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2015 NHL Draft
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Senators agree to terms with Stone, Zibanejad

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 1:30 PM / News

NHL.com

The Ottawa Senators agreed to terms with forwards Mark Stone and Mika Zibanejad on contract extensions, the club announced Thursday.

Stone, a 2015 Calder Trophy finalist, agreed to a three-year contract with an average annual value of $3.5 million. Zibanejad agreed to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $2.625 million.

Stone, 23, led the Senators with 26 goals and was second to defenseman Erik Karlsson with 64 points.

"Mark became one of our better players, if not one of the best, right at the end of the year in particular, but throughout the stretch run and when we were trying to make the playoffs," general manager Bryan Murray said. "We feel he still has growth in him but we also know going forward that he's going to be a very important player if the organization is going to make strides to a championship."

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Hanifin, draft prospects bond with kids at clinic

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 1:25 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin considered it unusual that young, aspiring hockey players would even think of calling him Mr. Hanifin.

But that's what happened on Thursday when Hanifin and five other top North American prospects eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft took part in a Top Prospects Clinic here at the Panthers Ice Den, the practice facility of the Florida Panthers.

"They were calling me Mr. Hanifin and I looked at them and said, 'Hey, call me Noah because I'm just 18 years old,'" Hanifin said. "They were young kids out there but a lot of them could skate and had some good moves. It's great to see the future of USA Hockey. It just shows the how much the hockey in this country is spreading; it's awesome."

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NHL announces 2015-16 season schedule

Banner-raising ceremony in Chicago, a new era begins in Brooklyn, Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium and NHL All-Star festivities in Nashville

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 10:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The NHL's 2015-16 regular season will commence on Wednesday, Oct. 7, with a four-game slate, highlighted by the Chicago Blackhawks raising their third championship banner in the past six seasons. The 1,230-game regular-season schedule – 82 games per team – will conclude on Saturday, April 9, with all 30 teams in action.

After clinching the Stanley Cup on home ice for the first time since 1938, the Blackhawks will raise their sixth championship banner on opening night before playing the New York Rangers. The other three games on the opening night of the 2015-16 season: the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs re-new their "Original Six" rivalry at Air Canada Centre; the Vancouver Canucks visit the Calgary Flames in a re-match of a 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round series; and the Los Angeles Kings play host to the San Jose Sharks at STAPLES Center.

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Hurricanes, Terry agree to terms on one-year contract

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 9:20 AM / News

CarolinaHurricanes.com

RALEIGH, NCRon Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with left wing Chris Terry on a one-year contract. The deal will pay Terry $875,000 for the 2015-16 season.

"Chris took another step forward last year and showed that he could contribute offensively at the NHL level," said Francis.

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BU coach thinks Eichel will be in NHL 'all next year'

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 9:11 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Boston University coach David Quinn doesn't know how many 19-year-old players are actually ready for the NHL, but he's willing to make an exception for freshman Jack Eichel.

Eichel, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American players eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, said he has a good idea of his intentions to either turn professional or return to Boston University as a sophomore following the draft. He just isn't ready to announce his decision publicly.

The first round of the draft will be held Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports); rounds 2-7 are Saturday (10 a.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports).

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Top 5 five goaltenders available via free agency

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Potential unrestricted free agents can begin negotiating terms of contracts with teams on Thursday. They can't sign a contract until noon ET on July 1, when the free agent market opens. NHL.com is examining the top potential UFAs at each position.

The goaltending market is flush with intrigue because of potential trades that could happen this weekend at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., where the 2015 NHL Draft, which begins Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports), will be held.

At least three teams and potentially more will be looking to trade goalies, which could have a profound effect on the market for goalies who can become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

The Ottawa Senators likely will trade either Robin Lehner or Craig Anderson. The Vancouver Canucks are expected to move either Jacob Markstrom or Eddie Lack. The New York Rangers might trade backup Cam Talbot.

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Top 10 defensemen available via free agency

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Potential unrestricted free agents can begin negotiating terms of contracts with teams on Thursday. They can't sign a contract until noon ET on July 1, when the free agent market opens. NHL.com is examining the top potential UFAs at each position.

The Montreal Canadiens made sure one of the top potential unrestricted free agent defensemen this year never made it to the open market when they re-signed Jeff Petry to a six-year, $33 million contract on June 2.

Petry hit it big, and now it's fair to wonder if his contract set the bar for others to come once the signing period opens at noon ET on July 1.

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McDavid, Eichel could challenge top draft tandems

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Erie Otters captain Connor McDavid and Boston University freshman Jack Eichel will forever be linked whenever conversation shifts to the 2015 NHL Draft class.

Many believe McDavid and Eichel are generational talents in the making; they might even finish neck and neck in the voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 2015-16. Perhaps an even bigger topic is where the McDavid-Eichel tandem will ultimately stand in NHL history.

The most heralded one-two punch drafted might be Guy Lafleur to the Montreal Canadiens and Marcel Dionne to the Detroit Red Wings in 1971. Lafleur, a six-time NHL All-Star, won two Hart Trophies, a Conn Smythe Trophy and has five Stanley Cup championship rings. Dionne, who ranks sixth all-time in points, won the Art Ross Trophy and was a two-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy.

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Central Scouting to present E.J. McGuire Award

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The late E.J. McGuire, who served as NHL director of Central Scouting for seven years before dying of cancer in April 2011, has always remained in the hearts and minds of those attending the NHL Scouting Combine and NHL Draft each season.

In honor of its beloved friend and dedicated colleague, NHL Central Scouting this year will present the first E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence to a 2015 Draft prospect. The award will be presented Saturday prior to the start of the second day of the draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

"Excellence is what E.J. personified," NHL Central Scouting's David Gregory said. "It was imperative that the winner have strength of character and competitiveness because these traits exemplify what E.J. brought to the hockey community every day."

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Mock drafts differ after picks of McDavid, Eichel

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

NHL.com

The Arizona Coyotes have the third pick of the 2015 NHL Draft and could go in a number of different directions. The route they choose will set the tone for how the rest of the draft plays out.

That same unpredictability played out in NHL.com's final mock drafts.

Staff writers Adam Kimelman and Mike G. Morreale were in agreement that the Edmonton Oilers would select Erie Otters center Connor McDavid at No. 1 and the Buffalo Sabres would take Boston University center Jack Eichel at No. 2.

After that, however, there was little consensus.

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Quote of the Day

It's very special, obviously; there is draft day and then there's the day that you sign your first deal. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm very honored to be able to do that."

— Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid on signing his first professional contract