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2015 NHL Draft
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Features

Hurricanes' Ward reflective heading into 500th game

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 1:54 PM / NHL Insider

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward will play his 500th NHL game Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. He doesn't want to make a big deal out of it, but it's clear this is a time for reflection.

"I think about all the people who helped me get to this point in my career, beginning with my parents who gave me the chance to play the game I love," Ward said. "I'm thankful for all the coaches and teammates I've been a part of until now."

Ward's career arc has been bittersweet. As a rookie, he was launched into stardom when he took over as the starting goaltender in the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, helping Carolina win the Stanley Cup and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy. He smiles when reminded he isn't the first professional athlete to enjoy success early only to be left searching for that pinnacle experience as the years roll on.

"You immediately think, 'Oh, I will probably get (to the playoffs) again.' You soon realize how difficult it is to get back there," Ward said. "I'm now in my 10th year in the League, and chances are it will be 2-for-10 (reaching the playoffs). I definitely would appreciate it a lot more, knowing how difficult it is to get back into that situation."

Fantasy top 100 forwards: Utilizing enhanced stats

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 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.

NHL.com's new statistical database, powered by SAP, now includes enhanced stats that can help fantasy owners detect noteworthy trends.

These stats shed light on meaningful aspects of hockey. Similar metrics have been available on secondary sites in the past, but the NHL is now officially documenting them while adding exposure.

Enhanced skater stats likely won't emerge as fantasy categories themselves anytime soon, but usage/production trends are useful when mulling fantasy pickups, trades, and draft picks.

Here are some fantasy takeaways from NHL.com's stats update that apply to forwards:

Five Questions: Wild GM Fletcher willing to deal

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is heading into the final days before the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline on March 2 at 3 p.m. ET with an eye on adding to the depth of the hottest team in the League.

"If we can add a piece, whether it's up front or on the blue line, we'll do that," Fletcher told NHL.com.

The Wild are 13-2-2 in 17 games since Fletcher acquired goalie Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes for a third-round draft pick; they were 18-19-5 through 42 games.

Dubnyk has won each of those 13 games in 16 starts with a 1.64 goals-against average, a .946 save percentage and five shutouts. The Wild have climbed into the second wild-card position in the Western Conference after being eight points out and last in the Central Division after a 7-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 13. Their 6-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Sunday put them inside the top-eight for the first time since Nov. 24.

The Wild's hot stretch has changed Fletcher's mindset. If the deadline was a month ago Minnesota would have been a seller; now it hopes to be a buyer.

Heavy workload, positive results for Hurricanes' Faulk

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk has made a habit of outpacing expectations. It started his freshman year at University of Minnesota-Duluth.

"He was very good as a freshman, pretty dominant for an 18-year-old kid," Minnesota-Duluth coach Scott Sandelin said. "He had the physical tools, he could skate, he had a good shot. By Christmas, I thought we might not keep him for more than a year just based on how he played."

Sandelin was right. Faulk helped Minnesota-Duluth win the 2011 NCAA Championship, then moved on to the NHL, where he was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team in 2012. He was a U.S. Olympian in 2014 and NHL All-Star in January. It's a pretty solid hockey resume for a 22-year-old, but Faulk would prefer to take age out of the equation.

Eichel helps Boston University win Beanpot

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 12:52 AM / NCAA Update

Connor Mellas - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Jack Eichel didn't score the game-winning goal, but the Boston University forward helped his school win its first Beanpot Tournament in six years on Monday.

Eichel helped draw the hooking penalty that put B.U. on an overtime power play, then fought to dig a puck out of the corner. His teammates took care of the rest.

Captain Matt Grzelcyk scored 51 seconds into the extra period to give the Terriers a 4-3 victory against Northeastern University and their first Beanpot Championship since 2009.

Grzelcyk, a junior defenseman, led B.U. with two goals and was named Beanpot MVP.

Quenneville: Blackhawks not hitting panic button yet

Monday, 02.23.2015 / 4:18 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- They've lost three straight games and five of the first seven during an eight-game homestand, but the Chicago Blackhawks haven't hit the proverbial panic button.

Asked after practice on Monday if the Blackhawks had started to panic a little with 22 games left, coach Joel Quenneville quipped, "No, but the 'Get Attention' button is where I'm at."

His answer was met with a tongue-in-cheek follow up question, and it provided a good assessment of Quenneville's outlook at the moment.

"Do you have one of those?" a reporter said.

"Absolutely," Quenneville replied, jabbing his index finger in front of him. "I got it pushed."

Senators' Cowen banned three games for interference

Monday, 02.23.2015 / 12:43 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK -- Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen has been suspended for three games, without pay, for interference against Florida Panthers forward Jussi Jokinen during NHL Game No. 877 in Ottawa on Saturday, February 21, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 4:38 of the second period. Cowen was assessed a minor penalty for interference.

Cowen is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $113,414.64. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Fantasy All-Access: Red Wings' Helm around to help

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

We are one week away from the NHL Trade Deadline, March 2 at 3 p.m. ET. We've already seen big moves impact fantasy teams and there's more to come.

Some players rumored to be on the block should be scooped up in advance of a potential trade. Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jiri Tlusty, who scored 23 goals two seasons ago, is owned in three percent of Yahoo Leagues. He has four points in his past eight games and can fill in on a contending team's top six.

Capitals' top line has had revolving cast at right wing

Monday, 02.23.2015 / 9:20 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA -- During the Washington Capitals pre-game line rushes against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, Andre Burakovsky skated with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, completing the Capitals first line.

Coach Barry Trotz ultimately scratched Burakovsky after deciding Washington was in need of a jump-start, inserting Jay Beagle into the starting lineup instead. Beagle's stint on the line was short-lived; Marcus Johansson replaced him after two shifts and a holding penalty, remaining there for the rest of Washington’s 3-2 loss.

"I think we weren't sharp at all," said Backstrom, who was held without a point after having seven in his previous four games. "It doesn't matter who plays with us, to be honest with you."

Flames GM Treliving approaches deadline with caution

Monday, 02.23.2015 / 9:08 AM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames have put first-year general manager Brad Treliving in a bit of a jam.

In just the second season of a full-on rebuild, the upstart Flames are pushing for a Stanley Cup Playoffs spot in the Western Conference, limiting the GM from declaring his team as full-on buyers or sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline on March 2.

"We're making up new terminology," Treliving told NHL.com. "We're in a stage here where the play of our team has put us in a position that you'd like to help. You'd like to be able to help for our stretch drive. Having said that, you also want to be careful and cautious of the type of … whether it be young players, young prospects, draft picks … that you expose in a situation like this. We're like everybody else. We're listening."

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Quote of the Day

I think when you build a team, you look at pairs, and I think the pair of [Voracek and Giroux] is very good, certainly one of the top pairs in the League.

— Flyers GM Ron Hextall on Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek after giving Voracek a multiyear extension Thursday