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2012 NHL Draft

Wild prospects lead Saint John past Edmonton

Monday, 05.21.2012 / 10:27 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Minnesota Wild have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons, but if the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup is any evidence, their future is quite bright.

Wild prospects Charlie Coyle and Zack Phillips combined for four points for the Saint John Sea Dogs in their 5-2 win against the Edmonton Oil Kings in preliminary-round play at the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup at Bionest Centre in Shawinigan, Que.

Phillips had a pair of goals and Coyle added a pair of assists as the defending Memorial Cup champions evened their tournament record at 1-1.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Danick Gauthier and Ryan Tesink also scored for Saint John, and goalie Mathieu Corbeil made 25 saves for the Sea Dogs, who went unbeaten in winning last year's tournament and are trying to become just the eighth repeat champion in the 94-year history of the Memorial Cup tournament.

Guelph's Finn found motivation from tourney slight

Friday, 05.18.2012 / 9:00 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Matthew Finn admits he played the 2011-12 season with a giant chip on his shoulder.

It certainly worked for him, as the Guelph Storm defenseman found anger to be a wonderful motivator to having a tremendous season and earning recognition as a top 2012 NHL Draft prospect.

Finn had 10 goals and 38 assists in 61 games, and his 48 points were sixth among OHL defensemen. The 6-foot, 195-pound blueliner is No. 16 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for this year's draft, ninth among defensemen in what's considered a remarkably deep crop of blueliners.

Saint John in hunt for rare Memorial Cup repeat

Monday, 05.14.2012 / 1:17 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

While most of the hockey world will be enthralled by the conference finals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the future of the game will be on display at the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

The championship series of the three biggest Canadian junior hockey leagues will be held May 17-27, in Shawinigan, Que.

Joining the host Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will be the QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs; Ontario Hockey League champ London Knights; and the winner of the Western Hockey League, the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Each team will play three games in the preliminary round, with the teams with the best record advancing, all the way to the championship game, to be played Sunday, May 27.

Regina's Stephenson takes major step forward

Monday, 05.14.2012 / 9:00 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

It’s been a busy couple of seasons for the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats. For their hottest young star, Chandler Stephenson, it’s been an even more hectic two years.

The 18-year-old forward spent the 2010-11 season, his first in the WHL, adapting to the pace and strength of major junior hockey -- and finished with just 19 points in 60 games. But last summer marked a sea change for Stephenson, as well as for the Regina organization: Former NHL player Pat Conacher joined the Pats as coach and immediately instituted an every-shift policy with his team.

“They’re not just getting a shift, they’re earning a shift from me,” Conacher told NHL.com of his players. “Yeah, maybe you were drafted and all that other stuff -- but guess what: You have to earn your next shift to play here.”

Athanasiou loves to fly -- on the ice or in the sky

Friday, 05.11.2012 / 9:00 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

When all is said and done, forward Andreas Athanasiou could turn out to be one of the best skaters of the 2012 NHL Draft.

His acceleration and speed through the neutral zone usually has opposing players on their heels, if not already out of position. This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise since the 6-foot, 179-pound left wing takes great pride in exhibiting that quickness each time he steps on the ice for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

"He's really fast, he's quick and he's always making plays out there," Adam Pelech of the OHL's Erie Otters told NHL.com. "He's like [Nail] Yakupov … you have to stay between him and the net."

Trouba met every challenge head-on

Tuesday, 05.08.2012 / 9:00 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Defenseman Jacob Trouba of the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team expected his draft year not only to be exciting, but challenging.

How prophetic.

Part of those exciting challenges featured Trouba representing his country at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary in January, and then getting to win his second straight gold medal at the World Under-18 Championship in the Czech Republic in April.

The 6-foot-2, 193-pound native of Rochester, Mich., was the youngest player on the U.S. WJC team that finished seventh, but coach Dean Blais had nothing but praise for Trouba, who had two assists in six games.

Prospect Grigorenko diagnosed with mononucleosis

Tuesday, 05.01.2012 / 1:39 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Quebec Remparts announced center Mikhail Grigorenko, NHL Central Scouting's third-ranked North American skater for the 2012 NHL Draft, has contracted mononucleosis.

"As of the end of the season, Grigorenko informed our medical team that he felt tired," the team said in a statement. "He was immediately given several medical tests which concluded with this result."

It's expected Grigorenko will need 4-6 weeks of recovery time.

Gillies doing outstanding job of ignoring distractions

Friday, 04.27.2012 / 1:29 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

A mutual "decommitment" agreement between Jon Gillies and Huskies coach Jim Madigan was made to allow Gillies the ability to pursue other options.

Over the course of a season, a junior goaltender learns through experience and guidance how to eliminate the numerous distractions that potentially can damage their development.

These distractions come in many forms, and some are more stressful than others. For goalies, stress is a performance killer, so it takes great self-awareness to realize when distractions are taking place, and great discipline to eliminate them as quickly as possible.

For Jon Gillies, a standout with the Indianapolis Ice of the United States Hockey League, one of the toughest distractions he has faced is taking place right at this very moment.

Gillies had committed to play at Northeastern University next season, but things changed when starter Chris Rawlings unexpectedly opted to return for his senior season. A few days later, a mutual "decommitment" agreement between Gillies and Huskies coach Jim Madigan was made to allow Gillies the ability to pursue other options.

Top 2013 prospect Jones has WHL rights traded

Monday, 04.23.2012 / 3:08 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Seth Jones, a 17-year-old defenseman considered one of the top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft, on Monday had his Western Hockey League rights traded by the Everett Silvertips to the Portland Winterhawks in exchange for an undisclosed conditional draft pick.

Jones was captain of the U.S. team that on Sunday captured a fourth-straight gold medal at the World Under-18 Championship. He had three goals and five assists in six games, finishing second on the team and among all defensemen at the tournament with eight points. He also was on last year's team as a 16-year-old, contributing three assists to the 2011 gold-medal effort.

"Seth is a world-class player in his age group, a terrific two-way defenseman who's excelled at every level," Portland GM/coach Mike Johnston told the team's website. "By not committing to a college at this point, he has decided to keep his options open, and we look forward to meeting with Seth and his family soon to discuss his future. We believe he would be an impact player in the Western Hockey League."

Jones (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) spent this past season with the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team, where he had six goals and 20 assists in 48 games. He also was in line to play for the U.S. at the World Junior Championship, but an upper-body injury he sustained in a pre-tournament exhibition knocked him out.

U.S. wins fourth-straight U-18 gold

Sunday, 04.22.2012 / 12:53 PM / 2012 NHL Draft


Top 2012 NHL Draft prospect Nicolas Kerdiles scored twice and added three assists Sunday as the U.S. routed Sweden 7-0 and won its fourth straight gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in the  Czech Republic.

Kerdiles, a left wing with the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team, is No. 29 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for this year's draft.

In a game played at Kajot Arena in Brno, Daniel O'Reagan and Ryan Hartman each had a goal and an assist, and goalie Collin Olson stopped all 27 shots he faced for his fourth shutout in six games.

Olson, also with the USNTDP, is No. 21 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American goalies.
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2012 NHL Draft