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(Page 22 of 38)
Prospects

Rychel family prepares for big season with Windsor

Wednesday, 09.26.2012 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

It's normal for any young hockey player to be closely scrutinized when his father happens to coach his team. But that tension can be magnified if your dad is a Stanley Cup winner who serves as owner, vice president and general manager of that team. For Windsor Spitfires forward Kerby Rychel, whose father Warren owns and runs the Ontario Hockey League club, it's an arrangement that seems to be working out.

"It's good," said Kerby, who had a team-best 41 goals last season. "He's helped me out, telling me how to be a good person and good leader, teaching me to have good habits on and off the ice. I wouldn't be here today without him. It's huge. You can always turn to him for advice. He helps me out a lot."

Ranked an A-list prospect by NHL Central Scouting on its preliminary players-to-watch list, Rychel hopes to be taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft. It would be a significant achievement for Rychel, whose father was passed over twice in the draft before working his way through the International Hockey League to the National Hockey League, where he forged a 406-game career spread across nine seasons with five teams, including a spot on the 1996 Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.

"It's just one of those things where he's done all the work to put himself in that position," Warren Rychel said of his son. "It would be pretty neat. I'm sure we'll be there as a family."

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Housley, McClanahan to coach in Prospects Game

Monday, 09.24.2012 / 6:02 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Despite never having the opportunities that today's American-born players are given, both Phil Housley and Rob McClanahan know the importance of teamwork when the going gets tough.

That's precisely the mantra that Housley and McClanahan will use when they step behind opposing benches to coach their respective teams at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo on Saturday. Each will instruct two goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards in the inaugural event, which features 40 of the top American-born players eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft.

"It's important that we play as a team," Housley told reporters during a Monday conference call. "I know everybody wants to showcase their talent and this is an important game for a lot of these kids' future, but you gain individual recognition through hard teamwork and that's the way I think we'll approach it."

Housley, who helped the United States win the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, knows what the expected 100-plus scouts in attendance might be seeking.

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McClanahan excited for chance to help U.S. prospects

Monday, 09.24.2012 / 4:55 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Rob McClanahan said he's always had a special relationship with the city of Buffalo.

One of the stars of the 1980 U.S. men's Olympic hockey team that famously won the gold medal in Lake Placid, McClanahan was a third-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 1978, and he made his NHL debut with the Sabres following the 1980 Olympics.

McClanahan will return to Buffalo as the coach of Team McClanahan at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, to be played Sept. 29 at First Niagara Center, home of the Sabres. The game will feature 40 of the top American-born prospects eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft.

U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer and fellow Sabres alum Phil Housley will oppose him as the coach of Team Housley.

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USHL pilot program aims to cut down dangerous play

Monday, 09.24.2012 / 12:10 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The United States Hockey League took significant strides in the area of player safety and injury prevention last week with the announcement of a pilot program that commissioner Skip Prince believes is a critical step in the right direction.

"It actually started a year and a half ago when we began hearing about all the anti-fighting initiatives and people were saying that fighting was the cause of so many injuries," Prince told NHL.com. "We weren't defensive about it, but I went back and we did exhaustive research with our trainers to try and figure out what was going on."

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Cowley replaces Rutledge on Prospects Game roster

Thursday, 09.20.2012 / 4:02 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

USA Hockey on Thursday announced that goalie Evan Cowley of Wichita Falls in the North American Hockey League has been named as a replacement player for the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, to be played Sept. 29 in Buffalo.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Cowley, who was named a B player on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2013 NHL Draft, replaces University of Michigan goaltender Jared Rutledge, who had been part of Team McClanahan.

Cowley, of Evergreen, Colo., was picked in the third round (No. 50) by the Wichita Falls Wildcats in the 2012 NAHL draft. He is the only player from the NAHL participating in the All-American Prospects Game.

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Islanders prospect Reinhart named Oil Kings captain

Wednesday, 09.19.2012 / 10:51 AM / Prospects

NHL.com

New York Islanders prospect Griffin Reinhart was named captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old defenseman, taken with the No. 4 pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, has played for the Western Hockey League team the past two seasons.

"I'm really happy to have the job," Reinhart said, according to the Islanders' website. "I've got to take a bigger leadership role and be more vocal and help the younger guys coming into the league. I've got to lead by example and also communicate with them. I think I'm ready to take a big step up."

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MacKinnon, Jones among top '13 prospects to watch

Wednesday, 09.19.2012 / 10:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The road to the 2013 NHL Draft began in earnest Wednesday with the release of NHL Central Scouting's preliminary list of players to watch in North America and Europe.

The lists, comprised of A, B and C players for the upcoming season in each of the major junior hockey leagues, are sent to NHL team scouts for the purpose of tracking the top draft-eligible players entering the 2012-13 season.

All A skaters have been identified as potential first-round picks, while B players are considered second- or third-round candidates. Those players on the C list are thought to be fourth-, fifth- or sixth-round possibilities.

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Lindholm could be top European 2013 Draft prospect

Wednesday, 09.19.2012 / 10:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"He's a complete package. He could very well be the next Peter Forsberg. He's an excellent skater and great competitor who gives it 110 percent on every shift. He can skate, score and pass and is physically strong even though he is a finesse-type of player." -- Goran Stubb, European Director of NHL Central Scouting on Elias Lindholm

Is it possible the next Peter Forsberg could be plucked from a standout list of international prospects when the 2013 NHL Draft is held June 28-29 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.?

Goran Stubb, European Director of NHL Central Scouting, thinks so. Based on his early assessment of Swedish center Elias Lindholm, it's easy to see why Stubb considers the 17-year-old one of the top draft-eligible prospects from Europe.

Lindholm, a 5-foot-11 3/4, 181-pound righty-shooting center, projects to be a future top-six forward with star potential. He's also regarded as an "A" prospect on Central Scouting's preliminary list of the top European players to watch entering the 2012-13 season.

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Larson named coach of U.S. Junior Select Team

Friday, 09.14.2012 / 2:11 PM / Prospects

NHL.com

USA Hockey on Friday announced that Brett Larson has been named head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team that will participate in the 2012 World Junior A Challenge, Nov. 5-11, in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

In addition to the United States, the 2012 World Junior A Challenge will feature two teams from Canada, as well as teams Russia, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

Larson is entering his second season as the head coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League's Sioux City Musketeers. He led the Musketeers to the 2012 Clark Cup Western Conference quarterfinals in his first season.

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Merchant replaces Erne on Prospects Game roster

Thursday, 09.13.2012 / 11:43 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Following a stellar senior season at Eagan (Minn.) High School, forward Will Merchant went unselected at the 2012 NHL Draft.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound left wing is determined to do all he can this season to convince NHL scouts they made a mistake.

The first step in that process will come Sept. 29, when he takes part in the CCM/USA All-American Prospects Game, to be played at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

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Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals