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Rangers Youth Movement?

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
As the executioner readies his trigger finger the to end the Rangers playoff possibilities there is some brightness shining through this darkness called Year 2000-01.

As we watch Graves, Kamensky,LaCroix, Lefebrve toil up and down the ice like Jarri Kurri did in his last pathetic season one has to look to next year and what sun is shining in.

As Detroit, St.Louis and San Jose…the hockey vultures fly over the carcass of the Rangers players like Graves and Lefebrve could be on their way out. St.Louis who just lost Chris Pronger may have changed again it’s designs on what they need… Adam Graves can help but he is older, slower and less productive this season…which is not a good mix for the ever so fast and fluent Blues… Sylvain Lefebrve can be a nice addition to help anchoring the defense. Val Kamensky…who we are just waiting to come up lame again may find a new spot in Vancouver… Eric LaCroix would like nice in Dallas, Detroit and San Jose… what the Rangers would receive would be pieces of the future…draft picks, prospects and pieces to retool the Hartford Wolf Pack for their run to defend the AHL title.

While Manny Malhotra(limited ice), Jeff Toms(who looks good in his 4 mins a game), Dale Purinton (toughness) and Tony Tuzzolino(nice corner work) try to jump start the engine…only Malhotra is a true solid prospect for the future and one has to wonder what the treatment via Ron Low has done for him. In Hartford Mike Mottau continues to play better…he recently scored his 9th of the season and he is playing a more discipli Read more »

Oilers Prospect Update Part 2

by pbadmin
on
OILERS PROSPECT UPDATE PART 2
Christian Chartier

Prince George WHL GP-51 G-12 A-45 PTS-57 PIM-89
Alexander Ljubimov

Togliatti Rus GP-20 G-1 A-2 PTS-3 PIM-8
Dan LaCouture

Edmonton NHL GP-37 G-2 A-4 PTS-6 PIM-29
Lou Dickenson

Kingston OHL GP-51 G-14 A-18 PTS-32 PIM-29
Brad Norton

Hamilton AHL GP-36 G-3 A-12 PTS-15 PIM-56
Matthew Lombardi

Victoriaville QMJHL GP-60 G-24 A-35 P-59 PIM-56
Oleg Smirnov

Moscow Dynamo RUS GP-25 G-2 a-0 PTS-2 PIM-14
Chad Hinz

Hamilton AHL GP-60 G-11 A-17 PTS-28 PIM-28
Jonathan Fauteaux

Victoriaville QMJHL GP-43 G-6 A-15 P-21 PIM-113
Paul Flache

Brampton OHL GP-60 G-7 A-16 PTS-23 PIM-94

Center Stage: Bruins Prospect Andy Hilbert

by Michael Karlstrom
on

Andy Hilbert has quickly emerged as one of the Bruins’ highest regarded prospects. The 5’11″ , 190 lbs. center from Howell Michigan was selected 37th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2000 entry draft.

“I had a little hunch that the Bruins were interested,” said Hilbert. “I had a meeting with them at the draft and thought it went really well. They’re an original six team, a great organization, and a really great city. I nearly committed to play college there (Boston University) I really liked it when I went out there for my visit.”

Success can really reflect nicely on the regard for a prospect and Hilbert has been enjoying a ton of it helping lead his strong Michigan Wolverine team to a really impressive run in the NCAA this year. After 34 games played, Hilbert has 23 goals and 34 assists this season for 57 points. He has been dominant on the ice with a +21 ranking in goal differential and has been gritty running up 64 minutes in the penalty box. All in all, one can certainly understand with numbers like these why many are starting to pencil him into the Bruins lineup at the conclusion of this season.

Before Hilbert can join the Bruins, a contract would need to be signed. While there have been some signs that this could be possible, current NCAA rules would prohibit Hilbert from signing while still maintaining his eligibility to play with the Wolverines. As to what would happen after that, the Bruins would hold Hilbert’s rights while he remained in University, but Andy is open to the thoughts that he might be willing to postpone the completion of Read more »

Bolts Bits – Tampa Bay Prospect Update

by Megan Sexton
on

Ekman Fairing Well

In his latest stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nils Ekman appears to be doing something right. Not only has he stayed with the club since his call up in mid-January, but he has also seen time on the top line with Captain Vincent Lecavalier.

“When you are playing with players as good as I am right now, sooner or later I have to score,” Ekman, who has 6 goals so far this season, explained.

That theory hardly explains his 22 goals and 14 assists in 33 games with Detroit (IHL) this season though.

Questions arose last season, when Ekman, who was the IHL Rookie of the Year, couldn’t seem to carry his minor league success over to the NHL. That question mark is slowly fading. Ekman has 10 points in 24 games so far this season. His six goals, tie him for 9th place in scoring on the team.

Ekman has also seen time on the power play and penalty killing units. He has goals from each to show. He is one of only 5 Bolts to score shorthanded.

Ekman is not reading too much into his improved play. “I kept on working hard and obviously things are going better for me now.”

But he does admit there is a different feel this time around. “It’s easier to play here this time. I feel more confidant and self-confidence is a big part of the game.”

Ekman is the type of player that thrives on ice time. By the looks of things as long as he does what is asked of him, he will continue getting his. “He is getting a chance offensively,” explained Head Coach John Tortorella. “He is learning that if he is not playing the way we want hi Read more »

Petr Kanko-“no troubles, no problems”

by Ivana Paulova
on
One of the many talents of Czech hockey. He is not a very well known player but in his age group (16, born 2-7-1984) it is not unusual. He is a potential 2002 draft pick. He already made an impression in the highest Czech league when he played 2 matches and scored one goal in the colours of the Extraleague Champion Sparta Praha. This creative right winger steadily plays in the junior team of Sparta Praha even though his age enables him to play in one category lower.

He was born in Pribram, a town not far from Prague. He started with hockey at the age of 7 in Pribram and as tradition his father was the main force that made Petr play the game hockey. Petr in fact never had an ambition to play anything other than hockey. He likes to play football and tennis, but not very much. At the age of 10 he started to play for Sparta where he plays at present.

It is obvious that hockey means everything to him. He is 16 and he does not go to school anymore; he has decided to devote everything to hockey. All his attention is centred around hockey. There are no other areas that are as important to him as hockey. He has no other hobbies or interests. He does not go out to clubs or discos with friends. Why? Because it is not fun for him. These are just things that do not attract him. He likes to be with his family, sometimes watch TV (usually sport) and be with his team mates. His life may seem boring to others but not for him. He does what he likes the most. He concentrates only on hockey which is very beneficial for his future career. He cannot be disturbed b Read more »

BCHL: A Look At Kevin Estrada

by Jacob Bestebroer
on
In 1997, Kevin Estrada made his Junior A debut with the Chilliwack Chiefs as a wide-eyed 15-year-old, full of promise and the goal of one day being awarded a NCAA scholarship. In his first year with the Chiefs, Kevin paid his dues, often watching from the stands as he managed only one goal during his rookie season. His next two seasons saw a steady increase in ice time, and point production, but injuries took their toll. The 1999-2000 regular season was especially tough for Estrada as he sustained two serious facial injuries, causing him to miss a total of fifteen games. The Chiefs however, had a very successful season which culminated in a bronze medal performance at the Royal Bank Cup, Canada’s National Junior A Championship. It was at this tournament that Estrada began to show the NCAA and NHL scouts just what he could do, as he led the tournament in scoring, with eight points in six games. This season, Estrada has not missed a beat as he leads the league in scoring with 118 points in 58 games. Estrada’s line, with 16 year old Gabe Gauthier, and 17 year old David Van Der Gulik, is not only one of the youngest lines in the league but also the most potent, with all three players currently among the top ten scorers in the league. Currently, Estrada is ranked 196th among North American skaters, but many scouts feel that his draft ranking has increased dramatically over the last month, and that he could go as high as the third round in this years NHL Draft. Estrada’s strong skating, his work ethic, and his his understanding of positional play are assets which have NHL sc Read more »

The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on

Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.

The deal that never was: For a while, it certainly seemed as though I’d be writing about a very significant Leafs’ trade this week … while the Maple Leafs treated their fans to a wildly exciting 5-5 tie with Colorado on February 18th, most discussions in the pressbox down at the ACC concerned news that the Lindros trade was finally going to happen … long standing Philly compensation demands (any 2 of Kaberle, Antropov or Markov plus picks) had been met by the Leafs and only the completion of a contract with Eric’s representative remained outstanding … this was accomplished in very short order on the 20th … Quinn and Dryden then presented the trade and the contract to the MLSE Board … when approval was obtained for both, Quinn contacted Bob Clarke in an attempt to arrange a teleconference with the NHL’s Head Office in order to complete the deal … that’s when Clarke insisted that Tomas Kaberle be included in the deal rather than Danny Markov – he insisted that the Flyers were concerned by reports from the team’s medical staff (I didn’t realize that the Flyers had a medical staff) regarding Markov’s injured back … everyone in hockey knows that Pat Quinn considers Kaberle to be a pivotal building block in Toronto’s long-term plan … Quinn immediately reasoned that Philadelphia had never really intended to complete a trade wit Read more »

Current NHL players with a German history

by Oliver Janz
on

Players with a german history

Many former NHL-players and canada-born players who played for a german club or were born in germany playing currently in the NHL or in minor leagues in america/canada.
Listed are all players in alphabetical order with a appearance in the current NHL-season.

F Len Barrie (Florida Panthers)
Top-Scorer in the 1998-1999 in Frankfurt’s DEL-team. Will return in the next years to germany…
Teams in germany: 1997-1999 Frankfurt Lions/DEL

F Sergej Berezin (Toronto Maple Leafs)
The 29 year-old russian wing was the two-time top-goalgetter and DEL-champion with the Kölner Haie. Scored 87 goals in 88 games in the regualar season and 30 goals in 32 games in the play-off’s.
Teams in germany: 1994-1996 Kölner Haie/DEL

F Pavel Bure (Florida Panthers)
NHL-Lockout: Played in one game (three goals) for Landshut.
Teams in germany: 1994-95 EV Landshut/DEL

D Sven Butenschön (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Doesn’t play for a german team, but he was born in the Itzehoe, germany and want to play for the german national-team at the olympic games 2002 in salt lake city.

D Enrico Ciccone (Montreal Canadiens)
Bad boy Ciccone retired this season after three games for Canadiens. He spend the last season in germany with the Moskitos Essen in the DEL, playing in 14 games, assisted on 4 goals and recorded 101 penalty minutes.
Teams in germany: 1999-2000 Moskitos Essen/DEL Read more »

Blackburn returns

by Jeff Bromley
on
There are some that say that Dan Blackburn was going through somewhat of a sophomore jinx. After the three game stretch last weekend against Lethbridge, Prince George and the Hurricanes again, one might want to revise that theory.

Coming out on top of a goaltenders dual with Joel Martin of the Hurricanes on Friday, backstopping the ICE to a 4-2 victory over the Cougars the next night and then serving up an encore performance three nights later against the Hurricanes, this time with Blake Ward acting as his counterpart in an almost identical performance of incredible goal-tending carrying the ICE to a 2-1 overtime win, it appears that the playoff version of Dan Blackburn is already off and running. For Blackburn it seems as if the club is starting to put it all together as the team hits the stretch run and heads into the playoffs. “I’m feeling really solid in the net and the defense is really helping me out right now by not giving up the second and third shots and it’s really made a big difference,” said Blackburn. Ranked number two by the Central Scouting Bureau for the 2001 NHL Draft, the positive consistency displayed by both the club and the stellar net-minder couldn’t have come at a better time. “I think that everybody feels a little more comfortable now that the trading deadline is past and everyone knows that they are going to be here and they are going to able to contribute going into the playoffs.”

Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. Following up on a campaign of expectations exceeded by a country mile will do that because in this Read more »