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Clarke shaking off the rust in return to Battalion lineup

by Jason Menard
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Clarke shaking off the rust in return to Battalion lineup

Photo: North Bay Battalion forward and 2014 prospect Blake Clarke is returning to the Battalion lineup after an injury at the 2013 All-American Prospects Game (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Now that his shoulder is a self-professed 100 per cent, North Bay Battalion forward Blake Clarke is ready to press it firmly to the grindstone — the first step in forging what he hopes will be a successful NHL career that starts with a first-round selection in the 2014 NHL Draft.

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Spitfires’ Verbeek trying to find game after return from injury

by Jason Menard
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Spitfires’ Verbeek trying to find game after return from injury

Photo: Windsor Spitfires forward and 2014 prospect Ryan Verbeek missed the early portion of the 2013-14 season due to injury (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

In the eyes of NHL Central Scouting, Ryan Verbeek is still a work in process. Listed in the organization’s most-recent watch list, Verbeek was bestowed with the “LV” designation — limited viewing.

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Draft year pressure not an issue for Colts’ Ekblad

by Jason Menard
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Draft year pressure not an issue for Colts’ Ekblad

Photo: Barrie Colts defenseman and 2014 prospect Aaron Ekblad is performing at a nearly point-per-game pace in the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

For years now, the hockey world’s eyes have been on a young man from Belle River, ON currently playing for the Barrie Colts in the OHL. And now that his draft-eligible year has finally arrived, he finds himself in a battle to hear his name called first overall at the 2014 NHL Draft.

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Labanc forgoes NCAA route to develop his game in Barrie

by Jason Menard
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Labanc forgoes NCAA route to develop his game in Barrie

Photo: Barrie Colts forward and 2014 prospect Kevin Labanc spent two seasons in the U.S. NTDP before electing to develop his game in the Ontario Hockey League (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Staten Island-born Kevin Labanc was almost a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but his decision to give himself a fighting chance at The Show by joining the OHL’s Barrie Colts is paying off as NHL Central Scouting has rated him a B-level skater.

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