Kukla's Korner

TSN Draft Rankings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

Folks, we have ourselves a horse race for No. 1 in the 2017 NHL draft.

And it looks like it's shaping up as a photo finish.

It's Nico versus Nolan, the most legitimate draft battle for No. 1 we've seen since Taylor (Hall) versus Tyler (Seguin) in 2010. It is, of course, also a massive victory for alliteration.

Brandon Wheat King centre Nolan Patrick is No. 1 on TSN's Top 15 rankings, Draft Lottery edition, but only by the slimmest of margins over Swiss centre Nico Hischier of the Halifax Moosehead.

TSN surveys 10 NHL scouts from 10 different teams to get its consensus rankings. There's a preseason ranking in mid-September; a midseason ranking in late January; this ranking ahead of Saturday's NHL draft lottery; and the final ranking in mid-June, just prior to the NHL draft, which is June 23-24 in Chicago.

Patrick was a unanimous 10-out-of-10 No. 1 in the TSN preseason rankings and a decisive eight-out-of-10 No. 1 in TSN's midseason rankings.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

St. James checks in on the Griffins

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins advanced to the second round of the AHL playoffs with a 3-2 OT victory over the Milwaukee Admirals last night, and ahead of next week's series against the Chicago Wolves, the Free Press's Helene St. James takes stock of the Wings prospects' performances:

The Griffins clinched their first-round series with a victory Wednesday night at Milwaukee. Goaltender Jared Coreau, whose stint with the Wings from December to March included two shutouts, made 41 saves in the 3-2 overtime victory.

Forward Evgeny Svechnikov, the Wings’ first-round pick from 2015, set up both the first goal and the game-winning one as the Griffins rallied in Game 3 to sweep the best-of-5 series. Forward Tomas Nosek, who did well during 11 games with the Wings down the stretch, scored his second goal of the series, from which he emerged with three points.

Forward Tyler Bertuzzi, a second-round pick from 2013, also had an assist to give him four points in the first round. Bertuzzi, nephew of former Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi, has 24 points in 26 career AHL playoff games.

The more the prospects impress now, the better for their auditions come training camp in September. There is likely to be at least one spot held for a forward to take. In Coreau’s case, he is likely to be the backup in Detroit. He is no longer waiver-exempt, and the Wings will try to trade either Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek in the effort to upgrade the defense.

St. James continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Afternoon line: Carlyle on Ducks’ penalties

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Randy Carlyle is nothing if not blunt:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, edmonton+oilers, randy+carlyle

Darryl Sutter on his future

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darryl+sutter

Prospect news: Paterson out for Walleye

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe reports that the Toledo Walleye will open their series against the Fort Wayne Komets without the services of goaltender Jake Paterson (high ankle sprain):

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Las Vegas GM McPhee interested in ‘picking’ other teams’ brains

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

From the Associated Press:

General manager George McPhee says the Vegas Golden Knights are open for business to any teams seeking to protect their players in the upcoming NHL expansion draft.

McPhee told The Associated Press he's already had preliminary discussions with most teams over what trades could be made before the draft is held in Las Vegas on June 21, two days before the traditional draft. Without going into much detail, McPhee said talks have focused on which players teams would prefer the Golden Knights either select or don't.

In exchange, McPhee is open to acquiring draft picks to begin stockpiling for depth. The team opens its first season in October.

"If they want to give us draft picks to encourage us to take a certain player or leave another player alone, we're open-minded and we're going to listen to everyone," McPhee said. "You usually build your team, historically, through the entry draft, so we'd certainly be interested in acquiring picks."

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: george+mcphee, vegas+golden+knights

A bit about the Wings’ American World Championship participants

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

We're a little over a week away from the start of the IIHF hockey World Championship in Paris and Cologne, and Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill "talked up" the Wings' Team USA participants in a conversation with the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan--in no small part because Blashill will serve as their coach:

Blashill and the Team USA staff have been able to put together a competitive group, including the three Red Wings, who Blashill feels will benefit greatly from competing in the tournament.

Both [Dylan] Larkin and [Danny] DeKeyser are likely to play big roles on the Team USA roster.

“Both of them were playing some of their best hockey toward the end of the regular season,” Blashill said. “Hopefully they can carry that over into this tournament and continue at that level of play.”

[Jimmy] Howard was one of the NHL’s best goalies, statistically, before spraining his knee in early December, forcing him to miss the next three months.

“This gives Howie an opportunity to get more games under his belt,” said Blashill, who’ll have Howard as his No. 1 goalie, with Commerce Township’s Connor Hellebuyck (Walled Lake Northern) as the backup.

Kulfan continues, and Petr Mrazek (Czech Republic) will be the Wings' other World Championship participant.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Follow the bouncing ball

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings only have a 6.7% chance of winning the NHL's Draft Lottery this weekend (7:30 PM EDT Saturday on CBC and NBCSN), and it's entirely possible that the Wings may move back from 7th place, but MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the Wings' front office will attend the event crossing their fingers and toes:

[Kris] Draper, assistant to Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, will join representatives of 14 other teams, including expansion Vegas, on stage. Shawn Horcoff, Detroit's director of player development, will be back-stage, where three drawings will take place, determining the top three selections.

The next 12 picks are determined by the 2016-17 standings, with Vegas selecting no lower than sixth. If the Red Wings don't land one of the top three selections, they will pick at No. 7, 8, 9 or 10, depending on which three teams are drawn.

Back-stage representatives are not permitted to communicate with those on stage, so Draper and everyone else won't know the results until revealed, in reverse order, by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly shortly after 8 p.m.

Center Nolan Patrick of Brandon (WHL) is the consensus top pick, through some believe center/winger Nico Hischier of Halifax (QMJHL) could go No. 1 overall.

The Red Wings will have their first top-10 pick since 1991. The front office and scouting staff, led by Tyler Wright, have been traveling around North America and Europe as usual, with more focus on projected top-10 talent.

"It's probably the most (Holland) has scouted since he's been GM," Draper said. "I've done a lot of scouting this year. Being in Michigan, you're in an ideal situation to see a lot of the top kids. It's been a great opportunity to see a lot of high-end names in the draft."

Khan continues, speaking with Draper about the draft combine, which will take place in late May...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Olympia CEO Tom Wilson talks LCA on FSD

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

It's a bit of PR as much as it is an "update on Little Caesars Arena," but Fox Sports Detroit's John Keating spoke with Olympia Entertainment CEO Tom Wilson regarding the progress being made on the facility and some of the events that are going to be taking place there:

I also don't know if I'm supposed to tell you this, but WDIV Local 4 News reported last night that people can rent Joe Louis Arena's ice for 3 hours for $3,000, guided tour of the facility included.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

KK- Out For A Few Hours Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I have an appointment this afternoon which will leave me without internet access for 4-5 hours.  So no posting from me.

George may be around to update but either way, I will update when I get back.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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