Maple Leafs sign USA WJC star 2009 draft pick Jerry D'Amigo

jerrydamigo1.jpgThe rumors about the Maple Leafs signing their 2009 sixth round draft pick Jerry D’Amigo came true this afternoon as the team announced they’ve reached a three-year entry-level deal with the Team USA World Junior Championships gold medalist. Leafs GM Brian Burke had this to say about D’Amigo:

“We’ve been very pleased with Jerry’s progression over the past 12 months,” said Burke. “Seth Appert and the rest of the coaching staff at R.P.I. (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) have done a really nice job of preparing Jerry for the next stage in his development. We look forward to having him at training camp.”

At RPI last year, D’Amigo was a revelation for the program, leading all freshmen in points per game while winning the ECAC Rookie of the Year award. In the off-season, D’Amigo has added weight and muscle to his frame turning him from a still green young kid into an NHL-sized and ready prospect, something to which D’Amigo thanks the coaches at RPI for helping him do.

For the Leafs, D’Amigo presents the possibility of having a fresh-faced option to use on their third line as D’Amigo’s offensive and defensive skills are about equal. D’Amigo spent last season with RPI playing time both on the power play and the penalty kill. Having attended the majority of RPI’s games last season, my own untrained eye tells me that a bigger and faster Jerry D’Amigo will be the steal they were hoping he might be when they drafted him in the sixth round in 2009. That year, he was projected to be a late second-early third round pick yet slipped into the early sixth, a mistake many teams may come to look back on with regret.

(Photo: Bruce Bennett – Getty Images)

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    Video: The Stars had six skaters on the ice and still didn’t cover Tarasenko on breakaway goal

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    Vladimir Tarasenko can be elusive to the opposition at five-on-five. Apparently that also applies to when the opposition has six skaters on the ice and their goalie still in the crease.

    Tarasenko opened the scoring for the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 on Thursday, sneaking in behind the Stars defense for a breakaway goal on Kari Lehtonen. The Stars, by the way, had six skaters on the ice as the puck was turned over in the St. Louis zone.

    Despite Dallas clearly having too many skaters, the play wasn’t blown down and Tarasenko found himself in the one-on-one situation. He made no mistake.

    (Here’s a screen grab of the turnover inside the St. Louis end, leading to the breakaway. Six Dallas skaters.)

    Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 5.50.07 PM

     

    WATCH LIVE: Sharks at Predators – Game 4

    Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) and center Colin Wilson, right, celebrate after Weber scored a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinal playoff series Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. San Jose Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau is at left. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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    The Nashville Predators have a chance before the home crowd to even up their second-round series with the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. You can catch Game 4 between these teams on CNBC (9 p.m. ET) or the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Here are some links to check out for this game:

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    Gerard Gallant, Lindy Ruff and Barry Trotz named finalists for Jack Adams Award

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    The list of finalists for the Jack Adams Award has been released. Gerard Gallant (Florida Panthers), Lindy Ruff (Dallas Stars) and Barry Trotz (Washington Capitals) are the three nominees for the award, which goes to the head coach that “contributed the most to his team’s success.”

    The winners will be announced June 22 during the 2016 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

    Gallant was behind the bench for a Panthers team that included an interesting blend of youth (Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck and Aleksander Barkov) and experience (Jaromir Jagr and Roberto Luongo), locked into a franchise-record 12-game winning streak and took the Atlantic Division with a 47-26-9 record — another new standard for the franchise. The Panthers’ season ended with an opening-round playoff loss to the New York Islanders.

    After missing the playoffs last season, Ruff coached the Stars to top spot in the Western Conference standings with a 50-23-9 record and a team that includes top-end talent from the likes of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and John Klingberg, playing a game of speed and skill. The Stars led the league in goals for (265) and goals-for per game (3.23).

    Trotz, in his second season in Washington, helped the Capitals to a Presidents’ Trophy for the 2015-16 regular season, besting the second-best team, the Stars, by 11 points. The Capitals finished the season with a record of 56-18-8, setting them up as Stanley Cup contenders when the playoffs began last month. Armed with 50-goal scorer Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals also finished second in the league in goals for (248).

    This is Gallant’s first nomination for the award. Ruff and Trotz are each three-time award finalists, with Ruff winning in 2006, as per NHL.com.

    Last season’s winner, Bob Hartley, was fired by the Calgary Flames earlier this week. He’s not the first Jack Adams Award winner to be dismissed from his job the following year.

    WATCH LIVE: Stars at Blues – Game 4

    St. Louis Blues center Kyle Brodziak, right, fights with Dallas Stars left wing Curtis McKenzie in the first period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Stars, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in St. Louis. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)  EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
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    The St. Louis Blues can move to within one win of the Western Conference final with a victory on home ice at Scottrade Center tonight. The Dallas Stars will be hoping to send this series back to Texas all even. You can catch Game 4 between these teams on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Here are some links to check out for this game:

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