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McDonald, Peplinski to coach at Top Prospects Game

Friday, 11.15.2013 / 3:10 PM / Prospects

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- Lanny McDonald and Jim Peplinski, who captained the Calgary Flames to the 1989 Stanley Cup, will serve as opposing coaches at the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

The game, which will feature 40 of the top players from the Canadian Hockey League eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, will be played Jan. 15, 2014 at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"These are the next stars of tomorrow and we will be very proud to be a very small part in helping them get to the top," McDonald said. "Obviously with all the [NHL] scouts here we know how important it is so we are not taking this lightly. We obviously want to win but we want to showcase the talent more than anything."

Halifax's Ehlers earns promotion by Central Scouting

Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 10:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer


It was five months ago that three players from the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League were making waves at the 2013 NHL Draft.

Nathan MacKinnon was the center of attention as the No. 1 pick by the Colorado Avalanche. Dynamic Jonathan Drouin was chosen two picks later by the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Zachary Fucale was the first goalie selected when he was taken in the second round (No. 36) by the Montreal Canadiens.

According to NHL Central Scouting, another prominent forward is making news for the Mooseheads this season: left wing Nikolaj Ehlers. Born in Aalborg, Denmark, the 5-foot-11.5, 162-pound left-handed shot perfected his game in Switzerland for Biel the past six seasons before joining Halifax this season.

Goalie prospect Johansson could be big catch at draft

Thursday, 11.07.2013 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

No player on the ice is under more pressure than the goalie. And every masked man has a different way of escaping that pressure.

Some read books. Others spend time sacked out in front of the television.

Top goaltending prospect Jonas Johansson picks up his fly rod and finds a nice stream.

"I like fishing a lot, fly fishing," Johansson told "Back where I'm from we go up into the Swedish mountains every summer and fish one week. I look forward to that week every year."

DeAngelo followed unique path to Sarnia

Thursday, 10.31.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Watching Sarnia Sting defenseman Anthony DeAngelo with the puck on his stick, you can tell he's not the most patient player.

That carries over to his off-ice life as well, which is a big reason the Sewell, N.J., native made his way to Sarnia in the first place.

It's turned into a strong move, as DeAngelo has blossomed into one of the top offensive defensemen in the Ontario Hockey League and one of the top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft.

"Obviously he's a very, very dynamic player offensively," Sarnia coach Trevor Letowski told "He's really a threat as far as being a defenseman. He's able to create offense not just on the power play, but at 5-on-5 he's a threat. The other thing that really sticks out is he's a really passionate player. That's when he's at his best. He sometimes walks a fine line. He competes so hard, he wants to win, he wants to be the difference out there. It's been fun for me to watch him develop."

Nick Schmaltz following in brother's footsteps

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Nick Schmaltz knows the perfect role model from which to build his hockey resume.

That would be his brother Jordan, who happened to be a 2012 first-round pick (No. 25) of the St. Louis Blues.

"I look up to him and am happy for what he has accomplished so far with his career," Schmaltz said of his older brother. "It's pretty unique to have a brother be such a good player so I take advantage of that and learn from his experiences. I hope I can achieve some of the goals that he has already."

It isn't by accident that Nick basically has followed the same path as Jordan, playing for the under-16 Chicago Mission and now with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League. He's also committed to the University of North Dakota, where Jordan is now starring as a sophomore defenseman.

U.S. to hold World Junior camp in Minneapolis

Wednesday, 10.23.2013 / 12:42 PM / Prospects

USA Hockey announced Wednesday that the coaching staff for the U.S. National Junior Team will hold a four-day training camp from Dec. 15-18 in Minneapolis to help determine the roster for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The United States, the defending WJC gold medalist, will join seven other countries at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden, from Dec. 26-Jan. 5, 2014. The final 23-player roster for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team will be announced Dec. 23.

Five practices are scheduled at the University of Minnesota's Mariucci Arena and a pre-tournament game at Minnesota State University is slated for Dec. 17. After training camp in Minneapolis is complete, the remaining players and coaches will travel to Angelholm, Sweden, from Dec. 19-23 to continue the evaluation process.

NHL Draft prospects top U.S. World Junior A roster

Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 4:39 PM / Prospects Staff

USA Hockey on Thursday announced the roster for the World Junior A Challenge, to be held Nov. 4-10 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

All players on the 22-man roster play in the United States Hockey League.

The six-team international tournament features the United States, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland, and two teams from Canada -- West and East. The U.S. will open the tournament against Russia on Nov. 5.

The roster includes three players selected in the 2013 NHL Draft, including a pair taken by the Buffalo Sabres -- forward Connor Hurley, a second-round pick (No. 38) playing for the Muskegon Lumberjacks, and goaltender Calvin Petersen, a fifth-round selection (No. 129) playing for the Waterloo Black Hawks. Also picked for the team was Fargo Force forward Teemu Kivihalme, a fifth-round pick (No. 140) of the Nashville Predators.

DeLeo hoping to be Winterhawks' next success story

Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Chase De Leo has always been privy to the success rate of players drafted into the NHL from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.

It was a big reason he decided to join the team in 2011-12 following a successful stint with the Under-16 Los Angeles Selects back home in California.

The native of La Mirada was a ninth-round pick (No. 192) of the Winterhawks in the 2010 WHL bantam draft after connecting for 27 goals and 83 points in 28 games for the L.A. Selects bantam AAA team that would advance to the national championship.

Top 2014 prospect Reinhart already a hockey lifer

Thursday, 10.10.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

It's only partially true that Sam Reinhart has been playing hockey since the day he was born.

"My parents always joke the day I came out of the hospital and went home after I was born, they [older brothers Max and Griffin] had me in our playroom upstairs shooting tennis balls at me," he told

"I'm not sure what day, but it was shortly after [he came home]," Paul Reinhart, a former NHL player and father of the three boys, told "He [Sam] was still in his car seat when they carried him up there. I'm not sure if it was the day after, but it was early in his life. He got a taste for it, for sure."

When it comes to hockey, the game is part of the family DNA.

Move to North America suited Honka's style of play

Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

All European-born players treat the decision differently on when and why to move to North America to continue their hockey career. Some opt to stay home until they're NHL-ready, while others wait until after they've gone through their draft year.

But for Finnish defenseman Julius Honka, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, he knew exactly where he wanted to be in his draft year.

Taken by the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League with the 34th pick of the 2013 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, Honka wasted little time booking a plane ticket for Saskatchewan.

"That is the best choice for me," Honka told of going to Swift Current. "[This season] I have the draft and that is the best choice for me. … It wasn't that hard of a choice."

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