Morning mix: Senators’ draft pick Stone a surprise star early, Emery makes the cut

Mid-and late-round NHL draft picks pursue their dreams far from the glaring spotlight afforded the top-flight selections such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Here’s a report by Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist on Senators draft pick Mark Stone:

Mid-and late-round NHL draft picks pursue their dreams far from the glaring spotlight afforded the top-flight selections such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

But sometimes the more modest aspirations, too, are realized. That about encapsulates forward Mark Stone, Western Hockey League player of the week, and sixth-round pick (178th overall) of the Ottawa Senators in 2010.

The league award caps a heady few weeks for Stone, who was signed to an entry level contract by the Senators after attending the NHL club’s rookie camp for the second consecutive year.

Stone had four goals and five assists with a plus-3 rating to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to two wins and a shootout loss over the weekend.

The 19-year-old from Winnipeg is six-foot-three, which never hurts in this business. Neither does exploding for 37 goals and 106 points last season for the Wheaties and currently leading the WHL in scoring with 13 points.

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Former Senators goalie Ray Emery will start the season as the backup in Chicago, but the battle for that spot is far from over. Check out this interesting ESPN blog post breaking down the decision to keep Emery around, despite the fact Alexander Salak appeared to have a better pre-season. With those two, starter Corey Crawford and castoff Cristobal Huet, the Blackhawks are now paying NHL money to four goaltenders.

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