NATION PROFILE: ESA TIKKANEN

Lowetide
December 28 2012 07:07AM

"He speaks better English than he lets you know," Bill LaForge (Esa's juniors coach) said. "When he needed new skates, he let me know. But when I asked him why he was late for curfew, he'd start talking to me in Finnish."

Esa Tikkanen brought the world a hybrid of Finnish and English – dubbed ‘Tikkanese’ – that could befuddle players, coaches, and interviewers alike. Most of all he was 'the Grate One'--an exceptional shadow, a skilled hockey player and a good man to have on your team. Mostly.

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TALENT SHOW

Lowetide
December 26 2012 09:17AM

This is Nathan MacKinnon, back in Halifax in the Mooseheads dressing room. The talented forward is in Ufa today, part of Team Canada at the WJ's and adding a page to his draft resume. MacKinnon and Seth Jones are generally regarded as the top 2 players for the 2013 draft, and according to several tweets by Bob McKenzie today MacKinnon is the consensus #1.

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WHAT'S IN THE DRAWERS?

Lowetide
December 24 2012 10:52AM

By the time the calendar turned over to December, Taylor Hall was starting to find the range. The tremendous start by Justin Schultz should have been fading and the machine that is Jordan Eberle could certainly be excused for flagging. What DOES the December scoring in OKC reveal?

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WORLD JUNIORS PRIMER (DRAFT ELIGIBLES RUS & CZE)

Lowetide
December 23 2012 10:20AM

If the Edmonton Oilers are looking for a "bookend talent" to pair with Nail Yakupov, Stu MacGregor and his scouting staff might want to check out Valeri Nichushkin. He leads a strong group of 2013 draft eligibles from Russia on the road to Ufa for the 2013 World Junior Championships.

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WORLD JUNIORS 2013 PRIMER (DRAFT ELIGIBLES SWE & FIN)

Lowetide
December 22 2012 09:36AM

NHL scouts knew Aleksandr Barkov was something special a year ago, when he delivered a solid season at age 16 in Finland's top pro league (the SM-Liiga). Barkov's 7 goals and 9 assists in 2011-12 was 4th best among skaters aged 21 and under. This season? He's in the top 10 in league scoring and pushing up the draft rankings.

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