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‘One-stop shopping for NHL scouts’ at 2013 Memorial Cup

May 17, 2013, 5:53 PM EDT

Jones MacKinnon 2

On Friday, the 2013 Memorial Cup will get underway as host Saskatoon takes on OHL champ London in the tournament opener.

But it’s Game No. 2 most will be paying attention to.

On Saturday, WHL champion Portland — led by top-ranked draft prospect Seth Jones — will take on QMJHL Halifax, a team featuring the No. 2 and 3 ranked prospects behind Jones for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft: Nathan McKinnon and Jonathan Drouin.

“I don’t know if this tournament has ever had the top-three ranked players playing in the Memorial Cup,” NHL director of scouting Dan Marr told “We’re looking forward to it.”

“It’s one-stop shopping for NHL scouts,” added Halifax general manager Cam Russell.

In addition to Jones, MacKinnon and Drouin, there will be several other high-profile prospects on hand:

— Three London Knights ranked in North America’s top 25 skaters: center Bo Horvat (15th), center Max Domi (19th) and defenseman Nikita Zadorov (22nd).

— Portland center Nicolas Petan (33rd) and left winger Oliver Bjorkstrand (36th).

— Halifax goalie Zachary Fucale, the top-ranked North American netminder.

“When you get to the Memorial Cup, the team game is most important,” Marr explained. “But when push comes to shove, when something big is on the line, it’s always good to see who can perform under that pressure.

“People will be watching that for sure.”

  1. phipfwe76 - May 17, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Kind of pissed NHL Network isn’t carrying the games live this year (like they usually do). Always look forward to the Memorial Cup.

  2. desertfan - May 17, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Live on Sportsnet!!

  3. atwatercrushesokoye - May 17, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    The Menorial Cup needs to change the host always gets in rule to the host league gets two entries. Saskatoon hasn’t played a game in 51 days after they were swept in the first round of the WHL playoffs, they were a mediocre team all year except for one miracle run where they won 17 (I think) straight, which propelled them into the playoffs. Chances are they will go 0-3 and not be that competitive in doing so. Meanwhile the Edmonton Oil Kings, who are equals to the other 3 at the tournament, are sitting at home when they would have a legitimate chance of winning the Memorial Cup.

    • phipfwe76 - May 17, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      I don’t mind it. The hosts actually won it last year, and I believe the host has made it to the title game in 4 of the last 6 years.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - May 18, 2013 at 12:24 AM

        That is true, and usually the home team does a nice job of loading up for the year they’re hosting in order to be a strong team that shows well in the Memorial Cup. I just think it would be awesome to see the top 4 teams play for the Memorial Cup, but since it’s hard to pick which of the teams that lost in the finals of their respective leagues is the best runner up in the country it makes sense just to pick the runner up of the conference hosting that year.

        But with that being said Saskatoon did have a good showing tonight, hopefully they have great performances in their next 2 games and completely change my mind!

  4. gurnick - May 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    This one looks to be a showdown between Halifax and Portland. I am picking the Portland Winterhawks with Seth Jones anchoring the backline. Looks to be a great series!

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