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2014 NHL Draft
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In the Pipeline

Rangers prospect Duclair eager to make jump

Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

James Murphy - NHL.com Correspondent

Quebec Remparts forward and New York Rangers prospect Anthony Duclair missed the last seven games of the regular season and has not played in the first four Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff games due to a concussion sustained Feb. 28.

While sitting in the stands at the most exciting time of the year is obviously frustrating, Duclair has had a season to remember and likely made the Rangers very happy they took the skilled left wing in the third round (No. 80) of the 2013 NHL Draft. After Duclair scored 20 goals and added 30 assists in the 2012-13 season despite missing five-plus weeks with a sprained ankle, he more than doubled his goal total this season with 50 in 59 games; he fell one point shy of 100 points.

"Missing the last seven games of the season because I was there at 99 points and one point shy of 100, so that was pretty frustrating," Duclair said. "Then just watching the boys battle it out from the stands, you want to be down there and now the playoffs being the most exciting time of the year, it's definitely tough to watch from the outside."


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Jackets' prospect Reilly making strides with Gophers

Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

MINNEAPOLIS -- University of Minnesota assistant coach Mike Guentzel has coached plenty of players who went on to become NHL defensemen in his time with the Golden Gophers.

Since becoming an assistant coach at Minnesota 20 years ago, Guentzel has seen players such as Jordan Leopold of the St. Louis BluesPaul Martin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alex Gologoski of the Dallas Starsand Erik Johnson of the Colorado Avalanche come through the program en route to the NHL.

He has another potential NHL defenseman under his watch now in Mike Reilly, a fourth-round pick (No. 98) of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011.

Reilly, a sophomore, is a late-bloomer who finally is starting to add some pro size to his already elite skill.

"When I was in ninth grade I was about 5-foot-4 and about 100 pounds," Reilly said. "Ever since then I've just kept growing and getting stronger. There's still a lot of muscle I can put on. I'm just focused on putting on the correct muscle."

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Capitals' pick Burakovsky developing rapidly in OHL

Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

ERIE, Pa. -- When the Washington Capitals selected forward Andre Burakovsky at No. 23 in the 2013 NHL Draft out of Malmo, Sweden, they may have wound up picking their next great superstar forward.

Burakovsky was ranked as the sixth-best international skater by NHL Central Scouting and is playing in his first season with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, his first campaign in North America. For some players that transition is difficult.

That hasn't been the case for Burakovsky, who has 32 goals and 68 points in 48 games with the Otters and is leaving a big impression on the Capitals.

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Poirier has future in mind during QMJHL playoffs

Tuesday, 02.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs have the attention of Gatineau Olympiques standout Emile Poirier, but that doesn't mean the Calgary Flames aren't in his crosshairs too.

In the midst of a career season, Poirier has his sights set on making an impression on the Flames in the postseason because that's where the true stars shine.

"I think so far I'm satisfied [with my season], but the playoffs are coming so I need to get ready," said Poirier, who has skated primarily with Montreal Canadiens prospect Martin Reway and Ottawa Senators fifth-round pick Vincent Dunn this season. "It's the most important time of the year. I think the playoffs are where the good players show up the most.

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Small in stature, Jets prospect Petan playing big game

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- As an undersized center, Winnipeg Jets prospect Nicolas Petan could have picked an easier path to pro hockey.

Petan could have played college hockey instead of the Western Hockey League, giving him more time to fill out a slender 5-foot-9 frame. But he wanted to prove his game already was big enough for a pro-style game, so he went to the Portland Winterhawks instead.

"As a small guy he could have looked in another direction, taken his time in college, but he wanted to prove he could play in a physical, demanding league," Portland coach and general manager Mike Johnston said. "Everybody asks if a small guy can play with the big guys. He wanted to prove to everybody he could play major junior."

Petan has done just that. He tied linemate Brendan Leipsic for the WHL scoring lead with 120 points in 71 games last season and was picked in the second round (No. 43) by the Jets in the 2013 NHL Draft. And after a strong showing at a preseason camp and tournament for NHL prospects, Petan has continued to dominate in the WHL this season.

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Blackhawks using patience with Johns, Hinostroza

Tuesday, 02.11.2014 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

There used to be a time, not long ago, when the Chicago Blackhawks might have placed prospects like Stephen Johns and Vincent Hinostroza on the fast track.

The college teammates are each having a strong season for Notre Dame, their first as members of the Hockey East Association, but the Blackhawks haven't assigned a specific NHL timeline to either of them.

Chicago's core group of top NHL players, who won the Stanley Cup twice in the span of four seasons, is intact, and the Blackhawks have stocked their system with promising prospects. They now have the luxury of letting future hopefuls develop longer, if needed, and they're thrilled about it.

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Flames' Granlund ready to make his mark

Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

ABBOTSFORD -- Calgary Flames prospect Markus Granlund always will be the younger brother of Mikael Granlund, who is a year older and was picked a round earlier by the Minnesota Wild.

The big question is whether Markus always will be known as Mikael's little brother. Midway through his first season in North America, the Flames think their Granlund might just escape that shadow.

Mikael, who was taken ninth in the 2010 NHL Draft, has five goals and 28 points in 44 games in his second NHL season. Markus, picked in the second round (No. 45) by Calgary in 2011, leads the Abbotsford Heat and all American Hockey League rookies with 19 goals, and his 34 points in 41 games rank second in team scoring and fifth among rookies.

"A young star in the waiting," Heat coach Troy Ward said.

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Canadiens prospect Hudon deals with hectic month

Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

James Murphy - NHL.com Correspondent

The past month has been quite a whirlwind for 19-year old Montreal Canadiens prospect Charles Hudon.

As if playing for Hockey Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden wasn't enough pressure, the 5-foot-10, 171-pound forward, selected in the fifth round (No. 122) in the 2012 NHL Draft, was traded from his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team, the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar on Dec. 20. Hudon was overseas when he got the news and admitted it took him by surprise.

"It was tough," Hudon said. "Chicoutimi was my home and I loved it there. It was very tough. But playing for Team Canada at the time made it a bit easier and they gave me a good welcome here in Baie-Comeau by the players and the team and I'm excited to be playing here now."

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Pens prospect Pouliot enjoying hectic junior season

Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER – After playing his third game in three nights, Portland Winterhawks defenseman Derrick Pouliot could hardly be blamed if he looked more like a Walking Dead extra than a top Pittsburgh Penguins prospect.

With a game-day ferry ride mixed in for good measure, it was also Pouliot's fourth game in five nights since flying back from Sweden following a disappointing performance at the IIHF World Junior Championship in which Pouliot and Team Canada failed to win a medal. Through these frantic few weeks, Pouliot was still able to demonstrate the skill and poise that has the Penguins very excited about their prized prospect.

Following that hectic schedule, Pouliot was looking forward to four days off to go home to Weyburn, Saskatchewan, where he would celebrate his 20th birthday with friends and family.

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In the Pipeline: Vesey finding his game at Harvard

Monday, 01.13.2014 / 1:10 PM / In the Pipeline

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

In a college hockey landscape featuring a few traditional powerhouses, Harvard University has flown under the radar the past couple of years. That's just one of the reasons it might be the perfect place for forward Jimmy Vesey.

A sophomore from North Reading, Mass., Vesey never overwhelmed scouts. In fact, he wasn't selected at the 2011 NHL Draft. But rather than be embittered after being passed over by every NHL team, Vesey became even more motivated to prove the scouts wrong.

"My next year, when I played juniors for the South Shore Kings [of the Eastern Junior Hockey League], that's when I tried to prove them all wrong," Vesey said. "Right now, I don't think about it anymore. I'm just focused on my own development."

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Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets