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2013 NHL Draft

Jones, QMJHLers headline first 2013 Mock Draft

Monday, 02.25.2013 / 12:00 PM / 2013 NHL Draft


The 2013 NHL Draft has been regarded as one of the deepest of recent memory, with talented players at every position.

How will teams sift through all that talent? We won't know for sure until the end of June, when all 30 teams convene at Prudential Center for the draft. However, that won't stop the draft experts at NHL.com from making their guesses.

Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Steven Hoffner have analyzed the prospects and all 30 NHL teams and made their best guesses at which players could end up with which teams.

The draft order for this exercise is based on the League standings at the end of games on Friday, Feb. 22. Included in that order are three picks for the Columbus Blue Jackets -- their pick; the Los Angeles Kings' pick, acquired last season in the Jeff Carter trade; and the New York Rangers' pick, acquired as part of the Rick Nash trade this past summer.

Size, mobility give Zadorov 'unlimited potential'

Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 12:00 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

In nearly 13 years of owning the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, Mark Hunter has seen a number of players go from his organization to NHL stardom, among them Patrick Kane, John Tavares, Corey Perry and Rick Nash, so he has a pretty solid grasp of what it takes for a player to make it to the big time.

And when he watches defenseman Nikita Zadorov, he sees another player ready to make that leap.

"His potential is unlimited," Hunter told NHL.com. "When you see him skate in practice and games, you don't see a guy that nimble for that size, 6-5 or 6-6."

The 6-foot-5.25, 230-pound blueliner has three goals and 18 points in 51 games in his first season with the Knights, and his team-best plus-30 rating is seventh in the league and tops among first-year OHL players. And for a player who enjoys playing physically and using his size and strength to his advantage, he only has 46 penalty minutes.

NHL Central Scouting placed him No. 30 in its midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft.

Halifax's Fucale stealing some of the draft spotlight

Wednesday, 02.13.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Halifax Mooseheads goalie Zachary Fucale considers it an honor to be mentioned in the same breath as teammates Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin.

It's also pretty special to be considered the No. 1 ranked goalie among 2013 NHL Draft-eligible players on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list -- something Fucale doesn't take for granted.

"There's a lot of hockey left to be played and all I can control right now is contributing to my team's success, playing as good as I can," Fucale told NHL.com. "If I get two shots or 45 shots, my job is still the same: I have to stop all of them. I'll work every single day to make sure I accomplish my role on the team."

Valk's continued improvement catching scouts' notice

Wednesday, 02.06.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

For Curtis Valk, the road to success hasn't been a sprint. More like a nice walk that has turned into a gradual jog, and continues to pick up speed as he goes.

After two seasons of waiting for his opportunity, the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Medicine Hat forward has made the most of it. He's seventh in the Western Hockey League with 32 goals and 10th with 67 points, and his 11 power-play goals lead the team.

"I think his commitment and his hockey sense and his work ethic have allowed him to gradually become the player that he's become," Medicine Hat coach Shaun Clouston told NHL.com. "It always seems like it’s a breakout, but we've seen him at 17 and at 18 and now at 19. For the outsiders it's like all of a sudden something changed, but for me he's continually worked at getting better and better, and now everything is lined up -- the opportunity, a little bit of extra strength. He understands how he has to play. It's just been a great season for him."

Size, versatility make Hartman a standout prospect

Wednesday, 01.30.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

When the final buzzer sounded in the gold-medal game of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, United States forward Ryan Hartman had an indescribable feeling.

"I saw a few guys crying and it kind of got the best of me," Hartman told NHL.com. "I believe I was the first one to jump on [goalie] John Gibson. I saw the look in his eyes … he was on the team that finished seventh [in 2012], and to finish on top this time was awesome. He looked so relieved."

The same could be said of Hartman, who was a tower of strength as a third-line grinder for U.S.  coach Phil Housley. He did everything asked of him, producing two goals, three points and a plus-4 rating in seven games.

Portland's Jones earns top spot in midterm rankings

Tuesday, 01.15.2013 / 10:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer


What are the odds a defenseman is selected with the first pick at the NHL Draft for the first time in seven years?

With Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones in the cross-hairs of every NHL scout and general manager this season, the odds appear to be pretty good.

At least that's what NHL Central Scouting believes based on its mid-term rankings, released Tuesday, when the 6-foot-3.5, 208-pound blueliner from the Western Hockey League was listed as the No. 1 skater among North American players eligible for the 2013 Draft.

Halifax trio at forefront of midterm rankings

Tuesday, 01.15.2013 / 10:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer


HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon admits he hasn't thought much about the ovation he and teammates Jonathan Drouin and Zachary Fucale might receive when they take the ice for pregame warmups in preparation for Wednesday's 2013 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at the Metro Centre.

Still, he did predict one thing.

"I guess it'll be a little louder than usual and we'll be excited to be a part of it," MacKinnon told NHL.com.

Medicine Hat's Shinkaruk driven to be the best

Monday, 12.10.2012 / 2:30 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

As captain for the Medicine Hat Tigers, forward Hunter Shinkaruk doesn't consider himself to be the loudest guy in the locker room.

He prefers getting his point across in other ways.

"Every day when I come to the rink, I want to make sure I'm the best player in practice … enhancing my game and being a good example to my teammates in the process," Shinkaruk told NHL.com.

Shinkaruk's passion for the game is contagious, no doubt. The smile on his face each time he steps on the ice is as palpable as the determined effort he'll provide each and every shift during a game.

"Every time I'm at the rink I'm in a positive mood and I just love to be out there, and I think that type of attitude really rubs off on my teammates," he said. "I'm always trying to make sure that I'm the best to kind of set a standard for the younger guys to feed off. Even though I'm wearing the 'C', we have a great locker room full of leaders and we all help each other."

Val-d'Or's Mantha has brain and brawn for hockey

Thursday, 12.06.2012 / 12:30 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Take one look at Anthony Mantha on the ice, and you won't need to be a seasoned hockey scout to immediately see that the hulking left wing for the Val-d'Or Foreurs has everything a young player needs to one day reach his goal of playing in the NHL.

At 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, Mantha's high-end skill and skating ability will jump out to even the most casual fan, particularly when he's producing at the prolific rates that have had him among the top 10 scorers in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League practically the entire season.

But his coach in Val-d'Or, Mario Durocher, says it is a side of Mantha that fans and even most scouts don't get to see that has him most impressed.

"He's a very intelligent kid. It's great talking hockey with him," Durocher told NHL.com. "He's always asking the right questions in practice and even pointing things out that we might have missed sometimes."

Bjorkstrand makes quick adjustment to Portland, WHL

Wednesday, 12.05.2012 / 3:10 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

How did the Portland Winterhawks discover Oliver Bjorkstrand? Simple -- they watched him on TV.

The talent they first saw on the screen about a year ago has manifested itself on the ice as Bjorkstrand has shown a wider audience a skill set that has allowed him to develop into a top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft.

A 5-foot-10.5, 167-pound right wing, Bjorkstrand leads all first-year Western Hockey League players with 14 goals, and is tied for the top spot in points with 27. His four power-play goals are tied for second on the Winterhawks, and he has a plus-20 rating in 28 games.

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