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2013 NHL Draft

Draft experts agree on top two picks, not much else

Monday, 06.10.2013 / 11:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft


With the NHL Scouting Combine in the books, teams are assembling their final lists for the 2013 NHL Draft, set for June 30 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The NHL.com draft experts also have assembled their lists, plotting how the first round of this year's draft could look.

Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Steve Hoffner remain in agreement on the first two picks -- Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones will go to the Colorado Avalanche at No. 1, followed by Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon at No. 2 to the Florida Panthers.

Last-second goal let Horvat live every kid's dream

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 4:35 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Every player dreams of scoring the goal that wins his team the championship.

London Knights center Bo Horvat got the rare experience of living that dream. It was one of many accomplishments for him this season that could lead to one more dream coming true June 30 at the 2013 NHL Draft.

Horvat, a 6-foot, 206-pound forward, had 33 goals -- including a team-best 17 on the power play -- and 61 points in 67 regular-season Ontario Hockey League games, and then scored a league-best 16 goals in the OHL playoffs.

It was the final goal, however, that Horvat and anyone that watched will remember.

It was Game 7 of the OHL Finals against the Barrie Colts. The game was tied as the final seconds of regulation ticked away.

Rychel blending his skill with dad's work ethic

Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 10:47 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

There's a good chance power forward Kerby Rychel will hear his name called in the early rounds of the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The same could not be said for his father, Warren, who almost three decades ago sat through the entire 1985 draft at Toronto Convention Centre and failed to hear his name announced among the 252 players selected.

Many project Kerby, a 6-foot-0.75, 205-pound left wing for the Windsor Spitfires in the Ontario Hockey League, as a late first-round pick. More than anything, hearing his son's name in the early stages of the draft certainly would put Warren at ease.

"He's got way more skill than I did," Warren told the National Post. "But his work ethic, I don't think, at this age, that anybody matches it. He really wants it."

Devils ready to host 2013 NHL Draft

Sunday, 06.02.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- New Jersey Devils director of amateur scouting David Conte said he's excited that fans from the Garden State will have an opportunity to see what an NHL Draft is all about on June 30 at Prudential Center.

Other than that, the draft will be business as usual. Except, of course, for the shorter drive to the arena to begin his work day.

"We want to pick the best player," Conte told NHL.com. "I'm sure the fact we'll be in front of our fans will mean whichever player we choose will feel the impact of that. Me, personally, I'm going to try to block that part of it out."

Innovations highlighted NHL Scouting Combine

Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 1:00 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- A larger testing area, additional information distribution, and a new screening exam incorporated into the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine certainly made for a bigger and better event as the 20th event was held this week at the Westin Bristol Place and the Toronto International Centre.

As usual, there was a high level of professionalism exhibited by the entire NHL Central Scouting staff as many of the top 101 prospects from North American and Europe performed the usual rounds of questioning and fitness exams during one of the premier events leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft, to be held June 30 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

"I think things went excellent," Central Scouting's David Gregory told NHL.com. "Part of our goal since the start was to expand this for the teams and try to do something more and better every year. I think we accomplished that this year by responding to the team's needs in what they would like to see."

Canadiens eager to boost prospect pool at NHL Draft

Friday, 05.31.2013 / 8:03 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- After a season when five rookies played a part in helping the Montreal Canadiens go from last place to second in the Eastern Conference, director of amateur scouting Trevor Timmins is excited for the opportunity to further bolster his team's prospect cupboard at the 2013 NHL Draft.

"With the salary cap era, it makes it more difficult to add to your player pool through free agency, so it's vital for the lifeline of the organization to continue to add prospects that keep coming up through your system and being able to play," Timmins told NHL.com at the Scouting Combine. "So the draft and amateur free agency is very important for the lifeline of the franchise."

Blue Jackets GM happy to hold three 1st-round picks

Thursday, 05.30.2013 / 10:01 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- The level of talent in the early stages of the 2013 NHL Draft has the potential to be as good as it's ever been, according to Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.

So you can bet your bottom dollar that possessing three picks in the first round is something Kekalainen is thrilled about. The team is locked in at No. 14 and No. 19, with the third choice undetermined for now.

"It seems like it's a good draft, but I always am kind of cautious about getting too excited about the good drafts or too pessimistic when people say it's a down year because someone will always surprise you in a good way or, unfortunately, in a bad way," Kekalainen told NHL.com at the NHL Scouting Combine. "Either way, we're excited for our franchise with three first-round picks."

Jones, MacKinnon, Drouin seek 'honor' of No. 1

Thursday, 05.30.2013 / 9:22 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

TORONTO -- Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin have struck up a solid friendship while going through the hoopla surrounding the buildup to the 2013 NHL Draft.

However, that doesn't change the fact that NHL Central Scouting's top three North American skaters in their final rankings are extremely competitive, and hearing their name called first June 30 at Prudential Center is something each would like to have on his resume.

"Obviously everyone wants to go No. 1," Drouin told NHL.com. "I'm pretty sure they want to, and it's the same thing for me. To be No. 1 is a big thing. It would be an honor."

Drouin, No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's list, had a season to remember in 2012-13. The Halifax Mooseheads left wing was second in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 105 points in 49 games and topped the league with 35 points in 17 playoff games to help his team win the championship.

He was named QMJHL MVP and player of the year in the Canadian Hockey League, and went on to help Halifax win its first Memorial Cup, tying a tournament record with five assists in the championship game, where the Mooseheads defeated Jones and the Portland Winterhawks 6-4 on May 26.

Nichushkin looking to answer doubters at Combine

Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 10:30 PM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- There's no telling what direction the 2013 NHL Draft will take when the "Big Three" of defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks and forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads are off the board.

Some believe Finnish center Aleksander Barkov, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's list of the top draft-eligible European skaters, is next in line. Others are pretty sure it's Valeri Nichushkin, one of the finest Russian players available at the draft since 2004, when Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin went Nos. 1 and 2.

There's no denying the fact Nichushkin, a 6-foot-4, 202-pound right wing, possesses the size, confidence and skills required to play in the NHL. The only question is: Can he consistently deliver each and every night over an 82-game season?

"When Nichushkin is at his best, he's by far better than Barkov, but he's not always at his best," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told NHL.com.

UNH D-man Pesce attracts attention at Combine

Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 1:57 AM / 2013 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Inquiring minds want to know if the next Torey Krug will be available at the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30?

There's little doubt that if a player with similar traits to the undrafted defenseman from the Boston Bruins is floating around, he'll be scooped up in rather short order.

As Krug spent two seasons at Michigan State before signing a free-agent contract with the Bruins last year, perhaps it's only fitting to look at NHL Central Scouting's top collegiate player available for the June draft. That would be true freshman defenseman Brett Pesce of the University of New Hampshire.

"He's one of the best defenders I've seen at his draft age in a long, long time," Central Scouting's David Gregory told NHL.com. "He does a great job keeping the puck to the outside and when you think you're by him, he uses his stick and body positioning as well as anybody."

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