BUFFALO -- The 2016 NHL Draft could be a historic one when it comes to demonstrating hockey's growth in the United States.
Of the top 30 North American skaters ranked by NHL Central Scouting, 12 are American-born, including Auston Matthews, ranked as the No. 1 European skater because he plays in Switzerland. Matthews is the consensus choice to be taken at No. 1 by the Toronto Maple Leafs at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, where the draft will take place June 24-25.
If those 12 players are selected in the first round, that would set a record; 11 were picked in the first round in 2010. It would also be more evidence the work being done by USA Hockey and others across the country to develop the game is resulting in better talent.
"I think it's giving a nod, not only to the [National Team Development Program], but USA Hockey in general," said Matthews, who played this season with Zurich in Switzerland's top professional league. "Just growing the game has been huge, especially in that Southwest region of Arizona, California and Texas.
"It's been huge just to see all these guys who are projected to go very high, and it goes beyond that throughout the entire draft, so I think it's cool. It shows the development standpoint from USA Hockey and just how well they're doing in developing really good hockey players and growing the game."
This week’s features: Stacked penalties...Puck out of play...Penalty shots...and more.
QUESTION: During a shootout, a player skating in front of the goaltender, anticipates the poke-check, steps around the goaltender’s stick & scores. The official by the net says the player moved slightly backward to avoid the poke-check & did not continue toward the net therefore no goal. After discussion I reluctantly agreed but I argued the player & puck were always moving forward & they are entitled to deke the goalie. Essentially, I equate this to a player using the “spin-o-rama” move.
ANSWER: Shooters are expected to stay in a fluid forward motion toward the opponent’s goal during a shoot-out attempt. They may turn to either side of the goal, or peel-off to cut across the front of the net, or stickhandle the puck forward and back, as long as they stay in motion toward the goal. The “spirit and intent” of the rule is a shooter may not stop or turn-back to repeat his/her approach toward the goal.
QUESTION: An attacking player attempts a wrap around which is stopped by the goaltender but not covered. During the ensuing scramble in front, while the puck is still loose the attacking player pushes both the goaltenders leg and the puck into the net. Should a goal be awarded?
ANSWER: An attacking player may not physically interfere with a goalkeeper in his/her crease. While a puck that is located in the crease is “in play”, an attacking player may not push or otherwise force the puck into the goal by making contact with the goalkeeper.
QUESTION: Is it OK for a referee to purposefully not make calls due to a personal issue with a coach? And to go as far as to telling the team captain such when he asks about a call?
ANSWER: All USA Hockey Officials are expected to follow the On-Ice Officials Code-of-Conduct which is listed in the 2021-25 Playing Rules,
QUESTION: If a player takes a shot at the goal in the offensive zone and the shot goes directly out of play without touching anyone or anything is that a delay of game penalty?
ANSWER: A player may only be penalized for shooting the puck out of play if he/she did so intentionally.
QUESTION: Team A is short handed 3 v. 5. Penalties. Team B then has a breakaway. The Team B attacker is hooked, a delayed penalty is signaled, and then Team B scores. Is the delayed penalty recorded and stricken due to the goal, or does it become a stacked penalty?
ANSWER: Rule 409(b) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“If the Referee signals an additional minor penalty(s) against a team that is already shorthanded (below the numerical strength of its opponent on the ice at the time of the goal) because of one or more minor or bench minor penalties, and a goal is scored by the non-offending team, the goal shall be allowed. The delayed penalty(s) shall be assessed and the first non-coincidental minor penalty already being served shall terminate automatically under Rule 402(c) (Minor Penalties).”
Therefore, the first minor currently being served would terminate after the Team B goal, and the offending player during the breakaway would enter the penalty bench and immediately begin serving his/her Hooking minor.
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