2011 NHL Entry Draft
2011 NHL Entry Draft Hats
(Page 5 of 23)
2011 NHL Entry Draft

Hawks, Leafs, Senators lead way with 11 picks

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 2:50 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Emily Kaplan - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators will be quite busy this weekend.

Each of those three organizations have stockpiled 11 picks -- tops in the NHL -- for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, which kicks off with the opening round on June 24 (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, NHL Network) at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Of Chicago's 11 picks, six are over the first three rounds. While Toronto also has 11 picks, five of its selections are in Rounds 6 and 7. Toronto will be busy Friday for Round 1 as they own the 25th overall pick (via Flyers) and the 30th overall pick (via Bruins).

First round full of intriguing possibilities

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 10:22 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. PAUL, MN. -- For the second straight year, the Edmonton Oilers are on the clock with the first pick of the NHL Entry Draft.
And while General Manager Steve Tambellini has several options, the name that keeps popping up as the unanimous choice among NHL scouts and fellow GM's is Red Deer Rebels center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
"Nugent-Hopkins, I think, is the clear consensus No. 1 but that's not what I would call a marquee name," Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke said. "He's going to be a good player. In terms of depth after the first four or five picks (this year), we really like this group a lot."
Tambellini will actually have two selections in the opening round on June 24 (7 p.m ET, VERSUS, TSN, NHL Network) at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., when the draft returns to the Twin Cities for the first time since 1989.

Simonelli living a dream by playing at Wisconsin

Tuesday, 06.21.2011 / 5:11 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

When Frankie Simonelli first stepped foot in the University of Wisconsin's Kohl Center as a teenager, he promised himself he would play in front of that raucous crowd one day.

"It was my motivation to play college hockey, especially growing up in the United States and going to Badgers games growing up," Simonelli told NHL.com "I grew up dreaming of playing against North Dakota and Denver, and the next thing I knew, I was in the locker room (for Wisconsin), suiting up for those big games. It's a surreal experience for me."

Now, with his freshman season in Madison under his belt, the 18-year-old has emerged as one of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's most talented prospects entering the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Faceoff skills one of Jenner's many talents

Tuesday, 06.21.2011 / 4:40 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Chris DePierro has been with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League since 2006, and has been involved in coaching since the 1990s. That level of experience has told him players like Boone Jenner come around only so often, so he knows to appreciate them when he has them.

"The best way I'll describe Boone Jenner is he's a player," DePierro, the Generals' coach and general manager, told NHL.com. "I use that as a compliment in every way. The way he conducts himself on the ice, off the ice, his character, his ability to play the game -- everything about him is a hockey player."

Jenner had 25 goals and 41 assists in 63 regular-season games for the Generals this past season, and added 7 goals and 5 assists in 10 playoff games. However, the statistics alone aren't the reason Jenner is No. 18 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2011 Entry Draft.

Two GMs differ in opinion on draft's evaluation

Tuesday, 06.21.2011 / 3:14 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"I think (the 2011 Draft) lacks the real difference-makers. I think we were able to look at the last few drafts and say, 'At 25th or 26th, is there a difference maker there?' and I think there were more available. I think there are few in this draft, and I'm hoping one is sitting there when we pick." -- Washington Capitals GM George McPhee

It's funny how two general managers residing in the same conference and owning just one selection in the opening three rounds of the 2011 Entry Draft can have such a different opinion when it comes to evaluating this year's group of draft-eligible prospects.
In one corner there's Washington Capitals GM George McPhee, who has just one pick (No. 26) in the top 91 choices. In the other is Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, who must wait until the 84th selection before finally announcing a name.
The Caps earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference in 2010-11 but fell in the second round of the playoffs to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now, McPhee will look to unveil another late-round gem as he's done so many times before.

Busy offseason ahead for San Jose

Tuesday, 06.21.2011 / 2:29 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Sharks had their sights set on Logan Couture in the 2007 Entry Draft, but they knew he'd be long gone before their turn arrived at No. 28 in the first round.

So general manager Doug Wilson went to work. He traded forward Mark Bell and goalie Vesa Toskala to Toronto for the Maple Leafs' first- and second-round picks -- Nos. 13 and 44, respectively -- and a fourth-rounder in 2009. Then he swapped those first- and second-round picks to St. Louis for the No. 9 choice and drafted Couture.

Three years later, Couture is a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy after a spectacular rookie season.

Stars sticking to simple approach in draft

Tuesday, 06.21.2011 / 12:47 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

"I think the philosophy has always been to take the best player. Your needs certainly change as you go along and I think if you draft for need, you're looking for trouble. The game is always evolving and I think if you take the best players that are available with your selection, it leaves you with the best opportunity to move forward." -- Joe Nieuwendyk

DALLAS --This will be the third draft for Joe Nieuwendyk as the Dallas Stars' general manager, and he said he's learned plenty from his previous two drafts.

"First of all, you have to have a lot of trust with your scouting staff and I certainly do," he said. "We've done some good things over the years. After we built that Cup-winning team (in 1999), this franchise and this organization never really went to the bottom in order to rebuild again like a lot of teams -- Washington, Chicago, Pittsburgh -- and I think it's a credit to our scouts. They face challenges like anybody. When you're trying to maintain a level of success, you end up moving a lot of picks and prospects in order to do that."

Avs' scout Pracey: 'Our decision has been made'

Tuesday, 06.21.2011 / 12:46 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

"In our minds we've made our list; the order has been set and everything has been taken care of. We just have to wait and see how the draft unfolds. But our mind and our decision has been made, yes." -- Rick Pracey

DENVER -- Without tipping his hand, Colorado Avalanche Chief Amateur Scout Rick Pracey said Monday that he and his staff have decided which player to select with the second pick of the 2011 Entry Draft, which starts Friday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

"In our minds we've made our list; the order has been set and everything has been taken care of," Pracey said during a conference call with local reporters. "We just have to wait and see how the draft unfolds. But our mind and our decision has been made, yes."

Bargain-hunting a key in today's NHL

Tuesday, 06.21.2011 / 12:03 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

NHL teams expect their top draft picks to become impact players, if not stars. Teams that struggle often are the ones who have swung and missed a couple of times on high draft picks.

But as the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins showed in winning the Stanley Cup the past two years, getting production from players picked at the draft who were household names only in their own households is important as well.

Chicago had three of its own first-round picks -- Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook -- in the lineup for its Cup-winning victory against the Philadelphia Flyers last year. But the Hawks that night also had two players -- Dustin Byfuglien and Troy Brouwer -- who were picked in the seventh round or later: Byfuglien was chosen No. 245 in 2003, while Brouwer was No. 214 in 2004. Adam Burish, who played earlier in the Final but sat out the final three games of the series, was taken with the 282nd pick in 2002.

The Bruins had a host of players who were taken in the lower end of the Entry Draft -- most notably Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas, who went in the ninth round (to Quebec) in 1994. Others Bruins who went late in the draft before coming to Boston included Tomas Kaberle, Andrew Ference and Michael Ryder (eighth round), Shawn Thornton (seventh round) and Dennis Seidenberg (sixth round). In fact, the Bruins had just four first-round picks on their roster, and of that group only rookie center Tyler Seguin actually was drafted by Boston.

Dallas Ice Jets set the bar for southwest hockey

Tuesday, 06.21.2011 / 10:50 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Deborah Francisco - NHL.com Staff Writer

Dallas Ice Jets coach Karson Kaebel instilled one thought in his young players over the years:

"You reap what you sow, that was our big rallying cry," Kaebel told NHL.com. "Every time we were working out, we would talk about sowing seeds and working hard, and one day these guys are going to get that harvest."

With the 2011 Entry Draft just days away, it appears the harvest might be ready, both for the Dallas Ice Jets and for hockey in the southwest region. In fact, more than 10 prospects in this year's draft hail from the southwest, making it the largest-ever draft class from that region -- including three alums of the Dallas Ice Jets program. The talented group of prospects is a testament to the growth and development of ice hockey in Arizona and Texas over the last decade.
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