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2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Top prospects Bennett, Kapanen survive Combine

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 2:09 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Forwards Samuel Bennett of the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs and Kasperi Kapanen of KalPa in Finland's SM-liiga certainly had their share of good and bad moments during the fitness stage of the 2014 NHL Scouting Combine at Toronto International Centre on Saturday.

The good news is that both blue chip prospects completed all the required tests in the morning. The bad news is they each "lost it" after undergoing the grueling VO2 Max bike test that measures the endurance capability of a player's heart, lungs and muscles.

"The bikes were interesting," Bennett said. "I didn't really hear the people shouting at me too much. I was more focused on my burning legs. I guess they were there to motivate and it helped a little."

Top of 2014 NHL Draft could hold surprises

Friday, 05.30.2014 / 9:24 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Unpredictability is the word that would describe the perfect storm that's about to hit Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia at the 2014 NHL Draft, which starts June 27.

Will the Florida Panthers keep the No. 1 pick and opt for the projected best draft-eligible defenseman, Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts? Would that open the door for the Buffalo Sabres to select a Doug Gilmour clone, Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs?

Panthers mulling options with No. 1 pick

Friday, 05.30.2014 / 11:15 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Florida Panthers director of scouting Scott Luce is familiar with the usual posturing that takes place leading up to the NHL draft.

He said he expects the drama to be ramped up even more in the weeks ahead since Panthers general manager Dale Tallon admitted his willingness to shop the No. 1 pick for the right price. The 2014 NHL Draft is June 27-28 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

The Panthers finished 29th in the League standings and won the first pick at the NHL Draft Lottery in April. Tallon made public his willingness to trade the pick in May on a radio interview on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.

Florida has won the lottery three times; in 2002 and 2003 Florida won it and traded the pick.

Intrigue surrounds top Russian prospects at Combine

Thursday, 05.29.2014 / 9:28 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Who will be the first Russian-born hockey player selected at the 2014 NHL Draft next month at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia?

There are three Russians at the NHL Scouting Combine this week, including forwards Ivan Barbashev and Vladimir Tkachev of the Moncton Wildcats in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and left wing Vladislav Kamenev of Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the Kontinental Hockey League.

All three are considered high-end prospects.

Barbashev is No. 18 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 draft. The 6-foot, 180-pound left-hand shot had 25 goals and 68 points in 48 games for Moncton this season.

Bennett learned OHL, emerged as best in 2014 class

Thursday, 05.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- A little confidence went a long way in helping jumpstart the career of Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett.

There wasn't much pressure on Bennett entering 2012-13, his first season in the Ontario Hockey League, after being the ninth pick of the 2012 OHL draft. He played his game, learned the team's system and style of play, and gradually gained a familiarity with how he needed to perform in order to be successful.

"Entering my first year I didn't really know what to expect," Bennett told NHL.com. "I didn't really have too high goals for myself. But this year I definitely was expecting a lot more and I came into the league with a lot more confidence. Winning the World Under-18 Championship [in April 2013], getting that support from teammates and the coaching staff helped with my confidence."

Flyers offering free tickets to 2014 NHL Draft

Wednesday, 05.28.2014 / 4:42 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

NHL.com

Fans will have access to free tickets to the 2014 NHL Draft starting Friday in a special drawing held by the Philadelphia Flyers.

Starting at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, May 30, fans can go to PhiladelphiaFlyers.com/NHLDraft and sign up to receive free tickets. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first served basis.

The draft will be held June 27-28 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

In addition to seeing future NHL stars selected, fans attending the draft will be able to take their photo with a collection of NHL trophies, including the Stanley Cup, and shop from vendors selling one-of-a-kind collectibles at the 2014 NHL Draft Trading Card Show.

Top prospects out to make names for themselves

Wednesday, 05.28.2014 / 10:10 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Swedish forward William Nylander, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, knows how lucky he is to have a wealth of hockey information and advice at his fingertips 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Not only did his father, Michael Nylander, play 920 NHL games with seven teams in 15 seasons, but the younger Nylander also was given an opportunity to skate alongside his father with Rogle in Sweden's second division this season.

William had four goals and eight points in 18 games with his father before moving to Modo in the Swedish Hockey League. The elder Nylander had three goals and nine points in 25 games with Rogle this season.

Combine gives teams full scope of top prospects

Monday, 05.26.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Many of the top prospects eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft will be put to the ultimate test this week in an effort to impress potential future employers at the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto.

The primary purpose of the Combine, which runs May 26-31, is to aid all 30 NHL teams in the player selection process. NHL Central Scouting invited 119 players from North America and Europe to take part.

The Combine will allow NHL scouts and general managers an opportunity to interview as many prospects as they wish during a five-day period from May 26-30.

"By the time the Combine rolls around we've done our checking, but what I look for in an interview is the maturity level and how far along they are in that area," Buffalo Sabres assistant general manager Kevin Devine told NHL.com. "That usually determines how far away they are from playing in the NHL. But I don't think the interviews are going to jump anyone five or six draft spots either.

"They could jump a spot or two if guys are professionals in the interviews, but there won't be any big jump at the top, especially with the top five in this draft class."

Islanders to retain 2014 first-round draft pick

Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 3:07 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

NHL.com

The New York Islanders will retain their 2014 first-round pick, the team announced Thursday. The Islanders instead will give their 2015 first-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres to complete the Thomas Vanek trade.

Ryan MacInnis carving his own path to NHL career

Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Ryan MacInnis hopes one day to follow the incredible path paved by his father, Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis.

Unlike dad, however, Ryan will look to do so while starring at a different position.

Al MacInnis, who won the 1989 Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the 1999 Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, spent 23 seasons in the League with the Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues. His No. 2 was retired by the Blues and honored by the Flames.

Ryan is a center for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. Born in St. Louis, he said it was no big deal when he informed his father that he would prefer to score goals instead of help prevent them.

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