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2013 NHL Draft

Drouin rode meteoric rise into draft year

Friday, 04.05.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Not many teenage players can claim going from midget AAA to major juniors to a first-line role for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship in the span of a year.

Then again, forward Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is unlike many forwards eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft.

For starters, he has never experienced the mental anguish associated with being cut from a sports team.

While Drouin may be slightly overshadowed by linemate and highly regarded center Nathan MacKinnon in Halifax this season, some scouts wouldn't be surprised if he earned a roster spot on an NHL team right out of training camp next fall.

"If he went to training camp in September and made a team out of training camp, I don't think anyone would be surprised," NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr told NHL.com.

Central Scouting set to debate final draft rankings

Friday, 04.05.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Will defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League maintain his grasp as the top draft-eligible prospect in North America?

Is Nathan MacKinnon still considered the best pro prospect for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Halifax Mooseheads?

Are Finland's Aleksander Barkov and Sweden's Elias Lindholm still considered the Crème de la Crème among the European contingent?

These questions will certainly be answered in earnest on June 30 when the 2013 NHL Draft is held at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

In the meantime, the top evaluators at NHL Central Scouting, headed by director Dan Marr, will don their thinking caps and meet one final time in Toronto to establish their final rankings of the top 210 North American skaters and 30 goalies. The five-day selection process begins Friday. From a separate location, the Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb, will offer his recommendations to Marr on the top 120-plus European skaters and 10 goalies.

The final rankings release will be made official later this month.

NHL scouts agree -- Jones will be No. 1 pick

Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The gurus of NHL Central Scouting will put the finishing touches on their final rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft when their final meetings start Friday.

While those final ratings won't be released until later this month, NHL.com couldn't wait that long. In the interim, two veteran NHL scouts -- one representing a team from each conference -- were asked to provide their first-round projections in exchange for anonymity.

The following two mock drafts might very well be the closest thing you'll see anywhere on the Internet in terms of how the opening round of the 2013 Draft might pan out.

Things certainly will change between now and when the teams congregate at Prudential Center on June 30 for the annual selection extravaganza, but our Eastern and Western scouts were more than willing to give it a shot.

Little things make Lazar big-time prospect

Wednesday, 03.27.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Curtis Lazar is a big believer in doing the little things that help a good team become great.

The 5-foot-11.75, 193-pound forward and top 2013 NHL Draft prospect certainly has done just that this season, his second with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League.

Following an inauspicious start this season, when he had eight goals and 17 points in 27 games, Lazar finished strong, totaling 30 goals and 44 points in his final 45 games. His 38 goals led the team, and his 61 points were fifth.

"He had a dry spell for a while, but when he was on, he was around the puck and creating stuff all game," NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told NHL.com. "He can certainly take advantage of his opportunities."

Monahan developed thanks to ex-teammates' help

Wednesday, 03.20.2013 / 10:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Sean Monahan had quite an advantage in his first two Ontario Hockey League seasons, getting to play alongside three of the finest prospects in the league.

As it turns out, time with Tyler Toffoli, Shane Prince and Cody Ceci with the Ottawa 67's has given Monahan the extra tools needed to incorporate into his repertoire as captain of the team.

Monahan had 53 goals and 125 points in 127 games beside Toffoli, Prince and Ceci in his first two OHL seasons. Toffoli and Prince started their professional careers prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, while Ceci, who was a co-captain with Monahan at the start of season, was traded to the Owen Sound Attack in January.

Next big move in Erne's career will be to NHL

Wednesday, 03.13.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

As an American playing in Quebec City the past two seasons, Adam Erne hasn't been the least bit overwhelmed.

It probably stems from the fact the 6-foot-1, 195-pound left wing for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has been a roadie for much of his hockey-playing life.

"My dad [Erik] had me skating before I could walk, but I've always played far away," Erne told NHL.com. "I played an hour away when I was a mite, and over an hour away as a squirt."

Domi's hard work, skill make him top Draft prospect

Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 11:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Following in the footsteps of a father considered by many to be one of the NHL's toughest players never has been that big a deal in the eyes of London Knights forward Max Domi.

The biggest obstacle for the 5-foot-9.25, 193-pound Domi? Coping with Type 1 diabetes in an attempt to play the sport he loves.

"It's not the easiest thing to handle, but as you go on with it and gain experience, it gets easier," Domi told NHL.com. "You just have to embrace it and kind of take it head-on. You can't look at it as adversity. It's something you can't change, so you kind of use it in order to better yourself as a person."

2013 NHL Draft Lottery and NHL Draft information

All seven rounds of Draft to be held on Sunday, June 30, in New Jersey

Monday, 03.04.2013 / 2:00 PM / 2013 NHL Draft


NEW YORK -- The 2013 NHL Draft Lottery, to be held this year on Monday, April 29, will be the first in NHL history where all 14 clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or the clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff clubs, will have a chance at winning the right to the first overall selection. Under the previous lottery system, only the five teams with the fewest points in the standings had the opportunity to win the first overall selection as rules dictated no team could move up more than four spots.

The NHL Draft Lottery is a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2013 NHL Draft. Teams finishing with the fewest points during the regular season possess the greatest chance of winning the right to the first pick in the NHL Draft. Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, are placed in a lottery machine. The machine expels four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls is matched against a probability chart that divides the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs.

Button talks Drouin, other draft prospects to watch

Friday, 03.01.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL Network and TSN analyst Craig Button believes one of the biggest mistakes a general manager can make at the draft is underestimating the value of smaller players.

"You have to have the courage to be right," Button told NHL.com. "Knowing you could be wrong but having the courage to be right is the way to go. The majority of mistakes made at the draft are based on overestimating the bigger players and underestimating the smaller guys."

For seven seasons, Button served as the director of scouting for the Dallas Stars, and then two seasons as the director of player personnel with the organization. He went on to serve as vice president and general manager of the Calgary Flames from 2000-01 through 2002-03, and was also a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2004.

Smoskowitz sees career revival in Mississauga

Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 2:58 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

When Dylan Smoskowitz joined the Mississauga Steelheads this season, he wasn't sure what to expect.

Not long into his first game, he was sure he was in the right place.

"Took me about four shifts until I got my first goal," Smoskowitz told NHL.com, and he hasn't stopped scoring since, with a team-high 30 goals, which ranks him 19th in the Ontario Hockey League and sixth among 2013 NHL Draft-eligible players in the league.

Besides leading his team in goals, the 5-foot-10.75, 169-pound center is second on the team with 51 points, and also has team-high totals of 12 power-play goals and a plus-6 rating.

Not bad for a player who was watching the first few games of the season from his parents' house in Richmond Hill, Ont.

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