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2012 NHL Draft

NHL platforms set for extensive Draft coverage

Friday, 06.22.2012 / 11:02 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- NHL Network and NHL.com will continue to provide comprehensive coverage of the 2012 NHL Draft taking place at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Coverage continues today at 5:00 p.m., ET with the 2012 NHL Draft Preshow hosted by Kathryn Tappen and Brian Duff, featuring Craig Button, Peter Loubardias, EJ Hradek, and Bob Mckenzie live from the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The show will focus on interviews with the projected top five Draft picks, player profiles and team draft histories, highlights of their mock draft and predictions, interviews with players, general managers, and scouts from the draft floor and will bring viewers up-to-speed on all the latest NHL news and transactions.

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Canadiens working from unfamiliar position in draft

Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 8:05 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

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PITTSBURGH -- It's been 32 years since the Montreal Canadiens have had such a lofty selection in the NHL Draft, and in light of the disastrous season the franchise just completed, the importance of having such a high pick cannot be understated.

That importance was reflected Thursday when new general manager Marc Bergevin and amateur scouting director Trevor Timmins met with reporters.

"Santa Claus doesn't tell you who's been naughty and who's been nice," Timmins said when asked how many players were on his draft list. "So I'm not telling you either."

It was difficult to get a sense which direction the Canadiens were leaning with the No. 3 selection. Bergevin said the possibility of moving the pick is open, but neither he nor Timmins dropped any hints as to who the Habs may be favoring in that spot.

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Yakupov, Galchenyuk help each other navigate Draft

Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 7:15 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

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PITTSBURGH -- Alex Galchenyuk was waiting for a meeting with an NHL team here Wednesday. It was an interview two days before the biggest one of his life to date, and it could have had a huge influence on where he might be playing hockey in the near future.

An 18-year-old kid might be pretty nervous before such an important event, not knowing what the people sitting across the table from him are going to ask or what to say. But Galchenyuk had a bit of an advantage -- his teammate of the past two seasons, Nail Yakupov, was meeting with the team -- either the Columbus Blue Jackets or the Carolina Hurricanes -- just before him. Yakupov passed along a quick scouting report.

"He told me right away, ‘Be ready. They were pretty mean,' and stuff," Galchenyuk said.

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Prospects not concerned about Draft Day trades

Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 6:59 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- One day before the biggest night of their hockey careers, more than a dozen of the top 2012 draft-eligible prospects embarked on a leisurely riverboat cruise to PNC Park on the 600-passenger Empress.

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It was also an opportunity for the media to get to know some of the top guns available at the draft, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Consol Energy Center. Of course, one of the most discussed topics leading into Friday's opening round has been the possibility of NHL teams trading up or down in an attempt to improve their rosters.

"We've been talking about it a little bit [among ourselves] about what might happen," Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray said. "Some of the guys might have a clue and other guys don't. It's pretty tough to say what's going to happen. There are so many rumors out there about trades and moving and down, and the whole draft could just flip-flop and guys could anywhere.

"We're all keeping an open mind. We don't really want to anticipate anything."

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Top prospects say they want to step right into NHL

Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 6:56 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- The trend of players stepping from the draft stage to the NHL seems to be one that grows every year.

Seven players picked in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft played in the League this past season, with four -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog, Adam Larsson and Sean Couturier -- lasting all season.

Could that many -- or more -- from the 2012 draft do the same?

"I have a basic belief that I don't know if 18-year-olds should be playing in the League," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr told NHL.com. "But if they're ready , who's to say they can't or shouldn't?"

A growing number of teams seem to have more of a liberal approach with how they handle their newest prospects, allowing them to stick around deep into training camp and even making the opening-night roster.

So what makes a teenager ready to play in the NHL?

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Draft prospects taking questions on Twitter

Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 6:19 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

NHL.com

In the days leading up to the 2012 NHL Draft, many of the top prospects already cut their teeth through the gantlet of international media that descended on Pittsburgh.

For a select few players, that crash course in media training includes taking over the National Hockey League's Twitter feed (@NHL) for a while to interact with fans.

Prospects Morgan Rielly and Jacob Trouba began the Twitter session, which ended later Thursday afternoon with an appearance from Sarnia Sting center Alex Galchenyuk.

The interactive exchange started with Moose Jaw Warriors defenseman Rielly (@Mriles4), who kicked off his time on the NHL Twitter feed by admitting he was "enjoying the heat in Pittsburgh," referring more to Thursday's soaring temperatures than the impending pressures of draft day.

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Top NHL prospects take their swings at PNC Park

Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 5:58 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- It sounded great off the bat, and Jacob Trouba watched with hope as the ball sailed toward the left field wall at PNC Park. One of his family members said, "that's got a chance."

Alas, the longest of Trouba's fly balls Thursday landed just in front of the warning track, bouncing before glancing off the wall. While the other six top prospects for the 2012 NHL Draft were just trying to make decent contact, Trouba was swinging for the fences during a special batting practice session at the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"He put a little nitro-charge into one that one-hopped the wall in the deepest part in that gap out there," said Pirates pitching coach Jeff Banister, who was tasked with tossing BP to the prospects.

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Tambellini won't tip hand on No. 1 pick

Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 5:52 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- While Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini didn't admit who his

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organization has targeting with the No. 1 overall pick for the 2012 NHL Draft on Friday, he did offer a few tidbits during a Thursday media gathering.

First, he's received plenty of inquiries regarding that coveted No. 1 choice but nothing "good enough to make me think about discussing it with our staff." Second, the Oilers scouting department, headed by chief amateur scout Stu MacGregor, has been "very" consistent with their assessment of who the top pick should be.

"Our scouting staff has been very consistent from the halfway meetings to those meetings in the spring," Tambellini said. "A few things moved around, as always, but big picture, they're consistent with their direction and what they believe, in the end, the rankings will be. So I'm very comfortable with Stu's assessment."

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Lesson learned could pave Matheson's way to NHL

Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 1:03 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

"It would be great to be able to go in the first round, but it is a very deep defensemen class. If it does happen that would be great, because it's a huge honor to be with the type of players being drafted this year. But at the end of the day it's just a draft, and it doesn't mean you're any more or any less of a player." -- Michael Matheson

Michael Matheson had never known what it was like to be anything less than a dominant hockey player, but now that he's been challneged on the ice the young defenseman headed to Boston College in the fall is right back on the path of dominance he's traveled his entire life.

Matheson left his home of Pointe-Claire, Que. -- a suburb in the western part of the island of Montreal -- around this time last year to go to Dubuque, Iowa to play in the United States Hockey League, foregoing his status as the top prospect available in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft to pursue his dream of playing collegiate hockey.

But after years of dominating every level of minor hockey in Quebec, Matheson was faced with a situation in the USHL where his talent did not set him apart nearly as much as it had before, and the adjustment was a difficult one for him to make.

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Guelph forward Kosmachuk has fun on way to draft

Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 12:13 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Deborah Francisco - NHL.com Staff Writer

When Guelph right wing Scott Kosmachuk was recruited to play for the Toronto Marlboros at age 7, he had one simple goal in mind: have fun.

Not much has changed for Kosmachuk in 11 years -- having fun is still the defining factor in his game -- but as he heads to Pittsburgh for the 2012 NHL Draft, it's working in his favor more than ever.

"You play hockey obviously because you love it, not because you're made to," Kosmachuk told NHL.com. "I play because I love it, it's really fun for me, it's something that I enjoy doing. If you let the pressure get to you, then you're not playing for yourself."

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2012 NHL Draft