March 24 — Dwelling on the Deadline & Prospect Game Recap

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

NATIONAL PUPPY DAY: Yesterday was National Puppy Day, as multiple teams and players across the NHL posted photos of themselves with their furry friends. Check out #NationalPuppyDay on social media and our tribute below to get an extra boost of happiness this morning.

DADONOV DUCKS DEADLINE DEAL: On Wednesday, the NHL invalidated the trade to send Evgenii Dadonov from the Vegas Golden Knights to the Anaheim Ducks. Dadonov’s initial contract signed with the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 15, 2020, included a limited no-trade clause that transferred over when Ottawa traded the forward to the Golden Knights on July 28, 2021. Since Anaheim was on that original no-trade list, the NHL ruled that Monday’s trade did not comply with Dadonov’s contract. 

LEAFS BEST NEW JERSEY IN NEW JERSEYS: Whether it was the debuts of Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell, the return of Petr Mrázek between the pipes, or the new Justin Bieber-inspired reversible jerseys, the Toronto Maple Leafs looked encouraged in a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night. The club’s “Next Gen” game saw shorthanded goals from Ilya Mikheyev and Pierre Engvall spark the home side. 

MORE LIKE WILL IN-NETT: Canadian actor and Toronto Maple Leafs fan, Will Arnett, stopped by the NHL on TNT studio to participate in some intermission fun. Stopping pucks shot by Anson Carter, Rick Tocchet, and Wayne Gretzky, Arnett stopped the majority of shots and called facing the Great One “unbelievable and a real honor.” 

Top-Shelf Thursday – Top Doggy Dads

Yesterday was one of the great days of the year—National Puppy Day. Various NHL teams shared their players and pups on social media, which honestly made all of our Wednesdays just a little bit better. While there are plenty of good boys and girls to showcase, I decided to focus on three players who not only have adorable furry friends but have also given back in some way.

Tyler Seguin – Marshall, Cash & Gerry

Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin is a proud dog dad to three Labrador retrievers. During a Puck Personality segment that asked what his best off-ice skill is, he revealed it was being a good dog dad. He frequently shares photos of them on his Instagram account, and during his rehab following his right hip arthroscopy and labral repair procedure, he decided to create The Chew Club. Seguin’s passion project is described as a “direct-to-pet parent, next-generation brand, focused on dogs who want and need to chew and their parents who want to satisfy that desire with healthy and fun solutions,” using ingredients exclusively from North American farms.

Alex DeBrincat – Ralph & Burt

Alex DeBrincat owns two adorable Shiba Inus and showcases their adventures on their own Instagram page. Whether they are cuddling dad during his pregame nap or out cruising on the boat in the offseason, they have a life most of us would be envious to achieve. During an interview with NBC Sports Chicago, the Blackhawks star said Ralph changed his life and has worked with PAWS Chicago. They added Burt to the family in March 2020, and the two pups became fast friends embracing each other and the hockey lifestyle.

Jeff Carter – Miley, Mack & Bo

Jeff and Megan Carter are heavily involved with animal rescue and advocacy. All three of their dogs are rescues, and the couple works closely with Wags & Walks. Although Jeff never owned a dog before being with Megan, he has adjusted to his furry linemates, who also enjoy a pregame nap. The adorable pups have been part of all of the Carters’ milestones in life, including Stanley Cup championship celebrations. Through the Carters’ work and efforts, Wags & Walks has built a relationship with the LA Kings that led to a sponsorship. 

CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Recap

The 20th CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, a showcase of draft-eligible players from Canada’s three major junior leagues, took place last night in Kitchener, Ontario. Consisting of 40 prospects selected by the 32 NHL teams, the event is organized in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting, which provides evaluations and rankings of draft-eligible players for NHL teams.

Projected top pick Shane Wright headlined the 2022 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (Brandon Taylor/OHL Images)

Team Captains

The two teams consisted of 20 prospects each, and captaining Team Red was Shane Wright, the projected first-overall pick in the upcoming draft. Wright plays center for the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and has 77 points (25 goals, 52 assists) in 52 games. 

Meanwhile, the captain for Team White was Denton Mateychuk, who is ranked ninth among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. A defenseman for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League (WHL), Mateychuk has 56 points (nine goals, 46 assists) and 17 penalty minutes in 57 games this season.

Players of the Game

Team White defeated Team Red, 3-1, even though Team Red struck first when Wright scored 3:43 into the first period. Wright was named Team Red’s Player of the Game, while Team White’s Player of the Game was Jagger Firkus. Firkus scored in the first period to knot the score at one apiece and added an assist. 

Firkus, who plays forward for the Moose Jaw Warriors, is currently rated 33rd among North American draft-eligible skaters, though he could move up after his performance last night. He has 75 points (33 goals, 42 assists) through 60 games this season.

Other Goal-Scorers

Jake Karabela and Nathan Gaucher added goals in the second period to put Team White up 3-1. Karabela, a center for the Guelph Storm (OHL), is ranked 61st among North American skaters by Central Scouting. He has 43 points (11 goals, 32 assists) in 56 games. 

Gaucher, a center for the Quebec Ramparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), is the 16th-rated North American skater by Central Scouting. In 49 games this season, he has registered 40 points (24 goals, 16 assists).


Tyler Brennan, the goalie for the Prince George Cougars of the WHL, started for Team White and stopped three of the four shots he faced in just under 30 minutes of work. Meanwhile, Mason Beaupit, who plays for the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, came in and stopped all 16 shots faced in relief.

Heading into last night’s game, Brennan is Central Scouting’s top-ranking goaltender, boasting a 3.44 goals-against average (GAA) and .903 save percentage (SV%) in 35 games of action this year. By comparison, Beaupit, ranked seventh among North American goalies, has a 3.68 GAA and .890 SV% through 41 appearances.

Ivan Zhigalov of the Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) started for Team Red and made 13 saves on 16 shots before being replaced by Reid Dyck of the Swift Current Broncos (WHL) in the second period. Dyck turned away all 23 shots he saw. Zhigalov (No. 2) has posted a 2.71 GAA and an .892 SV%) through 32 games this season, while Dyck (No. 26) has a 4.13 GAA and .889 SV% in 21 games.

Trade Deadline: Stuff You May Have Missed

We are three days removed from the madness of Monday’s NHL trade deadline, and we have a pretty good handle on what went down. Marc-André Fleury’s arrival in Minnesota headlined a busy day that saw 54 players change teams across 33 deals, with some early analysis already crowning some winners and calling out some losers.

But with so much going down on one day, it’s inevitable that things fall through the cracks and go unnoticed. With that in mind, here are some things you might have missed while frantically refreshing The Hockey Writers’ trade tracker.

Guerin Adds a Familiar Face

Bill Guerin’s late-career stop in Pittsburgh saw him team up with a young Marc-André Fleury (Flickr/Dan4th)

The Wild’s addition of Fleury immediately sparked talk of what the trade meant for incumbent goaltender Cam Talbot and how the move impacts the club’s playoff chances. However, there was very little attention on how it marked a reunion between Flower and Minnesota GM Bill Guerin, having spent two years as teammates in Pittsburgh over Guerin’s final two seasons of his career.

Falling on Deaf Ears

For now, Jake DeBrusk remains a Boston Bruin (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

For all the players that did get moved, two players made news for not changing addresses despite reportedly wishing to do so. Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk raised eyebrows by agreeing to a two-year, $8 million contract extension despite making his trade request public in recent months. Also, staying put is unhappy Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, who will hit unrestricted free agency this summer.

Wait, How Many Years?

Jesperi Kotkaniemi will be staying in Carolina for the foreseeable future (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

As the DeBrusk extension indicated, trades weren’t the only transactions that happened leading up to deadline day. At least 10 signings took place in the week leading up to Monday’s deadline, including eight-year deals for San Jose Sharks star forward Tomas Hertl, new Boston Bruin Hampus Lindholm, and Carolina Hurricanes offseason signee Jesperi Kotkaniemi. While Hertl probably warrants the commitment, Lindholm had regressed in recent years for Anaheim and Kotkaniemi still only has 33 career goals.

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule