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(Page 10 of 16)
2013 NHL Draft

Likely top pick Jones projects as complete package

Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Here's what we know about Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones.

He's not only No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, but was regarded as the consensus first pick in three mock drafts conducted by NHL.com staffers.

We also know Jones takes great pride in his skating and powerful shot, in addition to his propensity to transition quickly.

"I think your ability to move the puck quickly and overall skating are the two most important qualities you need to have as an NHL defenseman today," Jones told NHL.com.

He can create offense, as evidenced by his 56 points in 61 regular-season games this season, his first in the Western Hockey League, and he also has been praised for his ability to consistently shut down top opposition forwards.

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Keeping up with the Joneses

Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Seth Jones, NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked North American skater in its final rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft, admits he wouldn't be where he is today without the support of family.

Of course, his dad, former NBA player Ronald "Popeye" Jones, and his mother, Amy, have played a huge role in his impeccable demeanor both on and off the ice. But Seth is quick to point out that brothers Justin and Caleb also have played prominent roles in his life.

"They've been extremely important," Jones told NHL.com. "We're very close to each other, started out playing hockey at the same time and kind of followed each other when it came to hockey. We followed how each did, what sticks we used and the gear we wore."

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Halifax advances to Memorial Cup semifinals

Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 11:48 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Halifax Mooseheads re-established their offensive identity Tuesday in round-robin play at the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup with a 9-2 victory against the London Knights at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The triumph comes two days after Halifax suffered a stunning 5-2 loss to the host Saskatoon Blades.

The Mooseheads, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion, now is 18-2 in postseason play.

Halifax got goals goals from six different players while getting a 26-save performance by goalie Zachary Fucale. Detroit Red Wings prospect Martin Frk had a hat trick, Darcy Ashley scored twice and Stefan Fournier, Brent Andrews, Ryan Falkenham and Luca Ciampini had one goal apiece for the Mooseheads.

Halifax, which finished 2-for-9 on the power play, assured itself of at least a bye into the semifinal game Friday. If the Portland Winterhawks defeat the Blades on Wednesday in round-robin action, the Mooseheads automatically would advance to the title game Sunday.

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Portland beats London 6-3 at Memorial Cup

Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 12:18 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Portland Winterhawks coach Travis Green must have felt a bit of déjà vu watching his team Monday night at the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

For the second straight game he saw a multi-goal lead evaporate, but the first-year coach -- promoted to the top job when Mike Johnston was suspended for the season in November as part of sanctions for player-benefit violations -- never panicked, because he knew his players wouldn't.

He said there was no screaming or fiery speeches made on the bench after the London Knights tied the game. No need for it.

"Nothing specific, just said stay with it," he said if anything was said on the bench. "Can't change what happened, can only take care of the game ahead of you. Our team doesn't really get too high or too low, even when we're winning. We're a pretty relaxed group that works extremely hard."

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Saskatoon upsets Halifax at Memorial Cup

Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 11:17 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Russian goalie Andrey Makarov made 29 saves to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 5-2 victory against the heavily favored Halifax Mooseheads on Sunday in round-robin play at the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup before 8,934 fans at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The loss was the second in 19 playoff games for Halifax, the Canadian Hockey League's No. 1 team, and the 11th this season.

"They are the best team in the country; they're ranked No. 1. For us to come out and play the way we did, it's a huge confidence boost for us, for the city and to prove to the rest of the competition that we're here for real," Saskatoon forward Lukas Sutter told the Halifax Chronicle Herald.

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MacKinnon steals show in battle with Portland, Jones

Saturday, 05.18.2013 / 11:20 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Nathan MacKinnon showed again why he's the top offensive player available for the 2013 NHL Draft.

The Halifax Mooseheads center, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for this year's draft, showcased his full offensive arsenal, scoring a second-period hat trick as his team cruised to a 7-4 victory against the Portland Winterhawks in round-robin play at the MasterCard Memorial Cup on Saturday at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The game was billed as MacKinnon against Portland defenseman Seth Jones, Central Scouting's top-ranked North American skater -- they're expected to be the first two players picked at this year's draft. It marked the fourth time they had met on the ice this season. MacKinnon and Canada beat Jones and the United States in the preliminary round at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, but Jones got his revenge with a 5-1 win in the semifinals en route to winning the gold medal. Jones' Team Orr also beat MacKinnon's Team Cherry at the 2013 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

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Zadorov lifts London to win at Memorial Cup

Friday, 05.17.2013 / 11:27 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Nikita Zadorov showed why he's so highly regarded for the 2013 NHL Draft.

The London Knights defenseman jumped into the play early in the third period and banged in the rebound of a Scott Harrington shot for the game-winning power-play goal as the Ontario Hockey League champions opened play at the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup with a 3-2 win against the host Saskatoon Blades.

The game was tied 2-2 after 40 minutes, but London took advantage when Saskatoon's Darren Deitz was sent off for high-sticking at 3:56 of the third period.

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Gulutzan serving as guest coach in Memorial Cup

Friday, 05.17.2013 / 3:21 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It didn't take Glen Gulutzan very long to find a role behind the bench following his release as coach of the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

Less than 24 hours after new Stars general manager Jill Nill fired Gulutzan, the 41-year-old was preparing to serve as a guest coach for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League at this weekend's MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament in his old stomping grounds of Saskatchewan.

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Gauthier plays all-round game well beyond his years

Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Chris Bordeleau of NHL Central Scouting has tracked the progress of countless players in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League pipeline over the past three decades.

Still, he struggles when asked to recall a forward matching the defensive acumen and awareness exhibited by 2013 draft-eligible center Frederik Gauthier of the Rimouski Oceanic.

The closest resemblance might be Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier, who starred for the Drummondville Voltigeurs for three seasons. But even that's a stretch.

"I've never seen a kid get back and play defense like he does in 20 years," Bordeleau told NHL.com. "In his own end, he's always around the puck. A kid that can play defense like he does at his age, with that kind of maturity, is very rare."

At 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, Gauthier is a rather intimidating specimen on skates. Off the ice, he's a gentle giant.

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Brotherly advice got Downing on right track again

Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

When Michael Downing suited up for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League last season, he had the perfect security blanket -- his older brother and defense partner, Jake.

However, Jake was traded during the offseason, leaving younger brother to stand on his own. And after a slow start, Michael Downing finished the season strong and remained a top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft.

Downing had 23 points, a plus-16 rating and 107 penalty minutes in 52 games this season, and is No. 49 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for this year's draft.

"I really like him," NHL Network analyst Craig Button told NHL.com. "I think he was raw coming out of Catholic Central [High School] in Detroit and going to that level. I just think when you start at that level and you continue to move up … I think Michael Downing has a terrific upside."

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