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2013 Draft Eligibles: Edmonton Oil Kings Curtis Lazar’s strong second half improved draft status

This time one year ago Curtis Lazar was a surefire top-10 draft pick according to many scouts and draft pundits. This high praise was largely because of Lazar’s breakthrough playoff performance where he registered eight goals and 11 assists in 20 Western Hockey League playoff games. Lazar was a key reason why the Oil Kings won the WHL Championship last season and reached the Memorial Cup in Shawinigan. The Vernon, BC native’s first real impression on scouts came back at the 2011 Canada Winter Games where Lazar was a member of Team British Columbia U16. For those of you who …

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2013 Draft Eligibles: Kerby Rychel is yet another NHL prospect with great athletic bloodlines

  For many reading this article the last name Rychel may sound familiar. For some they may have no may have no idea. To clear up any confusion Windsor Spitfires left winger Kerby Rychel is the son of former NHL player Warren Rychel. The elder Rychel played nine seasons overall in the NHL with the Kings, Maple Leafs, Avalanche and Ducks respectively. While Warren was known throughout his NHL career as a grinder and a pest, Kerby has developed into a premier power forward prospect who registered back-to-back 40 goal seasons with the Spitfires. Kerby was originally drafted by the Barrie …

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2013 Draft Eligibles: Portland Winterhawks Nicolas Petan is a diminutive giant

When will NHL scouts learn that size isn’t everything? Too often scouts and analysts use physical stature as a benchmark for NHL-caliber talent. Yet, each year small players thrive in hockey’s most physically demanding league and defy the odds. This season was no exception in the Western Hockey League. The Portland Winterhawks were the league champs this season thanks to a loaded lineup with a multitude of current NHL draft picks and more to come in the 2013 NHL Draft. Perhaps the biggest surprise came in the most unlikely package. Standing tall at 5’9” and weighing in at 165-pounds soaking …

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2013 NHL Entry Draft: Updated (5/31)Mock Draft One

Leading up to the draft Jared Abbott and I will be putting out several iterations of a first round mock. As the draft order becomes finalized and teams’ rosters begin to take shape it will surely effect the projected picks. Of course, there is always the possibility of trades as well, which could dramatically alter the mock. I have made some significant changes to my picks from my first mock draft. Here is my first mock and here is Jared’s. Additionally, here is Jared’s revised mock draft. Also check out my Top 30 List as well as Jared’s Top 30. …

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2013 NHL Entry Draft: Updated (5/31) Mock Draft Two

There have been some changes from the time my last mock draft posted until now. The players who rose the most were Nikita Zadorov (London Knights; OHL) and Robert Hagg (Modo; Swedish Elite League). Hunter Shinkaruk (Medicine Hat Tigers; WHL) and Steven Santini (US U-18; USHL) were the biggest fallers in the first round. There are also two new faces in this mock draft: Robert Hagg (above) and Madison Bowey (Kelowna Rockets; WHL). The breakdown and full mock draft is below. You can find my first mock here, as well as Tom’s first mock. Additionally, here is Tom’s revised mock. …