Dominic Turgeon looks just his father, Pierre. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL Entry Draft profile: Dominic Turgeon close to fulfilling promise he made to himself

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – As the child of an NHL star, Dominic Turgeon feels like he was “born into hockey.” He loved tagging along to the rink with his father, former Buffalo Sabres center Pierre Turgeon, the No. 1 overall pick in 1987.

“I was always around the guys,” Turgeon said last month at the NHL Scouting Combine inside the Toronto International Centre. “I always went out to skate with them, and to me, that always ... Read the full article

Daniel Audette talks Saturday at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL Entry Draft profile: Daniel Audette has father Donald’s size, different style

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – No one wanted Donald Audette. It was June 17, 1989, and every team kept passing on the diminutive scorer at the NHL Entry Draft in Bloomington, Minn.

Audette, fresh off a monster 76-goal, 161-point junior season, finally lost it as the day dragged on.

“He was throwing chairs in the back of the rink,” Audette’s son, Daniel, said Saturday at the NHL Scouting Combine inside the Toronto International Centre. “He really wanted ... Read the full article

Aaron Ekblad could be selected No. 1 overall. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sam Bennett, Aaron Ekblad and Sam Reinhart all in mix to be top pick as NHL draft approaches

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – For the next few weeks, their skills, personality, body type – everything about them – will be dissected. Twenty-six days before the NHL Entry Draft, there’s still no consensus No. 1 overall pick.

To many observers, three coveted youngsters – center Sam Bennett, defenseman Aaron Ekblad and center Sam Reinhart, the top North American prospects, according to NHL Central Scouting – are vying for the pick owned by the Florida Panthers.... Read the full article

Sam Bennett enjoyed a dynamic junior season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Top draft prospect Sam Bennett a dynamic talent despite limited strength

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Center Sam Bennett, the No. 1 North American draft prospect, couldn’t do a pull-up during today’s rigorous testing at the NHL Scouting Combine.

“My upper body isn’t really my strong suit,” the 178-pound Bennett said inside the Toronto International Centre. “But I guess that’s something that I’ll be working on in the gym this year.”

Of course, the 17-year-old’s stock for next month’s NHL Entry Draft isn’t exactly plummeting. For all of ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey takes a break from the arduous bike test at the NHL Scouting Combine earlier this month. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL Entry Draft profile: Williamsville’s Justin Bailey grateful for mother’s constant support

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Justin Bailey didn’t mince words. On June 16, the Williamsville native, a possible second-round pick in Sunday’s NHL Entry Draft, tweeted, “Happy Father’s Day to the closest thing I have to a Dad! Thanks for everything.”

The 17-year-old posted two Instagram photos of him beside his grandfather.

Bailey, a slick winger with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers, has a famous father, former Buffalo Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey. But the ... Read the full article

Hunter Shinkaruk believes other undersized players have paved the way for him. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL Entry Draft profile: skillful Hunter Shinkaruk doesn’t consider himself small

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Hunter Shinkaruk considers himself lucky. Ten years ago, scouts might’ve deemed the NHL Entry Draft prospect, who’s listed at 5-foot-10, too small for the big leagues.

But times have changed. Some of hockey’s biggest stars, most notably Conn Smythe winner Patrick Kane and scoring champion Martin St. Louis, are undersized.

Still, Shinkaruk, the No. 6 prospect among North American skaters for Sunday’s draft, knows size is “definitely a question mark around me ... Read the full article

Sean Monahan had 31 goals and 78 points in 2012-13. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL Entry Draft profile: ‘polished’ Sean Monahan hoping to crack big leagues immediately

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Sean Monahan is raring to go and prove he’s ready for the next level following a trying campaign. The center’s 16-win season with the hapless Ottawa 67’s mercifully ended March 17, months before some of his counterparts in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Monahan should still be proud he was the lone bright spot on the Ontario Hockey League’s worst team, leading the rebuilding 67’s with 31 goals (10 more than ... Read the full article

Max Domi piled up points in junior. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL Entry Draft profile: slick Max Domi a mix of talent and tenacity

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The highlight has more than 100,000 hits on Youtube.com. After all, how many times do you see a perfect, between-the-legs saucer pass like the one Max Domi pulled off at last month’s Memorial Cup?

“To be honest with you, it was lucky,” the forward said about the nifty dish, which London Knights teammate Bo Horvath converted for a goal, earlier this month at the NHL Scouting Combine. “I don’t know ... Read the full article

Darnell Nurse chats with reporters earlier this month. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL Entry Draft profile: Darnell Nurse glad parents ended football participation early

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Given Darnell Nurse’s size – the defenseman’s nearly 6-foot-4 – and pedigree – he’s former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb’s nephew through marriage and his father also played professionally – football, not hockey, seemed like a more likely path for the 18-year-old.

But Nurse, the No. 4 prospect among North American skaters for Sunday’s NHL Entry Draft, attended one camp before his parents ended any gridiron dreams.

“I think I had the ... Read the full article

Kevin Devine has been busy this week at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres could target defenseman early in draft

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – If you’re expecting the Buffalo Sabres, a team with a dearth of proven scorers up front, to focus solely on a forward early during the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, think again.

“I think some things have changed,” amateur scouting director Kevin Devine said this afternoon during a break at the NHL Scouting Combine inside the International Centre. “The fact we moved some defenseman (at) the trade deadline, around there, two or three ... Read the full article