Wednesday, August 22nd
Give my Preliminary Rankings for 2013 NHL Entry Draft a gander. It’s an article that I put a lot of time into constructing and while it’s certain to change as these draft-eligible players perform over the course of their draft year, it still remains a good measuring stick of how these talents are viewed heading into 2012-13 action.
A sneak peek at a top prospect from the rankings…
Seth Jones, D (Portland Winterhawks, WHL)
Choosing to take his skills to Portland of the Western Hockey League, Seth Jones looks to a franchise that has bred several first round defenders over the past few drafts (Joe Morrow and Derrick Pouliot) to provide him with the platform to launch his campaign to rival MacKinnon for the top spot in 2013. Jones casts a big shadow for his fellow 2013 draft class defensemen with his both his size and elite skill. Blessed with great mobility, Jones plays with the confidence and calming-influence that makes him one of the most-rounded defensive prospects in recent memory. Not the flashiest defenseman, Seth Jones rarely makes a mistake and performs at an advanced level in all areas of his game.
Interesting Fact: Seth Jones is the son of former NBA player “Popeye” Jones who played for Dallas, Toronto, Boston, Denver, Washington and Golden State throughout his career.
Junior hockey is surely going to get a boost in viewership when (not if) the NHL lockouts this season and fans will quickly realize that this hockey is just as entertaining.
An interesting read on the volatile situation between the NCAA and major junior routes from the perspective of a Toronto Maple Leafs’ executive, Dave Poulin. The article speaks of Tyler Biggs’ decommitment from NCAA (University of Miami-Ohio).
Last week, the Kitchener Rangers and Michigan University newspaper came to settlement after the Rangers threatened to file charges against the student paper from their allegations that Kitchener illegally pursued Jacob Trouba (Winnipeg Jets/University of Michigan commit).
The two sides reached a settlement on Friday afternoon. As part of the agreement, the University of Michigan newspaper published a clarification regarding a July 2 story which alleged -- based on an anonymous OHL source – that the Rangers had offered Winnipeg Jets prospect Jacob Trouba $200,000 to play in the Ontario Hockey League this season. The original story, written by reporter Matt Slovin, was also removed from the paper’s website.
"The Michigan Daily has removed the article that caused the Kitchener Rangers to commence legal proceedings against the newspaper and the reporter, Matt Slovin,” said Rangers chief operating officer Steve Bienkowski. “As they have acceded to what was from the outset the Kitchener Rangers' primary demand, we are discontinuing the legal proceedings as against the newspaper and Mr. Slovin.”
Plenty of rumours surfacing over a potential CHLPA (Canadian Hockey League Players Association) forming but at this point they remain just that – rumours. From, CHLers Aim to Form Union…
The upstart union wishes to discuss restrictions placed on educational packages that players receive after leaving junior hockey, as well as player compensation for competing in cash-cow tournaments like the world junior championship.
Right now, players are entitled to a year of tuition, textbooks and compulsory fees to an educational institution of their choice for every year they play in the league. Players can start suiting up in CHL action as early as 15 - depending on what month their birthday is - and can play as many as five seasons.
The OHL’s Sudbury Wolves are currently participating at the World Junior Club Cup, an event with 10 junior teams competing from North America, Europe, and Russia. Sudbury is the lone CHL team and currently sits with a record of 2-0-1-0. Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospect Josh Leivo currently leads the tournament in scoring with 4 goals and 7 points through 3 games. Taylor Cammarata, a diminutive (and I mean small) high-scoring forward from the USHL’s Waterloo Blackhawks, sits 7th with 2 goals and 4 points after 3 games. Cammarata is eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft and is profiled in my article above.
I was really stoked to see my work quoted in a Montreal newspaper last week (Montreal Gazette) when the writer referenced my recent article published here at DobberProspects. I hope you didn’t miss that article as it spoke specifically to how performances of some top prospects might be affected from a fantasy standpoint. Specifically, the author quoted my words on Charles Hudon, a Montreal Canadiens’ prospect who had a strong showing at the Canada-Russia Challenge.
Came across this good read this morning on some notable 2013-draft-eligibles and their performances from the Ivan Hlinka tournament. From Summer Days (Ryan Kennedy of THN), a quick glance at the top prospect as of right now…
Nathan MacKinnon, C – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
A hat trick in the gold medal game? Yeah, I guess that’s pretty clutch. MacKinnon led the way for Canada (and the tourney) with six goals and 11 points in five games, thus kicking off his campaign to be taken first overall in 2013 in style. The next question is whether Hockey Canada tabs him for the world juniors, as well. Draft eligible in 2013.
A personally favourite of mine entering the 2013 draft…
Josh Morrissey, D – Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
Morrissey was an ace on the power play for Canada at the Ivan Hlinka, putting up five of his nine points on the man advantage. A high pick in the Western League’s bantam draft, Morrissey has always dazzled with his offensive acumen and has even chatted with Washington’s Mike Green about that particular blueline role, so the kid’s doing his research. Draft eligible in 2013.
It’s certainly looking like an NHL Lockout is on the horizon with the cancellation of the Detroit Red Wings’ Traverse City Prospect camp. The September camp usually features the top prospects from the Red Wings, Stars, Wild, Blues, Blue Jackets, Rangers, Sabres and Hurricanes. Speaking of NHL lockout, Nail Yakupov will not return to Sarnia in the case that a lockout happens. Yakupov will play for his hometown KHL team (Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk) if there’s a NHL lockout as stated by his agent Igor Larionov. Not surprising.
Still on the Oilers’ Nail Yakupov, it appears he suffered an off-ice injury yesterday (cue the “band-aid” comments).
Nail Yakupov had bandages on his legs Monday at Perry Pearn's three-on-three pro conditioning camp at K of C Twin Arenas after falling on a fast-moving treadmill while working under the auspices of Edmonton Oilers conditioning coach Simon Bennett.
"He was running (lost his balance) and went bouncing off," said his agent and Hall of Fame centre Igor Larionov.
It was just some scrapes and bruises for the No. 1 draft pick, who didn't look any worse for wear on the ice at Pearn's two-week camp, before the youngster headed out to look at few more houses for his mother and 13-year-old sister when they come to live with him.
Want to order your Nail Yakupov Oilers’ jerseys? Welp, get ‘er done…
Yakupov plans on wearing No. 64 this season rather than the No. 10 he wore with the Sarnia Sting in junior, according to Larionov.
"Six and four. That's still 10," said Larionov, who knows Yakupov is a big fan of Pavel Bure, who wore No. 10.
Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff also has No. 10, of course.
Interesting number choice for Yakupov especially since Mikael Granlund (Minnesota Wild) also wears #64. It appears there is a good chance our Calder winner will be donning a jersey sporting the number 64.
Thanks for reading,