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Leafs take US-born F Matthews No. 1

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello, center, helps first overall pick Auston Matthews who puts on his sweater at the NHL draft in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday June 24, 2016. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) On the heels of the NHL expanding into Las Vegas, the Toronto Maple Leafs are pinning their future on Arizona-born center Auston Matthews.

Amid chants of "Go Leafs, Go!" the 18-year-old from Scottsdale was selected by Toronto with the first pick in the NHL draft Friday night. Though the Maple Leafs had kept their decision under wraps since winning the draft lottery in April, Matthews was the expected choice.

NHL Central Scouting ranked the 6-foot-2, 210-pound play-maker as its top draft-eligible project, and he's also a natural center, a top-line position that's difficult to fill. Matthews already has pro experience after spending last season with Zurich in the Swiss Elite League.


Flames acquire goalie Elliott from Blues

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Calgary Flames addressed their biggest need entering the NHL draft weekend by acquiring goalie Brian Elliott in a trade with the St. Louis Blues for their second-round pick this season.

Flames general manager Brad Treliving said Thursday he was intent on landing a goalie. But he didn't necessarily think the team was close to a deal.


Sabres' Kane investigated for harassment

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Buffalo police are investigating an allegation that Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane physically harassed two women at a downtown Buffalo bar.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity on Friday because police have not revealed any details of their investigation.


Habs' Eller to Caps, get 'Hawks F Shaw

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Washington Capitals have acquired forward Lars Eller from the Montreal Canadiens for two second-round picks.

The Capitals traded second-round picks in 2017 and 2018 to the Canadiens for the 27-year-old Eller, who had 13 goals and 13 assists in 79 games last season.


Coyotes have site for new arena

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes have selected a site for their new arena but aren't ready to announce its location.

Speaking before the NHL draft on Friday, Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said the team has a deal in place, but attorneys are still working out the details.


Wild buy out final year of Vanek's deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Wild bought out the final year of left wing Thomas Vanek's contract Friday.

The move was made a few hours before the NHL draft and a week before the beginning of free agency.


Jackets GM focused on best players

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) When it comes to the NHL draft, Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is team first, nation second.

Though he's from Finland, Kekalainen has never been a member of an NHL team's scouting staff that has selected a Finnish-born player in the first round. And that trend might extend to Friday, when the Blue Jackets have the third pick in a draft class that's headed by Arizona-born center Auston Matthews, followed by Finnish-born forwards Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi.


Stars give D Jordie Benn 3-year contract

DALLAS (AP) The Stars have re-signed defenseman Jordie Benn to a three-year contract, keeping the brother of high-scoring Dallas forward Jamie Benn out of free agency.

Jordie Benn has played parts of five seasons since he was an undrafted free agent in 2011. He had 12 points in 64 games last season, matching a career high with three goals and getting nine assists. He was third on the team with 94 blocked shots.


Flyers give D Guda multi-year extension

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Flyers signed Czech defenseman Radko Gudas to a multi-year contract extension Thursday.

The 26-year-old Gudas had six goals and five assists in 76 games this past season, his first with the Flyers. He was second in the NHL with 304 hits, and second on the team with 157 blocked shots.


'Hawks Kane first American to win Hart

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player at the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, becoming the first American to win the award.

The NHL's scoring champion is the first Chicago player to take home the Hart since Stan Mikita in 1968.

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