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Weekend Brunch: Ivan Hlinka on the horizon

Nail Yakupov is a good gamble for the Avs, Nate Schmidt signs

Sweden v Russia - Bronze Medal Game - 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship
Goaltender Ilya Samsonov #30 of Team Russia tries to defend the puck against Jonathan Dahlen #27 of Team Sweden during the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship bronze medal game
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Avs

@Tigervixxxen breaks down why the Ivan Hlinka tournament is so important for the NHL Draft, especially 2018. “This is not an IIHF sponsored event but serves as a bookend with the IIHF Under 18 World Championship in the spring as the premiere Under 18 events for first year draft eligibles.” [Mile High Hockey]

The Prospects

Top 25 Under 25: Nail Yakupov will be an unknown quantity when he comes into Colorado. “One thing that can be said about Yakupov is that he has never given up. He never left for the KHL, he never barred himself from the media and fans, and he always did what his coach asked him to do.” [Mile High Hockey]

Top 25 Under 25: Anton Lindholm will be looking to build on his impressive first stint with the Colorado Avalanche. “Lindholm punches way above his weight, imposing a physical presence upon his opponents equal to defenders closer to [the] conventional size [for the league].” [Mile High Hockey]

The Game

The arbitrators have decided. Nate Schmidt will recieve $2.25 million from the Vegas Golden Knights for his services next season... and the season after. “Schmidt was one of 30 NHL players to file for arbitration, but was the only player who had his case reach that level. He made $875,000 last year with the Capitals. With the signing, Vegas now has all players picked from the expansion draft under contract for the 2017-18 season.” [Knights on Ice]

Olympic tryouts with a twist: Some former NHL players are vying for a spot on their national team at the Sochi Hockey Open. "Instead of Crosby and company gathering in Calgary for Mike Babcock's ball-hockey strategy sessions, a bunch of Canadian hopefuls will play in the Sochi Hockey Open, a tournament that is part of the Kontinental Hockey League's pre-season schedule." [CBC]