NHL announces top prospects invited to 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

For the second year in a row, Brendan Shanahan and NHL executives will host their Research, Development and Orientation Camp to try out some of the rule change suggestions advanced by the various general managers. Again, the league has looked towards draft eligible prospects to use as their guinea pigs—they’ll be the hockey players trying the new rules out over the two day camp. While all of these prospects have been playing in front of scouts for years, many times this will be their chance to make a good first impression on the 30 general managers.

The list of prospects includes some of the very best draft-eligible players North America can offer. Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, Alexander Galchenyuk, Jacob Trouba, and Nick Ebert are all expected to be first round selections at the NHL Entry Draft next June. On the ice, the prospects will be led by Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma and Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett.

From an NHL press release, the following players have confirmed their participation:

Name Pos Club (League) Height, Weight
ALTSHULLER, DANIEL G NEPEAN (CCHL) 6′ 2′, 194 lbs
ATHANASIOU, ANDREAS C LONDON (OHL) 5′ 11′, 157 lbs
BEAUVILLIER, FRANCIS LW RIMOUSKI (QMJHL) 6′ 1′, 170 lbs
BUSSIERES, RAPHAEL LW BAIE-COMEAU (QMJHL) 6′ 1′, 183 lbs
CAMPAGNA, MATTHEW C SUDBURY (OHL) 5′ 10′, 170 lbs
CECI, CODY D OTTAWA (OHL) 6′ 2′, 203 lbs
CURCURUTO, GIANLUCA D SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL) 6′ 1′, 191 lbs
DARCY, CAMERON C U.S. UNDER-18 (USHL) 6′ 0′, 185 lbs
DI GIUSEPPE, PHILLIP LW U OF MICHIGAN (CCHA) 6′ 0′, 185 lbs
DRIEDGER, CHRIS G CALGARY (WHL) 6′ 2′, 172 lbs
DUMBA, MATHEW D RED DEER (WHL) 5′ 11′, 171 lbs
EBERT, NICK D WINDSOR (OHL) 6′ 0′, 195 lbs
FRASER, JEREMIE D ACADIE-BATHURST (QMJHL) 6′ 1′, 200 lbs
FRK, MARTIN RW HALIFAX (QMJHL) 6′ 0′, 192 lbs
GALCHENYUK, ALEX C/LW SARNIA (OHL) 6′ 0′, 185 lbs
GAUNCE, BRENDAN C BELLEVILLE (OHL) 6′ 2′, 205 lbs
GIRGENSONS, ZEMGUS C DUBUQUE (USHL) 6′ 1′, 182 lbs
GUDBRANSON, ALEX D KINGSTON (OHL) 6′ 1′, 200 lbs
KERDILES, NICOLAS LW U.S. UNDER-18 (USHL) 6′ 1’, 183 lbs
KOSMACHUK, SCOTT RW GUELPH (OHL) 6’ 0’, 182 lbs
LAUGHTON, SCOTT C OSHAWA (OHL) 6′ 0′, 174 lbs
MAIDENS, JARROD C OWEN SOUND (OHL) 6′ 1′, 169 lbs
MATHESON, MICHAEL D DUBUQUE (USHL) 6′ 0′, 170 lbs
MARCANTUONI, MATIA C KITCHENER (OHL) 5′ 11′, 185 lbs
MURRAY, RYAN D EVERETT (WHL) 6′ 0′, 182 lbs
OLSON, COLLIN G U.S. UNDER-18 (USHL) 6′ 3’, 189 lbs
POULIOT, DERRICK D PORTLAND (WHL) 5′ 11′, 185 lbs
RIELLY, MORGAN D MOOSE JAW (WHL) 5′ 11′, 189 lbs
RYAN, ANDREW LW HALIFAX (QMJHL) 6′ 3’, 193 lbs
SCHMALTZ, JORDAN D SIOUX CITY (USHL) 6′ 2′, 175 lbs
SISSONS, COLTON RW KELOWNA (WHL) 6′ 1′, 182 lbs
SIWAK, DAULTON C RED DEER (WHL) 5′ 11′, 190 lbs
SUBBAN, MALCOLM G BELLEVILLE (OHL) 6′ 1′, 178 lbs
TIERNEY, CHRIS LW LONDON (OHL) 6′ 0′, 170 lbs
TROUBA, JACOB D U.S. UNDER-18 (USHL) 6′ 1′, 175 lbs
YAKUPOV, NAIL RW SARNIA (OHL) 5′ 11′, 180 lbs

Ducks deny rally, end Penguins’ winning streak

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When Ondrej Kase cashed in on another breakaway opportunity for the Ducks to make it 4-1 in the second period, it looked like that goal would be icing on the cake for Anaheim. Even if it would be especially pretty frosting.

Instead, that stylish goal ended up being critical, as the Pittsburgh Penguins nearly rallied in the third period to at least send Wednesday’s game to overtime. John Gibson ended up holding down the fort, and with an empty-netter in the dying seconds, the Ducks ended up beating the Penguins 5-3.

You could call it a game of periods and close calls.

The Penguins entered the first intermission thanks to a 1-0 Evgeni Malkin goal, but the Ducks dominated the middle frame with their first four-goal period of 2017-18. The Penguins’ prolific power play helped them stay in the game (2-for-4, with both goals coming during that third-period comeback bid), but the rally fell short. Pittsburgh’s winning streak ended at four victories.

Some bounces went both ways, as Antoine Vermette nearly scored for the Ducks while Carl Hagelin suffered a near-miss. So maybe those missed opportunities cancel each other out?

From the Ducks’ perspective, this is the latest argument in favor of this team being a threat now that key pieces have returned to the lineup. This win begins what they hope is a successful five-game homestand, as Anaheim still needs to battle for its own playoff hopes.

The Penguins can’t ruminate on this loss for very long. They head to Los Angeles to face what must be a frustrated Kings team (four straight defeats, only two wins in their last eight games) on Thursday, with little reason to expect any mercy.

This last stretch of wins improved the Penguins’ outlook, but dropping games in back-to-back nights could make things tense again in a hurry. You can check out that Penguins – Kings game on NBCSN Thursday.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Willie O’Ree celebrates 60th anniversary of debut with Bruins

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BOSTON (AP) Hockey pioneer Willie O’Ree was honored in Boston on Wednesday on the 60th anniversary of the Bruins forward breaking the NHL’s color barrier.

At a news conference at the TD Garden before the Bruins game against the Montreal Canadiens, Mayor Marty Walsh declared Jan. 18, 2018 to be “Willie O’Ree Day”. O’Ree made his debut in 1958 during a 3-0 victory against the Canadiens at the Forum in Montreal.

Walsh called O’Ree a Boston legend who changed the city for the better and thanked him for his courage. As part of the celebration, the city dedicated a new street hockey rink in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood to be known as Willie O’Ree Rink.

A native of Canada, O’Ree, 82, had four goals and 10 assists in 45 games over parts of two NHL seasons. He spent a total of 21 years in pro hockey.

For the past two decades, O’Ree has served as the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador, spreading the message that hockey is for everyone.

More AP NHL hockey at https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

Bruins cruise vs. Canadiens in Julien’s return to Boston

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Don’t blame Claude Julien if Wednesday made him think of better times, and not just because it was his welcome back night in Boston.

Coming into this one, it was a tale of two teams going in opposite directions, and the teams stuck to their scripts. The Boston Bruins remain red-hot with a 4-1 win, while the Montreal Canadiens are mired in mediocrity .. or worse?

When you’re as disappointing as the Canadiens have been, plenty of things are going wrong. It was a weak start even with a 1-0 lead and 1-1 first period in mind, and it obviously didn’t get any better.

Nights like these have to sting for Julien, a coach known for his sophisticated systems and eye for defensive detail.

There are questions about Max Pacioretty possibly being trade bait. People wonder if Jonathan Drouin or Alex Galchenyuk fit as centers, or if neither work that way. Yet, these performances make you realize that as exasperated as management must be, they may also appreciate more specific distractions.

Because, frankly, this was a team … non-effort.

Then again, the Bruins are a red-hot squad, so maybe they shine an especially harsh light on the Habs’ haplessness?

Boston generated a 32-22 shots on goal advantage in this one, with multiple contributors stepping up. Big guns came through (Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were among the goal scorers, Patrice Bergeron collected two assists), while David Backes and others added to the fun.

It was the kind of effort Julien would have been very happy with, if it didn’t come at his expense.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

WATCH LIVE: Pittsburgh Penguins at Anaheim Ducks

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PROJECTED LINEUPS

Pittsburgh Penguins

Dominik SimonSidney Crosby — Daniel Sprong

Carl HagelinEvgeni MalkinPatric Hornqvist

Conor ShearyJake GuentzelPhil Kessel

Tom KuhnhacklRiley SheahanRyan Reaves

Brian DumoulinKris Letang

Olli MaattaJustin Schultz

Matt HunwickJamie Oleksiak

Starting goalie: Tristan Jarry

[NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Canadiens vs. Bruins; Penguins vs. Ducks]

Ducks

Rickard RakellRyan GetzlafCorey Perry

Derek GrantRyan KeslerJakob Silfverberg

Nick RitchieAdam HenriqueOndrej Kase

Chris WagnerAntoine VermetteJ.T. Brown

Cam FowlerKevin Bieksa

Hampus LindholmJosh Manson

Francois BeaucheminBrandon Montour

Starting goalie: John Gibson