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Erie's DeBrincat following in McDavid's footsteps

Thursday, 11.19.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Every Thursday, will look ahead to the 2016 NHL Draft with an in-depth profile on one of its top prospects.

It may surprise some to learn Erie Otters forward Alex DeBrincat has something in common with Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers.

When DeBrincat was awarded the Ontario Hockey League's rookie of the year in 2014-15, he joined McDavid as the only other player in Otters history to win the trophy.

It's a pretty remarkable feat when you consider DeBrincat, of Farmington Hills, Mich., wasn't even considered among 299 picks in the 2013 OHL draft but later signed with the Otters as a free agent by way of Lake Forest Academy in Chicago in April 2014.

Okposo believes Islanders starting to play to potential

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 8:15 PM / NHL Insider

David Satriano - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- After a bit of a rough stretch early in the season, forward Kyle Okposo thinks the New York Islanders might finally be starting to click on all cylinders.

"We're getting there. It was a bit of a slow start," Okposo said Wednesday at the NHL Store Powered by Reebok before he signed autographs for fans at a launch for the OYO Sports Rink. "Definitely an adjustment period heading to Brooklyn and a feeling-out period. But I think we have kind of hit our stride. That West Coast trip was good for us, and we just have to keep playing well, keep stringing [wins] together. We have a huge home-and-home this weekend against Montreal."

The Islanders (10-6-3) have scored nine goals their past two games, each a win, after struggling offensively (seven in the previous four games), and Okposo has been one of the reasons for the turnaround. He had three assists in a 5-2 victory against the Arizona Coyotes on Monday and has five assists in the past three games. projects rosters for 2016 NHL All-Star Game

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 8:00 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend Staff

The NHL announced a new format for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Wednesday.

The game, on Sunday, Jan. 31, will be a 3-on-3 tournament pitting the four divisions against one another in a winner-take-all format. The Atlantic Division will face the Metropolitan Division in one semifinal and the Central Division will face the Pacific Division in the other semifinal. The winners play in the championship game.

Games will be 20 minutes in length and will be decided by a shootout if tied after the 20 minutes.

Each division's roster will have six forwards, three defenseman and two goalies. One player from each division will be voted onto the team by the fans and the other 40 players will be selected by the League's Hockey Operations Department. Each team will have at least one player from every team in its division.

All-Star Game to take 3-on-3, division-based format

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 7:30 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The scoring chances, skill and intensity that have made 3-on-3 overtime a must-see part of the game this season will be on display in a revamped format for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Jan. 31.

The NHL and NHL Players' Association announced Wednesday that the All-Star Game will be transformed into a 3-on-3 All-Star Tournament comprised of three 20-minute games played by divisional all-star teams competing for a winner-take-all $1 million prize.

The NHL has experienced a significant rise in the percentage of games that end in overtime instead of the shootout largely because of the implementation of the 3-on-3 format for the 2015-16 season.

Fantasy top 60 defensemen: What to make of Letang

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 12:17 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, fantasy hockey contributor Brian Metzer provides in-depth defenseman analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer is your go-to guy for fantasy D-men advice all season long.

If fantasy owners could believe in anything from season to season it was getting solid production from a number of Pittsburgh Penguins, and 2015-16 was supposed to be even better.

General manager Jim Rutherford acquired Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs and all of the so-called-experts, including this one, predicted otherworldly production for Kessel, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.

Capitals visit Red Wings for Wednesday Night Rivalry

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / Tale of the Tape

John Kreiser - Managing Editor

Alex Ovechkin will try again to become the NHL's all-time leading goal-scorer among Russian-born players when he and the Washington Capitals visit the Detroit Red Wings in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

Ovechkin and the Capitals are making their second trip to Joe Louis Arena in eight days. He had 15 shots on goal in a 1-0 loss on Nov. 10. Despite coming up empty last week, Ovechkin has nine goals and 17 points in 15 career games against the Red Wings.

Ovechkin tied Sergei Fedorov's record when he scored his 483rd career goal in the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 7; since then, he’s put the puck in the net twice only to have each goal negated after a coach’s challenge.

Datsyuk's return adds dimension to Red Wings' game

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is three games into his season and still looking for his first point. It'll come soon, perhaps as early as Wednesday, when the Red Wings play the Washington Capitals at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

Datsyuk is still getting up to speed after missing the first 15 games recovering from ankle surgery.

More importantly, the Red Wings, with Datsyuk's help, finally showed signs of breaking out of a prolonged scoring slump in a 4-3 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators on Monday. They snapped a streak of six consecutive games in which they scored two or fewer goals.

Detroit had a season-high 37 shots on goal against the Senators. It was the first time the Red Wings had more than 30 shots in a game this season.

Islanders working to put down roots in Brooklyn

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 9:00 PM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark's credo is to be happy but never satisfied. For all the work he's done to help lifelong New York Islanders fans get to their new arena, Yormark must add some Brooklyn flavor to a marketing recipe designed to create a foothold in the borough.

"I'm excited about the early returns, but we have more work to do," Yormark said. "I'm happy with the move, the team is off to a great start, the fans have been supporting the team, but we can do more. We can grow the base and we will."

The Islanders took a big step in their grassroots effort to grow their brand in Brooklyn on Tuesday when defenseman Nick Leddy became their first player to appear at a community event since they relocated from Long Island to begin the 2015-16 NHL season.

Scandella grateful to Wild for time with ailing father

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 5:40 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

Marco Scandella spoke Tuesday of the time he spent away from the Minnesota Wild to be with his ailing father.

"My dad doesn't have much time left, so I'm really happy that the organization let me go back home to see him and say goodbye to him," the defenseman told the Wild website after the morning skate prior to playing at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I owe it to him to play my best hockey, and that's what I'm going to do when I come out every shift. I just have to keep growing as a player and growing as a person."

Fantasy top 100 forwards: MacKinnon, Duchene ignite

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen provides in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top-100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen is your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

The Colorado Avalanche are at the bottom of the Central Division, the toughest in the NHL, and don't exactly have the deepest, most complete roster to fall back on in their quest to get return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Luckily they do have Nathan MacKinnon, a top-15 fantasy forward in Yahoo leagues this season, who continues to prove his sophomore slump was a fluke. He has at least a point in 11 of his 17 games this season with five multipoint outings (T-9th in NHL) and 19 points on the season (seventh in NHL). His shooting percentage woes are no more after an unlucky and underachieving 2014-15 season of 14 goals on 192 shots on goal in 64 games (7.3 percent) prior to his season-ending injury.

This season, MacKinnon ranks tied for 14th or better in goals (eight on 61 SOG; 13.1 percent), points, plus-minus and SOG. But the crafty playmaker has also done his part to revitalize the Avalanche's other franchise cornerstone, Matt Duchene.

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Quote of the Day

It's a big milestone for me and I'm happy to help my team with lots of good teammates. It's fun.

— Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who on Wednesday became the ninth Russian-born player, and ninth Red Wings player, to score 300 NHL goals
World Cup of Hockey 2016