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2013 NHL Draft

Twists and turns at draft deliver Jones to Predators

Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 9:58 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- When Nashville Predators general manager David Poile found out he had the fourth pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, he was excited because he felt there were four great players in this class.

When it came time to make his pick Sunday at Prudential Center, Poile was ecstatic.

Three players were selected before it was Poile's turn, but he still ended up with the player who was No. 1 on Nashville's draft board, and defenseman Seth Jones landing with the Predators was the first surprising twist of draft day.

"I wish I wouldn't have to say, 'I can't believe the player was there,' but we had Seth Jones rated No. 1. We think he is just a terrific player," Poile said. "This is a franchise-type player. ... Seth Jones to us has been the best player, but we'll see. We all know how it goes with the draft and we won't know for several years, but this feels real good."

Jones was the consensus top-ranked player in this draft class after leading the United States to a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in January, and, until recently, was considered a co-contender for the No. 1 spot with Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon.

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Rychel family experiences highs and lows of Draft Day

Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 9:54 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Warren Rychel has spent years grooming his son, Kerby, for this day: the 2013 NHL Draft. As vice president and general manager of the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, the elder Rychel has overseen the development of his son, a left wing who is the Spitfires' best player and a heavily touted NHL prospect.

It's a big day for Warren, who sits in section 19 of Prudential Center with Kerby, his wife Denise and his younger son, Maddux. All three of Rychel's children, including the youngest daughter, Kendall, are named after baseball players.

"I've been pounding on him since he was 12 years old to get ready mentally," Warren told NHL.com. "We had those great teams and he was coming in as the GM's son, and now he's made his own way."

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Colorado delivers on promise, drafts MacKinnon No. 1

Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 5:29 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- In the end, Colorado Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic was true to his word.

The Avalanche on Sunday selected center Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the No. 1 pick of the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center.

When Sakic announced the selection, the 6-foot, 182-pound right-handed shot turned to his father, Graham, and embraced him.

"I hugged him a few times, I think," MacKinnon told NHL.com. "It was an unbelievable moment and it's still surreal. I've worked my whole life to get drafted and it crept up quick and it's a very proud moment."

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Panthers talked to Avalanche about top-pick trade

Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 9:29 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

NHL.com

Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said Saturday he has spoken to the Colorado Avalanche about trading for the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

"I've had conversation with them on a couple of occasions," Tallon told the Panthers website. "We talked [Friday] and I'm expecting to talk to them again [Saturday]. You have to exhaust every opportunity to get better."

The Panthers hold the No. 2 pick in the draft Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN).

"It would be really unfair of me to not even question or ask them if they were thinking about moving that pick or not, and then I find out that they move it for something that we had or more that we could have given them to get that; that would be awfully frustrating for our franchise and for all of us," Tallon said of moving up one position.

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Blue Jackets willing to deal first-round picks

Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 7:13 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

NHL.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets have three first-round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft. Whether they'll still have them when it starts Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN) remains to be seen.

Columbus owns the 14th, 19th and 27th picks, giving the Blue Jackets extra maneuverability as they try to build on a season that saw them barely miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We're listening to a lot of offers right now, trying to get things in place for tomorrow and see what occurs," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told the Columbus Dispatch on Saturday. "There could be a situation where we've talked to teams about scenarios where if certain players are available at No. 14 or No. 19 or No. 27, we'd be willing to make a move for this guy or that guy."

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Bruins GM wants back into first round of draft

Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 7:06 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

NHL.com

The trade that brought Jaromir Jagr to the Boston Bruins from the Dallas Stars near the NHL Trade Deadline wound up costing the Bruins their first-round pick because they made the Stanley Cup Final.

One day before the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, N.J. (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN), Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli said he'd like to find a way to get back into the first round.

"I think any GM who went into the draft without a first-round [pick] would have to do that," he said Saturday when asked if he'd like to acquire one. "So -- of course I would. Yes."

Regardless of where the Bruins draft, Chiarelli said the team's philosophy continues to be to pick the best player available, regardless of position.

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Selection of Jones at No. 1 would make history

Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 6:45 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- While it remains to be seen if defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks will become the first African-American player selected No. 1 in the history of the NHL Draft, the thought has generated great interest throughout the hockey community.

The 2013 NHL Draft is Sunday at Prudential Center (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN).

"Knowing Seth could be selected No. 1 shows a lot of change, and it's obviously great for the game of hockey," Montreal Canadiens Norris Trophy-winning defenseman P.K. Subban told NHL.com. "It's not just great for me, but great for everybody. But first and foremost, you want him to be seen as a great player and not just a black player. That's how I've gone about my career. Just kind of try and make myself the best player possible."

Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic publicly admitted if his team does hold on to the top choice, he would select one of the top forwards: Nathan MacKinnon or Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads, or Finnish center Aleksander Barkov.

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Top prospects impress young players, Devils alumni

Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 5:57 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Prior to settling in for a good night's sleep before participation in one of the biggest days of their hockey career, four of the top 2013 NHL Draft prospects had an opportunity to put some smiles on the faces of youngsters hoping to one day be in their position.

The NHL Top Prospects clinic held Saturday at AmeriHealth Pavilion at Prudential Center certainly brought back childhood memories for forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads and defensemen Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks and Darnell Nurse of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

The top four players on NHL Central Scouting's list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters are expected to be chosen among the top 10 selections at the draft Sunday at Prudential Center (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN).

The foursome joined four members of the New Jersey Devils alumni association -- defensemen Bruce Driver and Ken Daneyko and forwards Jim Dowd and Grant Marshall -- to instruct 25 local youth hockey players representing Hockey in Newark and the New Jersey Rockets.

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Intrigue, impact are likely hallmarks of 2013 Draft

Friday, 06.28.2013 / 9:00 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The 2013 NHL Draft has the potential to be one of the most memorable in League history.

What was once considered by many an obvious choice for the team holding the No. 1 pick on Sunday at Prudential Center (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN), is no longer the case. Additionally, not only will all seven rounds be conducted on the same day for the first time since 2006, but this year's draft could end up becoming one of the deepest, in terms of talent, in recent memory.

It wasn't that long ago that defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League was thought to be the slam-dunk top choice for the Colorado Avalanche, the team holding the No. 1 pick.

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Barkov sees draft as first step on road to NHL

Friday, 06.28.2013 / 7:30 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Connor Mellas - NHL.com Staff Writer

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. -- Aleksander Barkov is looking forward to hearing his name called at the 2013 NHL Draft on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN), but in some ways, he's already looking past it.

"Of course it's a big thing for me, but that's not enough. I want to play on this team which picks me," Barkov said during a press event Friday outside the Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel overlooking the Hudson River.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound center, NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked European skater for this year's draft, has made quite an impression so far.

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