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2013 NHL Draft

Roy: Avalanche would consider trading No. 1 pick

Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 8:29 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

NHL.com Staff

The Colorado Avalanche own the No. 1 pick in next month's NHL Draft after winning the lottery. According to new coach Patrick Roy, that doesn't mean they'll be the first team to make a selection at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on June 30.

Roy said he has told executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic that the Avalanche need to examine the possibility of dealing the top pick. Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones and Halifax Mooseheads forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin are expected to be the top three players drafted -- not necessarily in that order.

"All are premier players," Roy said at his introductory press conference Tuesday. "At the end of the day, it's going to be an organization decision. We have scouts that have been watching game after game and they have their input. Joe and [team president] Josh [Kroenke] are the final say.

"Regardless of what we're going to do, we have to make the best decision. Maybe the best is to trade it. Maybe the best is to keep it. At the end, we'll see what's on the table."

Flames, with 3 top picks, see depth at Combine

Monday, 05.27.2013 / 10:55 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- John Weisbrod, the assistant general manager of player personnel for the Calgary Flames, has a good feeling about the 2013 NHL Draft.

Weisbrod should know. Prior to joining the Flames in 2011-12, the native of Syosset, N.Y., was director of pro and collegiate scouting for the Boston Bruins for five seasons. He's privy to what it takes to build a Stanley Cup champion because he helped do it with the Bruins in 2011.

He knows having three first-round picks in this year's draft offers a tremendous opportunity for the Flames to continue laying the foundation for a potential perennial contender. The Flames have their pick, No. 6 in the draft, as well as first-round picks from the St. Louis Blues and Pittsburgh Penguins in trades involving Jay Bouwmeester and Jarome Iginla, respectively.

"I think the upper parts of this draft are really strong," Weisbrod told NHL.com. "It's tough to compare [drafts] year to year, but some are deeper than others in terms of some really good players available in the fifth, sixth or seventh rounds -- I would sort of describe this year's draft as similar to that.

"I think it's a really strong draft all the way into the third round. So from our standpoint, it makes me excited about having three picks in the first round because there are a lot of high-potential players in this pool."

MacKinnon, Drouin lead Halifax to Memorial Cup

Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 10:56 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Halifax Mooseheads have been led all season by their dynamic offensive 1-2 punch of Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, and the top 2013 NHL Draft prospects came up big one final time in the 2012-13 season.

MacKinnon had a hat trick and two assists and Drouin had five assists as the Mooseheads beat the Portland Winterhawks 6-4 Sunday to win the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise's first Memorial Cup championship in the title game at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

"In the special games, we performed well," Drouin told Sportsnet, "and once again, it was a good game and we're proud of it."

MacKinnon finished with tournament-highs of seven goals and 13 points in four games, and was awarded the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as tournament MVP. According to the Canadian Hockey League, it was the most points in a Memorial Cup since Christian Dube of the Hull Olympiques had 13 in 1997.

"It's obviously nice," MacKinnon told the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. "It's nice to be rewarded for the tournament, but at the same time, the memories are going to be with these guys winning the Memorial Cup, not so much the individual [award]."

Scouting Combine unites prospects, potential suitors

Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones, No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, said there's no reason to fret about the NHL Scouting Combine, which will be held this week in Toronto.

Jones will join 100 other draft-eligible hopefuls from North American and Europe from May 27 to June 1, when they'll go through interviews, fitness testing and medical examinations in the presence of NHL scouts and general managers.

"It's just a matter of showing the teams what you can do," Jones told NHL.com. "I don't think anyone should go in nervous … I'm certainly not looking at it that way. It should be a fun experience."

NHL Central Scouting is anticipating 86 North American players, including the top seven goalies in its final ranking, and the top 15 European prospects, including the No. 1-ranked goalie, to participate.

Combine test could provide red flag for injuries

Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- The top prospects invited to the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine will have a new element to deal with this year during their weeklong evaluation in Toronto.

NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr told NHL.com that players will undergo a medical screening examination prior to taking the fitness portion, which is scheduled May 31 and June 1.

The new element, called Functional Movement Screen (FMS), is a ranking and grading system in which players perform seven specific joint tests that document movement patterns. The test could help reveal imbalances and symmetry deficiencies in the various fundamental movement patterns of the body.

"If there's a range imbalance or if one side of the body is stronger or weaker than the other, this test will help determine that," Marr said. "A majority of NHL teams utilize FMS in some form, and the NFL has been performing this screening as part of the medical process for their combine for a number of years.

Jones, MacKinnon match up in Memorial Cup final

Saturday, 05.25.2013 / 11:17 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Not that they had to prove their value as top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft, but Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks and Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads have spent the duration of the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup wowing the NHL scouts in attendance with their well-rounded skill sets.

They'll have one final chance to showcase themselves Sunday when Portland and Halifax meet in the Memorial Cup championship game (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet).

Jones, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American skater in its final rankings, has a goal and two assists in four games, and his plus-6 rating is tied for the best in the tournament.

Portland reaches Memorial Cup final

Saturday, 05.25.2013 / 1:01 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Ty Rattie led the Western Hockey League in scoring in the playoffs, and he's kept that hot streak going in the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

Rattie's goal at 8:32 of the third period snapped a 1-1 tie and sent the Portland Winterhawks to a 2-1 win against the London Knights in a Memorial Cup semifinal game Friday at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The Winterhawks will face the Halifax Mooseheads in the championship game Sunday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet). Halifax defeated Portland 7-4 in round-robin play May 18.

The title game will feature the top three players in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft: No. 1, defenseman Seth Jones of Portland, against Nos. 2 and 3, forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin of Halifax.

Tyler Wotherspoon also scored for the Winterhawks, and goalie Mac Carruth stopped 34 shots. Jones had an assist and a plus-2 rating; his plus-6 is tied with Wotherspoon for the tournament lead.

London advances to Memorial Cup semifinals

Thursday, 05.23.2013 / 11:39 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The London Knights will live to play another day in the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

The Ontario Hockey League champion received goals from six players and got 32 saves from goalie Jake Patterson in a 6-1 victory against the host Saskatoon Blades in the tie-breaker game of the Memorial Cup at Credit Union Centre.

The victory was London's second against Saskatoon in the tournament -- the Knights won 3-2 in the tournament opener during round-robin play on May 17.

London will now face the Portland Winterhawks in the tournament semifinal round on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. The Halifax Mooseheads have already advanced to the final, slated for Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Blades' Thrower suspended for rest of Memorial Cup

Thursday, 05.23.2013 / 2:31 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Canadian Hockey League announced Thursday that Saskatoon Blades defenseman Dalton Thrower has been suspended for the remainder of the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup for a check to the head during a game against the Portland Winterhawks on Wednesday.

At 12:50 of the first period, Portland forward Taylor Leier was cutting through the Saskatoon zone when Thrower, a Montreal Canadiens draft pick, hit Leier in the head. Leier landed face-first on the ice and remained down for several moments before being helped off the ice.

The decision was made by the NHL Hockey Operations Department, which is overseeing player discipline for the Memorial Cup.

Leier, a Saskatoon native drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft, did not return to the game, and Portland coach Travis Green said Thursday that it is unlikely Leier will play again in the tournament.

Portland beats Saskatoon, makes Memorial Cup semis

Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 11:17 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Chase De Leo's goal early in the third period snapped a 1-1 tie and the Portland Winterhawks closed round-robin play at the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup by beating the host Saskatoon Blades 4-2 on Wednesday at Credit Union Centre.

Ty Rattie and Brendan Leipsic also had goals as part of a three-goal third period for Portland. Derrick Pouliot also scored for the Winterhawks, and goalie Mac Carruth, a Chicago Blackhawks prospect, made 29 saves.

"They are tight defensively and we knew it would be hard, so to get three quick [goals] like that was really big for the boys, gave us a bit more confidence and a little bit more leeway defensively, and ultimately puts us through to the semifinal," Rattie, who now is tied for the tournament lead with four goals and is second with seven points, told the CHL website.

Shane McColgan and Josh Nicholls scored for Saskatoon; goalie Andrey Makarov, property of the Buffalo Sabres, stopped 30 of 34 shots.

The win sends Portland, the Western Hockey League champions, to the semifinal game, which will be played Friday. Saskatoon will face the London Knights in the tie-breaker game Thursday, with the winner playing Portland. London beat Saskatoon 3-2 in the tournament's opening game May 17.

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