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.

Blues name Larry Robinson as new senior consultant to hockey operations

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Larry Robinson has joined the St. Louis Blues.

The Blues made the announcement Thursday, revealing that Robinson has joined the organization as a senior consultant to hockey operations.

Based on the comments of Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, it sounds like Robinson will work closely at times with head coach Mike Yeo. It could also further help the development of an already impressive defenseman in Colton Parayko.

“Bringing someone like Larry in, I just think, helps our hockey operations from top to bottom,” said Armstrong, per the Blues website.

“His ability to talk to Mike Yeo about coaching — that’s one area that we don’t have on our staff is a former head coach. You can think you know what Mike’s going through but I don’t know what Mike’s going through. Larry does. So he’s going to be able to relate to him on a lot of the things that he’s going to go through.

“He’s coming in as a consultant. I can learn a lot from him, our assistant coaches can, Parayko can. There’s not an area of our hockey operations he can’t touch to make us a better group.”

Robinson was most recently the director of player development with the San Jose Sharks, however it was reported in May that he would not return to that organization for this season.

Looks like Matt Duchene will make preseason debut tonight vs. Stars

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According to reports, there is substantial interest from other teams in Matt Duchene. That said, he remains with the Colorado Avalanche for now and will, it appears, make his preseason debut Thursday against the Dallas Stars.

Earlier this week, Darren Dreger reported on TSN that as many as eight teams have interest in Duchene, with the Senators aggressively pursuing the 26-year-old forward.

According to Mike Chambers of The Denver Post, Duchene will be in the lineup tonight versus the Stars.

Trade speculation has been swirling around Duchene for months now. He reported to training camp last week, and has since said his status with the Avalanche is a “day-by-day” situation.

“I love playing hockey. I want to win,” Duchene told The Denver Post. “That’s the biggest thing on my mind. I’m trying to get better every time I touch the ice right now.”

Habs prospect Juulsen out six weeks with fractured foot

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Tough news for the Montreal Canadiens and prospect defenseman Noah Juulsen on Thursday.

The Habs have announced that the 2015 first-round pick is expected to be sidelined six weeks after suffering a fractured foot on Monday.

The Habs selected Juulsen with the 26th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft following his 52-point regular season with the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League.

This past spring, Juulsen appeared in two playoff games for the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps. He turned 20 years old in April and it seemed like the Habs were going to give him a serious look to make the NHL club out of training camp.  

“We like the way he skates and his transition game,” said head coach Claude Julien earlier this week, before the injury was revealed. “He’s going to get a chance to make this team and if he doesn’t he’s not going to be too far away.”

Fight Video: Lappin, Puempel land some good shots in preseason tilt

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Who says players don’t care about preseason hockey?

Matt Puempel and Nick Lappin are trying to earn spots on their respective clubs, so they know they may have to do the little things others aren’t willing to do to stick around in the NHL.

On Wednesday night, that involved dropping the gloves against each other. These two seemed to be in mid-season form when it came to throwing punches.

Neither player is considered a tough guy. Lappin had 17 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Devils last season, while Puempel has 28 penalty minutes in 79 career NHL games.

Here’s the video footage of the scrap:

By the way, the Rangers won 4-3 in overtime.