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2013 NHL Draft

Avalanche plan to draft forward if they keep top pick

Friday, 06.21.2013 / 7:14 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Joe Sakic is sticking to his belief that the Colorado Avalanche will use the first pick of the 2013 NHL Draft on a forward, bypassing defenseman Seth Jones, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated player.

If the Avalanche keep the pick.

In an interview with ESPN.com on Thursday, Sakic, executive vice president of hockey operations for the Avalanche, reiterated what he told the Denver Post on Tuesday, that Colorado would select Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin or Aleksander Barkov if it holds on to the first pick.

"[Jones] is a great player, he's going to be good," Sakic told the website. "But after we had our internal meetings we came up with these three forwards: MacKinnon, Drouin and Barkov. We're really leaning towards one of those three forwards."

Canadiens looking to make most of multiple picks

Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 10:39 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The various draft-day scenarios were a lot easier to figure out for Marc Bergevin and the Montreal Canadiens a year ago.

A tremendous turnaround season sometimes can have its drawbacks.

Entering the 2013 NHL Draft, to be held June 30 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., the Canadiens hold the 25th pick, one year after finishing 15th in the Eastern Conference and getting to select blue-chip center Alex Galchenyuk with the third selection.

"I have no idea [what to expect]," Bergevin, the Canadiens' general manager, said Thursday. "When you're picking 25th there are a lot of things that can happen in front of you. Last year we only had two picks ahead of ours, so we had a good idea of where we were going. This is completely different."

What the Canadiens lack in quality they make up for in quantity.

Sabres excited with opportunities at NHL Draft

Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 5:54 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Connor Mellas - NHL.com Staff Writer

With 10 days until the 2013 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres say their current draft strategy is simple: See what happens on the floor.

Anticipation is high this year, with the depth of talent compared by many to the famed 2003 draft. Because the Sabres hold the eighth and 16th picks in the first round, in addition to two second-round picks, there has been speculation Buffalo would investigate the chance to move up into the top three.

However, general manager Darcy Regier eliminated almost any possibility of that notion at a press conference Thursday.

Mantha reached lofty territory as QMJHL top scorer

Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 12:39 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Of all the prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft playing top-level junior hockey in North America, right wing Anthony Mantha of the Val-d'Or Foreurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League reached a level all his own.

Mantha was the only draft-eligible player to score 50 goals this season, hitting the number on the final day of the regular season.

The only other players in any top-level North American junior league to score that many were a pair from the Ontario Hockey League -- Reid Boucher of the Sarnia Sting, a New Jersey Devils prospect, who scored 62, and Vincent Trocheck of the Plymouth Whalers, a Florida Panthers draft pick, who had 50.

"I think it means a lot," Mantha said. "For sure, guys can score goals, but none went up to 50. I think it just proves I have the touch, I can be a big scorer in the NHL in the next few years. I'm pretty happy with that."

Hagg used surprise WJC spot to showcase skills

Wednesday, 06.19.2013 / 2:51 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Robert Hagg wasn't part of Sweden's plan for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. He ended up becoming one of their most important players, and at the same time thrust himself into consideration for teams picking early in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Hagg, a 6-foot-2.25, 204-pound defenseman, had 24 points in 28 games with Modo's junior team, but also played 27 games with the elite-league team.

"I started the season with Modo's under-20 team," Hagg told NHL.com. "I played games with them and I practiced with the big club. After a month or two, they called me up and told me I was going to play my first game for them.

"We met Farjestad in the home arena. My hand was just shaking."

Owen Sound pair enters NHL Draft as elite prospects

Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 10:02 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Owen Sound Attack teammates Zach Nastasiuk and Chris Bigras aren't brothers, but it certainly seems like it considering the bond they've established on and off the ice over the past eight years.

The two began moving up the ranks together while playing pee-wee and bantam level hockey in the Barrie Colts system eight years ago.

They were ultimately chosen by Owen Sound in consecutive rounds of the Ontario Hockey League's 2011 priority selection draft and, most recently, were rated back-to-back on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top draft-eligible North American skaters.

Nastasiuk, a 6-foot-1.25, 190-pound right wing, is No. 13 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top draft-eligible North American skaters. The second-highest-rated North American right wing and native of Barrie, Ont., had 20 goals, 20 assists in 62 regular-season games for Owen Sound in 2012-13. He chipped in with four goals and seven assists in 12 playoff games.

Stanley Cup Final is where it all started for Jones

Monday, 06.17.2013 / 5:10 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- As the top-ranked prospect among North American skaters according to NHL Central Scouting, defenseman Seth Jones was expected to be at the Stanley Cup Final meeting players, coaches and countless media in anticipation of the NHL Draft on June 30 in Newark, N.J.

The busy day in Boston, which culminated in Jones and three other top prospects attending Game 3 at TD Garden, is a welcome return to the Final for Jones, who attended last year's Cup-clinching Game 6 at Staples Center as the Los Angeles Kings won their first championship.

But his first trip to the Final came 12 years ago, when a six-year-old Jones attended Game 7 with his family in Colorado. The hometown Avalanche topped the New Jersey Devils 3-1 that night to clinch the franchise's second Stanley Cup, a historic hockey moment that set in motion the events that 12 years later would make Jones one of the top young prospects in the game.

Stars GM Nill feeling good heading into NHL Draft

Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 3:53 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Owning four picks in the first two rounds of arguably the deepest NHL Draft in at least a decade, Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill is feeling pretty good as the event approaches.

Nill, hired April 29, told NHL.com Wednesday he knows his team needs to change and improve, and this year's draft, to be held June 30 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., is a good chance to move that process forward.

"We have four picks in the top 54," Nill said. "We have the 10th, we'll have either the 29th or 30th (from the Boston Bruins via the Jaromir Jagr trade), and we also have the 40th and the 54th. So we have four picks in the top 54 … it gives you a chance to get four pretty good players and it gives you options to do things at the draft, whether its trading up or trading down. [It] gives you a lot of flexibility."

CHL moving to ban European goalies

Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 10:20 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

A change in the rules of the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft could bring an end to European goalies playing junior hockey in the league.

The annual import draft is a two-round process that allows the 60 teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League to pick the best junior-age European talent. Each team is restricted to two European players on its roster.

However, for the 2013 CHL Import Draft, which will be held later this summer, teams can select only goaltenders in the first round.

Starting with the 2014 import draft, goalies will be banned from the selection process and will have no other way to become eligible to play in the league. However, the two-player European limit will remain.

Mueller ready to blaze own path from Everett to NHL

Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 9:59 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It isn't too far-fetched to believe that Everett Silvertips defenseman Mirco Mueller one day could be reunited with his old partner in the Western Hockey League.

During the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, the Columbus Blue Jackets chose Silvertips blueliner Ryan Murray with the No. 2 pick. That's the same Murray who played 23 games with Everett in 2012-13 and was paired with Mueller before sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury.

The Blue Jackets have three picks in the first round of the 2013 draft, to be held June 30, and Mueller is a projected first-round candidate. Does he feel there's a good chance the Blue Jackets may attempt to reunite the Silvertips tandem in Columbus?

"I don't think they will be thinking that way," Mueller told NHL.com. "They're not going to select players just because they once played junior hockey together. They'll do what's best for their organization."

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