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Prospects

Tri-City defenseman Carlo building up offensive game

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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It was his strong defensive game that earned defenseman Brandon Carlo of the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its latest players to watch list.

But for Carlo to cement his status as one of the top prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft, he needs to advance the offensive side of his game. The numbers might not show it yet, but Carlo is putting the work in.

In 23 games this season Carlo has one goal and 10 points, putting him ahead of his pace from last season, when he had three goals and 13 points in 71 games.

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Erie's Dylan Strome ready to follow brother's path

Thursday, 11.13.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Erie Otters forward Dylan Strome can recall the excitement watching his older brother head to the podium after the New York Islanders had just selected him with the fifth pick in the 2011 NHL Draft at Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota.

"We were kind of in shock," he said. "My brother just went fifth overall in the NHL draft and I'm like, 'Wow.' It's something that happens just once in your lifetime and it was pretty cool to be a part of it from right there in the fifth row.

"Hopefully, I can live that day again."

There's no reason to think Strome won't get a little déjà vu on June 26 when the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft is held at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. The 6-foot-3, 187-pound left-handed shot has been everything advertised after the Otters selected him No. 2 in the 2013 Ontario Hockey League draft.

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USNTDP's Greenway using size to his advantage

Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Jordan Greenway pulls no punches when it comes to discussing the presence he provides whenever he steps on the ice.

Big, physical, and at times ornery.

"I'm 6-foot-5 so I guess I'm a power forward, right," Greenway said. "I've got some pretty good skill and I like to drive the net a lot, can usually come out of the corners with the puck and can create more space for the skilled guys on the team."

He's a big fan of New York Rangers forward Rick Nash. The 222-pound left wing appreciates players who fight for pucks along the wall and go to the net hard; it's what has given him the attention he deserves as a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft.

Greenway, an A-rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the draft, has one goal, nine points and 20 penalty minutes in 13 games for the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 team.

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McDavid showcases his skills in Sabres' home rink

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 10:45 PM / Prospects

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Being in the spotlight is something Connor McDavid has gotten used to already in his career. But playing in a NHL arena in front of NHL fans is something new.

The 17-year-old Erie Otters center is one of the most anticipated prospects in years and may wind up being the first selection in the 2015 NHL Draft. McDavid's Otters defeated the Niagara IceDogs 8-4 Wednesday in an Ontario Hockey League game at First Niagara Center and he knows the attention on him is growing.

"It's a little different," McDavid said. "But I guess I've had a little bit experience in the last two years kind of growing up, [learning how] to act. It started pretty crazy in my 15-year-old year, when everyone was kind of first taking notice. So I have a little bit of experience. Obviously, this year is a little bit ramped up. Nothing really changes."

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Eichel stars in All-American Prospects Game

Friday, 09.26.2014 / 12:19 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO -- Boston University freshman Jack Eichel certainly left quite an impression on the 7,310 fans who witnessed his performance at the third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Thursday at First Niagara Center.

Eichel, a likely top-two pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, was named player of the game after scoring a goal, getting an assist, and generating four shots with a plus-3 rating. He dazzled with a few highlight-reel moves, defended his teammates early in the game, and had some picturesque passes in the offensive zone to help Team Mike Grier to a 6-3 victory against Team Ed Olczyk.

Olczyk, asked for his evaluation of Eichel after seeing him at ice level for the first time, offered a review for the ages.

"I haven't seen a player at that level with a reach and a stick like that since Mario [Lemieux]," Olczyk said. "When he skates up into the play and into the zone, with one hand on his stick, spreading his arms, showing that arm length with the stick flailing, it's like a 747 going up ice, and I'm not kidding.
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All-American Prospects Game breeds competition

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 1:57 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO -- The last time two college freshmen were selected among the top five in the first round of the NHL draft in their first year of draft eligibility occurred nine years ago when Jonathan Toews and Phil Kessel went off the board.

Toews, after his first season at the University of North Dakota, went to the Chicago Blackhawks with the third pick. Kessel (University of Minnesota) was selected fifth by the Boston Bruins.

The odds of it happening again at the 2015 NHL Draft are pretty good, as Boston University center Jack Eichel and Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin are set to play prominent roles for their respective teams this season while in the crosshairs of NHL scouts.

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McDavid, Eichel top Central Scouting watch list

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 11:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

If you didn't know by now, Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University center Jack Eichel will dominate the headlines leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft.

They are projected to be franchise-type players capable of having immediate impacts for the teams drafting them. They also have taken two different paths to this point, making their race to No. 1 that much more intriguing.

Both players were identified as A-rated prospects in their respective leagues on the NHL Central Scouting preliminary players to watch list for September that was released Tuesday.

McDavid has been a star since arriving in the Ontario Hockey League as a 15-year-old in 2012 with "exceptional player" status. Eichel, after two standout seasons with the United States National Team Development Program, will start play as a freshman in Hockey East this season.

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Morrissey eyes making Jets after marathon season

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 2:41 PM / Prospects

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

PENTICTON, British Columbia -- Conventional wisdom suggests after a 112-game season, one would fancy a bit of a break.

But Joshua Morrissey is ready for more, and the 19-year-old hopes it's with the Winnipeg Jets.

"I grew a lot as a player [last year] … just feeling comfortable with the pros," said Morrissey, who had triple digits in games on behalf of the Jets (NHL preseason), Prince Albert Raiders (Western Hockey League preseason, regular season and playoffs), Canada's national junior team (World Junior Championship) and the St. John's IceCaps (American Hockey League regular season and playoffs) in 2013-14.

"I'm coming in here now wanting to make the Jets," Morrissey said. "I'm going to do everything I can to do that. A big key for me was to gain strength and size to be able to play the man's game at the next level. I'll never be the biggest guy in the League, but I'm a lot stronger now. That's huge for me.

"I think I'm ready to make that jump."

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Predators' Forsberg hoping for goals, NHL role

Monday, 09.15.2014 / 10:17 AM / Prospects

Josh Cooper - NHL.com Correspondent

ANTIOCH, Tenn. -- In one game during a rookie tournament last weekend at Ford Ice Center, Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg showed why he is a prominent as well as a frustrating prospect.

A lack of discipline put Forsberg in the penalty box against the Tampa Bay Lightning three times. An abundance of skill led to him scoring a goal in overtime, as well as assisting on a goal by Kevin Fiala.

"It was a great end for sure for me and also for the team. But three penalties was not acceptable," said Forsberg, No. 12 on the NHL.com Top 60 prospect rankings for this season.

The Predators have heaped high expectations on the 2012 first-round pick (No. 11) of the Washington Capitals, whom they acquired for Martin Erat in 2013. The 20-year-old has yet to reach those lofty levels, however, with one goal in 18 NHL games during the past two seasons.

The hope remains that the 6-foot-1, 200-pound forward can start moving forward in his development this season.

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Flames' Gaudreau ready for extended NHL exam

Monday, 09.15.2014 / 9:51 AM / Prospects

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

PENTICTON, British Columbia -- He aced the exam after three years with Boston College. His NHL debut in April earned him a passing grade as well. A field trip to represent his country at the 2014 IIHF World Championship yielded a positive result, too.

Now Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau is facing his biggest test to date: his first pro training camp.

"I'm excited," said Gaudreau, who captured the Hobey Baker Award in April after he had 36 goals and 80 points last season, the top totals in NCAA hockey last season. "It's going to be different. I'm not really sure what to expect right now. I hear from the older guys it's a pretty tough camp. You've got to be mentally prepared and physically prepared. I'm just trying to make sure I'm in the best shape and have the best possible chance to make this team."

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