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(Page 6 of 24)
2012 NHL Draft

Kane still tops Class of 2007

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 12:00 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Note: NHL.com will take a look back at the NHL drafts from five, 10 and 15 years ago this week leading up to the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh. How would a redux of those drafts look today?

The 2007 draft was the beginning of an American revolution of sorts -- U.S. kids went 1-2 in the draft for the first time and a record 10 went in the first round, a number that was matched the following year.

Another storyline on draft day was the fall of two prominent prospects. Angelo Esposito was considered the top player in this draft class as a 16-year-old, but his stock fell and he ended up at No. 20 to Pittsburgh. Alexei Cherepanov was the top-rated European prospect and another contender for the No. 1 spot, and he dropped to the New York Rangers at No. 17.

Five years later, Patrick Kane is the undisputed top player from the Class of 2007. Choosing the guy who would go No. 2 could be an interesting discussion, but San Jose's Logan Couture has a pretty strong case.

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High-energy Dumba could be risky pick that pays off

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 11:06 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The team that has defenseman Mathew Dumba of the Red Deer Rebels in its crosshairs during the early stages of the first round of the NHL Draft has undoubtedly come to grips with the fact they're getting a gunslinger along the blue line.

When NHL Central Scouting held its final meetings in April to determine the top 210 draft-eligible skaters from North America, Dumba dropped four spots to No. 11.

The reason for the dip was the fact most scouts considered the energetic Dumba the highest risk/reward prospect available. It's something that didn't take him by surprise.

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Skjei takes deeper approach to skating

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 10:00 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Brady Skjei had four goals and 18 assists in 56 games with the USNTP. (Photo: Tom Sorensen)

When asked to describe his style of play to someone who has never seen him on the ice, the first two words U.S. National Team Development Program defenseman Brady Skjei uses are "smooth skating."

It's no surprise that Skjei (pronounced shay) is considered among the best skaters in the 2012 NHL Draft when you look at his family background.

Skjei's uncle is Barry Karn, a skating coach who has worked for the Minnesota Wild and the Calgary Flames.

"I've skated with him since I was 4 or 5 years old," Skjei told NHL.com. "He's helped me a ton in my development."

That development took another big jump in 2011-12. He had four goals and 18 assists in 56 games with the USNTP, and a tournament-high plus-10 rating in helping the United States win the gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

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2012 NHL Draft preview: Pacific Division

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:00 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With three teams from the Pacific Division making the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs and a fourth missing by just six points, there's not much that separates the five teams in the division.

The difference could be success at the 2012 NHL Draft; a raw product found in June could emerge as a polished star by October.

The Stanley Cup champion Kings showed just how important building through the draft was -- Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Quick, team captain Dustin Brown and top-line center Anze Kopitar all were drafted and developed by the Kings.

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Beauvillier took eventful detour to NHL Draft

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 2:45 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

Francis Beauvillier never imagined he would have to take such an eventful detour to reach his lifelong goal.

The speedy forward had two seasons under his belt in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and his year of draft eligibility was looming.

But last May, the Lewiston Maineiacs, Beauvillier's team for the entirety of his junior hockey career, abruptly folded, forcing the league to dissolve the franchise's roster. Suddenly, the system and coaching staff Beauvillier was accustomed to no longer existed, leaving his future up to a two-round dispersal draft which took place later that week.

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Teravainen expected to be first Finn drafted Friday

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 12:17 PM / 2012 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen may be small in stature but he's already a proven performer among men.

The 17-year-old Teravainen had as impressive a second half to the season as one could possibly have in their draft year after being promoted to Jokerit in the prestigious SM-Liiga, the top professional league in Finland.

"He joined Jokerit right after the Christmas break [after a fast start with the club's Under-20 team] and proved to be a player with outstanding hockey sense and great overall skill," NHL Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb, told NHL.com. "He was 17, but running the power-play. He's not overly physically but is not intimidated by the physical game."

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2012 NHL Draft preview: Northwest Division

Sunday, 06.17.2012 / 9:00 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

As the Vancouver Canucks approach the 2012 NHL Draft, they are in a far different position than their Northwest Division rivals.

The Canucks were the only Northwest team to qualify for the playoffs this season. They won the Presidents' Trophy as the top regular-season team for the second straight year before being upset in the opening round by Los Angeles. Vancouver is solid at both ends of the ice and has almost all of its key players under contract and in their prime.

The Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche are playing catch-up. And in the case of everyone but the Avs, they're hoping to get some quick help when the selection process begins June 22 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

The Oilers will pick first, the Wild are seventh, and the Flames have the 14th choice. Colorado traded its first-rounder last year and won't pick until well into the second round.

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The ninth round: Gone but not forgotten

Saturday, 06.16.2012 / 11:39 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The ninth round of the NHL Draft disappeared eight years ago, joining tie games in the dustbin of hockey history. The agreement that ended the work stoppage shaved the selection process to seven rounds, where it has stayed since then.

But just because the ninth round is no more doesn't mean its impact isn't still being felt. The 30 teams that will be picking in this year's NHL Draft in Pittsburgh would be delighted to come up with players who can match the accomplishments of some of the ninth-rounders still in the League -- a group that includes a two-time Vezina Trophy winner, a three-time 30-goal scorer who's one of the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy and the goaltenders who will share this year's Jennings Trophy.

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2012 NHL Draft preview: Southeast Division

Saturday, 06.16.2012 / 11:24 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Florida Panthers held off Washington to earn the first Southeast Division title won by a team other than the Capitals for the first time in five seasons.

While it was an impressive achievement for the Panthers, it was also a surprise. The best years for the franchise in South Florida are likely still to come, as the Panthers have amassed one of the finest collections of prospects in the NHL and some of them should provide an extra boost as early as next season.

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Hits and misses at the draft by Southeast teams

Saturday, 06.16.2012 / 9:00 AM / 2012 NHL Draft

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Ron Francis spent 16 of his 23 NHL seasons with the Whalers/Hurricanes franchise. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings proved again this season that good drafting is the basis of success. The core of the Kings' Stanley Cup championship team -- goaltender Jonathan Quick, defenseman Drew Doughty, No. 1 center Anze Kopitar and captain Dustin Brown -- all were drafted and developed by the team.

Every team has had its ups and downs since the draft began in 1963. Here's a look at the hits (and some of the misses) for the five teams in the Southeast Division on Draft Day.

CAROLINA HURRICANES/HARTFORD WHALERS

Best first-round pick: Ron Francis (1981) -- "Ronnie Franchise" got his two Stanley Cup rings with Pittsburgh in the early 1990s, but he spent 16 of his 23 NHL seasons with the Whalers/Hurricanes franchise, piling up the points -- and goodwill -- along the way. Only Wayne Gretzky has more career assists than Francis, and only Gretzky, Gordie Howe and Mark Messier finished their careers with more points. Francis still is with the Hurricanes as vice president of hockey operations.

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2012 NHL Draft