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The Hockey News May 29, 2017 - Draft Preview 2017

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. THN is published 18 times a year, including 14 regular issues and four special issues – such as Future Watch, Draft Preview, Yearbook, the #1 selling hockey annual in North America.

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17 Issues


access_time3 min.
it’s normal again

YOU WOULDN’T EXPECT to pick up a fashion magazine and see it pitch: “Styles not great this summer. This season’s trend is forgettable. Go back to whatever you were doing.” Or see in your favorite auto magazine: “Mostly heaps on this year’s market. Clunky lines, noticeable flaws highlight 2017 models.” So we’re not going to do that with Draft Preview 2017. Our newsstand people would take us out at the knees. But let’s face it, the field of prospects in this year’s draft isn’t great. That’s because we’ve been spoiled. Generational talents – multiple ones – in back-to-back drafts: Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel from 2015 and Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine from 2016. Aren’t players of that ilk only supposed to come around every 20 years? Welcome to the 2017 draft.…

access_time4 min.
dawn in the desert

I NEVER MADE expectations or set goals of which team I was going to go to. In the back of my mind, I wanted to go as high as I could, so the San Jose Sharks was a team I looked at, and I hoped that would be somewhere I could end up. I had it almost whispered in my ear that it would be a surprise if it wasn’t them that took me. In this day and age, with social media and all that jazz, there’s probably 10 times more buzz about who’s going where. When my name was announced, I felt great. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t rehearsed it in my head that it might happen. I was overwhelmed and happy as heck. I knew…

access_time10 min.
the countdown draft classes

THERE’S A WORD floating around a lot to describe this year’s draft, and it’s not a pretty one: “weak.” It’s hard to find anyone blown away by the 2017 crop of talent, as the guys at the top aren’t as high-end as those from other recent drafts, and there isn’t much in the way of depth, either. That inspired us to examine the entry draft’s history top to bottom and rate them, from the first in 1979 (it was known as the amateur draft from 1963 to 1978) to 2010 (any later and not enough time has passed to judge yet). To determine the best and worst classes, we looked at two categories: average value and average career length. Value was derived from the 82-game average of each player’s career point…

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speak up and heal up

DR. LUCAS MURNAGHAN expected tough conversations with parents, coaches and athletes as he entered sports medicine. He worried a culture that prides itself on toughness would promote injured athletes to return to play before it was advisable. Over the past several years, though, Murnaghan, an orthopedic surgeon at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, has been relieved to find that’s not the case. Stories of hurried are rare. There are times, however, when an injury can slip through the cracks due to a tight-lipped athlete. “The challenge with all these things is we do it on the reported symptoms of the patient,” Murnaghan said. “Kids, just like adults, feel pressure either imposed by others or themselves to push through stuff.” In hockey, shoulder ailments, be they separations or dislocations, are among the most…

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what it’s like...

I was eligible for the draft in 2002, but there was no way that was happening, since I was playing high school hockey in Wisconsin at the time. The next year, I went to Waterloo in the USHL and led all players with 36 goals, so I thought there might be an outside chance, but I didn’t think too much about it. I knew the draft was in Nashville, but I stayed at home in Wisconsin. I knew that if it did happen, it was going to be the second day, and there was no way I was going to sit there all day and think about it. I didn’t even worry about it. I know some of the guys who don’t go to the draft but sit and check their…

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rapid fire

Best advice you got as a young player? Work hard, don’t take anything for granted and have fun. Who was your mentor growing up? I look up to my three older brothers. They pushed me and showed me the way. I owe a lot to them. Who did you model your game after? There were lots of NHL guys that I wanted to be like. Denis Savard was a guy that I liked to watch, and obviously Mario Lemieux. Being able to play against Mario was an unbelievable experience for me. Most important skill to work on? I think mental toughness is the biggest thing. You don’t always like to hear what coaches say about you or how you play sometimes, but it’s just whether you shake it off and learn from your mistakes. You can’t get…