Here are Central Scouting’s “A List” prospects for 2013 NHL Draft

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The 2013 NHL Draft has long been pegged as a favorite among scouts. The class is projected to be loaded with talent and, according to Mike Morreale of NHL.com, potentially on par with the star-studded draft of 2003.

With that in mind, Dan Marr — Director of Central Scouting — has announced two things:

One, his group has revised the grading system for “A List” players.

Two, the 2013 class has a number of them.

“In the past, an ‘A List’ player was considered among the top 60 and a ‘B List’ player was a third-, fourth-, or fifth-round consideration,” Marr told NHL.com. “Now an ‘A List’ player is first-round consideration … a top 30 candidate, while a ‘B List’ player is a second- or third-round candidate.

“We’ve put more of an emphasis differentiating the top end. When we ran this by the scouting directors, it was something that was unanimous, so we agreed to revise the rankings scale.”

The 2013 class has 36 prospects classified as “A List” players. Topping the list are Nathan MacKinnon of QMHJL Halifax and Seth Jones — son of former NBAer Popeye Jones — of WHL Portland.

MacKinnon finished last season with 31G-47A-78PTS and a plus-11 rating, coming in second to Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Remparts as the QMJHL Rookie of the Year.

Jones — a 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman — played with the US National Team Development Program and helped the U.S. win its fourth straight gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World Under-18s.

Other noteworthy names include OHL London center Max Domi (son of Tie) and Kerby Rychel (son of Warren).

One other interesting player to watch? While he’s not an A-Lister, there’s C List goalie named Anthony Brodeur — son of Hall of Fame netminder Martin Brodeur.

What’s more, the 2013 Draft will take place in the Prudential Center, home of the New Jersey Devils.

Click here for the entire list of Central Scouting’s A List Players

HIGH-MA

Ross Olsson, RW, Williston Northampton

ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE

Jason Dickinson, C, Guelph
Max Domi, C, London
Spencer Martin, G, Mississauga
Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa
Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor
Ryan Hartman, RW, Plymouth

QUEBEC MAJOR JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

William Carrier, C, Cape Breton
Anthony Duclair, LW, Quebec
Adam Erne, LW, Quebec
Zachary Fucale, G, Halifax
Nathan MacKinnon, RW, Halifax
Anthony Mantha, LW, Val-D’Or
Samuel Morin, D, Rimouski

UNITED STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE

J.T. Compher, LW, USA U-18
Michael Downing, D, Dubuque
Luke Johnson, C, Lincoln
Ian McCoshen, D, Waterloo

WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE

Seth Jones, D, Portland
Morgan Klimchuk, LW, Regina
Curtis Lazar, C, Edmonton
Joshua Morrissey, D, Prince Albert
Ryan Pulock, D, Brandon
Hunter Shinkaruk, C, Medicine Hat
Shea Theodore, D, Seattle

FINLAND

Aleksander Barkov, C, Tappara
Rasmus Ristolainen, D, TPS
Ville Husso, G, HIFK Jr.
Juuso Ikonen, LW, Blues Jr.

RUSSIA

Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Chelyabinsk 2
Bogdan Yakimov, C, Nizhnekamsk 2

SWEDEN

Andre Burakowsky, LW, Malmo Jr.
Jacob DeLaRose, C, Leksand Jr.
Robert Hagg, D, Modo Jr.
Elias Lindholm, C, Brynas Jr.
Lucas Wallmark, RW, Skelleftea Jr.

The Buzzer: Celebrating genius of McDavid, Bergeron, Karlsson

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Player of the Night: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Nico Hischier collected two goals and an assist in a blistering effort as the Devils beat the Senators in overtime. Erik Karlsson almost ruined things for New Jersey with three assists. Andrei Vasilevskiy pitched an impressive 43-save shutout as the Lightning edged the Blue Jackets. Ben Bishop narrowly kept Clayton Keller and Derek Stepan from even bigger nights, yet each player scored two goals and one assist apiece in a slim Stars win vs. the Coyotes.

Even Bergeron’s teammates made some waves.

There were great choices for player of the night, but ultimately, Bergeron’s return to the Bruins lineup stands tallest. He scored a goal and three assists, soothing injury-bummed Bruins fans as part of Boston’s victory against Vancouver.

Bergeron didn’t ease right in. He won half of his draws, fired six shots on goal, and almost logged 21 minutes of ice time. Maybe he can hold things together for Boston?

Highlight of the Night: Connor McDavid‘s ridiculous assist

This post goes into greater detail on that and Edmonton’s win, so we’ll just stick this GIF in here because you need to see it either way:

OK, but to avoid an overly redundant buzzer, check Hischier here, David Pastrnak‘s great goal, and Mikhail Sergachev‘s big night. And, as a bonus, Will Butcher must have nodded to Karlsson after sending this ridiculous outlet pass:

Outstanding.

You know what? Enjoy Bishop robbing Derek Stepan as a bonus bonus.

Misc.

Click here for Erik Gudbranson‘s hit and fight. Zack Kassian‘s hit on Ryan Hartman is mentioned there, but just in case you missed it, here it is one more time:

Factoids of the night

Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators continued their hot streak by blanking the Flyers. Rinne enjoys a milestone moment:

Two impressive bits regarding how dominant McDavid and Karlsson have been:

Scores and more

Bruins 6, Canucks 3 (more)

Devils 5, Senators 4 [OT] (more)

Islanders 4, Rangers 3 [SO]

Predators 1, Flyers 0

Lightning 2, Blue Jackets 0 (more)

Oilers 2, Blackhawks 1 [OT] (more)

Blues 4, Avalanche 3

Hurricanes 2, Flames 1

Stars 5, Coyotes 4

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.

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Should Erik Gudbranson get suspended for boarding Frank Vatrano?

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The Boston Bruins power play made Erik Gudbranson and the Vancouver Canucks pay with three goals during the major for his hit on Frank Vatrano, but the NHL might decide to go further.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety confirmed that Gudbranson, 25, will receive a Friday hearing for the boarding check. The league tends to be vague about this, but Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that it’s expected to being an interview over the phone, rather than the in-person variety that can bring about harsher punishments.

Vatrano returned to the Bruins’ eventual 6-3 win against the Canucks, yet there’s a chance that he might have a setback. (Knowing Boston’s recent luck, don’t count on good news until you see it.)

Watch the video and Gudbranson’s fight with Tim Schaller in the video above, via Hockey Fights.

Fans responded to that announcement by pointing out one of Thursday’s other questionable hits: Zack Kassian on Ryan Hartman, which only drew a minor penalty:

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.

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McDavid dazzles again, Oilers break slump with OT win vs. Blackhawks

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Update: The Edmonton Oilers ended up needing every bit of Connor McDavid‘s brilliance, as goals weren’t coming easily against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

(Even though, as you can see with that highlight-reel assist, McDavid often makes it look easy.)

McDavid also managed a secondary assist on Mark Letestu‘s overtime-winner, ending the Edmonton Oilers’ losing streak at four games. The Blackhawks continue to be resourceful in getting standings points, in this case falling 2-1 in OT.

Anton Forsberg made 40 of 42 saves, but it wasn’t enough against a driven group led by number 97.

Here’s the OT goal.

If you haven’t seen the more amazing of McDavid’s two helpers, do yourself a favor and check it out. You won’t regret it.

***

Connor McDavid’s speed and skill are glorious, but the thing that makes him extra-sensational is just how unstoppable he seems. Even against some of the NHL’s best.

To start the season, McDavid made very-solid Calgary Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie look downright permeable during the most impressive goal in his opening-night hat trick.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, the superstar tore through the Chicago Blackhawks – including certain future Hall of Famer Duncan Keith – and then sent absolutely obscene pass to Patrick Maroon for an easy goal.

You know how people used to say that a fire hydrant could score 50 goals with Mario Lemieux? We might need to bump that down to 30 for modern hockey, but either way, Maroon might laugh uncomfortably at such jokes.

If you prefer your jaw-droppers in GIF form, drop away:

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.

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Bergeron bombastic in return, but Bruins lose Krejci to injury

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The roller coaster isn’t slowing down for the Boston Bruins.

With Tuukka Rask‘s concussion looming over the proceedings, the Bruins gave fans some reason to celebrate; Patrice Bergeron scored a goal and three assists in an impressive 6-3 output by the B’s top guns against the overmatched Vancouver Canucks.

Even Anders Bjork enjoyed some measure of redemption after bowling over Rask in practice, as the young player scored two goals and an assist despite being limited to 12:29 TOI.

Other big guns like Brad Marchand did their increasingly reliable damage, with David Pastrnak probably providing the most exhilarating goal of the contest:

Yeah, that might get some attention from Canucks coach Travis Green in film sessions, assuming he doesn’t just burn the tape.

Bergeron broke down his night to Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy after the game:

The Bruins really made Erik Gudbranson and the Canucks pay for boarding Frank Vatrano, as they scored three power-play goals on the major penalty. Vatrano’s another health situation to watch, although it’s heartening that he returned during the game.

MORE: Gudbranson faces hearing for hit

***

So … solid stuff overall, as the Bruins provided ample evidence that they might have the weapons to scrap through all this bad luck.

Then again, if opponents can slow the top-end guys, you wonder what kind of supporting cast the Bruins will have left through this run of attrition. David Krejci is the latest name to land on Boston’s troubling list of walking wounded.

Here’s hoping that it isn’t a big issue for a veteran center who’s dealt with nagging injuries in recent years.

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.

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