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Rest of Red Wings prospects in Europe

by Zoran Manojlovic
on

This is the second part in my look back on Red Wings prospects in Europé.

1. Pavel Datsyuk

Position: Center
Team: AK Bars Kazan
Born: 1978
Height: 5.11
Weight: 190
Drafted: 6th round in the 1998 draft (171 overall)
Rating: 6.5 / 10
Last season: 40 games 9 goals 17 assists 26 points 6 pim

The now 23 -year old late rounder from Sverdlovsk in Russia has emerged
as one of the best prospects in the Red Wings organization during the
past season.

He has had a career season in Russia with 26 points (9 goals and 17
assists) in 40 games. Datsyuk has played an essential role in Kazan (one
of the best clubs in Russia), he is playing on powerplay, boxplay,
everything. He has played so good that he has been a regular all year
long on the National Team. In the first tournaments with the national
team he was center on the 3rd and 4th lines, but in the WC in Germany he
played so good that he become 1st line center between Valeri Karpov
(left) and Alexei Yashin (right). He maid a terrific tournament even
dough he didn`t register a goal, he had 4 helpers in 7 games , was +5
(best on team), won 58% of the face-offs (best on team). He played a
great two-way game, lots of great passes, moves in high speed, and very
good backchecks. He didn`t behave like Russians do, but he played a very
good Russian hockey. In my opinion he was the best player on the team.

During the year he played in 19 games with the national team and
registered 2 goals and 5 assists and 2 pim.

Datsyuk is a great talent that has developed into a very good all-round
 Read more »

Jakes and Tootoo likely to be taken in Entry Draft

by Trenton Allen
on
At last year’s NHL Entry Draft, a number of Brandon Wheat Kings headed into the event with high hopes. The likes of Colin McRae, Ryan Craig, Brett Thurston, Mike Wirll, and even Robert McVicar sat anxiously by the phone hoping it would ring with the news that they had been drafted. Unfortunately, that season brought nothing but heartache. For only the second time in Wheat Kings history, no players off the team were selected in the draft.

Fortunately, the misery of 2000 has turned to promise for 2001. Two Wheat Kings figure prominently on the CSB lists. Jiri Jakes and Jordin Tootoo are listed in the top 65 on the CSB final lists and both have the scouts drooling. Here’s a breakdown on the players that figure to help put some shine back into the golden wheat shafts on the Wheat Kings logo.

Jiri Jakes is a 6’4, 210 Lb. right winger from Praha, Czech Republic. However, that’s the only indication that you’ll find about Jakes’s European background. Jakes’s style of play is completely opposite that of the traditional European. While most players trained on the other side of the pond tend to focus their attention on puckhandling, skating and one-on-one offensive skills, Jakes displays an obvious deficiency in these areas. Jakes plays a more up-and-down style, going into the corners, banging the body, digging for loose pucks, going to the front of the net and hoping for a rebound. He isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty or take a hit to make a play. He also has a good wrist shot, though most of his goals come of loose rebounds in fron Read more »

Penguins sign prospect Robinson

by Richard A. Plisco
on
The Pittsburgh Penguins have reportedly come to terms with 20 year old Canadian native Darcy Robinson. Robinson, a 1999 draft pick, stands at an impressive 6’5″ 222lbs.

He played 71 regular season games with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. He posted 3 goals and 11 assists while ringing up 150 penalty minutes. His plus/minus rating was a dismal -18, the worst on the squad.

Darcy rebounded in the playoffs, recording 1 goal and 1 assist with 20 penalty minutes in 20 contests. He improved his plus/minus ratio to +3.

The specifics of the contract were not released.

Kings Kick Three More to the Curb

by Tony Calfo
on
The Kings annual right of summer, losing once-heralded draft picks because they don’t sign them, continued with two pretty significant names slipping by. In addition to J.F. Nogues, the Kings lost two promising draft picks in Cory Campbell and Brian McGrattan.

Brian McGratten was having a career year until suffering a serious injury, and that can be the only reason they would let him go. McGrattan was showing signs of a true NHL game and would complement the other prospects the Kings are grooming, but that will not be. The Kings are tight-lipped about these maneuvers, but this one raises some eyebrows.

The other move was the Cory Campbell decision. Campbell seemed to overcome some confidence issues to show some solid play this season, but that has now gone to the wayside. I guess another Jamie Storr psyche in the crease was too much of a risk for the Kings.

While I personally find these two maneuvers troubling, it is the trend that concerns me most. While the Kings are loading up on draft picks, the question is what good will they do if we never sign them? Coming off a season in which great strides were made, and a season where many Kings’ fans learned to trust Dave Taylor through what looked like some questionable moves, Kings fans are again forced to trust that management is sticking to the plan.

While this is one I don’t see, here’s hoping I am wrong. Keep your eyes out for more on this story.

Habs Sign Two of Five

by Chris Boucher
on
The June 1st deadline came, and the June 1st deadline went. Although contract offers were made to all five of the Canadiens’ draft picks affected by the deadline, only Marc-André Thinel, and Jerome Marois were actually inked to deals.

Thinel and Marois were each signed to 3-year deals. Financial terms were not disclosed. By not signing Dusty Jamieson, Matt Carkner, and Sean Dixon the Canadiens renounce all rights to these players. Jamieson and Dixon will both re-enter the draft, as they had not turned 20 by the age-deadline. Carkner however will now become a free-agent.

Alexander Buturlin, the Canadiens’ 2nd round pick in the ’99 Draft does not fall under this deadline. He is considered a European player, as he was still playing in Russia when the Canadiens drafted him. Other ’99 draftees not affected by the deadline are Matt Shasby and Chris Dyment who both play US College hockey. As well as Vadim Tarasov and Mikko Hyytia who (as of this moment) play in Europe.

The possibility still exists that the Canadiens could re-draft Jamieson or Dixon during this year’s draft. However for that to happen, either player would have to be ranked higher by Habs’ scouts than all other players still available at that point in the draft.

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions or comments. Just click on my name at the top of this page. I am a former goaltender with writing, scouting, and coaching experience.

Islanders Get One Right: Sign Mapletoft

by Jonathan Litterine
on
The Islanders make a lot of mistakes. Last year they blew their Top draft
pick. But this week they got one right. They signed center Justin Mapletoft
to a three year deal. Yet in typical Islanders fashion, they made everyone
sweat it out. Had the Islanders not been able to reach a deal with Mapletoft, he would have had to re-enter this month’s 2001 Draft. Mapletoft who had 43
goals, 77 assists and 120 points this year lead his Red Deer Rebels to the
CHL Memorial Cup. In addition to that, Mapletoft was named the WHL’s Most
Valuable Player. Mapletoft was a 5th round selection of the Isles, 130th
overall in 1999. I wouldn’t even want to see the faces of Islanders fans if
Mike Milbury couldn’t come to terms with this kid. He is considered by many
to be the steal of the 1999 draft. Smartly the Isles paid him what he wanted
and locked him up for 3 seasons. Hopefully for most Islanders fans, You will
see Mapletoft on the Nassau Coliseum ice for a lot longer then 3 seasons.
With a guy with Mapletoft’s skill and desire it makes you wonder how all the
teams ahead of the Islanders missed Mapletoft?, Mike Milbury credits his WHL
scout Earl Ingarfield for finding this diamond in the rough. The Isles make a
lot of mistakes, and most 5th round picks turn out to be mistakes. But the
Islanders are going to be winners for a long time with this one.

IHL Ceases Operations and Folds

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

The International Hockey League announced today it was folding after 56 years of operation.
The 11-team league will immediately cease day-to-day activities but six of those teams will continue to play in the American Hockey League.

“It is with great sadness that I make this announcement,” IHL president and CEO Douglas Moss said in a statement. “With the landscape of minor-league hockey continuing to evolve, the league’s board of governors determined that this was a necessary decision.”
The governors voted to fold the league during a conference call on Friday.

For next season, the AHL will take in the Manitoba Moose, Chicago Wolves, Houston Aeros, Milwaukee Admirals, Utah Grizzlies and Grand Rapids Griffins from the IHL. Grand Rapids has a player development arrangement with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators while the Moose becomes the new farm club for the Vancouver Canucks.

Monday’s announcement means the IHL will not be coming to Toronto. The Toronto Roadrunners were to begin play in the 2002-03 season at a refurbished CNE Coliseum.
The IHL was founded at a meeting at the Norton Palmer Hotel in Windsor, Ont., on Dec. 5, 1945. It had just four original teams – two in Detroit and two in Windsor.
The Detroit Auto Club beat Detroit Bright’s Goodyear 2-1 in the final series to win the first Turner Cup the following spring.

The league expanded over the next 30 years, but remained mostly a regional circuit based in the U.S. midwest.
After Thomas Berry was named commissioner in 1989, the IHL, which had reached Indianapol Read more »

Season review of Detroit Red Wings Swedish Prospects

by Zoran Manojlovic
on

Here is a look back at the best Red Wings prospects past season in
Sweden, it includes also a prospect ranking.

1. Henrik Zetterberg

Position: Center
Team: Timra
Born: 1980
Height: 6.0
Weight: 185
Drafted: 8th round in the 1999 draft (210 overall)
Rating: 8 / 10
Last season: 47 games 15 goals 31 assists 46 points 24 pim

This was a breakthrough season for the 20 year old Zetterberg. He had an
outstanding season in the Swedish Elite League, were he put up
impressive numbers. In Timra he played in every possible situation, in
most of the games he played on two lines and averaging about 20-25
minutes pro game. He was also voted as the player of the game most of
the time.

After the first 20 games he had a huge slow-down and registered only 2
points in 7 games. But he finished the season strongly with 7 points in
his last 3 games, and ended up with 46 points in 47 games, not bad for a
rookie.

He also played all year long for the national team (Three Crowns), were
he scored 4 goals and 4 assists in 24 games, including 1 goal and 3
assists in 7 games at the World Championships in Germany, were Sweden
took a bronze medal. He played really well when the coach gave him solid
ice time, he received a award as the player of the game in the first game
of the tournament, but towards the end of the tournament he saw less ice
time, and in the two final games he didn`t play at all, because of a late
arrival of Mats Sundin.

He is one of the best prospects in the world today, and
that he has a very bright future in the NHL. He has great skat Read more »

Panther Draft History Analysis

by Mark Fischel
on
After having what might have been their worst season in History, the Panthers are entering the new phase in the life of an Expansion team. After relying heavily on veteran players to help sell the sport to a fickle South Florida to great success, the Panthers have been drafting late in the draft several times. While teams like the Avalanche and the Devils can seemingly find gems in all rounds, most NHL teams are lucky enough to have all their first round picks play in the NHL. The Panthers are one of those teams.
The Panthers have taken part in 8 drafts and have had 6 first round draft selections, of which over half of them have been out of the top 10 (20th twice, and 12th once). Drafting this late generally goes to the better performing teams, and the Panthers veteran team might have caused the Panthers to miss out on some good young players when they should have been stock-piling high draft picks. Such is the nature of being a victim of your success.
To follow is a comprehensive analysis of the Panthers draft history, which has been under only Bob Clarke and Bryan Murray. While the drafting of 17 year olds is hardly an exact science, an analysis of the Panthers picks can show that they have been an above average team in the yearly crap-shoot known as the Entry Draft.

1993 Draft

5th – Robbie Neidermayer
41st – Kevin Weekes
47th – Chris Armstrong
67th – Mikael Tjallden
78th – Steve Washburn
83rd – Bill McCauley
109th – Todd MacDonald Read more »

IHL To Fold This Week and Merge To AHL.

by Andrew Bourgeois
on
When the Orlando Solar Bears won the International Hockey League’s Turner Cup championship last Saturday, the future was missing from the celebration.

The 56-year-old IHL is expected to fold this week thus dramatically changing the landscape at the top level of minor professional hockey.

Six of the IHL’s 11 teams from the 2000-01 season, including the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Milwaukee Admirals, the Houston Aeros, the Manitoba Moose, the Utah Grizzlies and the Chicago Wolves, are expected to jump into an expanded American Hockey League for the 2001-02 season.
The AHL, always a prime development arena for the National Hockey League, would become the primary feeder system, potentially expanding into a 28-team circuit for next season.

In the dream world of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the AHL will eventually become a 30-team entity, so that each of the NHL’s 30 teams will have one top affiliate, similar to how Triple-A baseball teams act as the primary farm teams for major-league baseball clubs.

Like mergers in the corporate world, the logistics of merging two hockey leagues in a few short months have already resulted in plenty of frenzied activity. Among other things, players are worried about lost jobs, while NHL organizations are anticipating reduced costs as new alliances and situations emerge.

Consider the activity in the past two weeks:

- The Minnesota Wild cut their ties to the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL and hooked up with Houston, which also formally announced it was joining the AHL. The league, Read more »

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