2011 NHL Entry Draft
2011 NHL Entry Draft Hats
(Page 8 of 23)
2011 NHL Entry Draft

Murphy believes back problem is a thing of the past

Wednesday, 06.15.2011 / 3:07 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"The most impressive thing for me about Connor Murphy was no matter if he played on an Olympic-size rink or the smaller (North American) ice surface, he had so much poise, patience and confidence. He was able to take control of high-pressure situations without any lack of any one of those three ingredients. I'm thinking to myself, 'This kid has missed so much hockey, but he's still as good a player as I've seen all around this season.'" -- Jack Barzee

Connor Murphy is a pretty bright hockey player, so he knew right away when he fell during a training camp practice that there was a problem.

"The pain came right away pretty sharp," Murphy told NHL.com. "I had something similar the year before, so I knew what to expect."

What he had was a condition known as spondylosis, a stress fracture of the L5 vertebrae. It was the same condition that limited him to just eight games in 2009-10 with the U.S. National Team Development Program's Under-17 team.

The condition didn't require surgery, but it did put him in a back brace and sideline him for five months in the most important hockey season of his career thus far.

Lowry still getting used to plus-size frame

Wednesday, 06.15.2011 / 2:57 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

When you look around for Swift Current Broncos forward Adam Lowry, he's not a hard guy to find. At 6-foot-4 and 186 pounds, he tends to stand out from the crowd.

It wasn't always like that, however.

"I'm playing with some of my bantam teammates that are on Swift Current now," Lowry told NHL.com, "and we have a picture where I'm actually a couple inches smaller than them. Now I'm probably five or six inches bigger. The last few years I've grown eight or nine inches. It's been a bit of a process learning to get coordinated again."

As Lowry has grown, his skill level has grown along with him. It may not match the rocket-ride his body has gone through, but his learning curve definitely is climbing.

Hockey Canada invites 42 to try out for Hlinka

Wednesday, 06.15.2011 / 1:09 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"These players represent the future of Canadian hockey and are a testament to the strength of the Canadian Hockey League and the skill development taking place in minor hockey associations across the country." -- Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast

Hockey Canada on Wednesday announced its 42 invitees for the 2011 National Men's Summer Under-18 Team selection camp, which will be held July 30 through Aug. 2 in Calgary.

The list consists of 24 forwards, 14 defensemen and four goalies, all of whom are competing for a spot on Canada's entry for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, which will be held in August.

"This selection camp will be competitive and exciting," Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast said. "These players represent the future of Canadian hockey and are a testament to the strength of the Canadian Hockey League and the skill development taking place in minor hockey associations across the country."

Markus Granlund: I can do anything Mikael does

Tuesday, 06.14.2011 / 4:47 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

After witnessing Mikael Granlund's perfectly executed lacrosse-style goal for eventual gold-medalist Finland in its victory against Russia in the semifinal round of the IIHF World Championship last month, the big question is whether his younger brother, Markus, would be able to execute the same type of play.
It's something NHL scouts and general managers probably were pondering as they put the younger Granlund through the interview process and then watched him undergo the fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto earlier this month.
The 5-foot-10, 169-pound playmaking specialist from Finland is No. 9 on NHL Central Scouting's ranking of European skaters eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft.

And Markus says he's already perfect the scintillating move Mikael made famous on a grander stage. However, he knows far from a copy of his brother.

Armia, Perhonen top list of best Finnish prospects

Tuesday, 06.14.2011 / 3:17 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

What are the chances as many as two players starring in Finland are taken in the opening round of the 2011 Entry Draft on June 24?
It's hard to believe the country that has provided such current NHL standouts as Teemu Selanne, Mikko Koivu, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kimmo Timonen and Niklas Backstrom has failed to produce multiple first-round picks in seven years. The last time it happened was 2004, when forwards Lauri Tukonen (No. 11, Kings), Petteri Nokelainen (No. 16, Islanders) and Lauri Korpikoski (No. 19, Rangers) were tabbed.
This year, there appears to be as many as three frontrunners at forward and a highly coveted goalie in Samu Perhonen, who NHL Central Scouting has rated No. 1 at his position among European players.

Minnesota duo to realize dreams in hometown

Tuesday, 06.14.2011 / 12:52 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The last time an Entry Draft was held in Minnesota, seven high school players from within the state were selected over a dozen rounds.

That was 1989 at the old Met Sports Center. Although the Entry Draft now is only seven rounds, it's quite possible that number will be equaled if not surpassed when one of the NHL's signature events returns to the Twin Cities on June 24-25, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Of the 10 Minnesota high school players rated among the top 178 skaters in North America by NHL Central Scouting, Mario Lucia of Wayzata High School and Joseph Labate of the Academy of Holy Angels were at the top of the list.

Who will be the first scholastic player chosen?

Reilly's vision makes him top scholastic option

Tuesday, 06.14.2011 / 12:01 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"He's smart, polished and effortless … just a highly-skilled kid. … He's dynamic and he never beats himself. If he does get beat, it's because the guy made a heck of a play on him. He's like a Timex watch -- he just keeps on playing, keeps it simple." -- Jack Barzee

Mike Reilly might not possess that intimidating look or hulking stature that's usually coveted in today's defensemen, but it's amazing what intelligence and vision can do for a top prospect along the blue line.

In his first season at the famed Shattuck-St. Mary's school in Faribault, Minn. -- after spending two seasons at the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, Minn. -- Reilly was able to elevate his draft stock down the stretch by playing a key role in Shattuck's first USA Hockey national championship in three seasons.

Despite his 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame, Reilly catapulted 13 slots to No. 52 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters for the 2011 Entry Draft. It marked the second-biggest jump by a high school player -- behind center Steven Fogarty of Edina High (42 spots to No. 90).

Ritchie's success a family affair

Monday, 06.13.2011 / 11:30 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Frank Mentesana - NHL.com Staff Writer

"I think I play the prototypical power forward game. I'm good along the boards, dependable on both ends of the ice, like to win puck battles, chip in on offense and play physical. When I play my best, it's because I'm playing physical." -- Brett Ritchie

For the Ritchies of Orangeville, Ont., hockey is a family affair. Dad serves as coach, mom as cheerleader, and the two sons as star players. And while both sons have been garnering headlines in the hockey world recently, the focus squarely will be on older son Brett at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, June 24-25 in Minnesota.

No. 36th in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, Brett Ritchie, a right wing with the Sarnia Sting, has an off-ice supporting cast that is second to none. In the early 1980s his father, Paul, played in the Ontario Hockey League, while his mother, Tammy, was a three-sport athlete, excelling in volleyball, softball, and basketball. Paul and Tammy each attended Brock University, where sports brought them together and seemingly have linked them ever since. Brett's younger brother, Nicholas, will become the third family member to play in the OHL; the 15-year-old forward was selected by the Peterborough Petes with the second choice of last month's OHL draft.

Injuries didn't affect draft status for Puempel, Murphy

Monday, 06.13.2011 / 11:15 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

A couple of high-profile, draft-eligible players rebounding from serious injuries this season were in the spotlight at the NHL Scouting Combine earlier this month in Toronto.

Even though Peterborough Petes left wing Matt Puempel and defenseman Connor Murphy of the U.S. National Team Development Program were forced to miss significant time this past season as a result of their aliments, each player came away with high marks.

Puempel, who underwent surgery to repair a bone chip on his hip in March, wasn't able to participate in all the fitness tests but did endure the grip strength, bench press, push-ups and push/pull strength exercises. He also was interviewed by 28 NHL teams and given the mandatory medical examination.

Hamilton smart enough to know what sport's for him

Monday, 06.13.2011 / 11:08 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Racing experts project a horse's potential by examining the results of its parents.

With Dougie Hamilton's bloodlines, it's pretty easy to call him a star thoroughbred in the making.

His father, Doug, won a bronze medal for Canada in rowing at the 1984 Olympics and a gold medal at the 1985 World Championship. His mother, Lynn, played on Canada's fourth-place women's basketball team at the '84 Games, and won a World Championship bronze in '86.

And his older brother, Freddie, was a fifth-round pick by the San Jose Sharks at the 2010 Draft, and after scoring 38 goals and 83 points, earned an entry-level contract with the club.
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