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2015 NHL Draft
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Top 2015 NHL Draft picks with fantasy value

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Rookies can make a major impact on fantasy teams and can lead to long-term success in dynasty and keeper leagues. Seven players from the 2014 NHL Draft class played in at least one regular-season game in 2014-15. That group was made up of defenseman Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers)  and forwards David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins), Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres), Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers), Viktor Arvidsson (Nashville Predators), Samuel Bennett (Calgary Flames), and Kevin Fiala (Predators).

Ekblad won the Calder Trophy and his 39 points were two shy of the NHL record for a defenseman to start the season as an 18-year-old, set by Bobby Orr in 1966-67 (13-28-41). Ekblad was joined by forwards Johnny Gaudreau (2011 fourth-round pick) and Mark Stone (2010 sixth-round pick) as finalists for the Calder, showing rookie production doesn't just come from freshly drafted players. But with two generational talents at the top of its class, some members of the 2015 draft class should play a big role in fantasy sooner rather than later.

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Lidstrom, Pronger among 2015 Hall candidates

Monday, 06.29.2015 / 12:18 PM / Hall of Fame

NHL.com

Defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Pronger are among the players who could be voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.

The Hall of Fame will announce its Class of 2015 entrants at 4 p.m. ET.

Lidstrom, in his first year on the ballot, is a near-certainty for election into the Hall. He spent his entire 20-season career with the Detroit Red Wings and helped them win the Stanley Cup four times; in 2008 he became the first European-born and -trained player to captain a team to the Cup.

Lidstrom also won the Norris Trophy seven times, one fewer than Bobby Orr's eight. He was a First-Team All-Star 10 times and played in the NHL All-Star Game 11 times.

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Eakins excited for AHL return with Gulls, Ducks

Sunday, 06.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- When Dallas Eakins was fired by the Edmonton Oilers last December, he retreated to his home in Vancouver and re-discovered a missing piece of his life: His family.

Gone was the scrutiny of trying to resurrect a storied franchise. No more five-game, eight-day road trips. Eakins settled into a normal life after coming to terms with his termination.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Eakins said. “It was very hard at the start. Time heals wounds. You know you’re away from the family. [I have] two little girls. I didn't know exactly how much I was missing out until these last six months. It’s a time I will never forget.”

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Lehner healthy, excited for fresh start with Sabres

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 11:42 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Robin Lehner said Saturday becoming more mature will give him a better chance of establishing himself as a No. 1 goaltender with the Buffalo Sabres than he had with the Ottawa Senators.

Ottawa traded Lehner and forward David Legwand to Buffalo on Friday for the 21st pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

"Maybe that's something I have to work on, my maturity level," Lehner said in an interview published by the Ottawa Sun on Saturday. "... I don't know what happened, but I wasn't happy with the way things played out. I think I came out of the gate good every season, I'd play good, and then I didn't get to play anymore. That's something I've got to work on going forward. People have different opinions. I can only speak for myself, but that's my opinion."

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Lightning able to add to pipeline at NHL Draft

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 11:42 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning reached the Stanley Cup Final earlier this month with one of the NHL's youngest rosters. They spent two days at the 2015 NHL Draft adding more fresh talent.

The Lightning started Saturday with 10 selections and added nine players to their pipeline.

"You need young guys to keep coming," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said. "We started [the draft] with seven picks and tried to hang on to some of them. Not every player you draft is going to make the NHL. It's all part of the process. Hopefully these guys come in and give you options moving forward."

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Devils will not re-sign forward Gomez: report

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 10:19 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NHL.com

The New Jersey Devils will not attempt to re-sign forward Scott Gomez, general manager Ray Shero told Northjersey.com on Saturday.

Gomez, 35, signed Nov. 20 after a training-camp tryout and tied for the Devils lead with 27 assists in his 58 games. He will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"It is what it is," Gomez told reporter Tom Gulitti. "The thing is I know I can play. I've proven that. I know I can play at this level. I know I can contribute. But it's time to focus on somewhere else."

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Hurricanes get goalie Lack from Canucks for picks

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 6:58 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

NHL.com

The Carolina Hurricanes acquired goaltender Eddie Lack from the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday for two draft picks.

"Carolina really wanted me," Lack told the Hurricanes website. "It's a great opportunity for me, and I'm really excited."

Vancouver received the 66th pick in the 2015 draft and a seventh-round pick in 2016 for Lack, who was 18-13-14 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .921 save percentage this season. He assumed the No. 1 role when Ryan Miller was injured in late February and went 12-6-2 in 21 appearances from Feb. 24-April 9.

"I matured as a person. From a goaltending standpoint, I feel like I've gotten so much better," Lack said. "To be honest, I still feel like I have a lot to give. I feel like I'm two or three years away from my prime. I'm never satisfied. I keep pushing forward, and that's what's going to help me in the long run."

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First Chinese player to be drafted chosen by Islanders

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 6:45 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Andong Song became the first Chinese-born player to be selected in the NHL Draft when the New York Islanders chose him Saturday in the sixth round (No. 172).

The 6-foot, 161-pound defenseman, who plays at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, had three goals and seven assists in 26 games. He said he patterns his game after former Detroit Red Wings star Nicklas Lidstrom.

Lawrenceville coach Etienne Bilodeau said Song stepped into a major role not long after arriving at the school and was named captain this season.

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Oilers get goalie Talbot from Rangers for three picks

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 6:41 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

NHL.com

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Edmonton Oilers acquired goaltender Cam Talbot and a seventh-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from the New York Rangers on Saturday for three picks.

"I feel like I've put myself in a pretty good position," Talbot told the Oilers website. "I feel good physically and mentally where I can come in and play well. It's going to be a battle between Ben [Scrivens] and I, and I'm ready for the opportunity to compete."

The Rangers received picks Nos. 57, 79 and 184 in the 2015 draft. The Oilers got the No. 209 pick from New York.

"Cam has worked hard throughout his whole career and has pushed it," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. " ... We believe that we’ve got a goaltender that will continue to improve, and it’s our job to make sure we help him do that."

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Rangers get Etem from Ducks for Hagelin

Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 6:35 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The New York Rangers acquired left wing Emerson Etem and the No. 41 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday for left wing Carl Hagelin and the 59th and 179th picks.

Etem and Hagelin can become restricted free agents on July 1.

New York assistant general manager Jeff Gorton told BlueshirtsUnited.com that Etem, who is 6-foot-1, 212 pounds and had 10 points in 45 games this season, could be a top-nine forward right away with the Rangers.

"Etem has a lot of different attributes that Carl has, as far as his skating, his explosive skating, he backs up the D really well," Gorton said.
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Quote of the Day

It's very special, obviously; there is draft day and then there's the day that you sign your first deal. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm very honored to be able to do that."

— Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid on signing his first professional contract