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2015 NHL Draft
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Features

Capitals' Ovechkin collects Maurice Richard Trophy

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 7:39 PM / 2015 NHL Awards

NHL Public Relations

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin claimed his third consecutive and fifth career Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the League's goal-scoring leader, adding to the ones he earned in 2007-08, 2008-09, 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Ovechkin became the sixth player in NHL history to record six 50-goal seasons, joining Mike Bossy (9), Wayne Gretzky (9), Marcel Dionne (6), Guy Lafleur (6) and Mario Lemieux (6). He also led the League and set a career high/franchise record with 25 power-play goals, while his 11 game-winning goals paced the NHL and matched a personal best. Ovechkin, who finished 2014-15 ahead of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (43) and New York Rangers forward Rick Nash (42), scored 41 of his 53 goals in the final 55 games of season (0.75 GPG). He posted his 473rd and 474th career goals on April 2 to surpass Peter Bondra (472) as the leading goal-scorer in Capitals history.

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Lightning's Yzerman voted GM of the Year

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 7:38 PM / 2015 NHL Awards

NHL Public Relations

Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning is the 2014-15 winner of the NHL General Manager of the Year Award. Voting for this award was conducted among the 30 Club General Managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media at the conclusion of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After leading Tampa Bay to the Conference Finals in 2010-11, his first season in charge, Yzerman oversaw the rebuild to a roster that returned to the final four with just two holdovers from the 2011 squad, cornerstone center Steven Stamkos and defenseman Victor Hedman. Bolstered by key acquisitions through the draft (Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat), via free agency (Brian Boyle, Valtteri Filppula, Tyler Johnson, Anton Stralman) and trades (Ben Bishop, Ryan Callahan, Braydon Coburn, Jason Garrison), the Lightning set franchise records with 50 wins and 108 points during the regular season. They also led the League with 262 goals and 32 home wins.

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Flames coach Hartley wins Jack Adams Award

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 7:33 PM / 2015 NHL Awards

NHL Public Relations

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley has captured the Jack Adams Award as "the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success," as selected by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.

Hartley was a top-three selection on 63 of the 75 ballots cast, including 37 first-place votes, for 237 voting points. The Jack Adams win is a first both for Hartley and for the Flames franchise.

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Senators' Karlsson wins second Norris Trophy

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 7:22 PM / 2015 NHL Awards

NHL Public Relations

Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators has won his second James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded to the defenseman demonstrating "the greatest all-around ability in the position," as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

Karlsson was named on 146 of 157 ballots in accumulating 964 voting points, winning a tight three-way race over Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings (889) and P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens (801). Karlsson, who previously won the award in 2012, joins Chicago's Duncan Keith as the only active defenseman with multiple Norris Trophy wins.

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Bruins' Bergeron wins third Frank Selke Trophy

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 7:18 PM / 2015 NHL Awards

NHL Public Relations

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has captured the Frank J. Selke Trophy in recognition of "the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game," as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

Bergeron garnered 1,083 voting points, including 75 first-place votes, to claim a photo finish decision over second-place Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks (1,051 points). The result recalls their neck-and-neck race for the trophy in 2013, when Toews edged Bergeron for the win by a 1,260-1,250 margin.

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Eichel won't reveal decision about turning pro

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 6:36 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

MIAMI -- Boston University center Jack Eichel said he has decided whether he will turn professional after he's selected in the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

He just isn't making his decision public yet.

Eichel, who was with five other top NHL draft prospects at Marlins Park on Wednesday, spoke to the media after taking his turn at batting practice prior to the Miami Marlins' game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

"I mean, I'm kind of set on what I want to do, but I guess you'll find out in the few days that follow the draft," Eichel said. "I have an idea what I want to do. I sat down and had dinner with [Boston University coach] David Quinn and spoke with my parents, so I have a good idea of where I want to be next year."

The first round of the draft will be held Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports); rounds 2-7 are Saturday (10 a.m. ET; NHLN-US, TVA Sports).

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Crouse chose hockey despite baseball upbringing

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 6:21 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

MIAMI -- Kingston Frontenacs left wing Lawson Crouse looked pretty comfortable Wednesday in the right-handed batter's box at Marlins Park, wearing a No. 67 Miami Marlins jersey.

Crouse was the only one of the six 2015 NHL Draft prospects to hit a home run during batting practice, clearing the fence in right field.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound forward could be a top-five pick when the first round of the draft is held Friday in Sunrise, Fla. (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports). But if Crouse's grandfather had his way, Lawson would be swinging a baseball bat full time, not a hockey stick.

Crouse shares a first name with his grandfather as well as a passion for sports. But for the elder Lawson, his sport was baseball and his favorite team was the Montreal Expos. Mike Crouse, the younger Lawson's father and elder Lawson's son, said as a youngster vacations with his father would include ballpark trips, including one road trip to Riverfront Stadium, former home of the Cincinnati Reds.

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Penguins plan to sign Plotnikov, eye Tikhonov: report

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 3:08 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NHL.com

The Pittsburgh Penguins plan to sign Russian forward Sergei Plotnikov when free agency begins on July 1, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The Penguins also have interest in Viktor Tikhonov, who played for the Arizona Coyotes during the 2008-09 season and has spent the past four seasons with St. Petersburg of the KHL, the Tribune-Review said.

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Surprising Flames have most finalists at NHL Awards

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Awards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS -- At first, Calgary Flames forward Jiri Hudler asked a question.

"Would you have guessed that before the season?" Hudler said.

The answer is no; it's unlikely anybody would have guessed that the team that would have the most representatives eligible to win trophies Wednesday at the 2015 NHL Awards (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) would be the Flames.

How could anyone have anticipated that considering so little was expected of the Flames this season after they finished the 2013-14 season with 77 points and a plan to play younger players and continue on a massive rebuild?

The Flames certainly weren't expected to compete for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, let alone get one.

Hudler felt differently.

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Unique skills put McDavid, Eichel at top of draft class

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

The gap between Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, first and second respectively on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, is slim.

It's the gap between the projected top two picks of the 2015 draft, which will be held at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on June 26-27, and the rest of the field that is a bit wider.

McDavid and Eichel have been touted as generational talents for the success and promise they've displayed before becoming draft eligible, and each offers a different skill set that many project will mesh with today's NHL game.

For McDavid, the expected No. 1 pick of the draft, comparisons have been made to Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby because of McDavid's ability to do everything not only incredibly well, but also incredibly fast.

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Quote of the Day

It's very special, obviously; there is draft day and then there's the day that you sign your first deal. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm very honored to be able to do that."

— Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid on signing his first professional contract