Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Pierre-Luc Dubois became a better player once he moved from left wing to center.

The change took place around Christmas and Dubois' stock took off then. "He showed us that he has tremendous hockey sense in slowly moving to center," GM Jarko Kekalainen said. "He could play wing for us. He could play center for us. But I think we see him as a future centerman, and we see a lot of potential in him being able to play both." It was a happy birthday for Dubois who turned 18 on Draft Day. He will likely get a long look-see with the Blue Jackets but do not be surprised if he is sent back to Cape Breton eventually next season. He is worth picking up only in dynasty leagues at this point.
Jun 25 - 8:05 AM

Julien Gauthier's dad and grandfather are former Mr. Canada champions in bodybuilding.

No wonder the kid is so big. Gauthier is six-feet, four, 225 pounds and has taken some tips from his father and grandfather on weight training. "He’s a physical specimen, for sure," said Tony MacDonald, Carolina’s director of amateur scouting. "He’s a big man but he can skate and he has good speed. He’s a goal-scorer, first and foremost. His stock was hurt a little when his team was knocked out in the first round of the (QMJHL) playoffs."
Jun 25 - 8:00 AM

Arizona GM John Chayka was thrilled to get Clayton Keller at number 7.

"He’s a guy we wanted all along," Chayka said. "It’s no secret we’re trying to build our team with speed ... and he’s an exciting player, a dynamic player. He’s smart, creative. He’s going to be a real joy for our fans for a long time." The speedy but small center should be in line to be a number one center but it will take at least four-to-five years. He is worth picking up in dynasty leagues while you wait on him to get to the NHL.
Jun 25 - 6:39 AM

Max Jones likely dropped down the rankings after he picked up a 12 game suspension in the playoffs for his blindside hit on Justin Brack.

It wasn't pretty and it happened in Game 4 of the first round of the OHL playoffs, causing the winger to miss most of the remaining playoff games which the scouts watched closely. "He’s got to grow up a little bit," Anaheim GM Bob Murray said. "He’s immature. He’s got to grow up. If you saw after that and watched him play, he was much better at the Memorial Cup. He was very good, very under control. I’d rather have to tame a guy down than have to try to prop a guy up." Jones will continue to play for London next season as he takes on a bigger role. Look for Jones to be a 20 goal, 55 point player with plenty of penalty minutes once he establishes himself in the NHL.
Jun 25 - 6:33 AM

The Anaheim Ducks have chosen Sam Steel with the 30th pick of the 2016 NHL Draft.

The pick initially belonged to Pittsburgh, but it was sent to Toronto in the Phil Kessel trade. The Leafs flipped the selection to Anaheim in the Frederik Andersen deal. Sam Steel's top attribute is his elite hockey-sense and intelligence. At just 5’11" and 180 LBs, he has acute awareness both for himself and the other players on the ice. He posted 27 goals and 70 points for Regina (WHL) in 72 games, then added six goals and 16 points in 12 playoff games. His ability to excel in high-pressure situations is not questioned, nor are his raw abilities as a reliable two-way centerman, but he also has no additional defining attributes beyond his intellect. It's a lot harder to get by on smarts alone as one moves up the ranks. Seen as a "safe prospect", Steel ought to achieve a solid NHL career regardless.
Jun 24 - 10:54 PM

The Boston Bruins have selected Trent Frederic with the 29th overall pick.

The Bruins went off the board to take Frederic. He had 20 goals and 40 points in 61 games with the US National Under-18 team. He's not likely to develop into a major offensive threat at the NHL level, but there is a good chance that he'll eventually be able to play in the top league. It helps that he possesses size and speed along with the ability to play a physical game.
Jun 24 - 10:47 PM

The Washington Capitals have selected defenseman Lucas Johansen with the 28th pick of the 2016 Draft.

Much is expected of Ryan Johansen’s little brother, which is why so many scouts were delighted to see him improve on his eight-point season in 2014-15 when his Kelowna (WHL) team took home the championship. Johansen posted 10 goals and 49 points in 2015-16, plus eight more points in 18 playoff games. At 6’1" and 175 pounds, the 17-year-old wiry defender leaves plenty of room for growth in his overall game. It’s worth noting that Johansen excels at pushing the puck up ice crisply and efficiently, as well as understanding whom to distribute to and when to pinch-in. It’s his defensive game that needs more work as he’s seen to lack the classic "jam" front offices love so much. He is a project but the Capitals have plenty of time to wait.
Jun 24 - 10:39 PM

The Tampa Bay Lightning have taken Brett Howden with the 27th overall pick in the 2016 draft class.

Brett Howden, who is the younger brother of Quinton Howden (Florida's first rounder in 2010), has an intriguing skill set as a classic jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none. Which is to say he's good at everything, and not excellent at anything. Though he did manage to post 24 goals and 64 points in 68 games for Moose Jaw last season, he also posted seven goals and 11 points in nine games across two journeys with Canada’s U-18 club. The 6'2" and 195 lbs center is an effective and reliable two-way forward with strong hockey-sense who needs to bulk up and improve his speed to jump to the next level. Howden projects as a third- or fourth-line center.
Jun 24 - 10:34 PM

The St. Louis Blues have taken Tage Thompson with the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

St. Louis got this pick from Washington by conceding the 28th and 87th selections. While scoring 14 goals and 32 points as a freshman in the NCAA is mighty impressive, Thompson scored 13 of those goals on the power play. Which is a bit lop-sided, considering he was also a minus-14 at even strength. Thompson’s ability to fill the net on the man advantage is well documented, but as a slightly older player with a year of collegiate experience under his belt, he’s been rather disappointing. His defensive game and think-speed needs to improve dramatically to take the next step. Until then, his elite face-off winning skills, shooting ability, and physical acumen at a wiry 6’5" and 185 lbs without taking a penalty will have to carry him.
Jun 24 - 10:27 PM

The Dallas Stars have taken Riley Tufte with the 25th selection of the 2016 NHL Draft.

Tufte is big boy at 6’5" and 205 pounds, and a talented one as well, noted for his ability to control the flow of play and make the right decision. However after scoring 47 goals and 78 points as a senior in high school, Tufte posted just 10 goals and 14 points in 27 games for Fargo (USHL), which is well below what is expected of a high-end prospect. What’s worse are his defensive lapses and lack of bravery when competing against stronger foes. Be that as it may, the 18-year-old will head off to the University of Minnesota, where he’ll have plenty of opportunity to refine his game and give the Stars a few years to monitor his progress.
Jun 24 - 10:19 PM

The Anaheim Ducks have chosen Max Jones with the 24th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Max Jones has three distinctive attributes; his frenetic pace, his scoring ability, and his snarl. Jones posted 28 goals and 52 points in 63 games for London (OHL) in 2015-16, along with 106 PIMs. Few doubt Jones' ability to be the type of second-line power forward all teams covet, but it's widely accepted his brain has yet to catch up to his feet and lacks creativity. Still, there's a reason why the acronym K.I.S.S exists and perhaps all the 6'2" and 205 lbs kid needs is post-teenaged maturity. He will bring plenty of energy to the Ducks, but he'll need to be more disciplined at the NHL level.
Jun 24 - 10:15 PM

The Florida Panthers have selected Henrik Borgstrom with the 23rd overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Borgstrom is a surprise to be taken in the first round, but he's also a nice story of a player that took a big step forward after being passed on entirely in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He had 29 goals and 55 points in 40 games in the Finnish junior league. He's a project and has already signed a letter of intent with the University of Denver, so don't expect him to be part of the Panthers' organization for a couple years. That being said, while there are plenty of areas he needs to work on, including his consistency, he does have upside and could be an important part of the Panthers eventually.
Jun 24 - 10:09 PM

The Philadelphia Flyers have taken German Rubtsov with the 22nd pick.

The Flyers were not concerned with the Russian star as his team was kicked out of the Under-18 tournament for doping. The slim 6’2", 180 pound center plays a reliable and consistent two-way game with great vision and the ability to push the puck up the ice willfully. Suffice it to say Rubtsov’s game isn’t predicated on doing anything at an elite level, rather merely performs all facets of the game very well in a team-oriented manner. He posted 12 goals and 26 points in 28 games for Team Russia in the MHL, the Russians top junior league. Should it all come together, Rubtsov is expected to have a nice NHL career with the Flyers.
Jun 24 - 10:01 PM

The Carolina Hurricanes have picked Julien Gauthier with the 21st overall selection in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Perhaps no player's stock has dropped quite like Julien Gauthier's after a sizzling start to his 2015-16 season, where he scored 36 goals in his first 38 games for Val d'Or (QMJHL). He'd go on to finish with 41 goals and just 57 points in 54 games. Gauthier is noted for his do-it-all-himself attitude, which some scouts have chalked up to his poor vision and hockey-sense. At 6'4" and 225 pounds, Gauthier also isn't known for his defensive or physical prowess, often seen floating and waiting for the puck. Once he has it though, he's one of the more prolific scorers who thrives under pressure and not only can make the high-percentage play but the "best" play consistently. Carolina needs some flash and skill up front, so he could be someone to watch down the line.
Jun 24 - 9:55 PM

The Detroit Red Wings have selected Dennis Cholowski with the 20th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Dennis Cholowski didn’t raise many eyebrows two seasons ago, but after scoring 12 goals and 40 points over 55 games in 2015-16, plus 15 points in 20 games and nearly the playoff MVP, Cholowski is seen as a project with higher upside than BCHL-mate Dante Fabbro. The 18-year-old will play another season for Chilliwack before playing for St. Cloud State in the NCAA, which will serve his wiry frame well. At 6’0" and 170 lbs, there’s room for growth in more ways than one as his stature undermines appears to be all that undermines his elite level hockey-IQ. The 20th pick was previously Arizona's, but Detroit acquired it as part of the trade that sent Pavel Datsyuk's contract to the Coyotes.
Jun 24 - 9:48 PM



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