Jamie Lundmark had another excellent effort this afternoon, notching 2 assists in Canada’s 5-1 win over Sweden in the second of two exhibition games played between the two teams.
Lundmark has been centering a line with Dany Heatley, the 2nd overall pick in the 2000 draft, and Mike Cammalleri, who is eligible for the upcoming 2001 draft. The line has been using it’s great speed and great forecheck to win the loose puck battles and turn quickly to offense. Lundmark has played the role of set-up man, assisting on 5 of Canada’s 11 goals in the two games against Sweden. Not many people have heard of Cammalleri, who plays US College Hockey and therefore does not get the attention that Canadian Major Junior stars do. Scouts say Cammalleri should be available towards the late 1st/early 2nd round of the 2001 draft, and I would love it if the Rangers select him. However, so far his strong play have caught a lot of scout’s attention.
On another note, the goaltender for team Sweden happened to be Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers 7th round selection in the 2000 Entry Draft. Lundqvist has been given the tag “will be the best goalie to come out of Sweden”, but this season he has not been playing like it. In my opinion, he ranks 3rd as of now in Sweden behind Mikael Tellqvist (Toronto draftee) and other Rangers draftee Johan Asplund. As for the game, Lundqvist was shaky. He allowed 3 goals on Canada’s only 3 shots in the first period. He was not dominant, and hasn’t been at all this season. He started off the year with Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League, but when they signed Pat Jablonski, they sent Lundqvist to Molndal of a tier 2 league in Sweden, where he has been struggling as well. Despite his current troubles, he does have a lot of potential and is another great find by the Rangers scouts. They have done a superb job drafting goalies in the later rounds throughout the last few years.
It all started with selecting Vitali Yeremeyev in the 11th round of the 1994 Draft. Yeremeyev has played excellent in Hartford and is currently on the Rangers roster as Richter nurses his sore left knee. In 1997, the Rangers snagged Swedish goalie Johan Holmqvist in the 7th round. As we all know, Holmqvist will most likely be the Rangers future starting goaltender. In 1998, the Rangers grabbed Jason Labarbera in the 3rd round. Not many scouts were sold on Labarbera, who played on an awful Portland Winter Hawks team. Labarbera started the season with the Rangers as the backup, and appeared in a game against Pittsburgh, stopping 2 shots in 10 minutes of action. He is currently the starting goalie in the ECHL with the Charlotte Checkers, as Hartford is crowded with Yeremeyev and Holmqvist. Then in 1999 the Rangers drafted Johan Asplund in the 3rd round. Asplund is still in Sweden and we shouldn’t expect him to make the jump to North America for at least another 2-3 years. This year (2000), the Rangers drafted 2 goalies. One in the 5th round named Brandon Snee, who plays for Union College in the ECAC. He is a good goalkeeper, but does not have star potential as we stated Henrik Lundqvist does, who again was selected in the 7th Round.
Well, the Rangers have a lot to look forward to. Jamie Lundmark will be a great Jeremy Roenick/Steve Yzerman type player and at least 1 of their goalie prospects will be a star. The future seems bright on Broadway..