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Prospects

Top prospects revel in opportunities at showcase

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 8:11 PM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO – Many of the NHL's top young prospects earned a fun break from a summer spent focusing primarily on preparation for NHL training camps when they attended the 2014 NHLPA Rookie Showcase. The two-day event, staged during one of the final weekends before training camps begin, hosted 33 NHL hopefuls and featured a healthy combination of work and play.

In its sixth iteration, the event allowed attendees the opportunity to participate in a series of functions, most of them organized by Upper Deck, the official trading card company of the NHL. On Friday, the majority of the time was spent signing merchandise and posing for photographs, as well as enjoying a preview of EA Sports NHL 15 video game.

"It's a pretty exciting experience this weekend," Arizona Coyotes prospect Max Domi said. "It's going to be cool to spend some time with the guys."

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McDavid ready to 'get this crazy year started'

Thursday, 08.21.2014 / 6:09 PM / Prospects

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Erie Otters center Connor McDavid got a taste of what it will be like to be a big star.

McDavid joined Otters general manager Sherry Bassin and coach Kris Knoblauch here Thursday for the announcement of an Ontario Hockey League game between Erie and the Niagara Ice Dogs at First Niagara Center on Oct. 22.

That's just one game in a NHL arena, but it's all part of what's to come for the 17-year-old.

"It's going to obviously be pretty different," McDavid said. "It's starting to be pretty crazy. I'm just really excited to be there and get going and get this crazy year started."

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McDavid eager to get draft-eligible season underway

Monday, 08.04.2014 / 5:46 PM / Prospects

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Connor McDavid sat and watched in June as many of his friends, the players he grew up playing with and against, saw their lifelong dreams realized.

The 2014 NHL Draft was a highlight moment for one of McDavid's closest friends, defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who was the first pick by the Florida Panthers. Sam Bennett, McDavid's teammate and linemate for seven years in minor hockey, was selected fourth by the Calgary Flames.

As the draft continued with names being called at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, McDavid saw more and more of the people he grew up with, people who ultimately helped him become the most highly-anticipated hockey prospect since Sidney Crosby.

He was happy for them. But he also started to get antsy.

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Top '14 picks among WJC summer camp participants

Thursday, 07.31.2014 / 3:47 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Two players taken in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft will be among the European players taking part in the USA Hockey national junior evaluation camp being held Aug. 2-9 in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The camp is one of the first steps toward building the teams that will play in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Among the players taking part for defending gold medalist Finland is forward Kasperi Kapanen, who plays for KalPa in Liiga, Finland's top professional league. He was picked by the Pittsburgh Penguins with the 22nd pick in the first round.

Kapanen likely would have been on the team that won the tournament last year were it not for a shoulder injury that sidelined him for a month.

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Vrana, Pastrnak lead Czech team at WJC camp

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 3:25 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Two players picked in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft will be part of the Czech Republic team that will take part in the Hockey Canada National Junior Team Summer Development Camp to be held Aug. 3-8 in Montreal.

The camp, which also will feature Canada and Russia, is one of the first steps in the construction of teams that will play in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be played in Toronto and Montreal.

Jakub Vrana (No. 13, Washington Capitals) and David Pastrnak (No. 25, Boston Bruins) are two of six players that will take part in the camp who helped the Czechs finish sixth at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden. Vrana had one goal and one assist in five games; Pastrnak had one goal and two assists in five games.

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As game evolves, Flames' Gaudreau seeking next step

Sunday, 07.06.2014 / 2:40 PM / Prospects

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Johnny Gaudreau's home in Carneys Point, N.J., is littered with hardware.

The 20-year-old Calgary Flames prospect is looking to add one more to the mantle, an ESPY. But as the award nominations and accolades continue to pile up, so too does the expectation that Gaudreau can take the next step and jump into the NHL.

Gaudreau, the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner, is among the finalists for the ESPN honor of top male college athlete.

"It's exciting," he said Saturday following the Flames' first on-ice session at their annual development camp. "I'm up there against four pretty talented athletes. It's great to be recognized, and I'm going to be excited to get out there and meet the other guys."

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Five familiar with Slovakia to play for U.S. at Hlinka

Wednesday, 07.02.2014 / 4:59 PM / Prospects

NHL.com

Five players who won a championship for the United States last season in Slovakia will have a chance to win another one next month.

The United States roster for the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, to be held Aug. 11-16 in Czech Republic and Slovakia, features five players who won the 2013 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament in Slovakia: forwards Brock Boeser, Brent Gates and Tom Novak, and defensemen Tory Dello and Troy Terry.

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Oil Kings' Lazar makes history at Memorial Cup

Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 12:43 PM / Prospects

Ed Klajman - NHL.com Contributor

LONDON, Ontario – Curtis Lazar has yet to play a game in the NHL, but he secured a spot for himself in the Hockey Hall of Fame by making Memorial Cup history Friday night.

The Ottawa Senators' 2013 first-round draft pick scored the winner for the Edmonton Oil Kings 2:42 into the third overtime of the semifinal against the Val-d'Or Foreurs, bringing to an end the longest game in the 95-year history of the Memorial Cup.

"It's the first overtime goal I've ever scored in junior hockey. I still have to digest it. They took my stick. It's going to the Hall of Fame and that's pretty cool," said the 19-year-old, who was selected 17th overall by Ottawa last June. "We have something special from this team every night and it was my turn tonight. I capitalized on the opportunity."

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Storm seek Memorial Cup title against Oil Kings

Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 12:08 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Guelph Storm were the best team in the Ontario Hockey League this season. They're looking to expand that title to the Canadian Hockey League.

Guelph beat the host London Knights 7-2 on Wednesday to finish round-robin play at the 2014 Memorial Cup unbeaten, and in three games outscored its opposition 18-7.

The Storm advanced to the championship game Sunday (4 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, Sportsnet), where they will face the Western Hockey League champion Edmonton Oil Kings (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, Sportsnet).

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USA Hockey honors Gaudreau as top college player

Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 5:39 PM / Prospects

NHL.com

Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau was named College Player of the Year by USA Hockey on Thursday.

Gaudreau, in his third season at Boston College, led all NCAA players in goals (36), assists (44) and points (80). He helped the Eagles reach the Frozen Four and was named the winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in college hockey.

After Gaudreau's team lost in the national semifinals, he signed with the Flames and had a goal in his NHL debut, April 13 against the Vancouver Canucks.

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— Martin Brodeur, after announcing his retirement as an NHL player and becoming a senior adviser with the Blues on Thursday