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Top 2014 draft prospects invited to Canada WJC camp

Monday, 06.23.2014 / 1:21 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL Central Scouting's top three North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft were among the 41 players invited Monday to attend Hockey Canada's national junior team summer evaluation camp.

The camp will be held Aug. 3-8 in Brossard, Montreal, and Sherbrooke, Quebec, and is one of the first steps in building the team that will represent Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be played in Montreal and Toronto.

Centers Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs and Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice, along with defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts, were three of the 13 members of the 2014 draft class invited to the camp, including eight of Central Scouting's top nine North American skaters.

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Blue Jackets send Umberger to Flyers for Hartnell

Monday, 06.23.2014 / 1:02 PM / News

NHL.com

Scott Hartnell
Left Wing - CBJ
GOALS: 20 | ASST: 32 | PTS: 52
SOG: 207 | +/-: 11

The Columbus Blue Jackets traded forward R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on Monday to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Scott Hartnell.

Umberger had 18 goals and 34 points in 74 games for the Blue Jackets in 2013-14.

The 32-year-old left wing spent his first three NHL seasons with the Flyers, who traded him to the Blue Jackets in June 2008 for two draft picks. The trade came weeks after he had 10 goals in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Flyers reach the 2008 Eastern Conference Final.

"R.J. is a versatile guy who can play all positions," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "He's a good penalty killer who skates well. He's a veteran who has been around a long time and knows how to play the game properly. He'll be used in a lot of different areas. I think with our team it is nice to have a real versatile guy like him."

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NHL.com draft experts predict 2014 first round

Monday, 06.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

NHL.com

The scouting meetings have been finished and the draft lists have been finalized. All that's left is for 30 teams to arrive in Philadelphia for the 2014 NHL Draft and begin picking players.

That starts June 27 when the first round is held at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN). Rounds 2-7 will be conducted June 28 (10 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, NHLN-CA).

NHL.COM'S FINAL MOCK DRAFTS

NHL.com's draft experts have taken one last shot at predicting which teams will select which prospect.

The list includes three centers ranked in the top four of North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting: Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs, Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice, and Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders. Then there's Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts, who could be the first defenseman chosen with the No. 1 pick since the St. Louis Blues selected Erik Johnson with the first choice of the 2007 draft.

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Steven Hoffner's 2014 final mock draft

Monday, 06.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Steven Hoffner - NHL.com Staff Writer


Hoffner's Draft
  1.FLA

Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie (OHL)

If the Panthers keep the pick they will select the big defenseman, who looks and plays like a seasoned vet.

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Mike G. Morreale's 2014 final mock draft

Monday, 06.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer


Morreale's Draft
  1.FLA

Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie (OHL)

The defenseman of the year in the OHL is an excellent all-round skater for his size (6-3, 213). Plays a two-way game and passes with authority; very reliable and will challenge for an NHL roster in training camp.

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Adam Kimelman's 2014 final mock draft

Monday, 06.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor


Kimelman's Draft
  1.FLA

Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie (OHL)

Big defenseman has NHL-ready size, and game and maturity make him most NHL-ready prospect available.

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Lightning's Lindback to become free agent: report

Sunday, 06.22.2014 / 6:11 PM / News

NHL.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning will not issue a qualifying offer to goaltender Anders Lindback, The Tampa Tribune reported Sunday.

Lindback, 26, went 8-12-2 with a 2.90 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in 23 games for the Lightning this season. He appeared in four Stanley Cup Playoff games, going 0-3 with a 3.91 GAA and .881 save percentage.

Since the Lightning won't issue Lindback a qualifying offer, he can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

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Winter Classic, rivalries highlight 2014-15 schedule

Sunday, 06.22.2014 / 4:00 PM / Schedule

NHL.com

The Chicago Blackhawks will be the opponent for the Washington Capitals in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

That's one of the highlights of the schedule for the 2014-15 NHL season, which was released Sunday. The Blackhawks and Capitals will meet on Jan. 1 in what has become the League's marquee regular-season game.

This will be the second Winter Classic for each team. Chicago played host to the Detroit Red Wings in 2009 at Wrigley Field, and the Capitals were at Heinz Field to play the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2011. The Blackhawks also participated in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series against the Penguins in the snow at Soldier Field.

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Crosby favored to win Hart at 2014 NHL Awards

Sunday, 06.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Awards

NHL.com

It has been seven years since Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player for the only time.

Injuries have kept Crosby from piling up individual hardware since, and in recent years teammate Evgeni Malkin has won the trophy once and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals has earned it three times. But the Pittsburgh captain is a heavy favorite to win the Hart Trophy again on Tuesday at the 2014 NHL Awards, which will take place at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC).

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Tavares stays No. 1 in 2009 re-draft

Sunday, 06.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com will take a look back at the NHL Draft from five, 10 and 20 years ago this week, leading up to the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. How would those drafts look today?

Heading into the 2008-09 season, there was little doubt center John Tavares was the best player available in the 2009 NHL Draft. Five years later, there's little question he's the best player from that talented group.

A few of the other forwards have made an impact, with more ready to as soon as next season, and some impressive defensemen have the look of budding stars.

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Quote of the Day

When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series