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2012 NHL Draft

Third time draft should be the charm for Pearson

Tuesday, 06.12.2012 / 3:15 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Tanner Pearson's 2011-12 season only sounds like it came from the mind of a Hollywood screenwriter.

An overlooked prospect with his last shot at showcasing himself for NHL teams breaks out from the pack and earns a spot on an international all-star team as scouts spend the season singing his praises. But his season ends with a heartbreaking injury, clouding his future.

Pearson's story, though, is guaranteed to have a happy ending at some point during the 2012 NHL Draft, whether he hears his name in the first round or at some time during Day 2.

Extra year of development helped Carrick

Monday, 06.11.2012 / 11:13 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

When the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors selected Trevor Carrick with the 85th pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection, both parties knew it was a pick not for the present but for the future.

As hosts of the 2011 Memorial Cup, Mississauga had acquired through trades and previous drafts a stable of veteran blueliners. Carrick, a raw, puck-moving defenseman, was assigned to the OJHL's Stouffville Spirit.

Two seasons later, Carrick and Mississauga are reaping the benefits of that decision.

Rugged d-man Thrower developing two-way game

Friday, 06.08.2012 / 9:26 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

When discussing Saskatoon Blades defenseman Dalton Thrower, the 2012 Home Hardware NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game seems as good a place to start as any.

At first, that may seem counter-intuitive. After all, Thrower was a late addition to the game -- an injury replacement, in fact -- and he failed to score in the exhibition. But there was one moment that left everyone talking. Late in the second period, rugged forward Thomas Wilson of the Plymouth Whalers laid a thunderous hit on Thrower's Saskatoon teammate, Lukas Sutter. Thrower, sensing injustice, was over the boards almost before the defensemen he was replacing could make it to the bench. Seconds later, Thrower and Wilson were trading blows, despite the latter's four-inch height advantage.

"As soon as I saw that hit, I felt like it was a dirty hit," the 5-foot-11, 189-pound Thrower told NHL.com. “I’d do what I did for any one of my teammates, at any time. It doesn't matter the size of the guy for me -- if he's 6-4, 6-5 -- if it has to happen, it'll happen."

Wilson thrives within hard-nosed Plymouth system

Wednesday, 06.06.2012 / 3:19 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

Thomas Wilson is No. 15 in Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2012 NHL Draft. (Photo: OHL Images)

When Thomas Wilson was drafted by the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League in May 2010, the Toronto native had a feeling he was in the right place at the right time.

But after Whalers leading scorer Tyler Seguin was taken with the second pick of the 2010 NHL Draft just over a month later, Wilson realized how this opportunity could shape his future.

"It was perfect for me to be drafted [by Plymouth] because it's the kind of game I play and there's no doubt that Plymouth turns out pros," Wilson told NHL.com. "[Watching Seguin make the NHL jump] helped me put my faith into this organization. There's always that saying, 'Whaler Hockey is hard-nosed,' and that's what they go by: Forechecking hard, backchecking hard, hitting everything and just playing hard-nosed hockey."

Six top 2012 Draft prospects get taste of Cup Final

Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 2:05 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Top 2012 NHL Draft prospects Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, Mikhail Grigorenko, Alex Galchenyuk, Morgan Rielly and Filip Forsberg got a taste of the NHL life, as they paid a visit to the dressing rooms of the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings on Saturday morning at Prudential Center as the teams prepared for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

It was an especially exciting morning for Yakupov and Grigorenko, who could be the top two picks at the 2012 NHL Draft on June 22. The two Russian-born prospects had a chance to meet Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk.

Subban tops list of Hockey Canada camp invites

Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 12:11 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Canada will have an entirely new look in net for the 2013 World Junior Championship, and the first step in figuring out which goalies the team will chose takes place next week.

Hockey Canada will host a Program of Excellence goaltending camp in Calgary June 7-10, with 11 goalies competing for the attention of the scouts who will pick the team that will compete in Russia in next year's tournament.

Among the players competing are NHL Central Scouting's top three North American goaltenders for the 2012 NHL Draft -- Belleville's Malcolm Subban, Victoriaville's Brandon Whitney and Saginaw's Jake Paterson.

Habs leave no stone unturned in preparing for draft

Friday, 06.01.2012 / 7:03 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

TORONTO -- The Montreal Canadiens will enter the 2012 NHL Entry Draft sitting closer to the stage than they have in more than 30 years -- and the team is leaving no stone unturned in attempting to make sure that its first pick, the third player to be taken, turns into a home run.

The team's director of procurement and player development, Trevor Timmins, says he has been focusing his attention on the top 10 prospects for the draft since just after the All-Star break, when it became clear the Canadiens would be finishing in the bottom third of the NHL standings.

"The most important selection is that of being No. 3 overall," Timmins said during a very short break at the NHL Scouting Combine. "Going into the latter part of the season and knowing you're going to have a high draft pick alters what you do in your scouting the last couple of months. I turned my attention to looking at the top 10 specifically and spending a lot of time on those players."

By the Numbers: Fifty years of the NHL Draft

Friday, 06.01.2012 / 11:02 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The NHL Draft has come a long way from its origins at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal in June 1963, a day on which six teams conducted a four-round selection procedure to choose 21 prospects who were not already members of team-sponsored junior clubs. The 50th NHL Draft, scheduled to be held at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center on June 22-23, will see 211 players chosen by the League's 30 teams -- and will be staged in front of thousands of fans and televised around the world.

Obviously, a lot has changed since that first draft; we've gone from six teams to 30, and the number of players selected is 10 times larger. Junior teams are no longer sponsored by NHL clubs, and the teams now select from a worldwide pool of players. But the goals are still the same -- to find the next generation of NHL talent.

Could Oilers opt for a defenseman with first pick?

Friday, 06.01.2012 / 9:39 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"Our job as scouts is just to put the best available players in order that we feel have the potential, and we will at some point investigate where we're going. But at this point we're still working on 1-to-100 and we feel we have some defensive prospects coming up who are going to be really good players." -- Oilers head amateur scout Stu MacGregor

TORONTO -- Will this be the first time in over two decades that the Edmonton Oilers opt to select a defenseman with their first pick in the first round of the NHL Draft?

It's possible. But until Commissioner Gary Bettman announces that the Oilers officially are on the clock on June 22 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, there's absolutely no way to predict.

In the meantime, here's what we do know.

Stu MacGregor, the organization's head amateur scout, said that while he feels this year's draft isn't quite as deep as last year's, he said this year's crop of prospects is loaded from a defensive standpoint and that there are a number of franchise-type players to be had. Eight of the top 12 players in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters are defensemen.

Jackets scout Wright focused on building foundation

Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 1:06 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

TORONTO -- As the director of amateur scouting for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Tyler Wright certainly wants to find the best players he can at the 2012 NHL Draft.

But as a member of the first Blue Jackets team now in his fifth year working in the club's front office, he has a vested interest in the success of the team.

"I think being an original Blue Jacket, to start there, I felt grateful to the McConnell family [club owners] for giving me an opportunity," Wright told NHL.com. "It's where I really think I started my career. That was really the first chance I solidified myself as an NHL player. I'm grateful for that. I had five great years [playing] in Columbus.

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2012 NHL Draft