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Features

Fantasy specialists: Who helps in each category

Wednesday, 09.10.2014 / 10:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

When drafting a fantasy hockey team, it's always important to make sure you address every statistical need. The goal is to put together the best possible well-rounded roster.

There are only a handful of players capable of providing value in all or most categories (Corey Perry, David Backes, Brandon Dubinsky and Milan Lucic, to name a few), which is why you must draft players for specific needs. Here are some skaters to consider for each fantasy category, some as mid-level picks and others as options late in the draft:

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Abbott signs one-year contract with Maple Leafs

Tuesday, 09.09.2014 / 3:38 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Restricted free-agent forward Spencer Abbott signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team announced Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Abbott, 26, made his NHL debut last season in an Oct. 5 game against the Ottawa Senators.

He spent the remainder of the season with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, where he had 17 goals and was second on the team with 69 points in 64 regular-season games. Abbott was named an AHL Second-Team All-Star and was selected to participate in the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic, but missed the game due to injury.

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MacKinnon: Drouin earned his top-prospect status

Tuesday, 09.09.2014 / 3:21 PM / NHL.com's Top 60 Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Nathan MacKinnon knows a little something about how to excel as a rookie in the NHL.

He did it in 2013-14 as a member of the Colorado Avalanche, leading all first-year players in points (63) and tying for first in goals (24) en route to winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.

MacKinnon is pretty confident that Jonathan Drouin, his former linemate with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is ready to take a similar path with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014-15.

Drouin was voted the No. 1 NHL prospect on NHL.com's Top 60 prospect ranking, released Tuesday.

"I don't see a lot of junior-hockey highlights now but I'm on Twitter and noticed he was tearing it up," MacKinnon said of Drouin. "He had some sick games and I watched the highlights online. I still try and follow the Mooseheads whenever I can."


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Future Goals program uses hockey as teaching tool

Tuesday, 09.09.2014 / 2:37 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- As Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban made the rounds from student to student at Newark Science Park High School on Tuesday, he started thinking about how big of an impact education has had on his life and his family.

"My family has a very big educational background," Subban said. "My dad worked in the Toronto District School Board for over 30 years as a principal. My sisters are both teachers. My sister's husband is a teacher. Working with kids and the school board has been something my family has been doing for a long time."

Now Subban will get his chance to do the same through the Future Goals Digital Education Program, a joint initiative between the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association.

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Capitals re-sign defenseman Cameron Schilling

Tuesday, 09.09.2014 / 9:46 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Defenseman Cameron Schilling re-signed Tuesday with the Washington Capitals, receiving a one-year, two-way contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Schilling, 25, has played in one game for the Capitals in each of the past two seasons. He had three goals and 16 points in 70 games last season for the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. He had seven goals and 16 points in 2012-13 for Hershey.

Schilling was signed by Washington as an undrafted free agent on March 27, 2012.

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'Superhuman' Lundqvist a guest on 'Late Show'

Tuesday, 09.09.2014 / 9:36 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Henrik Lundqvist
Goalie - NYR
RECORD: 33-24-5
GAA: 2.36 | SVP: .920
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist spent about two months in the spotlight during the run to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. Training camp is more than a week away, but he was right back in the spotlight Monday.

After participating in the annual NHL Player Media Tour earlier in the day, Lundqvist was a guest on "Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS. The host started the segment by running off Lundqvist's accomplishments with the Rangers, highlighted by becoming the first goaltender in history to win five Game 7s in his career.

Lundqvist is the only goaltender to win at least 30 games in each of his first seven NHL seasons. He won the Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender in 2012 and is tops on the Rangers' list in wins (309) and shutouts (50). New York lost to the Los Angeles Kings in five games in the Cup Final in June.

"I could never … if I lived to be 1,000, [I] could never do what this guy does," Letterman said as he introduced Lundqvist to the audience. "Who can do what this guy does? I have nothing but endless admiration for him."

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Eriksson leads fantasy injury bounce-back candidates

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Year after year, injuries alter the fantasy hockey landscape. It's tough for fantasy owners to anticipate them and even more difficult for your team to remain in contention when your players are affected by them.

But it's important to not lose sight of the past once the following season rolls around. Proven superstars, sleeper candidates and top prospects carry the pizzazz that attracts fantasy owners, but there are always players coming off injury-plagued seasons who are primed to bounce back.

There are plenty of recent examples of this trend. Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens, who dealt with knee injuries over multiple seasons, regained form in 2012-13 to finish second in power-play points and tied for fourth in points among defensemen. Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, who was limited to 58 games in 2011-12, has been nearly a point-per-game player since (113 points in past 118 regular-season games).

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Five Questions: Kane wants another crack at Kings

Tuesday, 09.09.2014 / 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 during the regular season and every other Tuesday in the offseason. We talk to key figures in the game today and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane:

Patrick Kane had no choice but to talk about what almost happened last season, about how close the Chicago Blackhawks were to reaching the Stanley Cup Final and, obviously, repeating as Stanley Cup champions.

As Kane was shuttled from conference room to conference room Monday, meeting with media outlets at the NHL's annual Player Media Tour, he was repeatedly asked about overcoming the loss to the Los Angeles Kings in overtime in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final.

"It stings just talking about it and getting a bunch of questions about it, that's for sure," Kane said in his interview with NHL.com. "But I think the biggest thing is you realize how good of a series it was, how entertaining it was for the fans to watch and how entertaining it was to be a part of.

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Making the cut: Top 60 prospects composite rankings

Tuesday, 09.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's Top 60 Prospects

In order to find out who could be the next stars in the NHL, we unveil NHL.com's Top 60 Prospect Rankings.

The list is a composite drawn from three NHL.com staff writers, Adam Kimelman, Mike Morreale and Corey Masisak, as well as three anonymous NHL scouts.

The only rule the voters were given was that players have to enter the 2014-15 season with Calder Trophy eligibility.

First-place votes on the list were valued at 60 points, second-place votes at 59 points, and it continued down through the No. 60 player on each list receiving one point.

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Capitals, Ducks lead pack in Top 60 prospect rankings

Tuesday, 09.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's Top 60 Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Stanley Cup fortunes for the Anaheim Ducks and Washington Capitals might not be the same right now, but they have to like where their futures are headed.

The two franchises each had four players in NHL.com's Top 60 prospect rankings, the most of any team.

The Capitals had two in the top 15, led by center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was No. 3 in voting by three NHL.com staff writers and three NHL scouts. After four seasons of watching and waiting, the 22-year-old showed he was worth the patience with three goals and six assists in 17 late-season games.

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