Notebook — 3/7/2001
Utah Grizzlies Notes
The Utah Grizzlies are presently mired in a long, so far winless, road trip (0-2-1) that
doesn’t end until three games from now in Chicago (on Sunday). Coach Bourne had publically stated that he expected a
big pick up from the team, given the recent seasoned NHL additions: Roman Lyashenko
and Tyler Bouck. Unfortunately, though Bouck and Lyashenko provided a little offense
in yesterday’s 5-4 loss to the Aeros, the Grizzlies continued their four game losing
In one interesting Hitchcock-esque move from the game, however, Coach Bourne placed
Richard Jackman (one of the hottest, most dominant players on the Grizzlies) at a
forward wing position for the 3rd period — sparking two additional Utah goals in the 3rd.
Jackman, though he has yet to make his mark as a solid NHL player, has been one of the best
Grizzlies this year in the 40 games he has played, averaging about a point every two games
as a defenseman. Furthermore, defensive coach Craig Ludwig continues to rave about how
solid Jackman has become behind his own blue line.
The Utah Grizzlies rather average season and the failure of rookies to make an impact has
raised some eyebrows about the youth and talent depth (or lack thereof) of the Dallas Stars
organization. A few local commentators and radio personalities have even speculated that we
are in for somewhat of a dry-spell talentwise. The recent lack of
youth contribution to both the Stars can be attributed to a natural inclination to utilize veterans and a
completely natural “dry spell” from our late 90’s success and trading away of draft
picks/youth that is just now completeting its course. Recent drafts should either
bear fruit or be used to attract proven talent at some point in the next few years. But,
certainly, we won’t know for some time.
Top Utah Scorers
Future Star Seeing Stars
Brampton Battalion forward Jeff Bateman got his cerebral salad tossed last Thursday
by London Knights defenseman Dennis Wideman. During the game, Wideman cleaned Bateman’s
clock with an elbow/forearm cheap shot that gave Bateman a concussion and a bloody chin.
Wideman will sit 4 games for his excessive adrenaline surge. Bateman missed two games, but
is listed as day-to-day and should be back in action soon. Jeff Bateman is averaging over a
point a game in Brampton, where he has 14 goals, 44 assists, 58 points, and is +21 (a team
high) in 51 games.
Just as the rumors suggested, the London Knights began looking to trade some of their talented players to playoff contenders as the season continued. And on Jaunary 10th, solid all-around blue liner Dan Jancevski was traded from London to the Sudbury Wolves of the Eastern Conference.
Although he now plays in the East, Jancevski was picked for the OHL all-star roster before the trade and thus suited up for the all-star game as a western competitor. Jancevski said he was ready for the trade — he’d been reading speculation about it in the papers for weeks — but he still will always think of the London Knights as his real Juniors team. According to Jancevski, he will always attribute his hockey successes: being drafted by the Stars in the 2nd round of 1999, his all-star appointments, World Juniors nomination, and team captainship to the wonderful environment playing hockey in London and the people there.
SEL Players So-So
The Stars’ four Swedish prospects continue a somewhat unimpressive stint this season
in Europe. Mathias Tjarnqvist and Gabriel Karlsson continue to be the only prospects with fairly
promising results. Tjarnqvist’s 11 goals this year tie him for the 3rd highest goal scorer on the
team, although he has done very little else of note. Karlsson is finally under contract and has produced a respectable 8 goals and 7 assists in only 35 games this season.
Right wing Marcus
Kristoffersson, who is a -5 with 6 points, continues to be the only Djurgardens player
who has a negative +/-. He has been less than awe-inspiring this season (just as he had
been for Assat in Finland). Whether or not Kristoffersson will ever develop into that player the Stars scouting had projected remains to be seen. And newly drafted left wing Joel Lundqvist (acquired from the Minnesota Wild last summer) has been benched for all
but 9 games with Frolunda this season and has yet to register a point. It isn’t very clear yet how well Lundqvist is capable of playing at a high level.
The Finnish Four
Continuing along with Scandinavian hockey, the Stars also have four prominent prospects in a parallel
situation not far away. Three of the four play for the division’s best team (TPS) of the Finnish Hockey League.
Of these three, Niko Kapanen leads the pack with 31 points (11 g, 20 a) in 52 games.
Marco Tuokko and Teemu Elomo have compiled somewhat less impressive number (16
and 11 points respectively), but Tuokko has pretty decent “character” numbers as well (+12
with 50 penalty minutes).
In addition, Stars 7th round draft pick this year Antti Miettinen has compiled pretty
respectable numbers for HPK (11 goals, 11 assists in 50 games).
Steve Ott Hysteria
Everywhere you look — Stars message boards, Dallas radio, local newspapers, everyone has something optimistic to say about Otter. Stars fans firmly believe this guy will have a huge impact — very soon in the future — on the Dallas Stars organization. One hopes the praise and expectation isn’t perhaps a bit overblown, considering his youth and
potential weaknesses, but it is nice to have a Stars Juniors prospect that is the subject of
so much positive conversation.
Russian SuperLeague Prospects
The only prospect worthy of note this season seems to be 2000 draft pick Artem
Chernov. Chernov is the one of the most productive scorers in the RHL this year,
playing for Mettalurg NK, with a total 14 goals and 16 assists. This month Chernov lands himself on the “highest scorers” list for the RHL, becoming the the 11th ranked point-producer in Russian hockey. Other Russian prospects for
the Stars, Alexei Tereschenko, Ruslan Bernikov, and Vadim Khomitski
have had quiet, unremarkable seasons thus far.
For whatever reason, Lyashenko (now playing in Utah) is the subject of either heaps of criticism or praise. He
rarely makes a mistake, and sometimes performs some brilliant, unexpected moves with the
puck on his stick. Modano raved to the press not long ago that this guy has “all-star
calibre” vision and offensive sense.
The long and short and of it, though, is he
hasn’t produced enough to guarantee himself a spot in the linemate, so now he is being
replaced with a seasoned veteran who will assuredly step into his spot and “not score” in his stead.
College Hockey Update
Freshman goalie Dan Ellis of the University of Nebraska at Omaha continues his extremely successful rookie campagin with a “Player of the Week” award for the week of February 26th, 2001. Against Ferris State, Ellis stopped 46 of 49 shots and helped kill off an impressive 15 power plays for his honor. Previously, Ellis had won the “rookie of the week” award on January 1st.
Sohopmore goal scorer Mike Ryan of NorthEastern University also obtained “Player of the Week” recognition for the 4 big goals he scored in 2 games last week. Ryan leads the Huskies goal-scoring with 17. Previously, he had won “Player of the Week” honors for his natural hat trick on Oct. 16th.