IIHF Today: Watch quarterfinals online, broadcast schedule

The 2014 World Championship playoffs are about to begin and you’ll be able to watch all of the contests live, courtesy of NBCSports.com. For certain games, there will also be an encore performance on NBCSN.

If you want to watch any of today’s quarterfinals contests, but aren’t sure where to go, just follow the corresponding links below:

United States versus Czech Republic — 9:00 a.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE)

Neither of these countries had the showing in the Olympics that they were hoping for, but this tournament is a chance for the nations to rebound. This is also a nice opportunity to see one of the United States’ top prospects in John Gaudreau. The 20-year-old forward will attempt to establish himself with the Calgary Flames in 2014-15 after finishing his successful tenure with Boston College, but for now he’s dominating in the World Championship with two goals and 10 points in seven games.

Russia versus France — 10 a.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE)

Russia’s another team that underwhelmed in the Olympics, meanwhile France is this tournament’s Cinderella Story. The French kicked things off with a stunning shootout win over Canada and they went on to also beat Slovakia, Norway, and Denmark. They also finished within a goal of Sweden and the Czech Republic. Dallas Stars enforcer Antoine Roussel has been one of the tournament’s top performers, leading France with six goals and 11 points in seven games.

It’s worth adding that Alex Ovechkin, who suffered an injury that initially looked serious, is good to return, per Sport-Express’ Slava Malamud.

Canada versus Finland — 1 p.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE or view it on NBCSN)

As mention above, Canada started the tournament with a loss to France, but they haven’t been defeated since and they consequently still ended up with the top seed in Group A. Finland hasn’t been nearly as successful as they lost to Latvia, Russia, and the United States during the round robin phase.

Buffalo Sabres forward Cody Hodgson has been leading the charge for Canada with six goals and eight points in seven contests.

Sweden versus Belarus — 2 p.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE)

Like France, the fact that Belarus has made it this far is a rare accomplishment for the country. In fact, this represents just the fourth time that the nation has made it into the top eight. KHL goaltender Kevin Lalande deserves a fair amount of the credit for their success with his 0.66 GAA and .964 save percentage in four games.

PHT’s 2017 NHL Draft Tracker

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From the United Center in Chicago, it’s the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft!

Click back here throughout the night for all the latest picks, complete with draft profiles, stories and video from tonight’s broadcast on NBCSN.

1. New Jersey Devils: Nico Hischier center, QMJHL Halifax (profile)

More: Hischier not caught up in ‘Nico vs. Nolan’ hype

2. Philadelphia Flyers: Nolan Patrick center, WHL Brandon (profile)

More: ‘The media’s pumping it down’ — Patrick rejects notion of weak draft class

3. Dallas Stars: Miro Heiskanen, defenseman, HIFK Finland (profile)

4. Colorado Avalanche: Cale Makar, defenseman, AJHL Brooks (profile)

More: D-man Makar makes for compelling prospect

5. Vancouver Canucks: Elias Pettersson, center, SHL Timra IK

6. Vegas Golden Knights: Cody Glass, center, WHL Portland

7. New York Rangers (from Arizona): Lias Andersson, center, SHL HV71

8. Buffalo Sabres: Casey Mittelstadt, center, Eden Prairie HS (profile)

More: Mittelstadt has no regrets after chasing Minnesota high school title

9. Detroit Red Wings: Michael Rasmussen, center, WHL Tri-City

10. Florida Panthers: Owen Tippett, RW, OHL Mississauga (profile)

11. Los Angeles Kings: Gabriel Vilardi, C, OHL Windsor (profile)

More: Gabriel Vilardi deserves your attention

12. Carolina Hurricanes: Martin Necas, center, Czech League Brno

13. Vegas Golden Knights (from Winnipeg)
14. Tampa Bay Lightning
15. Vegas Golden Knights (from NY Islanders)
16. Calgary Flames
17. Toronto Maple Leafs
18. Boston Bruins
19. San Jose Sharks
20. St. Louis Blues
21. New York Rangers
22. Edmonton Oilers
23. Arizona Coyotes (from Minnesota)
24. Winnipeg Jets (from Columbus via Vegas)
25. Montreal Canadiens
26. Chicago Blackhawks
27. St. Louis Blues (from Washington)
28. Ottawa Senators
29. Dallas Stars (from Anaheim)
30. Nashville Predators
31. Pittsburgh Penguins

Cody Glass becomes Vegas’ first-ever draft pick

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Cody Glass became part of history on Friday night.

Glass, the No. 6 ranked North American skater from WHL Portland, became the first-ever draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights, who took him sixth overall at the United Center in Chicago.

A 6-foot-2 center that was named the Winterhawks’ MVP this season, Glass has drawn comparisons to Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele. He put up a stunning 94 points in 64 games this season, and is regarded as one of the finest offensive talents in the Western League.

While Glass is the first-ever pick for the Knights, he’ll soon have some company. GM George McPhee stockpiled a pair of additional first-round picks at Wednesday’s expansion draft — No. 13 and 15 respectively — meaning Vegas could walk away from tonight with a boatload of young, enticing prospects.

After meteoric rise up rankings, Makar goes fourth overall to Avs

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For all the talk about Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick, at least one NHL scout believes Cale Makar is the best prospect in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

The Colorado Avalanche sure hope that scout is right after they picked Makar fourth overall Friday at United Center.

The 18-year-old defenseman has experienced a meteoric rise up the rankings the past year. In the process, he’s drawn tantalizing comparisons to Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, who just happens to be Makar’s favorite player.

Makar didn’t even play in Canada’s top junior league last season. He’s a member of the Brooks Bandits, part of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In that way, he’s a bit like another Ottawa player, Kyle Turris, who got drafted third overall in 2007 out of the BCHL.

Makar had 24 goals and 51 assists in 75 games for the Bandits in 2016-17.

“I don’t know if it matters what league he plays in,” Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning said earlier this week. “He’s going to be a good player. … We watched him last year. He grew over the summer. He came back this year and he was even more dynamic than he was last year. He’s an exciting player.”

The Canucks, by the way, drafted Swedish center Elias Pettersson with the fifth overall selection.

Related: Makar makes for a compelling prospect

Ducks bring Eaves back for three years, reportedly for $9.4M

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So much for the Anaheim Ducks merely making Patrick Eaves a rental.

The NHL’s free agent pool got that much shallower on Friday as the Ducks announced a three-year deal for Eaves (during the 2017 NHL Draft, by the way).

Eaves, 33, carried over strong work with Dallas (21 goals, 37 points in 59 games) to Anaheim after being traded, managing 11 goals and 14 points in 20 regular-season contests. He also managed two goals and two assists in seven postseason games.

One must also note his bodacious beard.

The Los Angeles Times’ Curtis Zupke reports that it’s worth $9.4 million overall ($3.15M per year) and the OC Register’s Eric Stephens back that up, detailing the salary breakdown as such: