NHL News: Player News and Updates for 6/27/14
NHL Daily Updates: Checking in on the Draft, Off-Season Schedule and More
June 27, 2014
It’s a good time to be a hockey fan, even though there’s no activity on the NHL ice right now. Today marks the beginning of the 2014 draft, and in just a matter of hours we’ll see where some of the top picks are going to be headed. Before we settle in, let’s take our daily look around the league and see what’s happening out there.
NHL Draft Outlook: Tonight’s the big night. We’ll finally see an end to all the speculation when teams around the league make their selections on a fresh class of players. Before we tune in and check it out (7 PM ET: NBCSN, TSN, RDS), let’s check out some of the storylines heading into the event.
Opinions vary on which player will go first overall, as the top of this draft class is pretty even as far as skillsets. There’s no clear-cut favorite guy, but we do have a quartet of players who will be vying for that coveted first-overall pick.
We’ve got three centers in the fray: Samuel Bennett, Sam Reinhart and Leon Draisaitl. There’s a defenseman up toward the top as well, and that’s Aaron Ekblad. Any one of these players could go at No. 1 to the Panthers--or we could see a blockbuster trade in the hours leading up to the pick.
Realistically, there’s not much downside to picking any of the top four skaters. All are projected to be impact players in the NHL for a long time to come. With that kind of talent on the board, we could see some movement at the top of the draft boards as other teams try to get in on it.
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Around the League: Let’s take a look at a few notable signings that took place around the NHL yesterday. Here’s a quick rundown of the news.
The Blues signed C Patrik Berglund to a three year, $11.1 million extension, which will prevent him from entering restricted free agency.
Washington signed D Eric Gryba to a two-year, $2.5 million deal, which will give him a chance to improve on his plus-9 rating last season.
The Lightning stayed in the news yesterday, signing RW J.T. Brown to a two-year, $1.9 million extension. He’s mostly depth, but could emerge as a key player if the injury bug visits Tampa Bay.
The defending champion Kings won’t be bringing D Willie Mitchell back for another year, according to reports. He was a big factor in the postseason, but overall didn’t register much of a blip on the team’s defensive stats. He’s 37 and will look to catch on somewhere else on a short deal.
NHL Off-Season Schedule: Let’s keep our hockey fix going with a look at the 2014 off-season calendar. There should be plenty to keep us occupied as we gear up for next year.
June 25-July 1: Teams can conduct interviews with unrestricted free agents
June 27-28: 2014 NHL Draft
June 30: Deadline to tender offers to restricted free agents
July 1: Start of free agency period
Early July: Rookie development camps begin
Mid-September: Training camp begins
October 8: First games of the 2014-15 NHL season
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