Bruins 2001 draft evaluation

By Janine Pilkington

The 2001 NHL Entry Draft was all about size and grit and a couple surprises in the mix for the Bruins, who had eight picks to spend. For the fourth year in a row they drafted a defenseman in the top spot, and out of eight picks, Boston chose three defenders, three forwards and two goaltenders. Three players, all defensemen, have found regular playing time in the NHL, but only two of those remain with the Bruins. None of the forwards made the NHL, and of the two goaltenders chosen, only one remains active in the Bruins system.

All in all, Boston fared better in the later rounds of this draft year, which yielded a promising future blue line and plenty of disappointment. The eight picks have played a total of 249 NHL games, for an average of 31 games per pick.

Shaone Morrisonn, D – 1st round, 19th overall (Kamloops Blazers, WHL)
Status: NHL player
NHL games played: 124
DOB: 12-23-1982 HT: 6’3 WT: 205 lbs

Morrisonn was originally projected to go in the second round, but he was high enough on the Bruins’ list that they took the gamble. After he capped off an impressive junior career with the Kamloops Blazers, the Bruins signed him to a three-year contract in the summer of 2002. Morrisonn was a smooth-skating two-way defenseman with a powerful shot. Well under 200 lbs at the time of his draft, the biggest knock on Morrisonn was that he needed to bulk up.

He spent the majority of the 2002-03 season with the Providence Bruins and compiled 21 points and 103 penalty minutes in 60 games. Morrisonn earned a late-season recall to Boston for a total of 11 games, but again, he began the 2003-04 season in Providence. After 18 games he was promoted to Boston, but it would be his final days in black and gold. Morrisonn was traded to the Washington Capitals for defenseman Sergei Gonchar in March of 2004. He played with the Capitals’ AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates, during the lockout and finally got his first full season in the NHL during the 2005-06 season with the Capitals. Morrisonn was one of only a handful of players on the 2005-06 Capitals team with a positive plus/minus at + 7. He played 80 games with a total of 14 points and 91 penalty minutes.

Darren McLachlan, LW – 3rd round, 77th overall (Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL)
Status: Bust
NHL games played: 0
DOB: 2-16-1983 HT: 6’2 WT: 216 lbs

McLachlan was a rugged power forward drafted from the WHL, who, although he was most noted for his tough physical game, could also put points on the board. 2002-03 was his final season with the Seattle Thunderbirds and his strongest in the WHL. He finished with 60 points and 195 penalty minutes in 66 games. The Bruins traded McLachlan to the Phoenix Coyotes for a draft pick in June of 2003. He split the 2003-04 season between the Springfield Falcons (AHL) and the Adirondack IceHawks (UHL).

McLachlan played the 2004-05 season with the Idaho Steelheads, but only appeared in 24 games with a total of two points and 59 penalty minutes. Unfortunately, injury woes have plagued McLaughlin off and on through his career, including a back injury that forced him to sit out the 2005-06 season.

Matti Kaltiainen, G – 4th round, 111th overall (Espoo Blues Jr, FIN)
Status: Bust
NHL games played: 0
DOB: 4-30-1982 HT: 6’2 WT: 207 lbs

Following his draft, Kaltiainen left Finland to attend Boston College. Though he’s a good sized goaltender, he’s athletic and poised in high pressure situations. Kaltiainen had some problems with consistency, but overall his college career was impressive, earning numerous Hockey East player of the week nominations, including three rookie of the week nominations in 2001-02. He was the Hockey East ITech goaltending champion for 2002-03 after completing 30 games with an 11-4-1 record and 2.20 goals against average. His 2003-04 season, he had a 27-7-4 record, 1.76 goals against average and .907 save percentage.

With the number of promising young goaltenders in Boston’s system, Kaltiainen would slowly fade from the Bruins’ plans. After completing college, he returned to his native Finland, where he began his pro career with the Espoo Blues. If Kaltiainen ever does play in the NHL, it will not be for the Bruins.

Jiri Jakes, RW – 5th round, 147th overall (Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL)
Status: Bust
NHL games played: 0
DOB: 10-4-1982 HT: 6’4 WT: 220 lbs

Jakes was a big, powerful winger who could score goals, but his biggest weakness was his skating. He played two seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL), with 38 points and 73 penalty minutes in 64 games during the 2000-01 season and 34 points and 73 penalty minutes in 56 games during the 2001-02 season. Jakes played his final year in North America during the 2002-03 season, spending time with three different teams — the Tri City Americans (WHL), Anchorage Aces (WCHL) and Vancouver Giants (WHL). The Bruins opted not to offer him a contract and he became a free agent in 2003. Jakes returned to Europe and has played for various teams in the Czech Republic, most recently, in the second tier Czech League for HC Benatky nad Jizerou.

Andrew Alberts, D – 6th round, 179th overall (Waterloo Black Hawks, USHL)
Status: NHL player
NHL games played: 73
DOB: 6-30-1981 HT: 6’4 WT: 215 lbs

Following his draft, Alberts began a four-year college career with Boston College during the 2001-02 season. Alberts was a hard-working stay at home defender who improved steadily and played a major role on the Eagles’ blue line. He earned recognition, receiving All-American first team honors, sharing Hockey East’s Best Defensive Defenseman honors in 2003-04, and was part of an Eagles team that captured three consecutive Hockey East titles. Alberts’ strength and size are some of his greatest assets, which he uses effectively to overpower opponents. He’s a dangerous open-ice hitter, and also a surprisingly agile skater. His highest point total came during his sophomore season during 2002-03 with 22 points in 39 games.

Alberts received a tryout contract with the Providence Bruins following the conclusion of his senior season with BC and played in the remaining regular season games, as well as the team’s 16-game playoff stretch. He made the Boston roster out of training camp in 2005-06 where he played the majority of the season. Alberts made the US National hockey team at the IIHF World competition in 2006

Jordan Sigalet, G – 7th round, 209th overall (Victoria Salsa, BCHL)
Status: NHL prospect
NHL games played: 1
DOB: 2-19-1981 HT: 6’1 WT: 180 lbs

The Bruins took another goaltender in the seventh round with Jordan Sigalet, who began his four-year college career with Bowling Green State University following the draft. Sigalet is technically sound, with quick reflex and a good glove hand. He worked hard and showed improvement during college and became the first goaltender in Bowling Green State University history to serve as team captain. Sigalet’s highest save percentage in college was .915 in the 2003-04 season. As a senior, he was a Hobey Baker finalist, broke Bowling Green records and also led the nation with 1,140 saves.

Following his graduation, Sigalet joined the Providence Bruins for the 2005-06 season. His rookie season was shaky at times, but overall Sigalet performed well, making timely saves and finishing with a 19-11-2 record, .900 save percentage and 2.55 goals against average. With Hannu Toivonen as the perceived future of the Bruins’ net, Sigalet is in a tough situation. His battle with MS, while he has thus far managed successfully, could also be a deciding factor in his future. With the possibility of trades or injuries, however, Sigalet could still get a shot in Boston.

Milan Jurcina, D – 8th round, 242nd overall (Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL)
Status: NHL prospect
NHL games played: 51
DOB: 6-7-1983 HT: 6’4 WT: 235 lbs

This late round pickup is turning into a steal for the Bruins. Jurcina has good size, a tremendous work ethic, and is a prospect that has developed right on schedule. He’s a solid defensive defenseman, strong skater and powerful shot. He made his pro debut with the Providence Bruins during the 2003-04 season, where he played in 73 games with a total of 17 points and 52 penalty minutes. He steadily improved his physical game while in Providence, and earned a couple brief appearances in Boston before he finally found a spot on the roster during the 2005-06 season. Jurcina played 51 games with the Boston Bruins in the 2005-06 season with a total of 11 points and 54 penalty minutes. He was also part of Team Slovakia in the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Marcel Rodman, RW – 9th round, 282nd overall (Peterborough Petes, OHL)
Status: Bust
NHL games played: 0
DOB: 9-25-1981 HT: 6’1 WT: 175 lbs

Although he was eligible for the 2000 draft, Marcel Rodman was passed over and just barely slid in the 2001 draft when the Bruins picked him at 282nd overall. After a strong season with the Peterborough Petes in 2000-01, many thought Rodman would begin his pro career the following season in Providence. Instead, he was released by the Bruins after training camp and returned to his native Slovenia. During the 2002-03 season, Rodman began playing for EC Graz in Austria, and finished with 47 points and 22 penalty minutes in 44 games. The following season, he played in Germany’s elite league for the Krefeld Penguins, compiling only 12 points in 52 games. He returned to Austria for the 2005-06 season with EC Graz and had a total of 24 points in 43 games. He was never offered a contract by the Bruins.

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