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2012 NHL Draft

Sweden, Canada East start World Jr. A in style

Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 8:54 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Sweden and Canada East each posted impressive shutouts on Monday on the opening day of the 2011 World Junior A Challenge in Langley, B.C.
Interestingly, in the first five years of the World Junior A Challenge, not a single shutout had been recorded before Monday's results.
Oscar Dansk, considered by many to be among the top three goaltenders eligible for the 2012 Draft in Pittsburgh, made 44 saves to lead Sweden to a 1-0 victory against three-time defending champion Team USA in the opener of Group A while Adrian Ignagni turned aside 16 shots to lead Canada East to a 5-0 decision against Czech Republic in Group B.

Seven to watch: Top OHL prospects for 2012 Draft

Friday, 11.04.2011 / 9:00 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The top Ontario Hockey League prospect for the 2012 NHL Draft is an offensive dynamo from the Sarnia Sting, with a string of solid defensemen next on the list.

It's a story reminiscent of the 2008 Draft, when Sarnia center Steven Stamkos was the league's best prospect, ahead of a list of blueliners that included Guelph's Drew Doughty, Peterborough's Zach Bogosian and Niagara's Alex Pietrangelo.

This year, the top player available is Nail Yakupov, who spent last season breaking Stamkos' Sarnia records.

Prospect Super Series rosters set

Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 9:13 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Many of the top junior-aged players from the Canadian Hockey League will look to avenge last year's setback to the Russian National Junior Team when the 2011 Subway Super Series is contested for the ninth straight season across three regions of Canada beginning next week.
Last season's tournament marked the first time in eight tries that the Russians won the series -- they took four of six games while facing stars from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League.
The Russians will send 22 players, including two chosen in the 2011 NHL Draft -- Maxim Shalunov (Chicago Blackhawks, fourth round) and defenseman Nikita Nesterov (Tampa Bay Lightning, fifth round).  Shalunov and Nesterov are two of only four 1993-born Russian players making the trip for the series while the other 18 players all were born in 1992.

Blackhawks pick Jardine to lead Canada West

Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 11:36 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Sam Jardine, a 2011 sixth-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, will lead Canada West at the 2011 World Junior 'A' Challenge, to be held Nov. 7-13 in Langley, B.C.

A 6-foot-1, 190-pound defenseman, Jardine has 5 points and 24 penalty minutes in 19 games with the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Jardine was one of 22 players picked for the team, which will try to improve on last year's fourth-place finish.

Sweden, Russia looking for improved display

Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 12:43 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Sweden and Russia, both of which went winless at last year's tournament, will be looking for major improvements at the 2011 World Junior 'A' Challenge, to be held Nov. 7-13 in Langley, B.C.
Sweden went 0-2-0 at last year's tournament, but the hope is better goaltending from top 2012 NHL Draft prospect Oscar Dansk will help. Dansk, who stands 6-foot-2.5 and 189 pounds, has a 3.22 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in nine games with the junior team for Brynas of the Swedish Elite League, and also has earned a call-up to the senior SEL club.
In front of Dansk is a pair of highly regarded defensemen for the 2012 draft. Jesper Pettersson (5-11, 180) has 2 goals and 6 points in 15 games for Linkoping's junior team, and Hampus Lindholm (6-2.5, 185) has 6 points in 11 games for Rogle's junior team.

Canada East picks roster for Junior 'A' Challenge

Monday, 10.31.2011 / 8:10 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

A pair of centers from the Ontario Junior Hockey League highlights the roster Canada East will send to the 2011 World Junior 'A' Challenge, to be held Nov. 7-13 in Langley, B.C.

"All 34 players at (selection) camp battled hard, fought for their spots and left us with some tough decisions," said coach Curtis Hodgins, who also coaches Whitby of the OJHL. "As a coaching staff, we are confident we have selected the 22 players who give us the best chance at improving on last year's silver-medal finish."

Among the key players is David Friedmann, who plays for the Toronto Junior Canadiens. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound forward has a team-leading 10 goals and 21 points in 12 games. 

Yakupov, d-men headline first 2012 Mock Draft

Monday, 10.31.2011 / 12:00 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Now that we know where the 2012 NHL Draft will be held, the only question remaining is who will be selected.
That's where your friends at NHL.com enter the picture. Sure, the draft is eight months away, but it's never too early for the self-proclaimed gurus at NHL.com to break out their crystal ball and project how the opening round at Consol Energy Center on June 22 in Pittsburgh might pan out.
This year, there could be a run on defensemen unlike anything we've seen. At the 2011 draft, there were 11 blueliners selected among the top 30 choices. It's very possible that number could multiply by two come June.

Draft has played major role in revival of Penguins

Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 5:50 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- All it takes is a little stroll through the downtown area of this working-class, sports-crazed city to realize it's no longer just about the Steelers and Pirates around these parts.
The Penguins have also been able to pull at the heartstrings of the dedicated Pittsburgh sports fan.
Not surprisingly, the NHL Draft has played a huge part in that rise among the land of the sports giants in the Steel City and Penguins GM Ray Shero, President David Morehouse and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl realize that. On Thursday, the city was awarded the opportunity to host the draft for the first time in 15 years -- only this time at the Consol Energy Center instead of Civic Arena.
"I'm really excited to see players we see at the rink every other day getting drafted in our own city … it's going to be great," said 14-year-old youth hockey player Arthur Birman, who plays for the Pittsburgh Hornets. "I started playing when I was 3-years-old and I'm the biggest Pens fan now."
Mark Slomiany, a senior defenseman at Bishop Canevin High School, remembers the fun and excitement of the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic that was held at Heinz Field. He anticipates a similar scene at the Draft.

Pittsburgh rejoices over landing 2012 Draft

Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 4:54 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl believes that the excitement for the game of hockey in his city comes pretty close to the passion exhibited by those fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"And that's a pretty strong statement," Ravenstahl told NHL.com.
It's also one reason Ravenstahl, Penguins Chief Executive Officer David Morehouse and General Manager Ray Shero were thrilled when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Thursday afternoon that Consol Energy Center would serve as host for the 2012 NHL Draft.
The first round of the Draft will be held June 22, beginning at 7 p.m. ET, and Rounds 2-7 will be conducted June 23, starting at 10 a.m. ET. Bettman said details for ticket distribution will be revealed as the event gets closer on the calendar.

Pittsburgh draft announcement creates Sharks deja vu

Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 3:04 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Draft's return to Pittsburgh revives memories for Joe Thornton of the 1997 Draft. (Getty Images)
The picture somehow found its way into Joe Thornton's carry-on luggage when he arrived in San Jose during the 2005-06 season. Patrick Marleau found it during one of their video-game marathons and couldn't help but laugh. He had to show the rest of the boys, too.
There in all their glossy, colorful glory were current teammates Thornton and Marleau standing together and smiling like the giddy teenagers they were after hearing their names called as the first two picks at the 1997 Entry Draft at Civic Arena in Pittsburgh.
"I don't know how it came out, but he had a picture of us on draft day in his briefcase," Marleau told NHL.com. "It was pretty funny."
The laughs aside, the picture brought a flood of great memories back into the minds of both players.
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2012 NHL Draft