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Features

Clock ticks for junior-aged prospects on NHL rosters

Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 5:05 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The clock could strike midnight for several top junior-aged prospects this week when general managers around the NHL are forced to make franchise-defining decisions on the immediate future of those young stars.

Will Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, chosen No. 1 in the 2014 NHL Draft, take the next step in his career? Can Jonathan Drouin, selected No. 3 by the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2013 NHL Draft, stick with the team that returned him to the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League at the end of training camp in the 2013-14 preseason?

Those questions will be answered as early as Wednesday.

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Happy birthday: Draisaitl staying put with Oilers

Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 4:20 PM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers rookie center Leon Draisaitl had a memorable 19th birthday Monday.

The Oilers extended their winning streak to four games with a 3-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens and Draisaitl was informed he would not be returned to his junior team.

Draisaitl will play his 10th game with the Oilers on Wednesday against the Nashville Predators, which activates the first year of his entry-level contract.

"He's part of our hockey team, he's earned his right to be here at practice [Tuesday] and be in the lineup [Wednesday]," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "It shouldn't be a distraction for our team. It's part of the process of us getting better. It's not a big topic at all in our room. All we are concerned with is practice [Tuesday] and the Nashville Predators [on Wednesday]."

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Flyers' Hextall following Kings blueprint for success

Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 3:06 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- It was the familiar and the strange all in one setting at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday morning.

There skating up and down the ice were Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, just like they did in their first six NHL seasons as members of the Philadelphia Flyers.

But Tuesday they were there as the opposition, in their fourth season together as teammates with the Los Angeles Kings.

A lot has happened for the Flyers, and Carter and Richards, since June 23, 2011. That was the day Philadelphia gave its franchise a facelift by trading its two cornerstone stars. Carter was sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Jakub Voracek and a 2011 first-round draft pick that was used on center Sean Couturier, and Richards was traded to the Kings for forwards Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn.

Later in the 2011-12 season Carter was traded to the Kings, where he and Richards helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2012. They repeated the feat in 2014.

"It's crazy how things happen," Carter said. "It's all worked out for us."

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Stars trio making waves

Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

The Dallas Stars had secondary scoring on their mind when they acquired Jason Spezza, but his early impact has made their primary unit second to none.

Eight games into the season, Dallas' top three point-getters (Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Spezza) have combined for 34 points, outperforming elite lines around the League including the likes of Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Patric Hornqvist (27), Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Radim Vrbata (31), and "That '70s Line" of Tanner Pearson, Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli (33).

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Five Questions: Canucks' Daniel Sedin on resurgence

Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin:

What a difference an offseason makes.

The Vancouver Canucks changed almost everything around Daniel and Henrik Sedin this past summer, bringing in a new president (Trevor Linden), a new general manager (Jim Benning), a new coach (Willie Desjardins), a new system, and a new linemate for the twins (Radim Vrbata).

The difference has been noticeable on the ice as the early returns in Vancouver, particularly for the twins, have been favorable.

Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks with 11 points on two goals and nine assists. Henrik Sedin and Vrbata each have 10 points as the line has combined for 11 goals and 31 points.

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Wild hope goalie Kuemper has short memory

Monday, 10.27.2014 / 11:57 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- It was early in the afternoon Monday, approximately nine hours before the shine faded from Darcy Kuemper's remarkable start to the season, when Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo was talking about the goalie's maturity.

"It's all about preparation," Yeo said. "If he's had success, and he has, he hasn't carried that into the next game. He has to push that aside and make sure he's prepared the right way for the game. I think so far he's shown a lot of maturity as far as a young goalie making sure he's prepared the right way."

Kuemper's next start will determine the shelf-life of Yeo's comment. Now he has to overcome a bad loss.

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Quote of the Day

This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.

— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens