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North American Hockey Roundup: Anthony Mantha is a stud; The Erie Otters are for real; Providence moves up in NCAA rankings

When the Detroit Red Wings selected Anthony Mantha with the 20th overall pick in this past year’s draft they got the best pure goal scorer in the 2013 draft class according to numerous scouts. He certainly has not disappointed so far this season with the Val-d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL. Mantha currently leads the QMJHL in scoring with 18 goals and 33 points in 12 games played. Right now, he’s too good to play in the QMJHL. How he fell to #20 is crazy and is something I will never understand. He should be in the AHL with Grand Rapids, but since …

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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 Draft Eligibles: Buyers beware of the Crosby comparison for Nathan MacKinnon

The argument over the top prospect in this year’s draft has been going on for over a year now and will continue up until draft day most likely. As hockey fans know it centers on Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon, Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones and MacKinnon’s teammate in Halifax, Jonathan Drouin. Seth Jones is my number one overall prospect followed by Drouin and then MacKinnon. Some people may call me crazy for having MacKinnon at number three. Everyone knows that he’s a potential franchise player in the NHL with all the tools to succeed at the next level. However, …

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Future Flyers Report: Konan/Akeson finish season with Flyers, three prospects in 2013 IIHF World Championship, Titans finished, Canadian junior updates

Another pair of Philadelphia Flyers’ prospects made their NHL debut this week, as both Matthew Konan and Jason Akeson appeared in contests for the Orange and Black. Konan made his debut in the Flyers’ 2-1 win on Thursday against the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center. He had two hits and a blocked shot in 13:09 of ice time. In Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, both Konan and Akeson suited up for the Flyers. Konan had four shots on net, three hits, and one blocked shot in 18:42 TOI during his first NHL appearance. As for …

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Future Flyers Report: Brandon Manning joins the Flyers, Leier’s Winterhawks nearly in WHL Finals, Straka and Baie-Comeau almost in QMJHL Finals

After Kent Huskins suffered a concussion from Ryan White’s illegal hit in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 7-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, yet another unexpected defenseman made an appearance on the Flyers’ blue line. This time it was Brandon Manning. Manning played in a few games for the Orange and Black last season, as he posted a plus-1 rating in four contests for Philly. He didn’t record a point with the Flyers last season, but the former Chilliwack Bruin played well in his first stretch at the NHL level. A day after Huskins’ injury, Manning appeared in his first …

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