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2014 NHL Draft
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NHL Insider

Top prospect Bennett focused on making Flames

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Sam Bennett isn't about to make any guarantees.

With two months until the opening of training camp, the No. 4 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft isn't feeling entitled to a spot on the Calgary Flames roster.

"I'm not going to say I'm going to make the team," Bennett said during Calgary development camp. "But that's definitely my goal and I'm just going to go out there and try my hardest to do whatever I can to make it. Whatever happens, happens.

"Definitely, I'm going to do whatever I can."

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Trio of Flyers prospects patiently waiting their turn

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Scott Laughton experienced the thrill of making an NHL opening-night roster twice. Shayne Gostisbehere got his first taste of professional hockey last season, as did Robert Hagg, who made his North American pro debut in 2013-14.

All the experiences did was make three key members of the future of the Philadelphia Flyers hungry for more.

"Every day I think about it," Laughton said. "Just try to work toward it."

Laughton, the Flyers' first-round pick (No. 20) in the 2012 NHL Draft, could be the closest of the three to making the team. He already has NHL experience, playing five games with Philadelphia at the start of the 2012-13 season.

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Leafs' Reimer expects opportunity to claim No. 1 job

Monday, 07.28.2014 / 6:48 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

James Reimer has no intention of coming to training camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a backup goaltender.

Reimer joined The Jeff Blair Show on Sportsnet's Fan 590 radio station in Toronto on Monday to talk about the two-year, $4.6 million contract he signed recently and said he expects to compete with Jonathan Bernier for the starting job.

"I was told there's a definite opportunity," Reimer said. "That's the mindset I'm coming in with, to really take advantage of the opportunity that's been given and earn the No. 1 spot."

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Coyotes prospect Kulda looking to build on heroics

Monday, 07.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After scoring 34 goals in the 2014 calendar year, including 10 in the playoffs and four in six Memorial Cup games for the champion Edmonton Oil Kings, Edgars Kulda's draft stock was reportedly on the rise.

His goal and two assists in the championship-game win against the Guelph Storm capped a Memorial Cup MVP performance for the 19-year-old Latvian left wing, and all those late-round draft projections were soon adjusted to third- and fourth-round. Some predicted he could go as high as the second round.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the podium.

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Quenneville made strong impression at Devils camp

Monday, 07.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils wasted no time introducing first-round pick John Quenneville to the rigors of professional hockey.

In a puck-possession drill that opened a morning session at development camp, the No. 30 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft went 1-on-1 against 2012 first-round choice Stefan Matteau, who spent last season with the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League.

"He has shown talent and has size to him; he reminds me of me in my first year," Matteau, a No. 29 pick, said. "He's a good player and will be an NHL player for sure."

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Memories of father help guide Chiasson brothers

Sunday, 07.27.2014 / 10:30 AM / NHL Insider

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Despite being the middle of summer, the Carolina Hurricanes locker room is buzzing with an unusual kind of hockey energy. The players there, for the most part, are not ready for the NHL, draft picks and camp invitees finishing their first day of prospect development camp. They are wide-eyed and enthusiastic, hustling to get ready for a team dinner.

But just outside the dressing area two players clearly are on another wavelength. They are holding court with Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis, who gives the two young men his undivided attention. The scene looks a bit unusual: Two teenage players driving the conversation with a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The two up-and-comers are brothers Mike Chiasson and Ryan Chiasson. They earned their invitations to camp, just as they did their audience with Francis. Yet if there is the sense Francis is giving extra care to these two players in particular, it's because he is.

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Bruins prospect Donato eager to uphold family name

Saturday, 07.26.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- It's a challenge for any athlete to live up to the reputation forged by a father who's excelled at sports' highest level.

For Boston Bruins prospect Ryan Donato, the challenges don't end there.

Boston's second-round pick (No. 56) in the 2014 NHL Draft, Donato attended Bruins development camp at Ristuccia Arena and has to follow in the footsteps of his father, Ted Donato, who played in 796 NHL games, including more than 500 with the Bruins.

Not only is Ryan competing for the same organization that drafted his father in the fifth round (No. 98) of the 1987 draft, but the Massachusetts native was raised in the area and last season attended the Dexter School in Brookline, Mass.

It all adds up to some mighty high expectations for the 18-year-old.

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Blackhawks' Richards dreamed of being their goalie

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 8:55 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Brad Richards
Center - CHI
GOALS: 20 | ASST: 31 | PTS: 51
SOG: 259 | +/-: -8
Brad Richards always thought he might play for the Chicago Blackhawks one day.

But idolizing Eddie Belfour, Richards wanted it to be at another position.

"I always wanted to be a goalie, but my dad, Glen, would never let me," Richards told Blackhawks team historian Bob Verdi in an interview on their website published Friday.

"He played goalie a bit himself, but he wouldn’t have it. I liked all the equipment, the gear, and whenever he wasn’t around, I was a goalie in street hockey. But he wouldn’t allow it, and I cried my eyes out when he said no."

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Sharks' Couture still recovering from loss to Kings

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 2:17 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Logan Couture
Center - SJS
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 31 | PTS: 54
SOG: 233 | +/-: 21

Logan Couture's right hand and psyche still bear the scars of the San Jose Sharks' loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

His hand was injured during the series in a fight with Kings center Mike Richards. He's recovered slowly but expects to be OK by training camp. Recovering emotionally from surrendering a 3-0 series lead against the Kings could take a bit longer.

"I just think about how much it hurts," he said Thursday at the Smashfest charity pingpong event in Toronto, according to The Canadian Press. "The feelings aren't going to go away, probably never. It's just something that sticks with you for a long time."

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Tippett eager to get Coyotes' newcomers on ice

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 1:50 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett has no intention of seeing his club miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a third straight season. He's optimistic the four veterans acquired by general manager Don Maloney will help.

The Coyotes added veteran forwards Sam Gagner and B.J. Crombeen in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 29, then signed goaltender Devan Dubnyk and forward Joe Vitale as free agents. Gagner is expected to center one of the top two lines, and Vitale and Crombeen will battle for bottom-six roles. Dubnyk is expected to back up starter Mike Smith.

Arizona is trying to end a two-year absence from the playoffs after finishing two points behind the Dallas Stars for the final wild card in the Western Conference last season.

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Quote of the Day

I kept refreshing the page on the NHL website after the second round and I was shocked he lasted that long. I'm sure the Coyotes were pretty happy to get him. He's such a good player and he plays big in big games.

— Arizona Coyotes forward Henrik Samuelsson on prospect Edgars Kulda being draftedd