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Late flurry keeps Canada perfect at Hlinka tourney

Wednesday, 08.15.2012 / 2:42 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Canada already had clinched first place in Group B at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, but wanted to end preliminary-round play Wednesday on a positive note. It took until the final 3:45 of the game, but the Canadians left the ice at Zimny Stadion in Piestany, Slovakia with smiles on their faces following a dramatic 3-2, come-from-behind win against Slovakia.

Center Sam Reinhart, a top candidate for the 2014 NHL Draft who currently plays for the Kootenay Ice in the Western Hockey League, capped Canada's comeback by scoring the winning goal with 53 seconds left in regulation.

Defenseman Joshua Morrissey, who plays for the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL and is a candidate to be a first-round pick in the 2013 draft, had a hand in all three Canada goals, scoring once and assisting on the others.

Slovakia led 2-0 heading into the final minutes of regulation on goals by Kristian Horvat and Martin Ambroz and shutout goaltending by Maros Mikolas. But Ryan Kujawinski, a center with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League, got Canada on the board when he scored off a Morrissey setup with 3:45 left.


Canada wins second straight at Hlinka tourney

Tuesday, 08.14.2012 / 12:42 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Max Domi, son of former NHL player Tie Domi and a highly regarded 2013 NHL Draft prospect, had two goals and two assists and Anthony Duclair had the go-ahead goal and an assist as a quick-strike scoring attack paced Canada to a 7-5 win against Sweden on Tuesday at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

In the game, played at Zimny Stadion in Piestany, Slovakia, Canada got goals from six different players en route to their second in as many days. They beat Switzerland 4-1 on Monday.

Nathan McKinnon, Morgan Klimchuk, Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart also scored for Canada, which scored three power-play goals and another shorthanded.


Russia tops U.S. in shootout at Ivan Hlinka tourney

Monday, 08.13.2012 / 2:06 PM / Prospects

The U.S. Under-18 Select Team was unable to protect a 1-0 lead in the third period as it fell to Russia in a 2-1 shootout loss in its opening game of the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament on Monday in Breclav, Czech Republic.

U.S. goaltender Thatcher Demko made 38 saves before the game entered the shootout.

"We played hard and competed in a hard-fought game," U.S. coach Matt Herr said. "We're going to get our rest, make small adjustments to our game and get ready to go again tomorrow night."

Team USA broke a scoreless tie in the second period as Justin Bailey capitalized on a power play, slipping a rebound past Russian goalie Igor Serebryankov. The U.S. held onto its 1-0 lead until late in the third, when Russia was able to tie the game on a goal by Pavel Buchnevich at 13:42.


Galchenyuk gets needed game action at camp

Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 5:22 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Regardless of what the numbers showed, U.S. center Alex Galchenyuk got just what he needed this week at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp: actual game play.

Galchenyuk was taken by the Montreal Canadiens with the third pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, even though he played just two regular-season games right before the Ontario Hockey League playoffs because of a major knee injury sustained in a September preseason game. He had two goals and two assists in six playoff games, which was a taste of what NHL scouts had seen the season before.

Two seasons ago, as a rookie with the Sarnia Sting in the OHL, he had 31 goals and 52 assists (83 points) in 68 games. Based mostly on that resume, NHL Central Scouting still ranked him fourth on its final list of the top North American skaters for the 2012 draft.

Teams likely were hoping he'd slip, but the Canadiens weren't letting him get past No. 3.

"That's the guy we wanted," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said after making the selection. "I like his size (6-foot-1, 195 pounds), I like his character, I like his hockey sense, I like his vision, and I like his desire to be a hockey player.


Klefbom expects to join Oilers for 2013-14

Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 11:27 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Oscar Klefbom said he's watched Edmonton Oilers games the last two years and thought about what it would be like to skate in Edmonton with their growing list of young stars. He just isn't ready to join them -- yet.

Klefbom, taken by the Oilers with the 19th pick of the 2011 draft, told on Friday that his intention is to honor the final season of his contract with Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League, and join the Oilers for the 2013-14 season.

The 6-foot-3, 204-pound blueliner said nothing is set in stone yet, but he said feels he needs another season of development before coming to the NHL.

"It's been a long discussion," Klefbom said. "Edmonton wants me to come over and try but I don't want to come over and feel like I'm not ready. I think Farjestad is a really good opportunity for me to be a really good player."

The Oilers are building around young, talented high-end forwards like Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and 2012 No. 1 pick Nail Yakupov. Now they need to find the same franchise building blocks on the back end, and Klefbom certainly has the look of someone who can fill that role.


Senators prospect Zibanejad enjoys strong camp

Friday, 08.10.2012 / 7:59 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The 2011-12 season was full of highs and lows for Mika Zibanejad. He's aiming to level things out a bit this season.

From the highs of a top-line opening-night role in the NHL and a golden goal to the lows of being on the last-place team in the Swedish Elite League, Zibanejad went through it all.

He started the 2012-13 season on a good note this week at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, helping Sweden go 3-1 in its four games here.

The forward didn't get on the score sheet in Sweden's tournament finale Friday, a 5-2 win against Finland. Carolina Hurricanes prospect Victor Rask had a goal and an assist, and Jakob Lilja, Rasmus Bengtsson, Oscar Klefbom and William Karlsson each added a goal. Goalie Niklas Lundstrom stopped 24 of 26 shots.

Finland, which fell to 0-4 with one game remaining, got goals from Robert Leino and Juuso Ikonen. Janne Juvonen, who allowed all eight goals in Finland's 8-2 loss to Sweden on Tuesday, played the third period in relief of Richard Ullberg and stopped all 11 shots he faced.


Russia evens series behind Kapustin hat trick

Friday, 08.10.2012 / 12:45 PM / Prospects

Karill Kapustin's hat trick highlighted Russia's 6-3 victory against Canada in the second game of the Canada-Russia Challenge Friday at Arena 2000 in Yaroslavl, Russia.

The four-game series between each country's top junior players is now even at 1-1. Games 3 and 4 will take place in Halifax, N.S., on Monday and Tuesday. Canada won the first game of the challenge, 3-2 on Thursday.

After a scoreless first period, Russia scored twice in the first 3:43 of the second period. Anton Zlobin delivered a power-play goal at the 38-second mark and Kapustin's first of the game a little more than three minutes later was also a power-play goal that put Russia ahead 2-0.


Murphy aims to put injury problems behind him

Friday, 08.10.2012 / 12:40 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Connor Murphy was selected as the 20th pick of the 2011 draft by Phoenix. (Photo: Getty Images)

Talk to Phoenix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney about Connor Murphy, the team's first-round pick in 2011, and he gets excited about the youngster's potential as a top-end NHL defenseman.

A 6-foot-3, 190-pound blueliner with the ability to quarterback a power play while also being a strong presence in his own end, Murphy is a smart player with solid bloodlines -- his father, Gord, played for four teams in 14 NHL seasons and has spent 10 seasons as an NHL assistant coach, the last three with the Florida Panthers.

But for the last three seasons, Connor Murphy hasn't had much of a chance to show people just what he's capable of doing.


Returning U.S. players on quest for redemption

Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 8:57 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- They're not ready to call it Team Redemption, but for three members of the U.S. squad that finished seventh at the 2012 World Junior Championship, that's the approach they've brought to this week's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Forward J.T. Miller, defenseman Jacob Trouba and goaltender John Gibson all went to Alberta last year and came away with emotional scars caused by going 1-3 in the preliminary round to end up in the relegation pool.

"There were things that none of us have forgotten that happened," Trouba told "I think about it all the time and it [stinks]. It's about getting redemption and having another crack at it."


USA U-17 team blanks Swiss behind Birdsall

Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 4:18 PM / Prospects

New Jersey native Chris Birdsall made 20 saves to lead the U.S. Under-17 Select Team to a 5-0 victory over Switzerland on Thursday in the second game of preliminary-round action at the 2012 U17 Five Nations Tournament in Chomutov, Czech Republic.

Following a scoreless first period, Austin Poganski, Robert Nardella and Shane Gersich scored to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead. Gersich, of Holy Family Catholic High School in Minnesota, also notched two assists in the game. Birdsall made 10 saves in the second.

"We started getting pucks and bodies to the net in the second period," U.S. coach Barry Smith said. "Our team has been making changes and adjustments, and we've gone out and been successful so far."

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Quote of the Day

It's a great feeling. I can't be more excited to be a part of a team that I absolutely love.

— Center Derek Stepan after agreeing to terms on a six-year contract with the New York Rangers