PHT Morning Skate: NHL beat writers conduct expansion mock draft


–The Washington Post got a beat writer from each team to make a mock protection list for the respective clubs they cover. In this version of the mock draft, James Neal, Vladislav Namestnikov and Sami Vatanen all ended up in Las Vegas. (Washington Post)

–Big news out of Vegas, as the ice has finally been put down at T-Mobile Arena. The Golden Knights have put together a photo album of the big day. (

–Sticking with the Vegas theme, USA Today looks at five intriguing players that might be available for the expansion team. Jonas Brodin, Jimmy Howard and Calvin de Haan could all be targets for general manager George McPhee. (USA Today)

–Pens center Nick Bonino had the Stanley Cup yesterday and he brought it to Pittsburgh Steelers practice. Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward said: “Not a lot of cities have that camaraderie or great bond between teams. You see their guys at our games; we are at their games.” (

–The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy takes a deeper look at a quality draft prospect that is flying under the radar. Dylan Samberg visited with 26 different teams during the combine, so you know teams are interested. One scout said: “I love the kid. He’s a 10-year NHLer for sure. Size, reach and plays with an aggressive mindset. He’s an effective skater, but not a pretty skater. Once he’s in flight, though, he looks like Bret Hedican.” (The Hockey News)

–The NHL Entry Draft is less than two weeks away, and Sportsnet is writing detailed scouting reports of some of the top prospects that will be available. Their latest feature is on forward Casey Mittelstadt, who seems to have some intriguing upside. “Mittelstadt is one of these anomalies that come along every few years [from high school hockey]. We’ve watched him play against his peers in international tournaments and have seen him play in the USHL and at various camps, and he always makes a difference.” (Sportsnet)