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Stanley Cup Final
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Prospects

High praise for top 2012 draft prospect Yakupov

Wednesday, 08.24.2011 / 4:13 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"He's a dominant player and went to the 2011 World Under-18s and was dominant there. He would have arguably been a top-five pick in last year's draft, so he's got all those elements." -- NHL Network analyst Craig Button

While the 2012 NHL Entry Draft may be top heavy with talented defensemen, it wouldn't surprise NHL Network analyst Craig Button if a forward is the first player off the board.

Nail Yakupov, who was one of 36 top 2012 prospects on the ice for last week's NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in Etobicoke, Ont., is that good -- and during an interview with The Team 1260 in Edmonton on Wednesday, Button put the Russian speedster in some pretty special company.

"When you watch him, I don't think there's one singular player that you would say, 'Wow, that's a guy he could be just like,'" Button said. "But his ability to maneuver out of traffic and out of the corners from tight areas reminds you of Pavel Datsyuk. When you watch him explode in his skating, he reminds you of Pavel Bure."
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Tugnutt excited for Hockey Canada challenge

Monday, 08.22.2011 / 4:47 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Former goalie Ron Tugnutt believes cracking an NHL lineup today is a lot tougher than when he first entered the League.

Coming from a man who played for four different teams spanning eight seasons before experiencing a turnaround with the Ottawa Senators in 1996-97, is certainly telling.

"It's tougher for young goalies today because, besides the fact there are only two goalies on a team, it's how long these goalies are playing now," Tugnutt told NHL.com. "They're playing into their 40's. If you think about it, the way they stay in shape, that's also made it tougher on young goalies."
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Kyle Palmieri eager to make NHL jump

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 9:48 AM / Prospects

Lindsay Kramer - NHL.com Correspondent

"Obviously, if there's a spot open in training camp, it will be me competing with a couple of guys. If there's a spot open, I'm going to do my best to get there." -- Kyle Palmieri

The 2010-11 season ended too soon for Syracuse Crunch forward Kyle Palmieri. Just as Palmieri was proving himself as the hottest rookie the AHL, it was time to go packing into a long offseason.

It turns out that the abrupt ending may have only been the beginning of something big. And based on Palmieri's hectic previous 12 months, he's needed every deep breath he could draw.

See that "Help Wanted" sign Anaheim has hanging on one of its wing spots? The finally refreshed Palmieri might just have the burst to grab it sooner than most expected.
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Canadiens claim gold at Hlinka tourney

Saturday, 08.13.2011 / 3:29 PM / Prospects

NHL.com

Scott Laughton scored the game-winning goal late in the second period Saturday to help Canada defeat Sweden, 4-1, in the gold medal game of the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

This is the fourth consecutive victory at the tournament for Canada. Sean Monahan, Brendan Guance and Charles Hudson also scored for the Canadiens at Alcaplast Arena in Breclav, Czech Republic.

Sweden defeated Canada 5-1 in the first game of the tournament for both teams. The Canadians responded by winning their next four games by a combined 22-2 margin to claim gold. They beat Russia 5-0 on Friday in the semifinals.

Russia defeated Finland, 2-1, in a shootout to win the bronze medal Saturday. The United States knocked off the Czech Republic on Friday to finish in fifth place.
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Canada blanks Russia, advances to Hlinka final

Friday, 08.12.2011 / 2:26 PM / Prospects

NHL.com

Charles Hudon scored twice and added an assist to lead Canada past Russia 5-0 in the semifinals of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament on Friday.

With the victory, the Canadians advance to the final of the annual under-18 international hockey tournament. They will face the winner of the Sweden-Finland semifinal.

Thomas Wilson, Mathew Dumba and Derrick Pouliot also scored for Canada.
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U.S. finishes fifth at Hlinka tournament

Friday, 08.12.2011 / 1:32 PM / Prospects

NHL.com

The U.S. Under-18 Select Team scored a pair of power-play goals and added an empty net tally to earn a 3-1 win against the Czech Republic at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament on Friday.

With the victory, Team USA finished fifth in the tournament. The Americans posted a 1-2-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) overall record, losing only once in four outings.

"We played our best defensive game of the tournament this afternoon," U.S. coach Seth Appert said. "We're disappointed to win four out of our five games this week, including the exhibition, and not have a shot at first place. But, as a staff, we couldn't be more proud of our players."
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Trio of top prospects chooses OHL over college

Friday, 08.12.2011 / 9:26 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- J.T. Miller, Connor Murphy and John Gibson are three completely different people on and off the ice. However, they have one important thing in common -- all three passed on the chance to play NCAA hockey in the fall to skate in the Ontario Hockey League.

Miller, taken by the New York Rangers with the 15th pick of June's draft, passed on a scholarship to the University of North Dakota to sign with the Plymouth Whalers. Murphy, the 20th pick by the Phoenix Coyotes, opted to play with the Sarnia Sting rather than attend Miami (Ohio) University. Gibson, a second-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks, will skate with the Kitchener Rangers this season rather than play at the University of Michigan.
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US beats Slovakia in shootout at Hlinka tourney

Wednesday, 08.10.2011 / 4:01 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Jordan Masters and Alex Galchenyuk scored in a shootout as the U.S. Under-18 select team beat Slovakia 6-5 in their final preliminary-round match of the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament at Zimny Stadium in Piestany, Slovakia.

Despite beating Russia in overtime on Tuesday and the shootout win against Slovakia, the U.S. can finish no higher than fifth after placing third in Group B with two overtime wins and one regulation loss. The Americans, who battled back from a two-goal deficit on three occasions against Slovakia, will play Friday against the Czech Republic.

Masters, of the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the United States Hockey League, and Galchenyuk, of the Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting, scored in a span of 55 seconds with less than five minutes remaining in the third period to force the overtime. John Gillies, of the USHL's Indiana Ice, turned aside 26 shots, including nine in the second period. He stopped both attempts in shootout.

"I'm extremely proud of our guys for overcoming so much adversity today," U.S. coach Seth Appert said. "We stuck together through penalties and after falling behind a couple of times, and came away with a big win."
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Canada routs Switzerland, advances at Hlinka

Wednesday, 08.10.2011 / 12:41 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Andreas Athanasiou scored a pair of goals and Kerby Rychel had a goal and an assist to pace the Canadian Under-18 select team to a 6-0 victory over Switzerland on Wednesday in preliminary-round action of the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament at Alcaplast Arena in Breclav, Czech Republic.

Canada, which has now won two straight by a combined 12-1 after dropping a 5-1 decision to Sweden on Monday, will advance to Friday's semifinal round. The medal round will be held Saturday.

The Canadians opened a 4-0 lead in the first period. Derrick Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks) and Rychel (Windsor Spitfires) connected in a span of eight seconds less than two minutes into the game before Scott Laughton (Oshawa Generals) and Athanasiou (London Knights) scored in a span of 3:19 later in the period.

Goalies Daniel Altshuller (Napean Riders) and Domenic Graham (Drummondville Voltegieurs) combined on the shutout. Hunter Shinkaruk (Medicine Hat Tigers) converted a penalty shot 14:46 into the second to extend the lead to 5-0 and Athanasiou scored off a feed from Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw Warriors) 9:05 into the third.
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Six different scorers for Canada in rout of Czechs

Tuesday, 08.09.2011 / 4:40 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Canadian Under-18 select team received goals from six different players on Tuesday en route to a 6-1 victory over the Czech Republic in its second preliminary-round contest of the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament at Alcaplast Arena in Breclav, Czech Republic.

Following a scoreless opening period, the teams combined for five goals in the second when three-time defending champ Canada opened a 4-1 advantage.

Charles Hudon, the offensive rookie of the year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Chicoutimi Sangueneens last season, and Sean Monahan of the Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa 67's scored goals 55 seconds apart midway through the second to stake the Canadians to a 3-1 lead.
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Quote of the Day

If you want to prove people wrong, you've just got to go out and do it. Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years, but no one is going remember that if we go out there on Saturday night and beat these guys and go play in the Stanley Cup Final. We need to get back to work and we'll start to do that tomorrow.

— Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri following a loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 on Wednesday