Mike Halford

VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 28:  Pierre-Luc Dubois #18 of Team Orr looks on as Michael McLeod #9 of Team Cherry skates up ice with the puck during the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game January 28, 2016 at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
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Get to know a draft pick — Mikey McLeod

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Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from Ryan Kennedy, associate senior writer and prospect expert at The Hockey News.

Mikey McLeod (C)

Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 188 pounds Shoots: Right

Team: Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

Country: Canada

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 2 North American goalie

Kennedy says: “There’s been a decent amount of shade thrown McLeod’s way of late, but I can’t help but dig deeper.

“Here’s a kid who came back from a significant knee injury late in the season to help his team push a very good Barrie squad in the playoffs. Then, he gutted through a Charley Horse at the world under-18s with Canada.

“So yeah, maybe his numbers dipped a bit. But overall, you have one of the fastest kids in the draft, who also has power, decent size and some sick hands – particularly on the rush. McLeod may fall out of the top-10, but he’s a prize.”

Click here for all the 2016 NHL Draft profiles.

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

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Peter Chiarelli of the Edmonton Oilers attends the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The Edmonton Oilers need a defenseman. A good defenseman. And a right-handed defenseman, ideally.

That’s what GM Peter Chiarelli laid out pretty clearly on Thursday, one day ahead of the NHL Draft in Buffalo — telling reporters his search for blueline help is officially on and, in a related development, he’s taking a lot of calls on the No. 4 overall pick.

“I am listening to offers for it, and I wouldn’t rule it out,” Chiarelli said, per the club. “I’ve had discussions that include that pick.”

Chiarelli stressed how much he wanted to add a righty to the blueline. Currently, the Oilers have just three — Mark Fayne, Adam Clendening, Eric Gryba — and all have somewhat uncertain futures. Fayne was a healthy scratch at times last year, and put on waivers. Clendening is an RFA, and Gryba goes unrestricted on July 1.

“I’m really leaning towards the right hand shot,” Chiarelli said, when asked about potential acquisitions. “I feel we need more of the righty-lefty in our group”

As such, Kevin Shattenkirk‘s name has come up. Again.

The Oilers have been tied to the St. Louis rearguard, as have the Bruins. Boston’s latest reported offer for Shattenkirk — a first-round pick — was apparently rebuffed, but it’s unclear what pick the B’s were dangling (they have No. 14 and 29).

Could the No. 4 pick persuade the Blues to part with Shattenkirk?

If not, there are other options out there.

“We’ve got D on our radar that are lefty that play the right side,” Chiarelli said, noting the Oilers already had such an individual in Oscar Klefbom.

If you’re wondering about notable lefties out there that play the right, Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin is one of them.

At this point, it’s only right (see what I did there) to mention there’s another defenseman in this conversation — P.K. Subban. The Montreal rearguard has reportedly been the subject of numerous trade calls over the last few days, which makes sense given his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1.

It’s tough to imagine or envision what sort of package Edmonton would have to put together to pry Subban out of Montreal, but you’d think the No. 4 overall pick would have to be included.

Even then, the Oilers just might not have enough.

“How many true No. 1 defensemen are there? Maybe there’s 12,” Chiarelli explained. “So to think that you’re going to get a No. 1 d-man — it’s tough.”

Get to know a draft pick — Carter Hart

VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 28:  Carter Hart #70 of Team Orr looks on from his crease during the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game January 28, 2016 at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
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Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from Ryan Kennedy, associate senior writer and prospect expert at The Hockey News.

Carter Hart (G)

Height: 6-foot Weight: 180 pounds Catches: Left

Team: Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Country: Canada

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 2 North American goalie

Kennedy says: “As we all know, goalies are voodoo and figuring out which ones will pan out from the draft is a fool’s game. But Hart is pretty darn good.

“His poise and cool have reminded some scouts of Carey Price, though Hart doesn’t have the same size as the Habs superstar. And that’s a big theme of this year’s netminders; the kids with the best numbers aren’t that tall and the tallest kids didn’t have very good numbers.

“But in Hart, at least you have a consistent netminder who is technically sound and always square to the shooter. Good candidate to be Canada’s world junior goalie next year, too.”

Click here for all the 2016 NHL Draft profiles.

Flames ‘in a bunch of different markets’ for goalie, want to get something done at draft

Calgary Flames' new General Manager Brad Treliving speaks at a press conference after being introduced in Calgary, Alberta, on Monday, April 28, 2014. Treliving spent the past seven seasons as an assistant under general manager Don Maloney, helping guide the Phoenix Coyotes.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Larry MacDougal)
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“They tell me it’s good to have one.”

That was Brad Treliving’s quip when asked about the Flames’ goaltending situation on Thursday — a situation that was a real sore spot last season, something Treliving wants to fix over the NHL Draft weekend in Buffalo.

“We’re in a bunch of different markets on that, so we’ll see how it goes,” Treliving said, per Sportsnet. “We’re looking at everything and balancing it.

“This is the time. You need a dance partner, that’s how it works, and you’d like to get [the goalie situation] taken care of. That’s sort of our preference right now.”

Currently, Calgary has just one goalie with NHL experience — Joni Ortio, at one time a fairly touted prospect. But the luster has worn off Ortio to a certain degree, especially after a ’15-16 campaign in which he cleared waivers, posted poor numbers in the AHL and fared only marginally better with the Flames (in 22 games, a 2.76 GAA and .902 save percentage).

This is why Treliving has been searching high and low for help in goal.

The Flames were believed to be in on Frederik Andersen, prior to the Leafs outbidding for him. Marc-Andre Fleury‘s name has been connected to Calgary for weeks. Ben Bishop came up in some trade rumors as well, and there’s always the possibility of James Reimer, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

So yeah, no shortage of candidates.

The real interesting decision will be if Treliving opts for a placeholder-type goalie, or a long-term investment. The Flames do have two good young goalie prospects in Jon Gilles and Mason McDonald, but neither project to be in the NHL soon.

Fleury, who turns 32 next season and has three years left on his contract, looks to be an ideal placeholder. But the fact the Flames were also in on Andersen — who the Leafs gave a five-year, $25 million deal to, presumably to be their goalie of the future — could suggest Treliving’s looking for the same.

Get to know a draft pick — Riley Tufte

BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Riley Tufte #16 of Team Roenick skates against Team Plante during the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on September 24, 2015 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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THN Banner

Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from Ryan Kennedy, associate senior writer and prospect expert at The Hockey News.

Riley Tufte (LW)

Height: 6-foot-5 Weight: 205 pounds Shoots: Left

Team: Blaine High School (Minnesota)

Country: U.S.

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 17 North American skater

Kennedy says: “It’s impossible not to compare Tufte to Florida’s Nick Bjugstad. Both are towering centers that played for Blaine High School before heading off to college. But there’s also some Blake Wheeler in Tufte, who dominated the Minnesota high school ranks to the tune of three points per game.

“He also played for Fargo in the USHL this season and was challenged quite a bit more. His skating and size had one scout call him the best raw prospect out of Minnesota in a long time, but Tufte will need time to hone his game.

“He’ll do so at the University of Minnesota-Duluth next season and is expected to play top-six minutes right away.”

Click here for all the 2016 NHL Draft profiles.