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2012 NHL Draft

CHL Top Prospects Skills rosters announced

Tuesday, 01.31.2012 / 9:33 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

KELOWNA, B.C. - Everett Silvertips captain Ryan Murray considers passing ability to be one of his strongest assets as a top-flight defenseman in the Western Hockey League.
During the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Skills Competition on Tuesday here at Prospera Place, he'll have an opportunity to showcase his shot, though. Murray, rated No. 3 among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting's midterm report, will be one of eight players taking part in the hardest-shot competition as the first of four shooters for Team Cherry.
Tuesday's skills competition, a prelude to the Top Prospects Game to be played Wednesday, is slated to begin at 10 p.m. ET.

Injuries knock Maatta, Ceci from Top Prospects

Monday, 01.30.2012 / 9:22 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

One of the common themes for the 2012 NHL Draft has been injuries to some of the elite prospects, and this week's Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game has not been immune.

On Sunday, two of the top defensemen and one of the more exciting forwards were removed from the game's roster due to injury

Defenseman Olli Maatta of the London Knights and Cody Ceci of the Ottawa 67s, and forward Charles Hudon of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens will miss the two-day event in Kelowna, B.C.

Murray, Sissons named Top Prospects captains

Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 5:10 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray, No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the best North American skaters eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft, has been named captain of Team Cherry for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

Kelowna Rockets forward Colten Sissons, No. 14 on Central Scouting's list, will serve as captain for Team Orr.

Forty of the best draft-eligible players will face off at Prospera Place in Kelowna, B.C., for the Top Prospects Game, which will be held Jan. 31 to Feb. 1.

Murray, the highest-rated Western Hockey League player on Central Scouting's rankings, also serves as captain of the Silvertips. He has 7 goals and 12 assists in 23 games, and was one of two draft-eligible players to skate for Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Belleville Bulls forward Brendan Gaunce and Halifax Mooseheads forward Martin Frk were named as alternate captains for Team Cherry.

Grigorenko, Murray, Subban set for Prospects Game

Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 3:03 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Expect hundreds of NHL scouts and general managers to convene in Western Canada next week when the 17th annual Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is held at Prospera Place in Kelowna, B.C.

"The top prospects game is an event that all NHL scouts look forward to attending," NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr said. "The 40 players competing in this game were chosen by the 30 NHL clubs, with the game being a unique opportunity to evaluate 40 of the top draft-eligible prospects on a single stage in what has annually become an intense competition."

The rosters include many of the top players recognized on NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings for North American players, including seven of the top 10 players on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters, and four of Central Scouting's top six goaltenders.

USHL's best shine at Top Prospects Game

Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 12:24 PM / 2012 NHL Draft


In the debut of the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, the United States' top junior league served up an instant classic.

Indiana Ice standout Robert Baillargeon scored two goals as and the East came away with a hard-fought 5-3 victory Tuesday at L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Mich.

Baillargeon's Indiana teammate, goalie Jon Gillies, made 15 saves for the East team. Gillies is rated as the No. 4 goaltender -- and No. 1 U.S.-born -- in NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings of the top prospects for the 2012 NHL Draft.

The game featured 40 of the top players in the USHL, including 37 who are eligible for the 2012 Draft. Besides Baillargeon and Gillies, also in the game were Green Bay defenseman Jordan Schmaltz, No. 37 on Central Scouting's midterm rank of North American skaters; Muskegon forward Matthew DeBlouw (No. 43) and Fargo defenseman Brian Cooper (No. 51).

All-USA Hockey Prospects Showcase in the works

Friday, 01.20.2012 / 2:37 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

In an effort to further promote the top American-born, draft-eligible hockey players competing throughout North America, USA Hockey and College Hockey Inc. have joined forces in planning the inaugural All-American Hockey Prospects Showcase game next fall.

According to Paul Kelly, executive director of College Hockey Inc., the game likely would take place Sept. 28 and would include 40-50 of the top 18-year-old players eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft competing in the United States Hockey League, including the U.S. National Team Development Program, as well as prospects from U.S. high schools, prep schools and NCAA programs.

Passion to play drives Girgensons to be the best

Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 12:57 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Zemgus Girgensons of the United States Hockey League's Dubuque Fighting Saints possesses a lethal combination of skill and will.

"He was the most competitive 17-year-old kid I've ever been around, and it didn't matter if you were in the weight room or on the ice," Dubuque head coach Jim Montgomery told NHL.com. "He wants to be a difference-maker and he wants to help his team in any shape or form that he can."

Girgensons, who turned 18 on Jan. 5, has certainly lived up to his billing as a powerful 6-foot-1 1/2, 198-pound center. He finished third on Dubuque with 49 points, including 21 goals, in 51 games last season en route to being selected to the midseason Western Conference All-Stars. He's produced 13 goals, 27 points and a plus-6 rating in 24 games this campaign, while racking up a team-high 91 shots on goal.

USHL's new top prospects game expands visibility

Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 12:42 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The United States Hockey League is determined to keep the coals hot when it comes to producing quality athletes with great potential for NHL scouts and general managers.

After having a record 28 players from the USHL selected at the 2011 NHL Draft at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., there's no reason to believe that number couldn't increase this year when the draft is staged at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on June 22-23.

In an attempt to help facilitate that process, the league will host its inaugural USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 24 at the newly renovated L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Mich., home to the USHL's Lumberjacks. Game time is 7:15 p.m. ET.

Injury replacements named for Top Prospects Game

Wednesday, 01.18.2012 / 5:00 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Canadian Hockey League on Wednesday announced that three players have been added to the rosters for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, scheduled for Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, B.C.

All three players represent the Western Hockey League.

Center Mike Winther of the Prince Albert Raiders and left wing Tim Bozon of the Kamloops Blazers will be added to the Team Cherry roster, while right wing Branden Troock of the Seattle Thunderbirds will play for Team Orr.

Scouting director goes inside midterm rankings

Wednesday, 01.11.2012 / 3:40 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

So how close was the voting that ultimately had Nail Yakupov ahead of Mikhail Grigorenko on NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings to determine the top North American players eligible for the 2012 Draft?

According to first-year Central Scouting director Dan Marr, "thisclose."

In fact, at this point in the season, Yakupov of the Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting and Grigorenko of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Quebec Remparts could easily be considered exhibits 1-A and 1-B. At least that's what Marr said Wednesday afternoon, just hours after the release of the midterm report that had Yakupov and Grigorenko, teammates for the silver medal-winning Russian Junior National Team at the World Junior Championship, first and second, respectively.
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2012 NHL Draft