Last weekend in Nashville the Detroit Red Wings
organization gained eight new young
members. Going into the draft, the Red Wings were without first and thirrd round picks
because of two separate trades. With a total of eight picks, the Red Wings brass were
confident that they would find at least one player that could eventually help
the organization down the road.
The first pick was a late second rounder, (64th
overall) which the organization used to grab what they felt was the best
player avaliable, University of Maine goaltending senasation James Howard. “I’m just thrilled,” Howard said. “I don’t know what to
say. I didn’t have the foggiest idea who’d pick me, but I’m glad it’s Detroit,” said Howard. “They’ve been around since the beginning and to put on the Red
Wings jersey, there’s a lot of pride,” said Howard.
N.Y. native Jim Howard spent his draft year as a freshman with the
University of Maine. The previous season Howard played with the U.S. National
development team where he was the starting goalie. He posted very good record
(16-8-1) and a 1.89 goals against average and a
.933 save percentage. He also recorded three shutouts on the season. His great
performances earned him the “USA Hockey Dave Peterson Award” as Goalie
of the Year given to the top goaltender in USA Hockey.
is a big butterfly goalie who covers the net well and plays with poise. He has
very good balance and skating ability. A natural talent, Howard shows good
concentration and focus while playing. He also has a well developed hockey sense
and reads the play well.
was a surprise pick to most of the Red Wings fans, but this was a
very solid pickup. “At that position (64th overall), he was the best player
available,” said Jim Nill, the Wings assistant general manager.
He was the No. 2 rated goalie in North America (with only the No. 1 pick in the
draft, M-A Fleury ahead of him) in a weak goalie year. This means that he
probably wouldn´t have been around when the Wings would have made their second
choice in the fourth round. Instead of wasting a later pick on a weak goalie why
not pick a very good one in the second, and select skaters with later picks?
Kyle Quincey spent his first season in the OHL with the London Knights after being
drafted in the third round of the 2001 OHL draft. He played a safe
stay-at-home type of hockey while contributing offensively as well. He finished
the regular season with 6 goals and 18 points in 66 games. His playoff
performance was even better. He scored 3 goals and 7 points in 14 games and was
one of the best defensemen on the team. Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill’s
comment on Quincey was: “Good size. Plays hard. Really a solid all-around
is a good sized defenseman who has good mobility. He is a good skater with solid
movement and good top speed. He has quick feet and plays aggressive, defensive-minded hockey. He works hard and is a true team player. He is strong and clears
the zone effectively.
Quincey was another
surprise pick by the Red Wings on the second day of the draft. Being ranked
150th overall in North America, Kyle was surprised that the Red Wings selected
him in the fourth round. He is a solid pickup that will have to spend at least two
more seasons in the OHL before turning pro.
pick, the Red Wings selected yet another OHL player. Ryan Oulahan who was
playing in his rookie season with the Brampton Battalion was selected with the
164th pick overall. The smooth skating center had a good first year in the OHL
where he collected 21 goals and 43 point in 61 games. Playing behind another
NHL-draftee, Kamil Kreps, Oulahan didn´t get as much attention from the scouts.
But as the season went on Oulahan made a name for himself by playing a sound
two-way game. “He’s a very tenacious, hard-working player,” Nill said. Coach
Stan Butler was also pleased with Oulahan´s performances during the season. “He a very complete player and is getting better every game. It’s no
surprise. I knew he could play at this level.” coach Stan Butler said. He
was ranked 48th among NA skaters by CSS.
is a very
good skater who has quick feet and great acceleration. He works hard and is
very aware of his defensive duties as a center. He possesses solid hands and is
a capable scorer. He sees the ice well and creates offense. Primarily a defensive
forward Oulahan is often used in odd man situations, killing penalties or setting
up the power play.
will have to continue his development in the OHL for two more years.
|Andreas Sundin||84-03-15||Linköping HC||Elitserien||6-0||178||L||L|
Andreas Sundin was
the first Swede taken in this year’s draft by the Detroit Red Wings. During his first season in the Swedish eliteleague,
played eight games. Linköping is a “veteran loaded” team that buys most
of its players. But as the team was forced to play in the relegation playoffs
Andreas was given more ice time. He took the promotion and ran with it. He
scored only one goal in seven games but his play was good enough to convince Red
Wings scout Håkan Andersson that he is a legitimate NHL prospect. “He has a scoring touch. He had a very good wrist shot, a real nose for the net. I think he has a chance to be a real
scorer.” Andersson said.
typical undersized winger who has good speed and scoring touch. He skates very
well (good acceleration, quick feet, good top speed) and is a capable scorer. He
has a very good shot with a quick release and precison. He works hard all over
the ice and is aggressive.
forward is a solid pickup in the sixth round. He is a good kid who has bright
future ahead of him. When asked about what he felt by being drafted by the Red
Wiings. He said, “As good as it gets. I knew that there were a few teams
that were interested in me, but I didn´t dare to hope for the Wings to draft me.
It is, and always has been my favorite team in the NHL. The youngster will now
try to make the eliteleague team next season and make big step in his way to the
|Stefan Blom||85-07-30||Hammarby IF||J-20||6-2||189||D||L|
was another surprise
pick by the Red Wings. The 18 year old defenseman was
selected with the second pick in the sixth round, 194th overall. He has been playing
for Hammarby IF in the Superelite, J-20 league where he scored 4 goals and 6
points in 24 games. He has been playing on the third pairing for most of the season
and was given much ice time on the power play. “He hasn’t been seen by a lot of other teams, but we like his
upside. He’s getting better and better.” said Jim Nill.
is a big
kid who plays a sound two-way game. He has very good mobility and is capable of
delivering a nice first pass. He sees the ice well and makes safe plays. He
isn`t overly aggressive but he takes his opponent out effectively. He has solid
shot from the blue line and is capable of running the power play.
is a longshot
to make it to the NHL, but the Wings brass are confident in him. “You’re hoping he develops and in three or four years is on the national team.”
Nill said. The next season Blom will play for Djurgården in the J-20 league
and might get a emergency call up to the eliteleague team.
Tomas Kollar is a 21-year-old left wing who has been playing with
Hammarby in the allsvenskan for three years. During the last season he started
to get his game together. He scored 18 goals and 31 points in 48 games. This was
enough for him to earn a contract with Djurgården, a top team in the
eliteleague, for the 2003-04 season. “He’s going to get good exposure. He’s a big strong guy who skates
well.” Nill said.
Kollar is a big forward who has a good skating ability. He competes hard
and is very aggressive. Tomas also has a good nose for the net and is a capable
scorer. He is also a solid playmaker who has good vision.
Kollar will have to make a name for himself in the eliteleague with
Djurgården before he can make any plans on moving over the pond. He is at least
two years away from North America.
Kutny is a “super sleeper” whom the Red Wings scouts were very
high on at the end of the last season. After a successful tournament in Czech
Republic Wings scouts believed that he could go in the first round in this
draft. He was drafted to the QMJHL and wasn`t given much ice time. He managed
only 19 points in 66 games. “We’ll see what happens. He did show good skills over in Europe.”
is a big winger who has good skating ability. He has good acceleration and top
speed. He likes to throw his body around and is a good body checker. He also
possesses a well developed hockey sense and reads the play very well. He has
soft hands and is dangerous in the offensive zone.
will have to bounce back and find his scoring touch for the 2003-04 season. The
Wings see him as a sleeper pick who could become another Zetterberg or Datsyuk pick.
smallish center Mikael Johansson was a highly touted prospect three years
ago when he was named the best forward at the “TV-pucken”, a tournament where the top 15-year-olds are playing from all over the Sweden. He
has been playing with Arvika in Swe-3 for the last two years where he has been
very successful, scoring 14 goals and 55 points in 67 games over a two year
span. “He was never really seen by anybody. He’s got good skills.” Nill
likes to play aggressive in-your-face type of hockey. He is
a very good skater with great speed and acceleration. He has soft hands and is
abel to handle the puck in full flight. Although being a small player, Johansson
is not afraid of getting his nose dirty. He has also very good on ice vision and
is a fine playmaker.
small centre has moved to Skåre, another team in the Swe-3 where he will spend
the 2003-04 season. He has already been practicing with Mora of Allsvenskan.
There are also some rumors that he´ll be playing with Bofors (Allsvenskan) in
the 2004-05 season. He has good skills and attitude. He just needs to grow and
gain strength before taking the next step, which is Allsvenskan.
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