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The New Finn in the Island Waters: Marko Tuomainen

by Joe Muccia
on

Beginning in 1989, Marko played 2 years with his hometown team, KalPa Kuopio of the Finnish Elite League. Originally a 9th round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 1992, Marko then moved to North America to attend Clarkson University. In four years at Clarkson, Marko accumulated 190 points in 135 games. In 1994-95, Marko was summoned to
Edmonton for a four game cup of coffee. Although he went pointless, he did show excellent defensive awareness, finishing the stint with an even plus/minus. Later in 1995, he reported to the Oilers farm team, the Cape-Breton Oilers and the year after to the Hamilton Bulldogs, all the
while posting solid numbers.

Expecting more scoring from him, the Oilers chose not to renew Marko’s entry-level contract after the 1997 season. Marko chose to return to Finland and HIFK Helsinki of the Finnish Elite League. Impressed with his defensive skills, Helsinki assigned Marko to a
checking role in which he excelled. Even though he was used in a
defensive role, he still managed to tally 50 points in 94 games over a
two-year period. Not bad for a guy that was supposed to shadow the
oppositions top players.

Early in 1999 the Los Angeles Kings, impressed with Marko’s
well-rounded game, signed him to a free agent contract through the 2001
season. Marko ended up playing right wing on the Kings third and fourth
lines. He played 63 games, logging quality minutes on the top PK unit
in addition to his regular shifts (he finished with 17 points, scoring
both on the PP and PK). In 2000, due to the Kings depth at forward
( Read more »

Jillson on cusp of making it big

by Jake Dole
on
It’s time to make something clear: Jeff Jillson is a legitimate Calder candidate this year. After signing a contract with the San Jose Sharks in May, 2001, Jillson skipped the senior college year in Michigan to officially turn pro. However, joining a blueline that includes Marcus Ragnarsson, Mike Rathje, Brad Stuart, Bryan Marchment, Scott Hannan and Gary Suter will not be an easy assignment. Jeff will have to show a lot of determination at camp to earn serious playing time come regular season.
But if you ask Jeff Jillson, he’ll tell you that he will not despair. Throughout his career, he has played through numerous obstacles and difficulties. Although the NHL is not at all like college, Jillson will demonstrate as much effort and endurance as he does on any ice surface. At the age of 21, he still has weaknesses and will be expected to show more consistency than in the past, but Jeff’s decision to remain in college for a sophomore year turned out to be crucial. Despite a disappointing showing for the United States at the U-20 World Junior Championships, many would agree that Jillson took a major step ahead in his development.
Jillson was first noticed as a high schooler, playing for Mount Saint Charles in Woonsocket, Main; the same team that had won 21 consecutive state titles, which contributed to the pressure already on Jeff’s shoulders. Needless to say, Jillson did not disappoint; he dominated at the high school level, and was a three-time all-state honoree. In addition, he earned the Sports Illustrated/Old Spice Athlete of the Month h Read more »

Chad Alban signs with Stars

by Scott McFarlane
on

The Dallas Stars signed free agent goalie Chad Alban to a 1 year contract, financial terms were not released.

The 25 year old Alban split time with the Utah Grizzlies, Grand Rapids Griffins and the Idaho Steelheads who were all apart of the IHL last season.

While with the Utah Grizzlies and Grand Rapids Griffins last season, Alban posted a 4-5-4 record with a low 2.09 gaa in 13 games.

With the Idaho Steelheads, Alban posted a 14-5-1 record with a 3.00 gaa in 20 appearances.

With the acquisition of Chad Alban, the Dallas stars have more depth at the goalie position. With Ed Belfour, Marty Turco, Jason Bacashihua and now Chad Alban the Stars should be set in goal for many years to come.

Speed to Burn: HF’s profile of Alexander Kharitonov

by Joe Muccia
on

Speed to Burn: Alexander Kharitonov

The Isles made a ton of noise with trades, during Draft Day weekend this year. The two more noticeable trades brought Alexei Yashin and Mike Peca. As most Islander fans know another trade was completed by Mike Milbury the
day before the draft.

On the 22nd of June the Isles acquired booming point
man Adrian Aucoin and speedster Alexander Kharitonov for Mathieu Biron and the Isles 2002 2nd round pick. Understanding the Aucoin portion of the trade
was easy. The Isles need someone to drive the puck in from the point besides Roman Hamrlik. But who is this kid Kharitonov? Is he just a throw-in? Lets look and see just what the Isles got.

The Lightning staff heavily scouted Alexander before they chose him in the 3rd round (81st overall) in the 2000 Entry Draft. In his final year with Moscow Dynamo, he tallied 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) in 35 games. They were impressed with his speed and poise with the puck. He later played for the Russian national team and posted 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists and 1 SHG) in the 6 games of the 2000 World Championships.

Boy can this guy fly! He has got great wheels. In addition to being exceptionally fast, he is extremely agile. He moves in and out of traffic easily. It’s a good thing he can too, because he’s small. One source had
him listed at 5’9″, 170lbs. Another had him at 5’6″, 170lbs. Whichever one is right does not matter, because he is just plain small. The reason the Lightning included him in the deal was because Bolts GM Rick Dudley stated Read more »

1997 Draft: 4 Years Later

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Four years after the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, we are able to look at the players who were drafted and determine how good they will be in the NHL. If teams only knew what they know now back in 1997, then the order of selection would have been much different.

Below is an in-depth look of the players selected in the 1st Round four years ago. Included are the team that made the selection, the player drafted, the team he was drafted from, and his career stats thus far in the NHL.


1. Boston – Joe Thornton, C, Sault-Ste.-Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
289 GP, 79 G, 100 A, 179 P, 277 PIM

The Bruins struck gold by selecting Thornton with the 1st overall pick. He has played in each of the last four seasons for Boston since being drafted, and he hasn’t disappointed them thus far. With 79 goals, 100 assists, 179 points and 277 penalty minutes in 289 career games, the emergence of Thornton as a future superstar and a 1st line center has allowed the Bruins to discuss the possibility of dealing away current all-star center Jason Allison, who is currently in a contract dispute with the Bruins. It is clear that Thornton is the future for Boston, and they will look for him to improve on his breakout season this past year in which he had 37 goals, 34 assists, 71 points and 107 penalty minutes in 72 games. Thornton was definitely worth taking with the 1st overall selection.


2. San Jose – Patrick Marleau, C, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Read more »

Three up, three down for Canadian U-18 team

by Jeff Arnim
on

Team Canada exploded for five goals, including three in the first period, in their 5-1 victory over the Swedish contingent at the 2001 Six Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic on Thursday. With the win, Canada moves to a perfect 3-0 in the event.

Rick Nash (London, OHL) opened the scoring just 35 seconds into period one, and added an assist on the next goal by Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Chicoutimi, QMJHL); Bouchard posted his second tally of the frame in its final two minutes. Maxime Talbot (Hull, QMJHL) posted a power play goal half way through the second period, and Tim Brent (Toronto, OHL) closed out the scoring early in the third.

Nash, Bouchard, Talbot and Brent all tallied two points on the day.

Maxime Daigneault was once again strong in net, stopping 24 of 25 Sweden shots on goal. His gawdy numbers for the tournament include a perfect 3-0-0 record, a 0.67 goals-against average, and a .973 save percetnage. Daigneault has stopped 72 of 74 shots faced.

From the Western Hockey League side of things, defensemen Andy Thompson and Ian White each added an assist in the game.

Read more »

Kovalchuk signs contract with Thrashers

by Jake Dole
on
The Atlanta Thrashers beat the midnight deadline on Wednesday to sign the first overall selection in the 2001 draft Ilya Kovalchuk. The deal is reportedly worth $3.4 million for 3 years, the maximum allowed for rookies by the NHL.
Kovalchuk, who dominated in the High League last year, amassed 42 goals in 51 games. Along with an excellent U-18 performance, Ilya virtually guaranteed himself the first-overall position months before the draft.
If Kovalchuk had not been signed, he would have returned to play in Russia, playing for Spartak of the Superleague. Now that he is signed, expect Ilya to make the Thrashers’ roster. However, making the team will not be a walk in the park. Kovalchuk is expected to battle Lubos Bartecko and Patrik Stefan for a left-wing spot on the top 2 lines. Hnat Domenichelli and Ladislav Kohn are the other two left wings battling for a roster spot with Atlanta.
If Ilya fails to make the Atlanta roster, he will play another year in Russia, competing a level higher, versus older and more physical competition.
During last year, Ilya earned a reputation for being an intimidating, physical competitor, with a bruising two-way style. Despite certain questions arising about his maturity, Thrashers GM Don Waddell has remained positive about Kovalchuk’s attitude. He stated that Ilya had exceptional work ethic and that his desire to succeed was strictly a positive for his development. Keeping in mind the Thrashers’ second half struggles last year, it might be a good idea to add a good dosage of intensity Read more »

World Junior Cup: Sweden-Russia game recap

by Robert Neuhauser
on
World’s top 1984 born players, excluding the USA team gathered this
week in the Czech cities Nymburk, Kolin and Mlada Boleslav to take part in the World Junior
Cup of the Under-18 teams. Lots of future NHLers play here and lots of scouts watch them.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch a game of the Czech team, but I was at the Sweden-Russia
contest instead. I concentrated mostly on the Russian players like forwards Vladislav Evseev, Dmitri
Kazionov, Nikolai Zherdev or Dmitri Korneev and defensemen Anton Babchuk with Kirill Stepanov,
all of whom will likely become top draft picks in their respective draft years. On the Swedish
team, top 2003 prospect Robert Nilsson caught my eye. I’ll try to comment their game with their
strengths and weaknesses after a recap of the game.

As it could be forseen, both teams showed a fast-paced game with some great plays from some
individuals. There weren’t lots of hits, even if in the first seconds of the game a Swedish
player delivered a great hit which sent his Russian opponent to the Russia’s players bench.
The young Swedes played defensively very well and the Russians had a hard time finding holes
in their defense. But they have players who can find them. The tall alternate captain with
the number 19 on his back, Vladislav Evseev, immediately showed his great skill when he grabbed
the puck in the neutral zone, went for an one-on-one situation, deked the Swedish defenseman
with a nifty stick move but was too close to the Swedish goalie Joakim Lundstrom to lift the
puck over him and Lundstrom made a save.

Pl Read more »

A Look At Jaroslav Bednar

by Harry Ouzounian
on

The Kings selected a a player who will pay immediate dividents with their 51st selection in the second round of the 2001 draft, 6-0 198-pound native of Prague, Czech Republic, forward Jaroslav Bednar.

Jaroslav spent the past two seasons playing in the Finnish Elite League, tallying in with 66 goals and registering 122 points in 109 games played. He also led the league in goals this past ’00-’01 season with 32.

In ’99-’00, Bednar finished fifth in scoring and in the Finnish Elite League with 62 points, one point behind former King prospect Tomas Vlasak, and fourth in goals. It is clear that his specialty is putting the biscuit in the basket.

Bednar is listed as playing Center, but the right handed forward displayed some versatility in his game by playing both sides of the wing this season, and that is a positive for the Kings as they seem to be penciling him in as having a role on the leftwing on one of the three top lines. “Jaroslav Bednar is a Czech player who has spent the last two seasons in Finland. He is a very skilled forward who is a good skater and moves the puck well,” said Taylor. “We think Bednar has an excellent chance of playing for our team next season.”
Taylor added these comments when Vlasak and Rosa’s names were brought up in comparison to Bednar…
“Bednar has NHL skills and his offensive ability has improved the
last three years,” general manager Dave Taylor said. “He is an
offensive-minded player. He is a better skater and stronger than the
other two. I think those guys can play at this level, but Bednar has
a little more speed to Read more »

From the Editor: An Introduction

by Mark Fischel
on
Dear Readers,
I am very happy and thankful that the Taylor’s have given me a chance to help guide the direction that Hockey’s Future will undertake for the future. Because of the massive amount of passionate readers and regular contributors to this site, Hockey’s Future has become one of the top independently run sports sites today and I will strive to keep it that way.
My goal is to raise the standards of Hockey’s Future without losing our solid reader and contributor base, and to also provide some new and exciting features that will make new and old readers keep coming back for more. Old features like the Top 50 prospects and Team Organizational Rankings will be published regularly throughout the year, while new features like “Making the Cut” (a feature on opening night rosters), Prospect Chats, a regular series of columnists, and expanded draft centers will all be added onto Hockey’s Future over the coming year.
It isn’t going to stop with just Hockey’s Future either. College on Ice will be re-launched in order to give hard-hitting coverage to the NCAA ranks, while The Hockey Matrix will be coming soon delivering the same coverage to the NHL teams. Long-term plans are also in the works to bring extended coverage to the AHL and Junior hockey ranks as well, and to bring you new and improved prospect profiles.
So welcome aboard the new Hockey’s Future! I hope you find the site to continue with the informative articles and commentaries that you have grown to love or hate, while adding some new and exciting Read more »

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