PHT Morning Skate: Wright tops midseason rankings; Rask to start Thursday

shane wright nhl draft
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Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.

• OHL Kingston’s Shane Wright tops the NHL Central Scouting midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2022 draft. [NHL.com]

• Bo Byram left the Avalanche this week after concussion symptoms returned. “I think he feels, like we all do, that he has to really get to the bottom of this,” Byram’s father, Shawn, told Adrian Dater. “We’re trying to research this and do our due diligence, and the Avalanche have been great. We’re happy with how he’s been treated and all that. It’s ultra-frustrating for him and it’s frustrating for us. But we’ve just got to keep trying. At the end of the day, we’re hoping it’s a kid playing hockey at the highest level he can.” [Colorado Hockey Now]

• “The NHL is investigating how Evander Kane crossed the border from the United States to Canada on Dec. 29, a process which will likely prevent the embattled forward from signing in the short-term as teams await the league’s findings.” [Sportsnet]

• Tuukka Rask is expected to make his first start back with the Bruins on Thursday against the Flyers. [WEEI]

• Bobby Clarke on Ron Hextall and the Flyers’ 2017 NHL Draft: “We get the second pick in the draft and we end up drafting Nolan Patrick. None of our scouts wanted Nolan Patrick. I don’t know where Patrick should have gone after his performances in Brandon, he’s a pretty good player, but they wanted Makar. Of course he went next. Now he’s a superstar and Patrick hasn’t played … but Hextall made that choice himself. And there are other choices that were made in our draft that we’re paying for. We’ve got two or three first-round picks that are never going to play. That’s why we’re struggling, Hexy made some huge mistakes. He alienated everybody right away. He shut his door, he locked the doors. He was the boss and nobody else was a part of it.” [NBC Sports Philadelphia]

• COVID-19 restrictions has forced the Premier Hockey Federation to move its 2022 All-Star Game from Toronto to Buffalo. [The Ice Garden]

• A restricted free agent this summer, what will Pierre-Luc Dubois‘ next contract look like? [Jets Nation]

• An interesting look at Dean Evason’s penchant for pulling the goalie early. [Zone Coverage]

• Having played once since Dec. 18, the Senators are ready to get back into a regular gameday routine. [TSN]

• A contract year is a nice time for Nazem Kadri to be putting up some real good numbers. [NBC Sports Edge]

• “What would it take to lure Auston Matthews home to Arizona?” [GO PHNX]

• For the right deal, moving a first-round pick should be an easy decision for the Penguins this season. [Pensburgh]

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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