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Maple Leafs, Senators prospects to play as unbeatens

Saturday, 09.07.2013 / 11:32 PM / Prospects

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators each remained unbeaten at the prospects tournament in London, Ontario with shootout wins Saturday.

The NHL rivals play each other Sunday.

"Everybody knows Ottawa and Toronto is always a battle, no matter if it's the actual Maple Leafs or the rookies here," Brad Ross told the Toronto website. "So we're going to take it very seriously."

Jets prospects Scheifele, Trouba aim to make team

Saturday, 09.07.2013 / 8:50 PM / Prospects

Ryan Dittrick - Correspondent

PENTICTON, British Columbia -- As far as Winnipeg Jets prospects Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba are concerned, this is their time to lay it all on the line.

Scheifele, in particular, knows the drill better than most.

As a veteran of the Young Stars Classic being held here this weekend, and about to attend his third Jets training camp, the 20-year-old center with 11 games of NHL experience is intent on graduating to full-time duty this season.

"Every year that I've been to camp I've gotten a little taste of what it's like to play in the NHL, but getting in some games last year was huge," Scheifele said. "Experiences like that are huge in building your confidence."

Hockey lifer Biggs helped Tyler's path to NHL

Saturday, 09.07.2013 / 7:00 PM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

If there was a picture next to "hockey lifer" in the dictionary, there's a good chance you'd see Don Biggs.

An eighth-round pick of the Minnesota North Stars in 1983, Biggs played 12 games in the NHL, 11 with a Philadelphia Flyers team that finished last in its division in the 1989-90 season. But thanks to his toughness, leadership and an innate ability to get under the skin of other players, Biggs carved out a 17-year pro hockey career spent mostly in the American Hockey League and International Hockey League.

The highlights include winning a Calder Cup with the Hershey Bears in 1988 and serving as captain of the Cincinnati Cyclones. Despite those successes, he's still asked often (maybe too often) about serving as Patrick Swayze's stunt double in the 1986 movie "Youngblood."

Jones impressive in Predators prospect game

Saturday, 09.07.2013 / 4:37 PM / Prospects

Alain Poupart - Correspondent

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- Seth Jones may or may not have made the Florida Panthers regret not taking him with the second pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

What is certain is that Friday night he didn't do anything to make the Nashville Predators regret taking him with the fourth pick.

Once touted as the potential first pick in the 2013 draft, the defenseman vowed to do his best to make the Colorado Avalanche, Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning "regret not taking me."

In his first game wearing a Predators jersey, Jones showed off his smooth skating, deft stickhandling and big shot in an 8-4 victory against the Panthers at the prospect tournament at Florida's practice facility.

Patient path for Stars goalie prospect Campbell

Saturday, 09.07.2013 / 10:31 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- It isn't easy playing the waiting game as a goalie with high expectations chosen in the first round of the NHL Draft.

It appears Dallas Stars prospect and 2010 first-round pick Jack Campbell has finally come to grips with his situation and is at peace with where he is and where he wants to be in his development within the organization. It's a recipe for success for any young goalie aspiring to one day reach the NHL.

"If you were to ask me when I was 18 and drafted [No. 11], when I thought I would be playing in the NHL, I would have thought I would have been able to make it by now for sure," Campbell told at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament being held this week.

Campbell isn't alone. The mindset he had is probably the same as a majority of young drafted goalies, but the 21-year-old has since changed his outlook for the better.

Murphy aims to play for Hurricanes this season

Friday, 09.06.2013 / 10:05 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Carolina Hurricanes prospect Ryan Murphy is a firm believer that the reward is a lot greater than the risk whenever he steps on the ice.

It's a mindset the defenseman will continue to have until the day he becomes a regular in the Hurricanes lineup. Defensemen always take a lot longer to mature and develop following their draft year, and Murphy is no exception.

"Everyone has to work on things and I'm a high-risk player, so if I could eliminate a bit of the risk from my game, I think that'll help me a lot. … I know I have to prove [I am] defensively responsible," Murphy told "I'm getting there. I'm going to work hard every day and hopefully prove to everyone that I can play at the next level."

Pageau scores for Senators at rookie tournament

Friday, 09.06.2013 / 9:12 AM / Prospects

Few players can follow a Stanley Cup Playoff hat trick with a goal in a rookie tournament, but Jean-Gabriel Pageau of the Ottawa Senators did that Thursday.

Derek Grant scored twice, and Pageau and Troy Rutkowski each had a goal in a 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the prospects tournament being played in London, Ontario.

"I think it went well; it was our first game," Pageau told the Senators' website. "The pace was pretty high but I think our team stayed in the game plan, worked pretty hard, and good things happen when you work hard."

Pageau scored a hat trick in Game 3 of a first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens last season.

World Junior cuts provide motivation for prospects

Thursday, 09.05.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

When you've been the best player on your team since you were about 10 years old and scouts have been tracking your development almost as long, there are certain things to which you grow accustomed. Big-pressure games, high-level competition, intense training; these are common things for world-class junior hockey stars.

Getting cut is not.

But even some of the world's top junior-aged players have faced the sting of getting cut when it has come time to try to make their national team for the IIHF World Junior Championship. The top under-20 tournament in the world is often a barometer for determining the top young prospects in the game. And for some of the top-ranked players -- many of whom have just been selected in the NHL Draft -- it means getting cut for the first time in their young lives.

Rangers' McIlrath finds ideal mentor in Beukeboom

Wednesday, 09.04.2013 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

The New York Rangers knew what they were getting when they selected defenseman Dylan McIlrath with the 10th pick in the 2010 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Winnipeg native was one of the Western Hockey League's most intimidating players in his four seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors, piling up 551 penalty minutes in 232 WHL games.

McIlrath missed the beginning of his 2012-13 season with a knee injury. Then, less than 10 minutes into his first pro game with the Rangers' American Hockey League affiliate in Connecticut, McIlrath engaged in a scrap with Bridgeport's Brett Gallant, setting the tone for his campaign. He has since added some muscle to his prominent frame and honed his signature nastiness.

On the plus side, the key moment of McIlrath's initial pro season might have been being partnered with a perfect mentor: former Rangers defenseman Jeff Beukeboom, one of the team's assistant coaches.

"I've got a good situation with Beukeboom being the defensive coach. He's great with me," McIlrath told "We have a good relationship. That's the style he played and he knows firsthand what it takes to win."

Four rookie tournaments highlight start of September

Tuesday, 09.03.2013 / 3:00 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Several rookie tournaments set to begin throughout North America this week are a further indication the start of the 2013-14 NHL season is right around the corner.

In addition to the Traverse City Prospects Tournament in Michigan, which includes eight teams, there are three rookie events taking place.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins will participate in the Florida Rookie Tournament, which is set to begin Friday. Many eyes will be squarely on a trio of highly regarded first-round picks from the 2013 NHL Draft: center Aleksander Barkov (No. 2) of the Panthers, left wing Jonathan Drouin (No. 3) of the Lightning, and defenseman Seth Jones (No. 4) of the Predators.

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Quote of the Day

It's cool when you think about how many great American players have played the game and the two players that were at that 18-game point streak and what they've done in their careers. It's pretty cool right now, but it was kind of overshadowed by the loss.

— Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after breaking the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Kings
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