Pens ’99 pick Van Hoof dumped
At the deadline, the Pittsburgh Penguins scouting staff felt that 19 year old defenseman Jeremy Van Hoof had not developed significantly enough over the past couple of seasons to warrant a contract. It is also surmised that Van Hoof’s agent was asking for a contract dollar figure that the Pens balked at as not even close to reasonable for what the 6-2 208lbs. blueliner has showed thus far. Van Hoof anchored the Ottawa 67’s defense corp this season on it’s way to the Ontario Hockey League Championship. In 65 regular season tilts, the youngster recorded an uninspiring 1 goal and 11 assists. The physical rear guard also picked up 49 penalty minutes in those appearances. Van Hoof, much to the dismay of his agent, will re-enter the draft pool and more than likely be picked in later rounds as is usually the case for older draft entries. Jeremy’s agent was surprised that the Pens were no longer interested in the prospect, especially since the Penguins lack size and toughness on D. The Pens cited Van Hoofs minimal improvement and inconsistent play as factors in the decision. Earlier, the Penguins signed another ’99 pick, defenseman Darcy Robinson. Van Hoof and his agent noted that they have recieved attention from other NHL clubs.