Nathan MacKinnon - Getty

No. 1 pick candidate MacKinnon gets chance to learn from Nugent-Hopkins

Nathan MacKinnon is a serious contender to follow in the footsteps of players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins by being selected with the first overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

In the meantime, MacKinnon and Nugent-Hopkins are roommates during Team Canada’s selection camp for the upcoming 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. That’s providing MacKinnon with an ideal opportunity to learn from someone who has recently been through a lot of the same obstacles that MacKinnon will face.

“I got the chance to talk with him and I told him to play his game,” Nugent-Hopkins said, according to the Oilers’ website. “He got here for a reason. In practice he looks great — as long as he can put the nerves aside, he’ll be great.”

Nugent-Hopkins speaks from experience. Like MacKinnon, he attempted to make Team Canada as a 17-year-old, but his nerves ultimately got the better of him and he didn’t make the squad.

Fortunately for MacKinnon, high pressure situations don’t easily phase him.

“That’s going to be big for him in his career,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “Off the ice, he doesn’t seem like a 17-year-old. On it, you can tell how much skill he has.”


Jones, MacKinnon highlight NHL Central Scouting ’13 Draft rankings

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”