Canadiens’ Deslauriers taken to hospital as precaution

Montreal Canadiens forward Nicolas Deslauriers was taken to hospital as a precaution and for further testing after leaving Monday's preseason game against the New Jersey Devils on Monday night, the team announced.

The 27-year-old left the game early in the second period with an upper-body injury. Earlier in the first period, Deslauriers dropped the gloves with Devils forward Brandon Baddock where he took a hard right-handed punch, according to Sportsnet's Eric Engels.

Deslauriers is looking to cement a full-time spot with the Canadiens this year after playing 58 games with the big club and 14 in the American Hockey League last season.

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Upshall cleared to return to training camp days after failing physical

Scottie Upshall is apparently a fast healer.

The veteran forward was cleared to skate with the full group at Edmonton Oilers training camp, head coach Todd McLellan told reporters Monday.

"He's worked hard to recover and deserves an opportunity to make this team," McLellan said.

On Thursday, Sportsnet's Mark Spector reported that Upshall failed his physical with the club and he would be unable to participate "for a few weeks," rendering his opportunity with Edmonton "expired" for all intents and purposes.

The 34-year-old, who will turn 35 on Oct. 7, was invited to Oilers camp on a professional tryout after spending the last three seasons with the St. Louis Blues.

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Report: Oilers sign Nurse to 2-year, $6.4M deal

The Edmonton Oilers have reached an agreement with restricted free-agent defenseman Darnell Nurse on a two-year contract worth $3.2 million per season, reports Sportsnet's John Shannon.

Nurse hadn't been taking part in training camp during his negotiations.

He played all 82 games last season for the first time since he entered the NHL on a regular basis in 2015-16. He posted 26 points in 2017-18 while ranking second on the club behind only Oscar Klefbom in average time on ice at 22:15.

The Oilers now have just under $800,000 in cap space, according to CapFriendly.

Nurse's reported pact comes a day after the Winnipeg Jets signed blue-liner Josh Morrissey to a two-year, $6.3-million contract.

Five RFAs remain across the league: Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander, Sam Reinhart of the Buffalo Sabres, Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore, Anaheim Ducks winger Nick Ritchie, and Miles Wood of the New Jersey Devils.

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Canadiens plan to play Domi at center, shift Drouin to wing

He may not be the dominant middleman Montreal Canadiens fans were hoping for, but there will be a new top center in La Belle Province this season.

Speaking with TSN 690's Tony Marinaro on Monday, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin confirmed summer acquisition Max Domi will skate at center, while last offseason's big-ticket addition, Jonathan Drouin, will move to the wing.

"(Drouin) has been playing the wing since the beginning of camp," Bergevin told Marinaro. "We have Max Domi playing in the middle right now ...

"The first half of last year, I think (Drouin) had a hard time (at center). The second half, especially toward the end, he got better and better," Bergevin continued. "We're going to try Max in the middle because he did play some center in Phoenix last year. We'd like to try that for now but we know we could also put Jonathan in the middle if need be, so it just gives us more options."

With the Arizona Coyotes last year, Domi saw a stretch of games at center midseason - his first time playing the position since age 16 - and played well defensively according to former bench boss Rick Tocchet. He appeared in all 82 games with the Coyotes a year ago, finishing the campaign with nine goals and 36 assists. However, he was less than 45 percent efficient in the faceoff dot, far behind fellow centers Derek Stepan, Christian Dvorak, and Brad Richardson.

Related: Coyotes will give Galchenyuk chance to play center

Bergevin also rattled off how he envisions the rest of his lineup fitting in at center.

"We've got (Phillip) Danault. There's (Tomas) Plekanec, there's (Matthew) Peca," Bergevin said. "Right now we have Big Mac (Michael McCarron), but he could also play the wing. We have (Jacob) de la Rose, who can also play the wing."

Bergevin added that top prospects Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki have been trying their hand at center in training camp as well.

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Senators hire Peter MacTavish as assistant GM

The Ottawa Senators have found Randy Lee's replacement.

Peter MacTavish has been named the Senators' new assistant general manager, effective Oct. 1, the club announced Monday.

MacTavish has been involved in player representation for the past 15 years, most recently with CAA Hockey, and his focus with Ottawa will include contracts, salary arbitration, and managerial support of the franchise's hockey operations at both the NHL and AHL levels.

He takes over the job previously occupied by Lee, who resigned from the organization after being arrested on a harassment charge stemming from an incident at the NHL draft combine.

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NHL Prospect Big Board 1.0: Jack Hughes the runaway No. 1

It's here, baby: prospect rankings time.

The season is brand new, but for scouts and prospect evaluators, it never really stops.

Here are theScore's top 25 players for the 2019 NHL Draft. Outside of the top two, expect this to change as the season goes on and we get a better picture of who these players are. We'll be giving you updates throughout, with the next edition expanding to 50 players.

1. Jack Hughes

C | 5-foot-10 | 161 lbs | U.S. National Team Development Program

GP G A P
60 40 76 116

Hughes is the consensus top pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, and while anything's possible, not much can change that. His 116-point season is second only to Auston Matthews (117) in all-time single-season scoring performances in U.S. National Team Development Program history. His puck control looks effortless, his playmaking ability is superb, and, more than that, he's just plain fun to watch.

2. Kaapo Kakko

RW | 6-foot-1 | 181 lbs | TPS (Liiga, Jr. A SM-liiga)

GP G A P
38 25 30 55

While things aren't quite as set in stone for the No. 2 spot as they are for the first, Kakko's place is about as secure as it can be at this point. A surge from another player could change things, but right now there's still a gap between him and the next tier. Kakko has a deft scoring touch and a ton of playmaking ability thanks to his high-end vision, and he protects the puck well. He still has room to grow as a player, too.

3. Bowen Byram

D | 6-foot-1 | 192 lbs | Vancouver Giants (WHL)

GP G A P
60 6 21 27

Byram is a phenomenal skater who is, as things stand right now, the top defenseman in this year's draft class. His puck skills are excellent and he breaks the puck out easily, but he's also got pretty solid defensive awareness and positioning. He's composed, smart, and still working on improving areas of his game such as gap control and decision-making.

4. Alex Turcotte

C | 5-foot-11 | 194 lbs | USNTDP

GP G A P
58 18 45 63

Turcotte is part of a sizable list of USNTDP players who could go in the first round next June. He's a gifted playmaker with good offensive instincts, but he's strong without the puck as well. His acceleration is high-end and he works hard - he may not have an off switch. Improving his shot would make him even harder to pass up.

5. Dylan Cozens

C | 6-foot-3 | 176 lbs | Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)

GP G A P
57 22 31 53

This is a stronger year for the WHL than we've seen recently, and while it starts with Byram, Cozens is nothing to sneeze at. The Hurricanes center recently impressed at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, making his presence known on every inch of the ice in the gold medal game. He's a smart player, makes sharp passes, has an accurate shot, and is a terrific skater.

6. Peyton Krebs

LW | 5-foot-11 | 181 lbs | Kootenay Ice (WHL)

GP G A P
67 17 37 54

Krebs went first overall in the WHL's 2016 bantam draft, and it looks like he's going to go in the top half of the first round in 2019. He's a driven, creative playmaker who reads the ice well enough to take advantage of his opponents' weaknesses. He could stand to add a little muscle, but he's already a difference-maker.

7. Alex Newhook

C | 5-foot-11 | 183 lbs | Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)

GP G A P
45 22 44 66

One fun thing about recent drafts is seeing more teams willing to take a chance on guys in leagues like the BCHL. This year, it'll be Newhook. He was the Rookie of the Year last season and is committed to Boston College. He's dangerously smart offensively, is a fantastic skater, and is also strong in his own end.

8. Ryan Suzuki

C | 6-foot-0 | 172 lbs | Barrie Colts (OHL)

GP G A P
64 14 30 44

A former first overall pick in the OHL Priority Selection Draft, Ryan Suzuki is the younger brother of Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki. He's a high-end playmaker and a speedy skater, and though he doesn't shoot as often as he passes, he has a good shot. He should play a more significant role with the Colts this season. What he does with that role could have huge draft implications.

9. Kirby Dach

C | 6-foot-4 | 198 lbs | Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

GP G A P
52 7 39 46

At 6-foot-4, Dach already has "NHL size." That's not why he's this high on the list, though. He's a fluid skater, especially for his size, and his fantastic hands make him a dangerous playmaker. While Dach isn't really a scorer, he's got the smarts and offensive skills to make plays.

10. Anttoni Honka

D | 5-foot-10 | 170 lbs | JYP (Liiga)

GP G A P
20 2 7 9

Playing defense clearly runs in the Honka family. Anttoni is the younger brother of Dallas Stars defenseman Julius Honka, and while he's one of the older players in his draft class, he's got enough skill to be one of its top defenders. Honka has refined offensive instincts, loves to jump up into the play, and has the hockey smarts and creativity to hold his own at a higher level. He could stand to add some muscle, as he's on the smaller side, but he's a great skater. As long as he improves his defensive decision-making, there's no reason he won't be a solid choice next summer.

11. Matthew Boldy

LW | 6-foot-0 | 174 lbs | USNTDP

GP G A P
61 29 47 76

A creative playmaker who thinks the game at a high tempo. Adding strength before he heads to Boston College next season will improve his game.

12. Raphael Lavoie

C/LW | 6-foot-4 | 192 lbs | Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

GP G A P
68 30 33 63

A smart power forward type with a heavy, accurate shot. He needs to improve his acceleration, but he's a dangerous player.

13. Vasily Podkolzin

RW | 5-foot-11 | 165 lbs | SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)

GP G A P
21 13 17 30

A solid skater who can both score and make plays. He also has respectable defensive awareness for a player of his age and size.

14. Cam York

D | 5-foot-11 | 165 lbs | USNTDP

GP G A P
59 8 30 38

A poised defender with strong puck-moving ability. A strong skater who can slow down to speed up the game and make a play happen at his pace.

15. Maxim Cajkovic

LW/RW | 5-foot-11 | 187 lbs | Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

GP G A P
28 10 11 21

An explosive skater with high-end hockey smarts. Should get plenty of opportunities to make his case playing significant minutes in Saint John.

16. Cole Caufield

C/RW | 5-foot-6 | 154 lbs | USNTDP

GP G A P
59 54 26 80

A dangerous scorer who, at 5-6, is distinctly undersized compared to his peers. Has great offensive instincts and skating ability.

17. Victor Soderstrom

D | 5-foot-11 | 176 lbs | Brynas IF J18/J20 (J18 Elit/SuperElit)

GP G A P
16 3 3 6

A puck-moving defenseman with good offensive instincts. Decision-making in his own end could be improved.

18. Valentin Nussbaumer

C | 5-foot-11 | 165 lbs | Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)

GP G A P
26 5 1 6

A smart forward with solid offensive ability who can control play. Just missed being eligible for the last draft, so he's one of the older players in this year's group.

19. Arthur Kaliyev

LW | 6-foot-2 | 190 lbs | Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)

GP G A P
68 31 17 48

A power forward type whose instinct is to shoot first. Led all OHL rookies in shots on goal during the 2017-18 season with 208.

20. Jakob Pelletier

LW/RW | 5-foot-9 | 161 lbs | Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)

GP G A P
60 23 38 61

A crafty playmaker and quick, skilled skater with great vision. Taken third overall in the 2017 QMJHL Draft.

21. Trevor Zegras

C | 5-foot-11 | 159 lbs | USNTDP

GP G A P
56 20 39 59

22. Philip Broberg

D | 6-foot-3 | 198 lbs | AIK J20 (SuperElit)

GP G A P
23 6 7 13

23. Matthew Robertson

D | 6-foot 3 | 201 lbs | Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

GP G A P
67 7 17 24

24. Simon Holmstrom

RW | 5-foot-11 | 172 lbs | HV71 J20 (SuperElit)

GP G A P
28 11 19 30

25. Sasha Mutala

RW | 6-foot-1 | 198 lbs | Tri-City Americans (WHL)

GP G A P
68 11 15 26

Hannah Stuart keeps a close eye on both drafted and draft-eligible prospects and can usually be found trying to learn more about hockey analytics. She has previously written for FanRag Sports, The Hockey Writers, and Hooked On Hockey Magazine, and can also be found at High Heels and High Sticks. Find her on Twitter @HockeyWthHannah.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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Panthers name Barkov captain

Aleksander Barkov is the new captain of the Florida Panthers.

The 23-year-old center will be the 10th player to wear the "C" in franchise history, the club announced Monday.

Barkov established career highs with 51 assists and 78 points last season, and was named a Lady Byng Trophy finalist for the second time.

He also finished fourth in the voting for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded to the NHL's best defensive forward, and is generally regarded as one of the league's best two-way centers.

Barkov takes over the captaincy from Derek MacKenzie, who occupied the role for the previous two campaigns.

In statements issued by the team Monday, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon expressed confidence that Barkov is ready to be captain, and head coach Bob Boughner called him "the complete package."

Barkov said he was fortunate to learn from MacKenzie and fellow former Panthers captains Willie Mitchell and Ed Jovanovski earlier in his career.

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