Cam Tucker

SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 06:  (L-R) Top Prospects Alexander Nylander, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Matthew Tkachuk and Auston Matthews talk prior media availability for the 2016 NHL Draft Top Prospects ahead of Game Four of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center on June 6, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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WATCH LIVE: First round of the 2016 NHL Draft

It’s here! The first round of the 2016 NHL Draft goes tonight (7 p.m. ET) from Buffalo.

We’re about to learn if Auston Matthews indeed goes first overall to the Toronto Maple Leafs, or if Patrik Laine jumps up into the No. 1 slot. And with general managers meeting and trade speculation heating up, we’ll see which teams can make those big deals, perhaps even a blockbuster.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH ON NBC SPORTS OR THE NBC SPORTS APP

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s draft:

Jackets have received ‘some serious and real offers’ for third overall pick

Draft Day! Here are all of PHT’s prospect profiles

No hard feelings between top draft prospects Matthews and Laine

Not lacking confidence, Laine’s goal is to be drafted No. 1

Edmonton’s blueline search is on, and Chiarelli’s ‘listening to offers’ for No. 4 pick

Report: Canucks GM Benning could face tampering punishment

 

 

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    Bolts re-sign Brown to two-year, one-way contract (Updated: Paquette, too)

    Detroit Red Wings left wing Tomas Tatar (21), of Slovakia, checks Tampa Bay Lightning right wing J.T. Brown (23) into the boards during the third period of Game 1 in a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning won 3-2. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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    The Tampa Bay Lightning got some work done, re-signing forward and pending restricted free agent J.T. Brown to a two-year, one-way contract, the team announced Friday prior to the NHL Draft.

    Brown was at the end of a two-year, $1.9 million deal.

    The 25-year-old Brown hit a single-season career-high in goals with eight and points with 22 during the regular season, and then appeared in nine playoff games, adding two assists. He was also used on the penalty kill during the regular season, averaging 1:26 of PK time per game.

    His post-season was interrupted by an upper-body injury suffered blocking a shot, but he returned for the entire Eastern Conference Final versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Updated: The Bolts have also re-signed forward and pending restricted free agent Cedric Paquette to a two-year deal.

    The Lightning still have a lengthy list of pending RFAs, most notably 26-year-old center Alex Killorn (14 G, 40 PTS, 81 Games in 2015-16), 23-year-old center Vladislav Namestnikov (14 G, 35 PTS, 80 Games in 2015-16), and 23-year-old right winger Nikita Kucherov (30 G, 66 PTS, 77 Games in 2015-16).

    Meanwhile, the big storyline following the Lightning at this draft is about the future of Steven Stamkos in Tampa Bay.

    He’s a pending unrestricted free agent, and would be the most highly touted UFA in this year’s class if he does go to the open market. General manager Steve Yzerman said the door hasn’t “closed” on re-signing Stamkos, however teams will be allowed to begin talking to representatives for the coveted forward tomorrow.

    Report: Blackhawks’ Shaw asking for $4.5 million AAV

    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 23:  Andrew Shaw #65 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates his third period goal against the St. Louis Blues in Game Six of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 23, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Blues 6-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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    Andrew Shaw is looking for a raise. A substantial one at that, based on reports at the NHL Draft.

    The 24-year-old Shaw is a pending restricted free agent at the end of a two-year, $4 million deal that paid him $2.5 million this season, in which he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 78 games and followed that up with four goals and six points in six playoff games, before Shaw and the Chicago Blackhawks were bounced in the first round.

    It was previously reported the Blackhawks expected to re-sign Shaw, especially after freeing up cap space by trading Bryan Bickell to Carolina, in a deal that also cost Chicago skilled forward Teuvo Teravainen.

    Now, well, there could be another twist in the plot, given the amount of money Shaw is reportedly asking for.

    The Blackhawks, as per General Fanager, have about $6.39 million in projected cap space for next season but only nine forwards under contract for 2016-17 on their NHL roster. So, yes, they’re still sweating the salary cap, even with the Bickell contract gone.

    The draft brings about a litany of trade speculation and rumors, and both Shaw and teammate Marcus Kruger are on that list.

    The Chicago Tribune reported on Thursday that the Blackhawks have had discussions with Shaw’s agent, Pat Brisson, but there had been no progress.

    From the Chicago Tribune:

    Given the Hawks’ cramped situation against the cap, Bowman may have to decide between keeping Shaw and Marcus Kruger, who makes about $3.1 million, a salary in the range of what Shaw is likely to command.

    The Hawks have searched for trade partners for Kruger, according to a source, and they are also seeking partners for Shaw in case they cannot strike a deal. The Hawks are shopping 2011 first-round pick Mark McNeill as well, according to reports.

    Report: Yandle, Panthers agree to terms on seven-year deal

    BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 27:  Keith Yandle #93 of the New York Rangers skates against the Boston Bruins during the third period at TD Garden on November 27, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeat the Rangers 4-3.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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    The Florida Panthers and general manager Tom Rowe felt trading two days ago for the negotiating rights of Keith Yandle was a “risk worth taking.”

    Rowe also revealed later that evening that the two sides were already negotiating a new contract.

    Following the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on Wednesday, news broke that Yandle and the Panthers had agreed to terms on a new seven-year contract, according to a report from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.

    The Panthers have not made an announcement confirming the deal.

    Yandle, 29, was a pending unrestricted free agent defenseman coming off a 47-point season with the New York Rangers.

    Twenty-two of those points also came on the power play for New York, while the Panthers had the 23rd-ranked power play during the regular season at 16.9 per cent.

    NHL Awards: Blues’ star Tarasenko graces the cover of NHL 17

    Tarasenko
    St. Louis Blues Twitter
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    Vladimir Tarasenko scored a career-high 40 goals during the regular season, as a star with the St. Louis Blues. And now, he’s on the cover of EA Sports’ NHL 17, which is set to be released Sept. 13.

    More than six million votes were cast on Twitter and NHL.com, as Tarasenko beat out Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks), Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars) and Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) in the voting competition.

    “It’s an incredible honor to represent my teammates and all the Blues fans around the world on the cover this year,” said Tarasenko, as per the Blues’ website. “As a player, it’s a big deal to be fan selected for something like the Cover Vote, and I’m excited to be involved in the game this year.”

    Weber takes Messier Leadership Award

    Shea Weber beat out Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) and John Tavares (New York Islanders) for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which honors players for their on-ice leadership and contributions within the community.

    Henrik Sedin captures the King Clancy Trophy

    Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin was named the winner of the King Clancy Trophy for the first time in his NHL career.

    The award recognizes leadership on and off the ice as well as humanitarian contributions in the community.

    Henrik and twin brother Daniel Sedin are not only the Canucks franchise leaders in numerous categories — including games played, goals and points — but they are heavily active in the community, giving back to causes like BC Children’s Hospital.

    From Canucks.com:

    Most significantly, Henrik alongside his wife, brother Daniel and sister-in-law, made a joint $1.5 million donation to help build a brand new BC Children’s Hospital in 2010.

    Flames’ Giordano receives NHL Foundation Player Award

    Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano was the recipient of the NHL Foundation Player Award for 2015-16, “recognizing an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community.”

    Matt Martin (New York Islanders) and P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens) were also finalists for the award.

    The NHL Foundation will now present $25,000 to a charitable organization of Giordano’s choice. As per a release from the league, Giordano has selected the Calgary Flames Foundation, which lends support to the Calgary School Board and the Team Giordano initiative.

    Former teammates Andersen, Gibson win the Jennings

    The Anaheim Ducks will go into next season having split the goaltending tandem of Frederik Andersen and John Gibson, however the pair was recognized Wednesday for winning the Jennings Trophy.

    The Jennings Trophy goes to the goalies having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals against during the regular season.

    Andersen and Gibson finished with a league-low of 192 goals-against for the Ducks this season.

    However, keeping both goalies for the future simply wasn’t an option for Anaheim.

    On Monday, Ducks GM Bob Murray traded Andersen to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a first-round pick this year and a second-round pick next year.

    ‘Hockey is my passion’: Jagr receives Masterton Trophy

    At the age of 44, Jaromir Jagr just keeps on going.

    Despite his age, Jagr scored 27 goals and 66 points in 79 games for the Florida Panthers this season.

    Pascal Dupuis and Mats Zuccarello were also finalists for the award.

    Kopitar wins the Lady Byng in addition to the Selke

    Anze Kopitar was a two-time winner on Wednesday, as he took the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship in addition to the Selke Trophy.

    During the regular season, he managed 74 points in 81 games with only 16 penalty minutes.

    2015-2016 Lady Byng Trophy Voting, Top 20 Finishers

    Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th)
    1. Anze Kopitar, LAK 817 (52-25-17-11-4)
    2. Aleksander Barkov, FLA 475 (24-21-12-7-7)
    3. Loui Eriksson, BOS 388 (10-12-22-27-13)
    4. Johnny Gaudreau, CGY 371 (17-19-6-10-8)
    5. Ryan O’Reilly, BUF 270 (10-12-11-7-10)
    6. Pavel Datsyuk, DET 248 (6-13-9-15-7)
    7. Tyler Seguin, DAL 222 (1-11-19-10-10)
    8. Patrick Marleau, SJS 200 (9-5-12-2-9)
    9. Joe Pavelski, SJS 87 (3-0-4-10-7)
    10. Jaromir Jagr, FLA 52 (3-1-2-1-2)
    11. Frans Nielsen, NYI 52 (2-0-3-3-8)
    12. Matt Cullen, PIT 51 (3-3-0-0-0)
    13. Evgeny Kuznetsov, WSH 50 (0-2-4-4-4)
    14. Sean Monahan, CGY 46 (1-1-1-6-6)
    15. Jared Spurgeon, MIN 42 (3-0-1-2-1)
    16. Sam Reinhart, BUF 38 (0-3-2-1-4)
    17. Brandon Saad, CBJ 30 (0-2-1-2-5)
    18. Patrick Kane, CHI 29 (1-0-3-0-4)
    19. Alexander Wennberg, CBJ 26 (0-1-2-2-3)
    20. Joe Thornton, SJS 25 (2-0-0-1-2)

    NHL 2015-16 All-Star teams

    First All-Star Team

    G Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals

    D Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
    D Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
    C Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
    RW Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
    LW Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars

    Second All-Star Team

    G Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning

    D Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
    D Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
    C Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
    RW Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
    LW Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

    All-Rookie Team

    G John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks

    D Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers
    D Colton Parayko, St. Louis Blues
    F Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
    F Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
    F Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks