The NHL Draft is coming to Philly in June but you'll have to enter a lottery for tickets

The NHL Draft is coming to Philly in June but you'll have to enter a lottery for tickets

Hockey fans around the Delaware Valley are already well aware that the 2014 NHL Entry Draft is coming to the Wells Fargo Center for the first time during the last weekend of June.

What those hockey fans around the Delaware Valley may not know is that the Flyers won’t be putting tickets for the draft on sale to the general public.

Instead, tickets will be handed out for free (FREE!) on a first-come, first served basis through an online lottery to be held Friday afternoon on the Flyers’ website. The team is asking those interested in attending to head over to the site and enter.

So if you were planning on heading down to the box office, calling Ticketmaster or filling out a mail order form, sorry, but cue the Price Is Right losing horn.

Do people still actually order tickets any of those ways? Anyway, let’s get back on track.

The draft itself is divided over two days with the first round taking place on Friday night June 27th. The remaining six rounds will take place during the day on Saturday June 28th.

By virtue of winning the NHL Draft Lottery, the Florida Panthers hold the first-overall pick. They’ll be followed by the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and New York Islanders to round out the top five.

As of now, the Flyers hold the 17th pick in the first round but that is subject to change with a trade or two or ten, of course.

Both the Flyers’ third and fourth-round picks this year belong to the Islanders via the Andrew MacDonald and Mark Streit trades, respectively. But they’ll gain a third-round pick from the Boston Bruins from the Andrej Meszaros trade.

As far as the quality of the draft is concerned, it’s kind a down, in-between year for prospects. Think along the lines of how last year’s NBA draft was a year before the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker were eligible.

There was a wealth of talent available at last year’s NHL Draft with players like Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, Florida’s Aleksander Barkov and Nashville’s Seth Jones. And there are two projected superstars coming next year in Conor MacDavid and Jack Eichel.

No prospect this year really seems projected to be on the levels of those players.

NHL Central Scouting has center Sam Bennett of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs ranked as the top prospect this year.

We’ll obviously have more Flyers-specific draft coverage after the Stanley Cup Playoffs and in the days and weeks leading up to the event.

Oh, and yes, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will be at the draft in front of the crowd and ready for you to boo out of the building as if he’s your favorite pro wrestling villain. That opportunity itself should have you running to the Flyers’ site toput your name in the ticket lottery.

Penn State uses dominant second half to top No. 6 Wisconsin for Big Ten title

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Penn State uses dominant second half to top No. 6 Wisconsin for Big Ten title

INDIANAPOLIS — Penn State’s offense rewrote the Big Ten Championship’s offensive record book Saturday night but its 38-31 victory over Wisconsin wasn’t secure until the final minute.

And Linebacker U. got the game-saving play from the secondary.

Wisconsin, armed with a pair of timeouts and lining up for a fourth-and-1 play from the Nittany Lions’ 24, called on Corey Clement. Clement, who’d already racked up 166 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, got the ball but never got close to the marker.

Grant Haley made sure of it.

The junior cornerback wrapped up Clement’s legs and safety Marcus Allen kept Clement from leaning forward and the game was over. Penn State (11-2) has the 2016 Big Ten title and, at worst, will play in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2009.

“They ran [a counter] early in the game and split it for a touchdown,” Haley said of the final play. “I saw them set the edge, so I got triggered really well and Marcus finished off the play.”

Haley and company watched the Badgers run wild in the first half; 164 yards and three touchdowns, including Clement’s 67-yard scamper. Wisconsin, one of the conference’s best rushing teams this season, managed less than half that total (77) in the second half.

“They really weren’t running that many plays,” Haley added. “We just came out in the second half and had a jolt. 

“We just had the energy going into the second half.”

Wisconsin got the ball twice in the fourth quarter but managed only 65 yards - 51 of which came on its final drive.

“Give credit to Penn State for coming out in the second half and making those adjustments and allowing those big plays to happen,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. 

Give plenty of credit, too, to the Nittany Lions’ offense. 

Quarterback Trace McSorley was named the game’s most valuable player after completing 17 of his 25 passes for 319 yards and four touchdowns - both championship game records. He helped Penn State complete the biggest comeback in the game’s six year history after his team fell behind 28-7 in the first half and also finished the regular season with 3,360 yards and 25 touchdown passes, both school records.

Saeed Blacknall had six catches for a Big Ten Championship-record 155 yards and two touchdowns and DaeShean Hamilton finished with 118 yards on eight grabs.

Tailback Saquon Barkley, injured in last weekend’s victory over Michigan State, returned with 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground and caught an 18-yard scoring pass from McSorley early in the fourth quarter to put the Nittany Lions ahead for good.

Penn State, in its first-ever trip to this game, is coming home from it with just its second outright Big Ten title. It’s on a nine-game winning streak that has seen it average 40 points per contest.

It also could present the College Football Playoff selection committee with a bit of quandary. The Nittany Lions, who were ranked seventh by the committee last week, topped the No. 6 Badgers and claimed a conference championship, something likely playoff teams Alabama, Clemson and Washington all boast.

On the flip side, Penn State’s last defeat was a lopsided 49-10 loss at Michigan, which sits at No. 5 in the rankings and likely won’t move into the top four after losing last week to No. 2 Ohio State.

Penn State coach James Franklin stated his team’s case after Saturday night’s win, but also made it clear he and his team won’t be moping their way to Pasadena, Calif., where the conference champion is slotted if it is not chosen for the playoff.

“We’ve got great options in front of us,” he said. “I hear people on TV talking about they feel like maybe the playoff has taken away from the bowls. 

“Are you kidding me? The Rose Bowl? It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.”

Report: Jordan Matthews (ankle) not expected to play vs. Bengals

Report: Jordan Matthews (ankle) not expected to play vs. Bengals

Jordan Matthews will not play Sunday against the Bengals after missing practice all week with an ankle sprain, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Matthews is the Eagles' leading receiver with 57 catches for 686 yards and three touchdowns. The team has called him a game-time decision.

Second-year receiver Nelson Agholor will reportedly be inserted back into the lineup. If Matthews doesn't play the Eagles will have only four healthy receivers active on Sunday: Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham and undrafted rookies Bryce Treggs and Paul Turner.