Germany’s Draft Review 2002

By Oliver Janz

No Alexander Sulzer. As Hockey’s Future Germany reported, he did not opt-in for this year’s draft due to his injury.

No Yannic Seidenberg. He was the new top prospect for this year’s draft after Sulzer did not opt-in. Unfortunately, he did the same. It wasn’t officially announced, which is the reason that Seidenberg was still named the top German prospect in Hockey’s Future’s Draft Guide. After falling down the CSB Mid term rank from 38 to 68 in the final ranking, he will try to earn himself a better position for 2003.

No Felix Petermann. There were three teams interested in this defender. However, nobody drafted him. Ranked by the CSB as 90th among European skaters, he wasn’t good enough to be drafted. Maybe next year?

However, it wasn’t a draft without German relations. Czech forward Petr Taticek, the 9th overall pick by the Florida Panthers is related to Germany due to his father. Petr Sr. played for several German minor league teams, the last one was TuS Geretsried. Swedish forward Alexander Steen was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs 24th overall in the first round. Steen played three years for the bantam team of the Eisbären Berlin while his father played on the pro team. Brett Skinner (Vancouver Canucks, #68) did not play in Germany in his career. He spent the last season in Des Moines, playing for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL. However, Brett’s father Tom Skinner was the assistant coach of the Eisbären Berlin last season.

Jonas Johnsson, drafted in round seven as #221 by St. Louis, also has a bit of a German history. Between 1996 and 1998, Johnsson played two season for the Landshut Cannibals in the DEL. Finally at 237th overall came the first draft pick directly from the highest German Hockey League. Austrian forward and member of the Krefeld Penguins, Christoph Brandner, was drafted by the Minnesota Wild. The 27-year-old Brandner celebrated his 27th birthday on June, 5th. According to his agent Tommy Cijan, it’s just a question of contract negotiations for an overage player like Brandner. The latest reports however are that he did not come to terms with Minnesota and will remain in the DEL.

Finally, there is the “teammate service”. There were several drafted players who have played together with Germans during this past season. They played together with German wing Marian Dejdar for the Green Bay Gamblers/USHL: Matt Greene (Edmonton), Nathan Guenin (NY Rangers), Jake Taylor (NY Rangers) and Adam Burish (Chicago). They played together with German defender Robin Breitbach in Kloten: Emanuel Peter (Calgary) and Patrik Bärtschi (Pittsburgh). They played together with German defender Toni Bader in Calgary/Seattle: Brandon Segal (Nashville) and Steven Goertzen (Columbus). Finally, Taylor Christie (Colorado) played together with German defender Paul Weismann at Bowling Green State University.

Involved among the many little trades of the draft weekend was German forward Jochen Hecht. Jochen was traded to the Buffalo Sabres to replace Vyacheslav Kozlov, who was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers on the same day just moments before. Regarding the financial problems of the team, they’ve reduced their salary with this trade. Kozlov earned about $2 dollars a season. Hecht will be earning approximately $1 million. This is yet another trade for Hecht, but also another chance for him. In Buffalo, he might get more prime time icetime than in Edmonton.

News from the other German NHL players: The San Jose Sharks took an option on Marco Sturm and extended his contract for one more year. Due to the fact that Sturm scored more than 20 goals during this past season (21), he will earn $400.000 more than last season. Uwe Krupp, who won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings, will play two more season in the NHL and is currently searching for a new team. The same is with Sven Butenschön, who did not received an offer from his former team, the Edmonton Oilers. He has reportedly signed with the Florida Panthers organization.

CHL Import Draft 2002 Review

No Thomas Ower. Some teams were interested but only three goalies were even drafted at all. The main reason that Ower wasn’t drafted was probably his age. Born on December 27th, Ower would have been the youngest player in the whole draft. However, Ower will stay in Germany for one more year. His new team is his old team – he will be the starting goalie for the 1.EV Weiden Junior team. In addition, he will most likely be the number three for Weiden’s pro team, which will play in the third German league. In 2003, Ower will make his next stab at the CHL Import Draft.

No Patrick Ehelechner. Looking to be one of the best European goalie prospects for the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Ehelechner preferred to play pro in Germany than to playing junior hockey in North America. The Ottawa 67’s (OHL), who had the fourth pick, were interested. After they realized that Ehelechner wouldn’t be willing to come over, they selected Czech goalie Lukas Mensator, Vancouver’s 3rd pick in 2002.

No Yannic Seidenberg. The Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League needed a left wing to play alongside Eric Staal next season. They were interested in drafting Yannic Seidenberg at the 31st position. Unfortunately, he prefers to stay in Germany. Like Ehelechner, he will play pro hockey. In addition, Seidenberg has one more year in school before his graduation and didn’t want to complicate the situation on that front.

No big surprises. First pick Jiri Drtina, drafted by Sault St. Marie Greyhounds, wasn’t surprising. The next picks were: one player from Norway (Tollefsen), one from Switzerland (Julien Vauclair’s brother Tristian), one from Austria (Anton Teppert) and finally a prospect from Yugoslavia. Sudbury of the OHL drafted center Marko Kovacevic directly from his hometown Novi Sad. Since he is eligible for the NHL Entry Draft in 2003, it’s not impossible that we will see the first Yugoslavian player in this to be drafted in an NHL soon as well.

CHL Import Draft Breakdown


Total Players drafted: 73


Players are from:

Czech Republic:
30

Slovakia:
17

Russia:
11

Finland:
4

Ukraine:
3

Sweden:
2

Belarus:
2

Norway:
1

Yugoslavia:
1

Austria:
1

Switzerland:
1