This is a new feature I have developed to profile some of the top performers who have made their way into Mississauga in the past week. When you visit the same arena on a regular basis you have only so many prospects available to watch. These guys may be great talents, but they usually don’t provide enough material for a weekly column. You must branch out with fresh ideas to keep the hobby interesting.
Sunday, January 21, 2001
The Sudbury Wolves came into town and played hungry right from the opening face off. Their huge defensive core set the tone with a bruising barrage of hits. It must have been contiguous, as Wolves forwards installed an aggressive fore check hitting everything in sight. They took a commanding 3-0 lead after one period and didn’t look back on their way to a 5-1 victory.
Here’s a look at some of the Wolves that made an impact in Sunday’s contest.
The Edmonton Oilers have a great future in this kid. Their second round (36th overall) pick from the 1999 NHL entry draft has the all the tools to play with the big boys. He is a definite presence, one of the best all-round defenceman I’ve seen this year. Semenov is a monster (6’6” and 210 pounds) who doesn’t give the opposition a lot of room to maneuver. Loves to play the body and with his long reach is impossible to elude. Clears the front of the net as well as anyone and does not back down from trouble. Deceptive speed with long, smooth strides. He is a great asset on the point in power play situations. Possesses a canon of a shot and has the ability to spot an open forward, making him a great quarterback with the man advantage.
Only flaw I that spotted was a couple passes up the middle looking for a breaking forward. No damage in this game but a risky move when attempted on a regular basis.
My first star selection, chipping in with a laser of a goal and an intense 60 minute effort.
SEASON GPGAPTSPIM 98-99 (SUD)2803328 99-00 (SUD)6593544135 00-01 (SUD)3911243586 Totals 132206282249
Fresh off his Bronze Medal at the World Juniors, Jaspers was named OHL “Player of the Week” for the week ending Sunday, January 14/01. Takes prides in possessing both an offensive touch and a strong defensive drive. Better than average speed generates a relentless fore check and intense penalty kill. Excellent hands that can feather a soft pass to an open teammate or pick apart the net from in close. Not afraid to take his licks in front of the opposing net and will battle for any loose puck on the ice. A great leader on and off the ice. Will make a solid third or fourth centre in Phoenix Coyote line-up. Selected in the third round (71st overall) of the 1999 NHL entry draft.
Would be even better along boards if he adds some thickness to an average frame (5’11”, 180 lbs.).
My choice as second star – netting two power play goals and supplying gritty, two-way leadership.
SEASON GPGAPTSPIM 98-99 (SUD)6828336181 99-00 (SUD)684661107107 00-01 (SUD)3722254747 Totals 17396119215235
A great addition to the Sudbury Wolves’ defence. A solid force at 6’3″ and 211 pounds. Jancevski is very aggressive in his own zone and loves to throw his weight around. Doesn’t mess around with the puck and is not afraid to use the boards to avoid danger. Has already topped his career high in points and ranks seventh among defencemen in OHL scoring. Another leader on the power play with great patience, doesn’t make too many low percentage passes. Was drafted in the second round (66th overall) by the Dallas Stars in 1999. Should make a great stay-at-home defenceman in the near future.
Could use some work on his stick handling skills to complement the rocket he can unload from the point. Leaned into one, just inside the blue line, that the goalie didn’t even see. Must control aggression to avoid taking selfish penalties.
A goal, two assists and his tight defensive zone play makes him my third star selection.
SEASON GPGAPTSPIM 98-99 (LON)6821214115 99-00 (LON)5981523138 00-01 (LON/SUD)4452833103 Totals 171155570356
Flashy and exciting are the first words that come to mind after watching this speedy winger. Sudbury’s top scorer has made giant strides under the tutelage of head coach Bert Templeton. He has great wheels and can control the puck at top speed. Has the size, 6’3″ 180 pounds, and balance to fend off checkers and is strong along the boards. An accurate, hard shot coming down the wing appears to be his best weapon, when he is not in alone on goal.
Skates with the puck a little too much, especially through defensive end, instead of advancing it to an open teammate. Will have to work on his defensive zone coverage and could use shorter shifts to stay fresh. Tampa Bay must have seen potential or relied on Fedorov’s bloodline when drafting the talented Russian as their sixth selection (182nd overall) in the 1999 entry draft.
Honourable mention with an assist on Jaspers’ first power play goal. Had plenty of dazzling rushes but was stopped short by great goaltending.
SEASON GPGAPTSPIM 99-00 (WIN)6071017115 00-01 (SUD)4124305455 Totals 101314071170
Look for next weeks feature when the Brampton Battalion visit the Hersey Centre on January 26th.