2 and 211 pounds, it isn't as if Seth Ambroz of the Omaha Lancers wouldn't be able to hold his own in the United States Hockey League, either. When Ambroz joined Omaha from New Prague (Minn.) High School as a 15-year-old in 2008-09, he turned heads right away, notching 14 goals, 17 assists and 88 penalty minutes in 60 games.
 
It was at a time when Ambroz wouldn't reveal much to reporters -- perhaps a combination of his reserved demeanor and bursting upon the scene at such a young age.
 
As he enters his third season with Omaha, those days are history.
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Ambroz, Mayfield headline USHL draft crop

Friday, 10.22.2010 / 9:00 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It certainly was a banner season for the United States Hockey League in 2009-10, as evidenced by the number of players selected during the 2010 Entry Draft.

Four first-round picks were among the 20 players drafted from the league. Additionally, there were 10 players drafted in the opening three rounds who, at one time, played for the U.S. National Team Developmental Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., which is part of the USHL.

It's certainly a sign of the times. Unofficially, a record 11 U.S.-trained players were selected among the top 30 choices -- besting the former mark of 10 Americans drafted in 2006 and '07. Officially, there were 10 U.S.-born players drafted. The lone exception was defenseman Cam Fowler (Anaheim Ducks, No. 12), who moved to Michigan from Windsor, Ont., at the age of 2. But keep in mind, Fowler holds dual citizenship and played two seasons with the NTDP.

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Scouts already love Sweden's Larsson

Tuesday, 10.19.2010 / 5:22 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Many scouts believe that Sweden's Adam Larsson could be playing in the NHL right now.

Though that might seem a bit premature, particularly since the 6-foot-3, 200-pound defenseman won't turn 18 until Nov. 12, but it wouldn't be too surprising if Larsson were taken with one of the first picks at the 2011 Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn., on June 24.

Larsson is front and center on the Central Scouting's international "Players to Watch" list released Tuesday.
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Hudon, Lucia headline U.S. scholastic players

Tuesday, 10.19.2010 / 11:00 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

High school players were in high demand at the 2010 Entry Draft in Los Angeles, with three of the record 22 scholastic players chosen taken in the first round.

There's no question players are beginning to mature at a faster pace than ever before, largely due to the fact coaching, training and diet have become so valued.
 
More and more NHL general managers are willing to take a risk on a scholastic standout and have him mature and strengthen his position at a U.S. college, in the United States Hockey League or one of Canada's junior leagues, before making the jump to the pro ranks.
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McColgan wants to be next Cali kid to hit NHL

Monday, 10.18.2010 / 10:36 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It was just five months ago that Emerson Etem of Long Beach and Beau Bennett of Gardena became the first two California-born players selected in the opening round of the NHL Entry Draft.
 
It didn't signal the apocalypse, but it sure did send a message that the Golden State was becoming a bona fide breeding ground for future NHL talent. In August, at the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp Fueled by G Series in Toronto, there was another batch of top-flight West Coast talent on display.
 
Forwards Shane McColgan of Manhattan Beach and Matthew Nieto of Long Beach skated on the same line in Toronto for veteran coach Ken Hitchcock. Both have high hopes of following in the footsteps of their good friends Etem and Bennett as first-round selections in the 2011 Draft in St. Paul, Minn.

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Pressure doesn't affect Clendening

Friday, 10.15.2010 / 9:10 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Adam Clendening knows the 2010-11 season will be a big one for him -- it is his draft season, after all.

But don't expect the defenseman to panic or worry about what's to come. He has his father to thank for that.

Frank Clendening topped out at the Junior B level as a hockey player; but at an early age, he started passing along his hockey wisdom to his son, including a lesson on how to handle pressure on the rink.

An industrial tradesman who also coaches youth hockey in the Niagara Falls, N.Y., region, Frank devised a drill for his son to prepare him for hockey tribulations to come.

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Skill makes Nugent-Hopkins a known commodity

Monday, 10.11.2010 / 11:18 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

High-flying center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins didn't take any of the general managers, scouts and coaches in attendance by surprise in August during the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp fueled by G Series.
 
Barring a major setback, he's a surefire top-five selection at the 2011 Entry Draft to be held in June in St. Paul, Minn.
 
As if the 17-year-old native of Burnaby, British Columbia, doesn't have an impressive enough resume, he wowed those sitting in the stands at the Toronto Maple Leafs' practice facility with his quick release, tenaciousness and exceptional acceleration throughout the two-day event.
 
He hasn't taken his foot off the gas pedal in his second season with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. Through nine games, Nugent-Hopkins already has 3 goals, two via the power play, 14 points and a plus-5 rating for the Rebels (7-2-0), who stand atop the Central Division of the Eastern Conference. He's hitting at a 1.56 points-per-game clip.
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Move to Canada worked well for Gibson

Friday, 10.08.2010 / 9:40 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"He's a very confident goalie, has an air of confidence about him. He's got very good net coverage, has good size and is very strong in his crease. He plays determined and aggressive, his movements are controlled, he tracks the puck very well and he challenges properly and holds his ground. He battled hard in all areas. He has a good, solid butterfly, was quick at gathering in any loose pucks and has good overall quickness."
-- Al Jensen

Most top European prospects are told to stay home and support their local club teams. But when Christopher Gibson talked to his parents about leaving his Karkkila, Finland home for Canada, they were OK with it.

That's how Gibson, a 6-foot-1, 193-pound goaltender, started a journey across North America that now has him playing for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

"It was a weird decision, but it was a good decision for me," Gibson told NHL.com. "I wanted to go play in a higher level of hockey. There's good hockey in Finland, but I always wanted to play in Canada."

It's a decision that's worked well for his hockey future, as NHL Central Scouting has him ranked among the top players to watch in the QMJHL for the 2010-11 season and heading into the 2011 Entry Draft. He's 4-1 in five games this season, fourth in the league with a 1.78 goals-against average and third with a .941 save percentage.
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Mayfield making a name for himself in draft circles

Monday, 10.04.2010 / 9:00 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Those dog days of summer when Scott Mayfield stepped outside his home in St. Louis, Mo., and began playing pick-up hockey games with friends on the block are long gone.
 
"Pick-up games turned into games against and with first-round NHL draft picks on the ice," Mayfield told NHL.com. "It was crazy. It was an introduction to a whole new level of play."
 
As it turns out, the impressive 6-foot-3 1/2, 197-pound defenseman has established himself as one of the top prospects eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn. He's already made a believer out of several professional scouts.
 
"He's big and strong and competes very well in his end," NHL Central Scouting's Al Jensen told NHL.com. "He carries the puck with confidence and authority and is a strong skater. He also plays physical and will deliver the big hit now and then -- I'm even seeing a little Larry Robinson in him."

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