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2015 NHL Draft
(Page 21 of 164)
Features

Eriksson Ek, Larsson to head to Sweden WJC camp

Tuesday, 06.30.2015 / 2:25 PM / Prospects

NHL.com

Center Joel Eriksson Ek and defenseman Jacob Larsson, first-round picks at the 2015 NHL Draft, are among the 24 players who will take part in a summer evaluation camp for Sweden. It's one of the first steps toward picking the team that will represent Sweden at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The camp will be held Aug. 2-8 in Lake Placid, N.Y., as part of the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. Sweden will practice and play games against the United States and Finland.

Larsson, selected at No. 27 by the Anaheim Ducks, had eight goals and 19 points in 30 games with Frolunda's team in Sweden's under-20 league and one goal and two assists in 20 games with Frolunda in the SHL. The 6-foot-2, 191-pound defender was No. 3 on Central Scouting's final ranking of the top European skaters.

Kopitar, Stamkos headline free agent class for 2016

Tuesday, 06.30.2015 / 2:00 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Role players and depth defensemen are going to be the biggest currency of the day Wednesday when the 2015 NHL free agent market opens.

A big reason for that is most of the impact players who could be free agents have already signed new contracts with their current employers. Players in the free agent class of 2016 can begin signing extensions Wednesday, so it's time to take a look at the biggest names who can become unrestricted and restricted free agents a year from now.

There are plenty of impact players on these two lists, and any number of them signing a new contract could end up being the biggest news of the day and have the greatest lasting impact on a franchise.

O'Reilly excited to take on leadership role with Sabres

Tuesday, 06.30.2015 / 1:18 PM / NHL Insider

Kristen Nelson - NHL.com Staff Writer

Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly, acquired from the Colorado Avalanche in a draft-day trade Friday, will be looked upon to help their future franchise center to acclimate.

With forward Jack Eichel set to take the spotlight after the Sabres selected him with the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, coach Dan Bylsma will have O'Reilly, a six-year NHL veteran at the age of 24, to mentor him.

"It's flattering to be looked at that way," O'Reilly said Monday. "To come in with confidence in myself and them having confidence in me, it's definitely a huge honor and I'm looking forward to it."

Top 20 players available via free agency

Tuesday, 06.30.2015 / 12:05 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The next phase in the run-up to the 2015-16 season begins at noon ET on Wednesday, when the unrestricted free agent signing period begins.

The list of unrestricted free agents grew to include forwards Mike Richards, PA Parenteau, Cody Hodgson and Viktor Stalberg in the past few days. Richards cleared unconditional waivers and had his contract terminated by the Los Angeles Kings. The others cleared waivers and were bought out.

Meanwhile, forwards Jay Beagle (Washington Capitals) and Drew Stafford (Winnipeg Jets), goaltender Antti Niemi (Dallas Stars) and defenseman Adam McQuaid (Boston Bruins) were re-signed prior to reaching free agency. Niemi had his rights traded to the Stars from the San Jose Sharks during the 2015 NHL Draft.

Here are the 20 best unrestricted free agents (in alphabetical order) expected to be available when the market opens Wednesday:

Top 2015 NHL Draft picks with fantasy value

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Rookies can make a major impact on fantasy teams and can lead to long-term success in dynasty and keeper leagues. Seven players from the 2014 NHL Draft class played in at least one regular-season game in 2014-15. That group was made up of defenseman Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers)  and forwards David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins), Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres), Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers), Viktor Arvidsson (Nashville Predators), Samuel Bennett (Calgary Flames), and Kevin Fiala (Predators).

Ekblad won the Calder Trophy and his 39 points were two shy of the NHL record for a defenseman to start the season as an 18-year-old, set by Bobby Orr in 1966-67 (13-28-41). Ekblad was joined by forwards Johnny Gaudreau (2011 fourth-round pick) and Mark Stone (2010 sixth-round pick) as finalists for the Calder, showing rookie production doesn't just come from freshly drafted players. But with two generational talents at the top of its class, some members of the 2015 draft class should play a big role in fantasy sooner rather than later.

Lidstrom, Pronger among 2015 Hall candidates

Monday, 06.29.2015 / 12:18 PM / Hall of Fame

NHL.com

Defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Pronger are among the players who could be voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.

The Hall of Fame will announce its Class of 2015 entrants at 4 p.m. ET.

Lidstrom, in his first year on the ballot, is a near-certainty for election into the Hall. He spent his entire 20-season career with the Detroit Red Wings and helped them win the Stanley Cup four times; in 2008 he became the first European-born and -trained player to captain a team to the Cup.

Lidstrom also won the Norris Trophy seven times, one fewer than Bobby Orr's eight. He was a First-Team All-Star 10 times and played in the NHL All-Star Game 11 times.

Eakins excited for AHL return with Gulls, Ducks

Sunday, 06.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- When Dallas Eakins was fired by the Edmonton Oilers last December, he retreated to his home in Vancouver and re-discovered a missing piece of his life: His family.

Gone was the scrutiny of trying to resurrect a storied franchise. No more five-game, eight-day road trips. Eakins settled into a normal life after coming to terms with his termination.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Eakins said. “It was very hard at the start. Time heals wounds. You know you’re away from the family. [I have] two little girls. I didn't know exactly how much I was missing out until these last six months. It’s a time I will never forget.”

Lehner healthy, excited for fresh start with Sabres

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 11:42 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Robin Lehner said Saturday becoming more mature will give him a better chance of establishing himself as a No. 1 goaltender with the Buffalo Sabres than he had with the Ottawa Senators.

Ottawa traded Lehner and forward David Legwand to Buffalo on Friday for the 21st pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

"Maybe that's something I have to work on, my maturity level," Lehner said in an interview published by the Ottawa Sun on Saturday. "... I don't know what happened, but I wasn't happy with the way things played out. I think I came out of the gate good every season, I'd play good, and then I didn't get to play anymore. That's something I've got to work on going forward. People have different opinions. I can only speak for myself, but that's my opinion."

Lightning able to add to pipeline at NHL Draft

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 11:42 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning reached the Stanley Cup Final earlier this month with one of the NHL's youngest rosters. They spent two days at the 2015 NHL Draft adding more fresh talent.

The Lightning started Saturday with 10 selections and added nine players to their pipeline.

"You need young guys to keep coming," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said. "We started [the draft] with seven picks and tried to hang on to some of them. Not every player you draft is going to make the NHL. It's all part of the process. Hopefully these guys come in and give you options moving forward."

Devils will not re-sign forward Gomez: report

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 10:19 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NHL.com

The New Jersey Devils will not attempt to re-sign forward Scott Gomez, general manager Ray Shero told Northjersey.com on Saturday.

Gomez, 35, signed Nov. 20 after a training-camp tryout and tied for the Devils lead with 27 assists in his 58 games. He will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"It is what it is," Gomez told reporter Tom Gulitti. "The thing is I know I can play. I've proven that. I know I can play at this level. I know I can contribute. But it's time to focus on somewhere else."

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Quote of the Day

After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.

— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016