Coyotes Prospect Review (Part 1)

By Russell Brooks

Part 2 will come Saturday with players last names L-Z

All Statistics are final

Abid, Ramzi – LW – Springfield Falcons (AHL)
66 GP, 18 G, 25 A, 43 P, 214 PIM

Abid had a decent year with Springfield but his 214 PIM are cause for concern. His discipline is lacking and needs to improve in his do or die upcoming contract year with Phoenix.

Andreyev, Alex – D – Binghamton Icemen (UHL)
28 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 P, 41 PIM

Andreyev is in his contract year and had a sub-par year. Coyotes management will most likely not resign him. His style of play does not match up with the Coyotes fast and physical game.

Belanger, Steve – G – Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
41 GP, 3.22 GAA, 17 W, 17 L, 119 GA

Belanger started the year off as the backup with Kamloops but got the starting job when Davis Parley got injured. His future is bright and he will stay with Kamloops one more year.

Bezina, Goran – D – Springfield Falcons (AHL)
66 GP, 2 G, 11 A, 13 P, 50 PIM

Bezina first year in North America wasn’t a very successful one. He wasn’t getting adequate playing time from Marc Potvin and ended up being a healthy scratch some games. He will progress with the Falcons next year.

Blackburn, Josh – G – Michigan Wolverines (NCAA)
42 GP, 2.22 GAA, 27 W, 10 L, 93 GA

If you asked anyone why Michigan was in the Frozen Four, most people would say because of one reason, Blackburn. He was the heart and soul leader of the Wolverines and led them to a frozen four semifinal loss to Minnesota.

Blindenbacher, Severin – D – Kloten (Switzerland)
48 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 P, 31 PIM

At the World Championships this man looked like one of the promising players on Switzerland. This late round draft pick in the 2001 draft has been surprising and may come to North America in the next three years.

DesRochers, Patrick – G- Springfield Falcons (AHL)/Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
(AHL) 34 GP, 3.05 GAA, 12 W, 18 L, 94 GA
(NHL) 4 GP, 3.63 GAA, 0 W, 2 L, 11 GA

DesRochers played well when he wasn’t playing for a team in the Phoenix Coyotes Organization. Other then that he just didn’t show that much potential the Coyotes fans should be excited about. This is a contract year for him and I wouldn’t expect him to be resigned and the goaltender position to be either Blackburn or a drafted goalie at Springfield next year.

Fabus, Peter – C – Springfield Falcons (AHL)/Dukla Trencin (Slovakia)
(AHL) 6 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 2 PIM
(Trencin) 28 GP, 14 G, 11 A, 25 P, 65 PIM

Fabus left the Falcons early in the season after getting little playing time and went black to Slovakia to play for Trencin where he averaged almost a point per game. He may come back over to North America and give the Falcons one more shot or else he may be done in this organization.

Focht, Dan – D – Springfield Falcons (AHL)/Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
(AHL) 56 GP, 2 G, 8 A, 10 P, 134 PIM
(NHL) 5 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 11 PIM

Focht showed why he was a 1st round draft pick and played well when called upon. He will be a 7th/8th defensemen with the Coyotes unless defensemen start getting shipped off. He needs to continue to get stronger and use his 6’6” frame to his advantage.

Forster, Beat – D – HC Davos (Switzerland)
33 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 P, 49 PIM

Forster is a physical stay at home defensemen. His offense comes few and far between which is comparison to Suchy or Vaananen. He makes players pay in front of the net, along the boards, and is very good at getting under the skin of opponents which is very useful is 5-6 game series in the playoffs. His mind isn’t made up as to whether or not he will come over to North America for the upcoming year.

Francz, Robert – LW – Frankfurt (Germany)
46 GP, 5 G, 3 A, 8 P, 139 PIM

Francz days in the Phoenix Coyotes Organization are most likely over. He went to Europe this year after being with the Falcons the year before and has not shown the potential he has being draft 6th round in the 1997-entry draft. He just finished the third year of his three-year rookie deal and won’t be re-signed.

Gauvreau, Brent – C – Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL)/Springfield Falcons (AHL)
(ECHL) 66 GP, 29 G, 43 A, 72 P, 89 PIM
(AHL) 3 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 0 PIM

Gauvreau played well with the Sea Wolves which earned him a recall to the Falcons where he received limited ice time and was sent back down within a week after that. Gauvreau should be given a chance to play with the Falcons next year to improve his discipline and mental part of the game.

Grenier, Martin – D- Springfield Falcons (AHL)/Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
(AHL) 69 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 P, 241 PIM
(NHL) 1 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 0 PIM

When Dave Draper came over after being asked by Wayne Gretzky to become Vice President of Scouting and Player Personnel, he also said there was a couple players in the Colorado Organization that the Coyotes must sign immediately and Martin Grenier was one of them and his play showed. He goes along with Focht and Forster of up and coming physical defensemen that will stick up for his teammates whether it be a fight or hit. His offensive side is the only weakness of the game that needs to improve.

Gustafsson, Juha – D – Blues Espoo (Finland)
53 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 P, 46 PIM

Gustafsson career will stay in Europe the rest of his career. He will never play with the Coyotes or any minor league teams in North America. His physical and mental side of the game are lacking and his offense is not there.

Hordichuk, Darcy – LW – Atlanta Thrashers (NHL)/Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
(Atlanta) 33 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 P, 127 PIM
(Phoenix) 1 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 14 PIM

Hordichuk came over in the trade that sent Kirill Savronov and Ruslan Zainullin to the Atlanta Thrashers 10 minutes before the trade deadline ended. Although I have not seen Hordichuk many times his game is quite simple, hit somebody. In the one game where he appeared with the Coyotes against the Los Angeles Kings and accumulated 14 PIM in nearly seven minutes. If he wants to stay on the Coyotes his offense needs to improve. Will start season in Springfield.

Jaspers, Jason – C – Springfield Falcons (AHL)/Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
(AHL) 71 GP, 25 G, 23 A, 48 P, 55 PIM
(NHL) 4 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 P, 4 PIM

When the Coyotes traded away Trevor Letowski to Vancouver around Christmas time, they knew they had a replica of him in the minors who had more upside and his name is Jason Jaspers. Jaspers style of game is simple, win the challenges along the boards and get the puck to the net. Jaspers is also a crunch-time player tied with Ramzi Abid for the most game-winning goals on the Falcons with six. He will be a injury call-up next year.

Kiser, Nate – D – Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
60 GP, 3 G, 6 A, 9 P, 134 PIM

Kiser style of play is being a thug or goon if you would like to put it. His offensive upside is limited if anything and I don’t see him having a future with the Coyotes with the likes of Darcy Hordichuk and Andrei Nazarov with the Coyotes as it is already. As of right now do not know where he will be next year.

Klema, David – C – Boston University (NCAA)
38 GP, 6 G, 10 A, 16 P, 4 PIM

Kelma just completed his freshman year of hockey at Boston University and finished the season on the strong note and in the NCAA Tournament. He has got to get stronger during the off-season and become stronger on the puck along the boards and in general. He will be at Boston University for his sophomore season next year.

Kuznetsov, Sergei – C – Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL)
66 GP, 12 G, 25 A, 37 P, 48 PIM

Kuznetsov started the season playing well and scoring goals but his offensive production slumped as the season progressed and into the playoffs for the Sea Wolves. He will play with the Sea Wolves next year and may play with the Falcons during the next season during call-ups and should be full-time by the 2003 season.