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2012 NHL Draft

NHL.com draft experts pick the first round of the Draft

Monday, 02.06.2012 / 12:00 PM / 2012 NHL Draft


In about five months, 30 NHL teams will have to make their choices at the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh.

NHL.com, however, has decided to make its choices a bit sooner.

NHL.com's draft experts -- Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Steven Hoffner -- have taken their best guesses at what the teams will do in the first round of this year's draft.

Faksa showing game translates easily to N. America

Monday, 02.06.2012 / 11:10 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Through 43 games with the Rangers, Radek Faksa has 22 goals, 48 points and a plus-18 rating. (Photo: Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Radek Faksa had to think long and hard before finally writing down the number he hoped would impress Kitchener Rangers coach and general manager Steve Spott.

Prior to his initial season in the Ontario Hockey League, Spott asked his first-year import from the Czech Republic to jot down the number of goals he thought he would score as a rookie in Kitchener. Faksa predicted 15; Spott had other plans.

"I had 15 goals before the season but he crossed that out and put 25," Faksa told NHL.com. "I already have passed that 15-goal mark, so maybe it's possible. I didn't believe him."

Spott confirmed the exchange for NHL.com.

"I did do that," he said. "I think if there's any negative to Radek Faksa, it's his humility. He doesn't realize how good he could be. He's very respectful and I think sometimes just doesn't give himself enough credit.

Yakupov suspended for skipping Top Prospects Game

Saturday, 02.04.2012 / 1:03 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Sarnia Sting forward Nail Yakupov, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American skater, has been suspended for two games for skipping the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

The announcement was made Friday by Canadian Hockey League president and Ontario Hockey League commissioner David Branch prior to the Sting's game against the Plymouth Whalers.

"We believe he could've been there," Branch told the London Free Press. "This is a tremendous event. There were 300 scouts and NHL general managers in attendance and fans who came to see 40 of the best hockey prospects in the world."

Yakupov, who has 22 goals and 33 assists in 29 games, also will sit out Thursday's game at the Barrie Colts. He'll be eligible to return for the Sting's game Feb. 11 at Sudbury.

Top Prospects Game marked by physical play

Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 3:29 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

KELOWNA, B.C. -- Thomas Wilson said his goal coming into the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game was to get a few hits early in the game to set the tone.

The big Plymouth Whalers forward did just that early and often Wednesday night here at Prospera Place.

Wilson, a 6-foot-3 1/2, 203-pound right wing playing for Team Cherry, started early with a pair of big hits on Team Orr defenseman Gianluca Curcuruto, then continued in the second when he blasted forward Lukas Sutter

Late goal gives Team Orr win at Top Prospects Game

Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 3:02 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

KELOWNA, B.C. -- If the 2012 CHL/NHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game at Prospera Place proved anything, it's that defense will likely reign supreme in the early rounds of the NHL Draft on June 22-23 in Pittsburgh.
In a game that saw only three goals but two tremendous fights, Branden Troock of the Seattle Thunderbirds proved to be difference Wednesday night when he skated through the crease and scored a power-play goal with just 24.5 seconds remaining in the third period to give Team Orr to a 2-1 victory over Team Cherry. It was the lowest-scoring result in the 17-year history of the game.
"When I came off the bench, I knew there was only about 30 seconds left and saw [Derrick] Pouliot coming up the middle with the puck," Troock said. "I decided to get my feet moving and called for the puck on the outside. As soon as I got over the blue line, I had a step on their D-man, so I took it to the net and got the greasy one."

Troock comes up big in Top Prospects Game

Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 2:52 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

KELOWNA, B.C. -- Branden Troock certainly made the most of his time at the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

Troock, a right wing with the Seattle Thunderbirds, set up Team Orr's first goal and scored the game-winner with 24.5 seconds left to give Team Orr a 2-1 victory against Team Cherry. Not bad for a player only added as an injury replacement.

"It's just an honor to be named to this team at any point," said Troock, who took home a Jim Gregory Award for being named Team Orr's player of the game "It's a great experience and you learn a lot from the coaches and playing on the same ice with all these skilled players. It's just such an honor."

Recchi on prospects, retired life, HOF comparisons

Wednesday, 02.01.2012 / 8:28 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

KELOWNA, B.C. - Three-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Recchi is having a blast serving as one of the coaches at the 2012 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

Recchi will lead Team Cherry when it takes the ice Wednesday for the Top Prospects Game (10 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet).

"You could tell just by how he is around the guys in the locker room that he's a former hockey player," Brendan Gaunce of the Belleville Bulls told NHL.com. "He took out his three Stanley Cup rings and what a sight that was. Each of those rings takes up your whole finger. I thought the ring I won as a ninth-grader playing football in the Metro Bowl was pretty big, but that had one stone and those Stanley Cup rings had something like 25 stones … I've never seen anything like it."

Ebert's blast highlights prospects skills competition

Wednesday, 02.01.2012 / 2:15 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

KELOWNA, B.C. -- The NHL stars of tomorrow took center stage Tuesday at Prospera Place during the skills competition at the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
The event was a prelude to the Top Prospects Game, scheduled here Wednesday (10 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet).
Among the top-rated players on the ice were forwards Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Remparts, Radek Faksa of the Kitchener Rangers and Martin Frk of the Halifax Mooseheads, along with defensemen Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips, Mathew Dumba of the Red Deer Rebels and Griffin Reinhart of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Injuries force changes at Top Prospects game

Wednesday, 02.01.2012 / 2:11 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

KELOWNA, B.C. -- The injury bug certainly reaped havoc on the rosters for the 17th CHL/NHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game, which is slated for Wednesday at Prospera Place.
In fact, seven players had to be replaced for the game (10 p.m. ET, NHLN-US) due to injury and an eighth -- London Knights defenseman Olli Maatta -- is suffering from the flu. Maatta was recently ranked No. 6 among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting's midterm release in January.
There were six players among the top 42 rated North Americans unable to go, including No. 1 Nail Yakupov (knee) of the Sarnia Sting, No. 16 Cody Ceci (stiff back) of the Ottawa 67's, No. 17 Slater Koekkoek (shoulder) of the Peterborough Petes, No. 21 Jarrod Maidens (concussion) of the Owen Sound Attack, Matia Marcantuoni (shoulder) of the Kitchener Rangers, and the No. 1-rated North American goalie, Malcolm Subban (groin) of the Belleville Bulls.

Niederreiter inspired Bozon's Breakaway attempt

Wednesday, 02.01.2012 / 1:29 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

KELOWNA, B.C. -- At the skills competition at the 2010 Top Prospects Game, Nino Niederreiter put on a show in the Breakaway Challenge, tossing his glove while skating in and scoring one-handed.

Watching was Tim Bozon, who, like Niederreiter, is a native of Switzerland. He decided he wanted to work on his own one-handed move, and spent two years figuring out a way to best his countryman.

Tuesday at the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, Bozon, in his first season as a forward with the Kamloops Blazers, showed off his pet move.
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2012 NHL Draft