Get to know a draft pick — Rasmus Ristolainen

Leading up to the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in New Jersey, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Sunday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.

Rasmus Ristolainen (D)

Height: 6’3 Weight: 201 Shoots: Right

Team: TPS (Finnish Elite League)

Country: Finland

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 4 among European skaters

What kind of player is he?

As you can see from his measurements, he’s already at (or near) the size an NHL team would hope for from a first-round prospect. It’s clear that he isn’t shy about using that large frame, either.

Ristolainen told NHL.com that he models his game after Chris Pronger, has regularly been compared to Shea Weber and deeply admires the physical play of Milan Lucic. It all gives the impression of a big, mean player.

He already has a season of experience in Finland’s Elite League, so he’s gotten some experience playing against grown men rather than players his age. That could serve him quite well, even if he gets another year or two to develop.

(Or some might say, more time to nurture that mean streak.)


Ristolainen impressed 2012 first-round draft pick Olli Maatta, who teamed with him at the World Juniors. (via NHL.com)

“I’ve played him a lot and I know him well,” Maatta said. “He’s a great player to play with. He made good plays and made you feel better, gets you more time. He’s a little bit nasty in the [defensive] zone, gets big hits, which I don’t do. I think we did well [together].”

For more 2013 NHL Draft previews, click here.

Avs unveil new third jerseys

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The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith