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NHL Combine Intensifies Saturday; Carey Price Beats Flyers’ Kevin Hayes for Masterton

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Kevin Hayes, Philadelphia Flyersins
Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes was a Masterton finalist, but Montreal goaltender Carey Price won the award.

The NHL Combine will conclude Saturday, when a majority of the fitness tests will be held for draft prospects in Buffalo.

Scouts and club executives will be combing through the results, along with interviews with the prospects from earlier in the week.

Ninety-six draft-eligible players were invited — 63 forwards, 30 defensemen, and three goalies. Nine of the players are from the United States National Team Development Program, including center Logan Cooley, a Pittsburgh native who is expected to be selected in the top three picks.

The draft will take place July 7-8 in Montreal, and the Philadelphia Flyers have the No. 5 overall selection in the first round.

According to consolidated rankings from some of the top scouting services, here are the top five prospects, in order:

1. Montreal: Center Shane Wright (6-foot-1, 190 pounds).

2. New Jersey: Center Logan Cooley (5-10, 180).

3. Arizona: Left winger Juraj Slafkovsky (6-4, 218).

4. Seattle: Defenseman Simon Nemec (6-1, 190).

5. Flyers: Center Matt Savoie (5-9, 180).

Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting, spoke highly about Savoie, who had 90 points (35 goals, 55 assists) in 65 games for Winnipeg in the Western Hockey League this season.

“Matt is maybe the most natural goal scorer in this draft class,” he told NHL.com. “He’s got the speed, the talent, but he’s (also) got the savvy and the smarts. And he’s competitive.”

Price wins Masterton

Montreal goaltender Carey Price on Friday won the Masterton Trophy, awarded to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.

The award is presented by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Price made his 2021-22 debut on April 15 and played in five games, compiling a 3.63 GAA and .878 save percentage. He underwent knee surgery last summer, and later spent time away from the team as he took part in the NHL/NHLPA’s player-assistance program.

Flyers center Kevin Hayes and Islanders 45-year-old defenseman Zdeno Chara were also finalists for the award,

It was a draining and tragic year for Hayes, whose brother, Jimmy, a former NHL player, died Aug. 23. Just before the start of the Philadelphia Flyers’ training camp in September, Hayes had the second of three surgeries in an eight-month span.

After returning March 5 from his latest surgery, Hayes finished with 22 points over his last 28 games and was the Philadelphia Flyers’ top scorer in that span. He finished with 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 48 games.

Flyers left winger Oskar Lindblom won the Masterton last year. Many thought Hayes would give the Flyers back-to-back winners, but the voters chose Price.

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