Image courtesy OHL

Bennett, Kapanen named top prospects for 2014 NHL Entry Draft


The NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau has unveiled its midterm rankings for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and, to some surprise, has named OHL Kingston forward Sam Bennett as the top North American skater eligible for selection.

“Bennett has not only been very noticeable but extremely effective every shift of every game so far this season,” Central Scouting’s OHL specialist Chris Edwards told “His puckhandling and playmaking are excellent and he has one of the best shots in this year’s draft class.”

From the European side of things, Kasperi Kapanen — son of longtime NHLer Sami Kapanen — was named the No. 1 prospect. Kasperi has spent the last two years playing alongside Sami for Kalpa of the Finnish Elite League and has eight points through 30 games this season.

Bennett, 17, got the North American nod over other highly-touted and more recognizable names, including WHL Kootenay forward Sam Reinhart and OHL Barrie defenseman Aaron Ekblad, both of whom represented Team Canada at the ’14 World Juniors (Bennett didn’t make the team.)

Bennett, a left-handed shot, ranks fourth in the OHL with 66 points (26 goals, 40 assists) in 40 games.

This year’s draft will be held on June 27-28 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. For the full list of Central Scouting’s North American skaters, click here. For the European rankings, click here.

(Image courtesy the Ontario Hockey League).

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella
1 Comment

Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.