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Expect 2014 draft class to make fantasy impact

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Rookies can make a huge impact on fantasy teams and can lead to long-term success in dynasty/keeper leagues. Nine players from the 2013 NHL Draft class saw action in at least one regular-season game in 2013-14. That group was made up of Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche), Aleksander Barkov (Florida Panthers), Seth Jones (Nashville Predators), Elias Lindholm (Carolina Hurricanes), Sean Monahan (Calgary Flames), Rasmus Ristolainen (Buffalo Sabres), Valeri Nichushkin (Dallas Stars), Nikita Zadorov (Sabres) and Kristers Gudlevskis (Tampa Bay Lightning).

MacKinnon became the youngest Calder Trophy winner in NHL history; however, he was joined by Lightning teammates Tyler Johnson (undrafted) and Ondrej Palat (2011 seventh-round pick) as finalists for the award, showing rookie production doesn't just come from freshly drafted players. But if previous seasons are any indication, some members of the 2014 draft class should play a big role in fantasy.

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Walker, first Australian drafted, signs with Capitals

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 11:00 AM / News

NHL.com

Nathan Walker, the first Australian player drafted by an NHL team, signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Washington Capitals, the team said Friday. No financial terms were disclosed.

Walker, 20, was selected in the third round (No. 89) on June 28. He had five goals, 11 points and 40 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League in 2013-14. He had seven goals, 27 points and 63 penalty minutes with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League in 2012-13.

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Rangers' St. Louis moving forward after tough spring

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 9:22 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Dan Boyle signed with the New York Rangers as a free agent, which means not only does Martin St. Louis get to reunite with a former teammate who can fill a void on defense, it gives his dad, Normand, a needed bit of friendship too.

"[Dan's] parents are really close to my parents," Martin St. Louis told Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com in a lengthy interview published Thursday. "I think my dad was really excited to have some close friends come on the team, I guess. Obviously with what he's gone through, I think that's going to help him tremendously this next year to have these close friends to him close.

"All in all, I think it's a really exciting time."

Martin's mom and Normand's wife, France, died at age 63 on May 8, during the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Her funeral was held May 18, the day between Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.

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Hurricanes stalwart Wesley sees son carry on legacy

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Josh Wesley has his father's build, cutting an imposing figure on the PNC Arena ice. Even at 18 years old, you might mistake the kid for his father at a glance.

The giveaway is the No. 22 on Josh's Carolina Hurricanes jersey, doubling up on Glen Wesley's No. 2, which hangs in the rafters.

The Hurricanes selected Glen's son, also a defenseman, in the fourth round (No. 96) of the 2014 NHL Draft, creating the potential for a second generation of Wesleys playing defense in Carolina.

But drafting Josh sets up another interesting dynamic: His father is the director of defensemen development for the Hurricanes.

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Mueller could break through with Sharks this season

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson repeatedly has talked this offseason about his plan to rebuild the team around its younger players.

Mirco Mueller, a 19-year-old defenseman from Switzerland, heard Wilson's message loud and clear.

"When Doug Wilson says he trusts in younger players and he wants to build on our age group, that gives you a lot of motivation and confidence that you really have a shot to make the team," Mueller said during Sharks development camp this month.

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Flames expect Hiller to recover quickly: report

Thursday, 07.24.2014 / 11:09 PM / News

NHL.com

The Calgary Flames expect goaltender Jonas Hiller to be recovered quickly after an appendicitis attack last week.

Hiller reportedly had minor surgery after experiencing the attack working out in Switzerland.

"The procedure nowadays ... they can do it arthroscopically," Flames general manager Brad Treliving told the Calgary Herald on Thursday. "They’re saying within nine to 12 days you're up and back to normal.

"[Hiller’s agent] felt by next week that he's right back in the swing of things. The hope and the plan and the expectation right now is that there's no long recovery period."

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Ortio signs two-year contract with Flames

Thursday, 07.24.2014 / 11:01 PM / News

NHL.com

Goaltender Joni Ortio has signed a two-year contract with the Calgary Flames, the team announced Thursday.

Ortio played 10 games with the Flames last season, making his NHL debut Feb. 27. He was 4-5-0 with a 2.84 goals-against average.

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Stamkos eyes 60 goals, Stanley Cup with Lightning

Thursday, 07.24.2014 / 8:32 PM / News

NHL.com

Steven Stamkos
Center - TBL
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 15 | PTS: 40
SOG: 124 | +/-: 9

Steven Stamkos would like to score 60 goals again and win the Stanley Cup. He believes both are possible with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I hope so," Stamkos said to TSN of another 60-goal season. "I'm definitely not going to tell myself it's not [possible]. That's something that was a very special time in my career; hopefully I get a chance to do it again.

"I have done that before; I haven't won a Stanley Cup before. So that's the main priority."

Stamkos, who scored 60 goals in 2011-12, his last full season, this week has been telling the media how confident he is the Lightning can build off their first-round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.

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Keaton Ellerby agrees to terms with Jets

Thursday, 07.24.2014 / 6:44 PM / News

NHL.com

Defenseman Keaton Ellerby has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with the Winnipeg Jets worth $700,000, the team announced Thursday.

Ellerby, 25, was a first-round pick (No. 10) of the Florida Panthers in the 2007 NHL Draft and had two goals and six points last season in 51 games with the Jets, who claimed him off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 2.

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Sacco hired by Bruins as assistant coach

Thursday, 07.24.2014 / 6:28 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Boston Bruins hired Joe Sacco as an assistant coach, the team announced Thursday.

He joins Claude Julien's staff as the replacement for Geoff Ward, who was released from his contract after last season to become coach of the Mannheim Eagles in Germany.

Sacco is familiar with Boston as a native of Medford, Mass., and a former player at Boston University.
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