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2015 NHL Draft

Flyers pick Konecny wins inaugural McGuire Award

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 9:54 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Ottawa 67's center Travis Konecny, a first-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday, was named Saturday as the first recipient of the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence.

The award will be presented each year to the draft-eligible prospect who best exemplifies the commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness and athleticism.

It was created in honor of E.J. McGuire, who served as NHL director of Central Scouting for seven years before dying of cancer in April 2011. A head coach at the collegiate, junior and American Hockey League levels, an assistant coach for three NHL teams over 12 seasons, and a scout for two teams, McGuire began serving as director of Central Scouting in 2005.

Intrigue at active NHL Draft started with third pick

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 1:04 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The intrigue at the 2015 NHL Draft on Friday started with the Arizona Coyotes and their approach with the No. 3 pick.

The Edmonton Oilers were locked into Erie Otters center Connor McDavid from the moment they won the NHL Draft Lottery in April, and the Buffalo Sabres were set on Boston University center Jack Eichel with the second pick.

But the options were many for the Coyotes. They could keep the pick and draft a forward. Or they could select a defenseman, possibly Boston College's Noah Hanifin, who was NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American at the position. Or they could trade the pick for the potential of more immediate help for a team that finished 29th in the NHL standings.

Coyotes general manager Don Maloney opted to keep the pick and selected Erie center Dylan Strome.

"It was a real hard draft to predict after No. 2," Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. "It's always hard. This year was a little bit harder."

Panthers, top pick Crouse enjoy draft in South Florida

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 12:33 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida Panthers general manger Dale Tallon wanted to make the evening extra special for the boisterous hometown fans when he stepped to the podium at BB&T Center on Friday and asked senior adviser Bill Torrey to announce the No. 11 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Torrey, elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995, was president of the Panthers when they lost to the Colorado Avalanche in their only appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in 1996.

The cheering got louder as Torrey stepped to the microphone to announce left wing Lawson Crouse of the Kingston Frontenacs in the Ontario Hockey League as the Panthers' top pick.

The first round of the draft in South Florida was a fitting way to celebrate a new beginning in the lives of 30 top prospects who fulfilled a lifelong dream of being selected by an NHL team before a capacity crowd.

Notes from first round of 2015 NHL Draft

Friday, 06.26.2015 / 11:52 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

NHL Public Relations

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Following are notes from the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft, held tonight at BB&T Center:


The Edmonton Oilers selected Connor McDavid from the Erie Otters (OHL) with the first overall pick, marking the fourth time in the past six years the Oilers have made the top selection:

Year 1st overall pick (Oilers) Position Junior club
2010 Taylor Hall LW Windsor Spitfires, OHL
2011 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C Red Deer Rebels, WHL
2012 Nail Yakupov RW Sarnia Sting, OHL
2015 Connor McDavid C Erie Otters, OHL

* McDavid became the seventh OHL player drafted with the No. 1 overall selection in the past nine years, following Patrick Kane in 2007 (London Knights), Steven Stamkos in 2008 (Sarnia Sting), John Tavares in 2009 (London Knights), Taylor Hall in 2010 (Windsor Spitfires), Nail Yakupov in 2012 (Sarnia Sting) and Aaron Ekblad in 2014 (Barrie Colts).

Pick-by-pick look at the first-round selections

Friday, 06.26.2015 / 10:25 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The first round of the 2015 NHL Draft was held at BB&T Center on Friday.

The draft resumes Saturday with rounds 2-7 (10 a.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports).

Here is a pick-by-pick look at the first round:

1) Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid, Center
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 1
2014-15: Erie Otters (OHL); Stats: 47 games, 44-76-120

Summary: An exceptional skater capable of making split-second decisions on the fly. The projected generational-type player is effective on every shift in whatever role given. Named the Canadian Hockey League Sportsnet player of the year, McDavid had 97 goals, 285 points in 166 career regular season games (1.71 points-per game) in three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League.

Profile: McDavid deserves all the comparisons to Crosby

Jack Eichel drafted No. 2 by Buffalo Sabres

Friday, 06.26.2015 / 8:59 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray minced few words and left little doubt when choosing Boston University center Jack Eichel with the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on Friday at BB&T Center.

After stepping to the podium, Murray looked straight ahead and announced "Buffalo selects Jack Eichel" before dropping the microphone and stepping aside while awaiting his projected star to make his way to the stage.

"It's tough to put into words right now," Eichel said. "Looking back on entire year, it's been the best year of my life, but until you hear your name called and you go on that stage and put a jersey on, there's nothing like it. It's an unbelievable feeling."

Connor McDavid drafted No. 1 by Edmonton Oilers

Friday, 06.26.2015 / 8:33 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Connor McDavid was selected by the Edmonton Oilers with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on Friday.

After a full season of hearing he would be the first pick, McDavid had to wait a few minutes longer than expected to hear his name called at BB&T Arena.

"They had to introduce everyone, and all the teams with the roll call," McDavid said. "Felt like it was going by so slowly. I just wanted to have that pick called."

It turned out to be worth the wait.

"I think it was even better than I expected," McDavid said. "I didn't know how it would feel. I wasn't too nervous; I was just anxious. Just so excited to hear your name called and go through all that."

College hockey's impact on NHL continues to grow

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 8:27 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- There's an underlying theme to college hockey players becoming a more attractive option in recent years for NHL scouts and general managers.

New Jersey Devils forward Mike Cammalleri, who played three seasons at the University of Michigan, isn't surprised by the fact that 30 percent of NHL players developed in the NCAA, or that all 30 NHL teams had at least one prospect enrolled in college during the 2014-15 season, with the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks' 13 leading the way.

"College hockey not only allows for a readiness on the ice in terms of skill, but there's a social and outside-the-classroom aspect to developing a personality and comfort within your own skin enabling players to enter the NHL and be successful," Cammalleri said. "I think that's an important development stage for an adolescent person regardless of athletics and why some players are able to come in and do well out of college."

There's a chance college hockey will break new ground at the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Friday, when Boston University center Jack Eichel, Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin and University of Michigan defenseman Zachary Werenski each might be selected in the top 10. No draft has ever had three top-10 picks from the college ranks.

Rantanen, top prospects anxious for draft night

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 7:23 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Mikko Rantanen, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top European skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, said Thursday it won't be easy to fall asleep knowing the biggest moment of his life will occur in less than 24 hours.

"It's pretty weird knowing that [Friday] we'll know what team you will play for and begin work," Rantanen said. "I know this is just the first step. We'll have to keep working to be an NHL player. But I'll be pretty nervous tomorrow. They say it'll be hard to get sleep because it's such a big day. It's once in a lifetime, so I'm excited."

Rantanen, who was an alternate captain for TPS in Finland in 2014-15, was one of 10 top prospects in the spotlight at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in the last pre-draft media availability before NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces the Edmonton Oilers are on the clock with the No. 1 pick at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

Hanifin, draft prospects bond with kids at clinic

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 1:25 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin considered it unusual that young, aspiring hockey players would even think of calling him Mr. Hanifin.

But that's what happened on Thursday when Hanifin and five other top North American prospects eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft took part in a Top Prospects Clinic here at the Panthers Ice Den, the practice facility of the Florida Panthers.

"They were calling me Mr. Hanifin and I looked at them and said, 'Hey, call me Noah because I'm just 18 years old,'" Hanifin said. "They were young kids out there but a lot of them could skate and had some good moves. It's great to see the future of USA Hockey. It just shows the how much the hockey in this country is spreading; it's awesome."

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