The NHL Entry Draft 2003 is
coming closer and will take part on this Saturday and Sunday at Nashville. As
last years Draft was without Germans, this years’ Draft will see some guys on
the final Draft List. Surely, there won’t be as much as during the 2001’er
Draft, the key number seem to be a 3.
The Central Scouting Bureau
ranked five Germans in the Final Ranking, which was announced some weeks ago.
For the skaters, defender Alex Sulzer was placed at positon 26, forward Kai
Hospelt (#132) and Yannic Seidenberg (#139) are also on the list. For the first
year ever, Germany has two Goalies at the CSB Final Rankings for Goaltenders.
Patrick Ehelechner is #3 and Patrick Koslow can be found at position 11. Here
is a short info from each ranked player:
Koslow is still a high
talented goaltender, but his development faced some problems during the last
season. He was the second goalie of DEL team Augsburger Panther, but only saw
action in just four games in a season with around 60 games. The 18 year old
netminder was benched most of the season and got playing experience at the
farmteam in the third league. In addition, he did not played for Germany’s
Under-18 national team during the world junior championships in April. After
beeing their starting goalie during the season, he was not at the roster at
this tournament which. The reason for the coaches’ decission was not announced.
Next season, Koslow has signed for EHC München, a team
which promoted to the third league. He
will share the #1 job with former DEL goalie Jochen Vollmer. In addition, he
will have a junior license at Augsburg to act as their third string goalie.
Finally, it looks like there was too early too much pressure on Koslow. He
still has the potential, but he need to use and improve it better.
HF Prediction: His chances are low. If someone will
draft him, it will most likely happen between the rounds six and nine.
Another young and promising
goalie from Germany. And another one with some problems. But the problems of Ehelechner
are not selfmade. He only played five games for Hannover in the DEL last
season. And he never got a real chance to show his skills. The main problem
were the several coaches, Hannover had during the season – as well as the
management. They promised him every week that he will play in one of the next
games. Why they did that and why Ehelechner did not play? The reasons for his
less playing time are not really known and only the management seems to know
it. However, due to his tremendous appearances in games for the German Under-20
team, he put himself in a good position for the NHL Entry Draft in Nashville.
According to Göran Stubb from the Central Scouting Service in Europe,
“Ehelechner will be drafted for sure due to his strong performances for the
German junior national team.” Patrick already moved to Nashville and will
attend the Draft. The decission were he’s gonna play next season will be made
some days after the NHL Draft in the CHL Import Draft. Patrick wants to play in
the CHL and prefers the OHL. Four teams impressed their interest and it looks
like he will play close to Toronto next season. In addition, a big step to
North America, but currently the best as he needs to play as many games as
possible after the last season.
HF Prediction: Looks like Patrick will
made one of the first three rounds.
After spending the last
season at Kaufbeuren (2nd League) and Hamburg (DEL), Sulzer has signed with DEG
Metro Stars of the DEL. It seems that Sulzer will be a regular in the third defensive
pairing. As well as Ehelechner and Koslow, Sulzer had some problems, too. He
had trouble with Kaufbeuren about joining Hamburg at the beginning of the
season. And Ernst Höfner, the coach of the German U20, said that Sulzers
performances at the U20 WJC in Halifax looked like “Sulzer is a hobby hockey
player and not a pro.” That was too much and especially not right in that
situation. However, Sulzer is on his way to garner a regular spot in the DEL
and that won’t be the end of his development. He just need to learn from
seasons like the last one, on the ice and off the ice.
HF Prediction: The first day
will include the draft of Sulzer – Position 40-60.
The young forward from Köln
split the last season between the DNL (U18) and the pro team of Köln. Due to
his big offensive scoring touch, Hospelt led the DNL in scoring without playing
all league games. Kai is the son of former pro player Wim Hospelt, who also
played for Köln in the past. Naturally, all offensive guns have problems with their
defensive play – so he need to work on that, but without loosing his offensive
skills. He already did it and improved in a way, but there is still some more
work to do for him. His coach at Köln, Hans Zach, should be the right guy for
his development as he want his guys to fight and give 100% each game. Danny
Albrecht, another 18 year old very offensive player did not learn to improve
his defense skills last season and that’s the reason why he is not on the CSB
List. Next season, Hospelt will most likely play fulltime at the pro team of
Köln in the DEL as he graduated from the junior team.
HF Prediction: His chances are very low.
Points and offensive skills are not everything. Could be a late pick in the
eight or ninth round.
The first word in a draft
article about Yannic Seidenberg must be: mistake. He made a big mistake in not
opting-in for the NHL Entry Draft 2002. Seidenberg had a good CSB Rank in 2002
and a very good chance to be drafted. Some teams already impressed their
interest in him. But he decided to not opt-in to garner a better position in
the Draft 2003. A decission which became a big mistake. Seidenberg didn’t
develop as he thought during his last season with Mannheim. Now, he is just
#139 on the Central Scouting List and his chances to be drafted are not as good
as last year. However, Yannic has a bonus due to his name as his brother Dennis
Seidenberg impressed the insiders with his strong first NHL season at
HF Prediction: Is the name enough? It
doesn’t look like.
Yes, there are some others
with outsider chances. But no one of them has a real chance. Defender Frank
Hördler or forward Christoph Ullmann – both were ranked by the CSB in the pre
season and mid ranking. Both guys are talented, but not talented enough to make
the NHL someday. A guy, who should be drafted for sure this year, did not opt
in. Markus Kink, another offensive forward from Köln, decided to do the same
Yannic Seidenberg did last year. Hopefully, the result will be a better one.
HF Prediction: No outsiders or overagers
will be taken. A result of three total picks will most likely happen.
Ehelechner, Sulzer and one out of Hospelt, Koslow and Seidenberg. Four would be
a very good result and is also possible, five would be too much. No one never
knows after the great result of 2001.