Cam Tucker


Nolan Patrick highlights Hockey Canada roster for World Junior Summer Showcase

Nolan Patrick, the potential No. 1 overall pick in this week’s NHL Entry Draft, highlights the list of players on Hockey Canada’s development camp roster for the upcoming World Junior Summer Showcase.

Click here for the full list.

Hockey Canada invited 14 players that are eligible for this year’s draft. Among them are potential top-five picks Cody Glass and Gabe Vilardi.

A total of nine first-round picks from last year — Jake Bean; Dennis Cholowski; Dante Fabbro; Logan Stanley; Pierre-Luc Dubois; Brett Howden; Tyson Jost; Michael McLeod; Sam Steel — have also been invited to the camp.

“For about three-and-a-half weeks in July and August, we get to see all of the players in our program concentrated in two locations, which gives our management team, coaches, and staff a chance to develop, first and foremost, what we feel is our top talent in Canada and evaluate those players as we look to put together winning teams throughout the upcoming season,” said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams, in a statement.

Hockey Canada’s junior development camp runs July 30 – Aug. 2 in Toronto, with a four-game series versus Finland, Sweden and the U.S. from Aug.3-6 in Plymouth, Mich. 

Last summer, Patrick underwent sports hernia surgery. He then missed the 2017 World Juniors due to injury.

Related: NHL Draft profile — Nolan Patrick

Report: Mrazek’s attitude among reasons he was left unprotected


It seems like the relationship between Petr Mrazek and the Detroit Red Wings has been through a lot in the last year.

They were scheduled to go to arbitration last summer — a team-requested arbitration hearing — before coming to terms on a new deal, and, after a difficult season for the 25-year-old netminder, the Red Wings have now left Mrazek unprotected in the expansion draft.

It was one of the bigger surprises when the protected/available lists were revealed.

The eight-year age discrepancy between him and 33-year-old Jimmy Howard has something to do with it, as does contract. Howard has two more years remaining at a costly $5.291 million cap hit and is a pending unrestricted free agent when this current deal is over. Mrazek, who had a .901 save percentage this season, is the cheaper of the two right now at $4 million.

However, a few theories about why the Red Wings made Mrazek available to the Golden Knights have started to circulate.


Part of the reason Mrazek’s luster has faded could be due to deportment issues that can be traced to contentious off-season contract negotiations (they settled on a two-year, $8 million deal; Mrazek will be a restricted free agent in 2018).

Mrazek was not happy the Red Wings were unable to trade Howard in the off-season and let the club know in less-than-tactful terms.

Mrazek has always had a swagger and air of confidence, which appealed to the Red Wings. But sometimes he’s too cocky for his own good, some in the organization believe. He became increasingly difficult to coach last season, they said.

According to The Athletic, the Red Wings had tried to trade Mrazek prior to the expansion draft, but couldn’t get something done in the end.

From The Athletic:

When things went sideways for Mrazek this season, there was concern internally about his response. Rather than digging in and trying to work his way out of it, Mrazek, according to multiple sources, soured and placed the blame elsewhere.

Contrasted against Howard, whose work ethic picked up when his play went south in previous seasons, it presented a tough decision for an organization with an embedded belief in culture and work ethic for its best players.

“Work has never been a problem in Detroit,” said one NHL source outside the Red Wings organization. “And there’s a changing of the guard and the leadership is changing. You can’t let that creep in. If that guy, who doesn’t want to work, is going to be handed your No. 1 goalie job, it changes everything.”

The two sides were able to avoid arbitration last summer.

But if George McPhee decides to take a pass on Mrazek in the expansion draft, it might make for an uncomfortable situation for all parties concerned in Detroit this summer and leading into next season.

Marchessault’s ‘esteem took a hit’ after being unprotected


Jonathan Marchessault broke out last season, reaching the 30-goal plateau for the Florida Panthers — all while on a very affordable contract that still has one more year remaining.

This week, well, he could become a member of the Vegas Golden Knights.

The 26-year-old forward was left unprotected by the Panthers, which was among the surprises when all the available/protected lists were made public on Sunday.

You can count Marchessault as one of those caught off guard by the decision.

“My esteem took a hit, but it’s not like I had a bad season,” he told TVA Sports, according to a translation.  “My agent told me that there are a few options including one where the Panthers asked the Golden Knights not to take me in exchange for a draft pick.”

Read more: What’s the biggest surprise from available/protected expansion draft lists?

Vegas general manager George McPhee has offered other GMs the chance to negotiate deals in order to keep certain players teams have left unprotected but do not wish to part ways with. However, he said that Monday was the last day teams had to trade with the Golden Knights before the expansion draft.

The Panthers also left Reilly Smith and Jason Demers exposed for the draft.

Related: Welcome Jonathan Marchessault to the trade rumor mill

Predators sign prospect d-man Lyytinen to two-year entry-level deal


The hockey world marveled at the play of the Predators’ vaunted blue line during the playoffs. On Monday, Nashville added some depth on defense.

The Predators announced the signing of Finnish blue liner Joonas Lyytinen to a two-year entry-level contract.

The Predators selected Lyytinen in the fifth round, 132nd overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Now 22 years old, he has spent the last four seasons developing his game in Finland. This past season, he had eight goals and 24 points in 54 games, finishing second among KalPa defensemen in points.

After developing players, ‘it’s a bit frustrating’ to possibly lose one in expansion draft


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) There were many years in Minnesota Wild history when assembling a list of their top 10 players would have been a breeze.

That was the biggest challenge this offseason.

The downside to the roster depth the Wild have built has arrived this week in the form of the NHL expansion draft, which will rob them of a valuable player on Wednesday night when the Vegas Golden Knights construct their inaugural team with one player from each of the other 30 clubs.

With defensemen Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella at the front of the queue, the Wild stand to lose as much as any team.

“They paid a large expansion fee, and the rules are set up that they’re going to get some tremendous assets out of this process, as they should,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. He added: “It’s actually, I think, a compliment to our organization that we have so many tough decisions.”

Read more:

Wild could lose Dumba, Scandella or Staal in expansion draft

Wild didn’t make a move prior to trade freeze deadline

Fletcher and his top lieutenant, Brent Flahr, quickly realized last summer their vulnerability once the NHL revealed the expansion draft guidelines.

“We did the math very quickly, and we were like, `We’re going to lose a good player,”‘ Fletcher said last week, before the lists were submitted to the league .

The Wild chose the seven forwards (Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Mikko Koivu, Nino Niederreiter, Zach Parise, Jason Pominville and Jason Zucker), three defensemen (Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon and Ryan Suter) and one goalie (Devan Dubnyk) option, rather than the eight skaters (any combination of forwards and defensemen) and one goalie alternative.

That left Martin Hanzal, Erik Haula, Jordan Schroeder, Eric Staal, Chris Stewart and Ryan White among the unprotected forwards who factored into the postseason lineups and Dumba, Christian Folin and Scandella among the unprotected defensemen. With no-trade clauses in their contracts, veterans Koivu, Parise, Pominville and Suter were mandatory inclusions on the protected list.

“The good news is we can only lose one player. Sometimes at 3 in the morning when I wake up, I remind myself of that: `You can lose only one player. Go back to sleep,”‘ Fletcher said. “But when you’ve drafted and developed a lot of these players, it is a bit frustrating, I’ll admit that.”

The Wild could work out a trade with the Golden Knights to get them to agree not to pick a particular unprotected player, but Vegas general manager George McPhee has made clear he’s in it to win it . Without a first or second-round draft pick this year, the Wild would likely have to part with a player in that scenario, which would mean losing two of them instead of one.

Staal is a first-line center who had 28 goals and 65 points, his highest totals in five years, but at age 32 he’s less attractive. The Wild protected 25-year-old right wing Jason Zucker, a native of Las Vegas, instead.

Dumba, despite a penchant for sloppy and inconsistent play, is just 22 and coming off a career season with 11 goals and 23 assists. He has one of the hardest shots on the team. The 27-year-old Scandella was one of the few bright spots during the first-round loss in the playoffs to the St. Louis Blues.

“I’m pretty confident I know how we’ll look coming out of it,” Fletcher said, “and that’s still a heck of a hockey team.”