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NHL Draft

Injuries shouldn't hurt Nolan Patrick on Draft board

NHL Central Scouting director expects center to remain top-rated prospect

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- The status of Brandon center Nolan Patrick was one of the many talking points heading into NHL Central Scouting's final meetings to determine the top North American skaters and goaltenders eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.

Patrick, No. 1 on Central Scouting's midterm list of North American skaters, missed 35 games with an upper-body injury in the regular season and all four games of the Western Hockey League playoffs against Medicine Hat with a lower-body injury.

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NHL Draft

How top prospects stack up against NHL stars

Comparing Draft-eligible players to Anze Kopitar, John Tavares, others

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Each year, every top prospect eligible for the NHL Draft can usually target a current NHL player he feels has a style similar to his.

In 2015, Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres) compared himself to Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter. In 2016, center Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs) said he felt Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks best represented what he was trying to do on the ice, and Patrik Laine (Winnipeg Jets) attempted to model his game after that of Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin.

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Eight first-round picks dot NCAA hockey tournament

Boston University center Clayton Keller, defenseman Charles McAvoy among those competing on road to Frozen Four

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Eight first-round NHL draft picks will be among the players taking part in the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, which starts March 24.

Among that group are four players from Boston University: center Clayton Keller, selected by the Arizona Coyotes with the No. 7 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft; defenseman Charles McAvoy (Boston Bruins, No. 14, 2016); defenseman Dante Fabbro (Nashville Predators, No. 17, 2016); and left wing Kieffer Bellows (New York Islanders, No. 19, 2016). 

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Tage Thompson signs entry-level contract with Blues

Forward gets three years, was No. 26 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

NHL.com @NHL

Forward Tage Thompson signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

Thompson, 19, was selected by the Blues with the No. 26 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. His contract will begin next season, when he will report to Chicago of the American Hockey League. 

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Top college free agents who could sign with NHL teams

Hockey analyst Dave Starman breaks down best available NCAA players

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are five weeks away, but NHL teams are keeping a close eye on the college hockey playoffs, which are underway and building toward the Frozen Four at United Center in Chicago on April 6-8.

NHL teams can start signing undrafted college free agents after they've played the final game of their season. Players eligible to be signed are at least 20 years old and have gone through the draft process twice without being selected.

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NHL Draft

Nolan Patrick showcases ability at Top Prospects Game

Projected No. 1 pick at 2017 NHL Draft gets two assists in Team Cherry win

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

QUEBEC CITY -- Nolan Patrick, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft, had two assists to help Team Don Cherry to a 7-5 win against Team Bobby Orr in the 22nd CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Videotron Centre on Monday.

Patrick, who plays for Brandon of the Western Hockey League, has eight goals and nine assists in 11 games this season.

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NHL Draft

2017 Draft: Top prospects honored by USHL

Waterloo's Shane Bowers named forward of the week, Green Bay's Maksim Zhukov named best goaltender

NHL.com @NHL

Waterloo forward Shane Bowers and Green Bay goaltender Maksim Zhukov, top prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft, were honored by the United States Hockey League on Monday.

Bowers, No. 13 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters, was named the USHL CCM Forward of the Week. The 6-foot-1, 183-pound center had three goals and two assists in three games, including two games with a goal and an assist.

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NHL Draft

2017 Draft Diary: Kailer Yamamoto

Forward pleased with Central Scouting rank, preparing for CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

by Kailer Yamamoto / Special to NHL.com

Kailer Yamamoto, No. 17 on NHL Central Scouting's list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft, plays for Spokane of the Western Hockey League. Yamamoto (5-foot-7, 153 pounds) has 28 goals and 59 points in 39 games in his third season with the Chiefs. The forward has offered to maintain a monthly draft diary for NHL.com leading up to the 2017 draft in Chicago. His January post comes after the release of NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings, and prior to games against Kootenay on Saturday and Everett on Monday. Yamamoto will play for Team Bobby Orr at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Quebec City on Jan. 30.

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Nolan Patrick gets four points in WHL return

Top prospect in 2017 NHL Draft missed 35 games because of sports hernia surgery

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

BRANDON, Manitoba -- Center Nolan Patrick, who could be the first player picked at the 2017 NHL Draft, had two goals and two assists for Brandon of the Western Hockey League on Friday in his return to action after missing more than three months because of an upper-body injury.

Patrick, 18, helped Brandon to an 8-5 victory against Kootenay in his first game since Oct. 11.

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NHL Draft

Shane Bowers among 40 chosen for Top Prospects game

Waterloo center, A-rated skater, other draft-eligible players will participate on Tuesday

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Waterloo center Shane Bowers, an A-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list for the 2017 NHL Draft, will be one of 40 draft-eligible players participating in the 2017 United States Hockey League/NHL Top Prospects Game at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Tuesday.

This year marks the fifth USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game after 45 players with league ties were selected at the 2016 NHL Draft. The 2017 draft will be held in Chicago on June 23-24.

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