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Undrafted Appleby aims to get noticed at Blues camp

Friday, 07.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- It's not often the player who gets to stare down Connor McDavid comes away from the competition and can claim they got the best of the Edmonton Oilers phenom.

Goalie Ken Appleby is an exception.

Appleby not only helped the Oshawa Generals win the Memorial Cup last season, making 37 saves in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Western Hockey League's Kelowna Rockets in the championship game, he was able to look McDavid and the Erie Otters in the eye and win the Ontario Hockey League's Robertson Cup along the way.

It's been quite the ride for the 20-year-old North Bay, Ontario, native, who is participating in St. Louis Blues development camp this week.

Erne could fill void at power forward for Lightning

Friday, 07.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Long - Correspondent

BRANDON, Fla. -- Adam Erne knows that his performance at Tampa Bay Lightning development camp likely won't earn him a spot in the lineup this season, but the No. 33 pick at the 2013 NHL Draft hopes he gave the Lightning staff something to think about.

The Lightning appear set at forward. Last week, they signed free agent wing Erik Condra to a three-year contract and extended a qualifying offer to center Vladislav Namestnikov, moves that seemingly fill out Tampa Bay's bottom-six group for the 2015-16 season.

At 6-foot-1 and nearly 220 pounds, Erne is a true power forward. If the Lightning are looking for a physical presence as the season progresses, Erne has a big body that is tough to move.

"They have a lot of skilled guys on the team, great skaters," the 20-year-old left wing said. "And from me they are looking for a guy that's bigger and can play that power-forward role. I'm continuing to work hard to be that guy, and it's a process."

Prospects vying to fill scoring role on Canadiens

Thursday, 07.09.2015 / 5:00 PM / Prospects

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The Montreal Canadiens entered this offseason with a need for scoring, and barring any drastic moves from general manager Marc Bergevin it looks like that need will be filled from within.

Bergevin has not signed an unrestricted free agent forward since the market opened July 1 but acquired forward Zack Kassian from the Vancouver Canucks in a trade for Brandon Prust, which could be considered an upgrade offensively.

Assuming the status quo is maintained, it looks as though the scoring boost might need to come from one or perhaps two of the players who completed Canadiens development camp Thursday.

Bergevin said as much July 2 when asked how he plans on addressing an offense that finished 20th in the NHL last season, last among teams that qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Why draft players if you're never going to give them a chance?" Bergevin asked.

Ho-Sang aims to make Islanders roster this season

Thursday, 07.09.2015 / 4:17 PM / Prospects

Kristen Nelson - Staff Writer

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Midway through the second period of the New York Islanders' annual Blue & White scrimmage at Barclays Center on Wednesday, Joshua Ho-Sang came off the ice and sat directly on forward Connor Graham's lap.

Seemingly a little confused, Graham smiled and allowed his lifelong friend to rest for a few seconds before the two burst into laughter and Ho-Sang found a vacant spot on the bench.

"I don't think you should do anything without having fun, it's kind of pointless," Ho-Sang said. "I've known Connor for almost my whole life. Being able to make jokes like that kind of lightens the mood."

That lighthearted approach is how Ho-Sang, a first-round pick (No. 28) at the 2014 NHL Draft, is carrying himself through the duration of Islanders development camp.

Maple Leafs sign Marincin to one-year contract

Thursday, 07.09.2015 / 3:52 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has signed defenseman Martin Marincin to a one-year contract.

Marincin, 23, was acquired by the Maple Leafs in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on June 27 in exchange for forward Brad Ross and a fourth-round pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft. In 85 NHL games over two seasons (2013-14, 2014-15) with the Oilers, the Kosice, Slovakia native registered one goal, 10 assists and 32 penalty minutes. He was also a member of the 2014 Slovakian Olympic team that competed in Sochi, Russia. Marincin was originally selected by Edmonton in the second round (46th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Unmasked: Canucks prospect Demko nears return

Thursday, 07.09.2015 / 3:43 PM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

SHAWNIGAN LAKE, British Columbia -- Vancouver Canucks goaltending prospect Thatcher Demko said his recent hip surgery is not a setback. He is more excited to see what he can do with two healthy hips.

When you hear how limited Demko's mobility was before having his hips repaired after his second season at Boston College ended in April, and consider what the 19-year-old has accomplished playing through the injuries for almost four years, it's hard to blame him.

"This will be the healthiest I have been. Ever," said Demko, who was Vancouver's second-round pick (No. 36) at the 2014 NHL Draft. "I have just been looking forward to the day I can play pain free for about four years. I'm excited to get some gear on and see what that's like."

Stalberg eager for opportunity to win with Rangers

Thursday, 07.09.2015 / 3:32 PM / NHL Insider

Viktor Stalberg won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and is hoping to experience that feeling again with the New York Rangers this season.

"Winning Stanley Cup is surreal. It's a great moment in your life and you always want to get back there because it was so amazing," the 29-year old forward told on Thursday. "I want to do it again. That's why I'm here."

Stalberg spent the past two seasons with the Nashville Predators, who bought out the final two years of his contract in June. The Rangers signed him to a one-year, $1.1 million contract on July 1.

Larkin got attention of Red Wings coach in AHL

Thursday, 07.09.2015 / 12:56 PM / Prospects

Detroit Red Wings prospect Dylan Larkin has met his share of challenges on his road to trying to earn an NHL roster spot.

In his first season at the University of Michigan in 2014-15, he was named the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year. He was arguably the best player for the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, and he surprised Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill with his play in Grand Rapids during the American Hockey League playoffs late last season.

Blashill, who coached Larkin with the Grand Rapids Griffins before replacing Mike Babcock as Detroit coach, is anxious to see what more Larkin can muster in his first NHL training camp in September.

Predators prospect Vesey opts to stay at Harvard

Thursday, 07.09.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Robby Stanley - Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Forward Jimmy Vesey feels that earning a degree from Harvard University will provide him with plenty of future opportunities outside of hockey, even though it pushed back his chance to make the Nashville Predators.

When the Predators selected Vesey in the third round (No. 66) in the 2012 NHL Draft, they knew he had the potential to be a dynamic offensive player. Vesey showed off that potential at Harvard during the 2014-15 season, leading the nation with 32 goals. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top college player in the country.

Vesey, a junior, could have turned pro and signed with the Predators in March, after the Crimson's season ended. Instead, he chose to return for his senior season.

Earning his degree from Harvard is important to Vesey.

"It was a really tough decision for me," Vesey said this week at Nashville's development camp.

Futures List indicates great depth for 2016 NHL Draft

Thursday, 07.09.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

The buildup to the 2015 NHL Draft was filled with intrigue and excitement behind the exceptionally talented Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.

McDavid was selected with the first pick by the Edmonton Oilers and Eichel went No. 2 to the Buffalo Sabres. Each has looked sharp in his respective rookie camp, but several other players taken after the dynamic duo have also impressed.

Many scouts believe an even better collection of blue-chip standouts await NHL teams in the 2016 draft at First Niagara Center on June 24-25, 2016, in Buffalo, N.Y.

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