Jackets Draft Analysis: Rounds 6-9

By Aaron Vickers

In the last I article, 4th round pick Jekabs Redlihs was left out. Redlihs was selected 119th Overall, and was only one of two defensemen(along with Olle Tollefsen), unlike previously reported by myself. Here’s the info on Redlihs:

Jekabs Redlihs, a 6’2 185lb defenseman hailing from Latvia. In 2002, while playing in the EJHL for Apple Core last season, he was named a First Team All-Star, while receiving the EJHL Defensive MVP, by a landslide vote. Redlihs also saw some international action with his native Lativa, winning bronze in the World Hockey Championships Division II. Jekabs was ranked #161 in terms of prospects playing in North America at the Midterm Rankings, but managed to jump all the way up to #113 by the end of the season.

A special thanks to Rogie for the detailed information on Jekabs Redlihs.

Now, picking up where we left off, right-winger Tim Konsorada was the next selection made by MacLean & Co. at the #168 overall position. Konsorada, a former first round pick by the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, played for Team Pacific at the World Under-17 Challenge last Christmas, helping the club bring home the bronze medal. Projected to go in the 4th or 5th round, Konsorada dropped to the 6th round, possibly due to his lack of toughness and grit, despite having the size to bang around in the corners. Konsorada will have a couple more years in junior to develop his above-average puck-handling skills.

At the #184 spot, Jaroslav Balastik was selected. Balastik has played the previous 5 seasons with Zlin ZPS HC of the Czech league. Balastik, born in 1979, had a breakout year in 2001-2002 with his club, registering 25 goals(previous high was 8) and 44 points(previous high was 25). Balastik has decent size, standing at just over 6 feet, and weighing in at just over 200lbs. With an obvious loyalty to his club team, it will be interesting to see how eager Balastik is to jump to North America.

Fifteen selections after Balastik, the Jackets managed to pickup Greg Maulden. This 7th round selection played his junior year at UMass last season, with a large degree of success. In 33 games, and limited minutes, Maulden recorded 12 goals, and added another 12 assists for 24 points in his first year. In fact, Maulden lead his squad in goals and points. With three more years of college ahead of him, the Syracuse Crunch won’t likely catch a glimpse of him anytime soon, and Jacket fans shouldn’t expect to see him for at least a few seasons after that. With an obvious talent, Maulden will need time and strong competition to hone his skills.

Steven Goertzen just completed his first junior season with the Seattle Thunderbirds. Goertzen finished up his rookie season on the right wing by adding 6 goals to 9 assists for 15 points. Goertzen is another Jacket draft pick with some good size to him, but most definitely wont get out of junior for at least three seasons yet. Plenty of time for him to develop his skills and become more of a force in the WHL.

Another Jaroslav, this time Kracik, was selected 231st Overall. Central Scouting had him listed as the #103rd ranked European Skater, after his season with the Plzen junior team. With 14 goals and 49 points in 39 games, the Jackets took a long look and couldn’t pass him up this late in the draft. Kracik is expected to remain in the Czech Republic for a while yet, making the jump from the junior league to becoming a regular with the senior club.

With their final pick, Sergei Mozyatkin was selected 262nd Overall. Mozyatkin lacks the size of some of the other draft picks of the Jackets in 2002, to say the least. Mozyatkin stands at roughly 5’10, and weighs in the neighbourhood of a buck-seventy. His talent, however, is not an issue. Putting up 34 goals and 64 points in 54 games for CSKA Moscow, Mozyatkin lead his team to the league championship. At age 21, he could be over in North America quicker than one may think.

And with the selection of Sergei Mozyatkin, MacLean & Co. could breathe a sigh of relief, as their job for draft weekend was over.