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(Page 31 of 40)
Prospects

Murphy hopes to follow in Skinner's footsteps

Monday, 09.12.2011 / 10:09 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Just because Carolina Hurricanes defense prospect Ryan Murphy and reigning Calder Trophy winning forward Jeff Skinner play different positions doesn't necessarily mean they're not comparable.
 
In fact, position may be the only difference between the former Kitchener Rangers teammates.
 
"From a skill level point of view, Murphy has about as much skill as anyone in the 2011 draft, and in a lot of ways he has as much skill as Skinner, only he plays a different position and may take a little longer to get to the team," Carolina General Manager Jim Rutherford told NHL.com. "But these are the types of defensemen you need with the way the game is played today."
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Gudas hitting his way to the top

Monday, 09.12.2011 / 9:37 AM / Prospects

Lonnie Herman - NHL.com Correspondent

"No one liked playing against him. He's a very physical player who finishes his checks." -- James Wright, teammate of Radko Gudas

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- There are many different paths a prospect may journey to begin a career in the National Hockey League, but Radko Gudas, taken in the third round (No. 66) by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2010 Entry Draft, is taking the road less travelled -- he plans to punch his way there.

Gudas, a 21-year-old defenseman, currently is participating in the Florida Rookie Tournament that kicked off Sunday with a game between the Lightning rookies and the Florida Panthers prospects. At 6-foot and 201 pounds, he has been compared to an anvil -- and the native of Prague certainly is not hesitant about throwing his iron around.
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Ovi returns to rookie days, visits prospect practice

Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 6:51 PM / Prospects

NHL.com

Well, it appears you can, indeed, go back in time.

Alex Ovechkin did the rookie thing quite a few years ago. Today, he is one of the game's biggest stars as he enters into the prime of his career. Yet, there was the 25-year on Sunday, skating with a bunch of teenagers at Kettler Capitals Iceplaex.

Just like those players, Ovechkin had on a plain practice jersey -- his was black -- and a simple, slapped on nameplate across the back of his shoulders.
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Penguins' Tangradi embarking on path back to NHL

Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 1:22 PM / Prospects

Erin Nicks - NHL.com Correspondent

OSHAWA, Ontario -- Eric Tangradi's road to recovery has ended, and now the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect is ready to begin a new path.

If Tangradi has his way, that path will lead him directly back to the NHL.

The winger's efforts to become a permanent member of the team were stymied last season when the 22-year-old suffered a concussion during a game against the New York Islanders in February. But talk to Tangradi today and you can tell he's ready to get back into the game.

"I feel 100 percent, if not better," Tangradi said. "I learned a lot from the injury and it was a tough grind getting back out there, but I had a really good summer …  getting in the gym and putting on some extra weight to get ready for another hockey season."
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Osgood transitioning into new role for Red Wings

Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 11:23 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Almost two months after deciding to call it a career following 17 years in the NHL, Chris Osgood appears to be right at home in his new role as an assistant goalie coach for the Detroit Red Wings.

Osgood was all smiles on the opening day of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament here at Center ICE Arena on Saturday, helping mentor young goalies Petr Mrazek, Evan Mosher and Ramis Sadikov. Those prospects will rotate playing time throughout the five-day tournament.

Coach Osgood said he's looking forward to the new challenge.

"I'm excited to begin my new job working with the young guys … I've worked with Howie (Jimmy Howard), but that was in a different capacity since I was still playing," Osgood told NHL.com. "I've always enjoyed teaching the young guys and that's how I was brought up in the organization with guys like Mike Vernon, Tim Cheveldae, Ken Wregget and Dominik Hasek. A lot of guys taught me and mentored me, so that was the same thing I did with Howie and I enjoyed it."
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Armstrong: Time is now for Blues to take next step

Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 11:08 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong wanted to make certain his assigned leaders were put in charge the moment players stepped on the ice for the start of training camp.

With the announcement of fan favorite David Backes as the 20th captain in franchise history on Sept. 9, he did just that. The Blues open camp Sept. 16.

"David exemplifies everything we want as part of our team -- he's articulate and well-spoken in the room and community," Armstrong told NHL.com. "He plays a style of hockey we want to be known for. He's known as a physical player, but he has the skill set to produce points. We feel he's entering the prime of his career now and he signed a five year deal with us (in November 2010). We're the team that drafted him and it seems like he's the guy who can lead us into the future."

John Davidson, the club's president of hockey operations, felt Backes was the perfect fit to wear the "C."
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Trio of forwards on display for Sabres

Saturday, 09.10.2011 / 9:42 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- New ownership has apparently instilled new fervor and optimism in the prospects for the Buffalo Sabres these days.
 
The top three players within Buffalo's system -- forwards Zack Kassian, Luke Adam and Marcus Foligno -- are playing a vital role for the Sabres during their anticipated debut at the Traverse City Prospects tournament this week here at Center ICE Arena.
 
Kassian, a physical 6-foot-3, 226-pound right wing, was taken in the first round (No. 13) of the 2009 Entry Draft and inked a three-year entry-level deal with the Sabres in November 2010. Foligno, whose father, Mike, was a former fan favorite in Buffalo, agreed to terms on a three-year deal in May.
 
Adam, perhaps the most NHL-ready of the bunch after playing 19 games for Buffalo in 2010-11, signed his entry-level contract in April 2010. In Buffalo's tournament-opening 6-3 victory against the Minnesota Wild prospects on Saturday, Adam centered Foligno and Kassian. They combined for three points.
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Ottawa's Cowen ready to fulfill great promise

Saturday, 09.10.2011 / 12:37 PM / Prospects

Erin Nicks - NHL.com Correspondent

OSHAWA, ON -- Ottawa's giant defensemen of past, present and future:  Zdeno Chara, Chris Phillips and ... Jared Cowen?

"He's certainly looks like he's ready," Senators general manager Bryan Murray said Friday morning.

Ottawa's collection of 23 young hopefuls skated one final time at home before leaving for the Oshawa rookie tournament, which begins Saturday. Southern Ontario is where Cowen hopes to launch his final march towards a permanent spot on the squad.

But if the 6-foot-5, 228-pound defenseman is feeling any pressure about living up to names like Chara and Phillips, he certainly won't admit it.
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Bruins' Hamilton aims for strong first impression

Friday, 09.09.2011 / 4:26 PM / Prospects

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. – He'd only been on the ice a couple of hours on the first day of his inaugural NHL training camp Friday when Dougie Hamilton showed he knows how to tell the Bruins fans what they want to hear.

Hamilton, the ninth pick in the 2011 Entry Draft, was talking about the Bruins rookies' two exhibition games coming up on Long Island next Monday and Tuesday. The lanky defenseman could be matched up against his teammate from Niagara of the Ontario Hockey League and New York Islanders' prospect Ryan Strome (the fifth pick in June).
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Can Skinner's Traverse City feat be duplicated?

Friday, 09.09.2011 / 12:05 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Even before his Calder Trophy-winning season began, Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes was one of several promising players looking to make his mark at the annual Traverse City Prospects tournament in Michigan last September.

Needless to say, he accomplished that goal.

"Besides being a short conditioning camp, it was sort of my first taste of the next level and it's fun to go there and get to know the people in the organization and at the same time have that competition feeling when you're playing in the tournament," Skinner told NHL.com. "I think for the players, it's a great opportunity to show your stuff to management and the people in the organization. For me personally, it was good preparation heading into (training) camp to sort of get into game shape."
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