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Kyle Wanvig and Barrett Heisten: Future Rangers?

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

I’m sure the Rangers were excited to see two blue-chip prospects unable to come to terms with their respective teams before Friday’s 5:00 PM deadline for 1999 draftees to be signed who were drafted out of major junior (OHL, WHL or QMJHL). Those two players are Kyle Wanvig, a 6’2 220 pound winger who was drafted in the 3rd round (89th overall) of the ’99 draft by the Boston Bruins, and Barrett Heisten, a 6’1 195 pound winger who was drafted in the 1st round (20th overall) in ’99 by the Buffalo Sabres. Kyle Wanvig will re-enter this month’s draft while Barrett Heisten will become an unrestriced free agent.

Kyle Wanvig is a dominating power forward who had an outstanding season this year in the WHL with the Memorial Cup winning Red Deer Rebels, notching 55 goals, 101 points and 202 penalty minutes in 69 games during the regular season. He was awarded as the Memorial Cup MVP after he totaled 2 goals and 6 points in 4 games during the tournament. It appeared as if he was going to be Toronto Maple Leafs’ property after they supposedly acquired the rights to Wanvig for Jonas Hoglund and a 6th round pick, however the NHL nixed the deal at the last minute as they didn’t receive a fax of Wanvig’s signing with the Leafs until 5 minutes after the deadline. Wanvig will now re-enter the draft, and it is anyone’s guess where he could be picked. It is unlikely he will go in the 1st round, but the 2nd round is a definite possibility. Some scouts question whether Wanvig’s skating is NHL-calibre, and many feel that could hold him back from developing into a dominate power forward. Howev Read more »

Marcel Goc, german’s top prospect

by Oliver Janz
on





First steps with three years

Calw, a small town in germany between Stuttgart and the french border. And it is also the birthplace of Marcel Goc, the biggest german talent now and possible the biggest german talent ever.

He was born there in August of 1983 and start skating with just three years. Starting to play hockey comes one year later. Searching for a hockey club near Calw he find a team in Esslingen, a district of Stuttgart. There he played for the ESG Esslingen in his PeeWee- and Bantam-age till the summer of 1997. The coaches and scouts from Schwenningen saw Goc’ big talent. His smooth stick-handling and his skating are unique for a german player in his age. So, Marcel Goc joined the Schwenninger ERC youth team. Their pro team appear in the highest german hockey league, the DEL. The club isn’t a rich one and gave cheaper players and some natives a fair chance to get a spot. A good future and a goal for him.

Needing more competition

Playing in the youth team from Schwenningen helped him in his developing progress, but he need more than that level. The german youth leagues aren’t so good. Especially the 23 goals in 12 games in his second season there says: He need more competition at a higher level.

His first option is to play in the german junior league, the ‘normal’ way for a hockey player her Read more »

Changes coming to the Nailers

by Erik Johnson
on
At a press conference today, the Wheeling Nailers announced that they have entered into a management agreement with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

The Penguins will take over all day-to-day operations of the franchise, including on and off-ice activities. After this season, the Pens will have the option to a) extend the contract, b) buy the Nailers from the local owners, or c) end the relationship.

The Pens and Nailers announced that former NHL GM, coach, and goalie Eddie Johnston will be the team’s new Vice-President and General Manager. Johnston is currently the Penguins Assistant General Manager. As well, Jeff Barrett will be inserted as the team President, the same position he holds with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton franchise.

Current GM Fred Traynor will assume the title of Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer.

The team also announced that they have hired John Brophy as the 9th head coach in team history. Brophy is the ECHL’s All Time leader in regular season games coached and won. He’s also won the most playoff games in ECHL history and has won 3 ECHL league championships. Brpohy also has 964 professional coaching wins in his 27 years of coaching (including time in the NHL), which ranks 2nd all time.

Slovak Draftees Playing In The European Leagues

by Daniel Kysel
on

Stats and short comments about Slovak draftees playing in the European
leagues. As you can see some players belong to top ones in the leagues
but other ones play in curious leagues and cannot even dream about NHL.


(Name, year of birth, position, last team – year of selection, NHL team,
No. of pick)

British Superleague

Ivan Matulik (1968, F, Cardiff - 1986, Edmonton, #147) - skates in U.K. for several years yet. The NHL is closed chapter for him. Regular season 48GP 13 - 17 - 30 N/A 48 PIM Playoffs 6GP 2 - 1 - 3 N/A 33 PIM

Czech Extraliga

Roman Kontsek (1970, F, Havirov - 1990, Washington, #135) - captain of the team helped to save Extraliga for Havirov but mediocre season. Regular season 43GP 7 - 13 - 20 +11 24PIM Playoffs 0GP 0 0 0 Martin Strbak (1975, D, Vsetin - 1993, Los Angeles, #224) - very good season with Czech champion team. Hey Kings, don't you need solid stay-at-home defenseman? Regular season 49GP 2 - 6 - 8 +6 46PIM Playoffs N/A World championship 6GP 0 - 1 - 1 +5 6PIM Jan Lipiansky (1974, F, Vsetin - 1994, Philadelphia, #270) - solid season but I don't think he will play on NHL ever. Regular season 49GP 12 - 11 - 23 +19 39PIM Playoffs 13GP 2 - 2 - 4 N/A Radovan Somik (1977, F, Zlin - 1995, Philadelphia, #100) - impressive rookie season on Czech Extraliga. Regular season 46GP 15 - 10 - 25 +18 22PIM Playoffs N/A World championship 6GP 0 - 0 - 0 -1 0PIM Robert Dome (1979, F, Kladno - 1997, Pittsburgh, #17) - shown some Read more »

Where has Boris Protsenko gone?

by Richard A. Plisco
on
When the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted rugged winger Boris Protsenko in
the third round of the 1996 NHL entry draft they figured they had
recruited a top-notch power forward prospect. On his Tier II junior club
Boris notched 52 points in 47 games and backed up the offense with 199
penalty minutes. The Pens were banking on this young man to come into
his own as a close range sniper that was not afraid to grind in the
corners and along the boards. The Ukrainian was not to disappoint early,
compiling an impressive 229 points in 208 games with Calgary of the WHL.
Those same 3 seasons saw Boris chalk up 328 minutes in penalties. That
was early.

Boris was sent to Syracuse of the AHL, the former Penguins
developmental affiliate for the 1998-99 campaign. That season was the
beginning of the downward spiral. Playing with bigger, stronger
competition and the added pressure of being that much closer to the NHL
ranks, Boris began to flounder. He managed a mere 48 points in 65
appearances and his penalty minutes were a meager 84. The Penguins
carried Boris over to Wilkes-Barre’s roster for their debut season in
1999-00 and he produced even less. Protsenko put up a meager 36 points
in 64 contests and tallied a very non-aggressive 41 penalty minutes.

All was not lost however, as the Penguins invited the 5′-11″ 195lbs.
forward to the 2000 training camp with the hope that he would show a
glimmer of the potential the team had seen in the past. Protsenko was
there…his promising talent was not. Boris spent 48 games this season
with the Wheeling N Read more »

Tomas Plekanec- 14th in the CSB European ranking

by Ivana Paulova
on
“And the award for the best rookie of the Czech Extraleague goes to 18 year old player of HC Vagnerplast Kladno Tomas Plekanec”

Tomas Plekanec is an amazingly talented player who seems to be rather underestimated and a bit in the background in the experts eyes even though he has already proved his qualities. He is definitely the dark horse of the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. But he has an outstanding potential.

He was born on 31st October 1982 so he is eligible for the 2001 draft. Most 82’s were drafted last year. So his age may be seen as a disadvantage. However this extra year has brought an infinite number of benefits for this player who usually wears number 14 on his jersey. Tomas is now more mature, more confident and has developed to be an extremely valuable player no matter his age.

In the under-20 Junior World Championship the Czech Republic once again surprised the whole world and gave no other team the chance to grab victory. The young Czech players brought gold medals from the Russian capital Moscow. The youngest of the Czech players was indeed this very guy of whom I speak: Tomas Plekanec. It was only 3 months after he had celebrated his 18th birthday. He played in the 3rd line there and performed quite well in the 6 games where he gained 2 points for 1 goal and 1 assist. This can be considered as his most valued success until present. That was the actual break- through in his career and mainly because Tomas had become more known to Czech fans and oversees experts. This season Tomas was the player of HC Vagnerplast Kladno the Read more »

Panthers and Vancouver swap draft picks for prospect

by Mark Fischel
on

SUNRISE, FL –Florida Panthers President and General Manager Bill Torrey announced today that the club has acquired two draft picks from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for G Alexander Auld who played for North Bay of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) last season.

The Panthers will receive the 2001 compensatory pick Vancouver was awarded for Mark Messier signing with the New York Rangers last year and also a third round selection in the 2002 Entry Draft. The position of the compensatory pick will be determined by the National Hockey League (NHL) prior to this year’s draft. It is likely to be a second round selection. Following the determination of the position of the compensatory pick, the Panthers have the option to keep that pick or exchange it for a second round 2002 Draft Pick.

Auld, the Panthers’ second choice (40th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, played in 40 games last season with North Bay registering a 22-11-5 record and a 2.54 goals against average.

The Panthers will host the 2001 NHL Entry Draft at the National Car Rental (Sunrise, FL) June 23-24.

Press Release courtesy of the Florida Panthers

Poor Drafts of the past

by Kirk Pedersen
on

The Canucks haven’t always been a very good team at the Draft table. They have opted a few times to go for the “safe” choice, rather than picking someone who seems to be more of a gamble, but turned out to be a better player. Hindsight is 20/20, but there have been a few blunders at the draft in the past ten or so years, which are particularly bad.


1990:
The Canucks had two first-round picks, the #2, and the #18. The consensus best player going in was Cornwall Royals forward Owen Nolan.

With their first selection, the Canucks chose Petr Nedved.

Players chosen after Nedved:
Keith Tkachuk
Martin Brodeur
Jaromir Jagr
Darryl Sydor
Keith Primeau
Derian Hatcher
Mike Ricci

Analysis: Going into the draft, the Seattle Thunderbirds forward seemed to have everything going for him, and he was taken, which in hindsight, seems erronious, when you see the calibre of players taken after him. He shattered junior scoring records with Seattle, and the big Czech forward was going to be a star in the NHL.

What went wrong: Nedved seemed like a huge gamble, being that he only played one season of major junior hockey. Nedved had two miserable seasons with the Canucks in ’90-91 and ’91-92 before finally breaking out in ’92-93, wrapping up seventy-one points. All was looking up, until a holdout sparked the end of his days in Vancouver. He could have been one of the best Canucks ever, but his attitude prevented that from happening. He only lasted 19 games in St. Louis, before becoming a Pittsburgh Penguin, where he Read more »

Cleveland Lumberjacks Fold While Houston Teams Up With The Minnesota Wild

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

The International Hockey League announced that they would cease operations of the Cleveland Lumberjacks.
The league took control of the team when previous owner Hank Kassigkeit threatened to fold the team in February. The league had been looking for a buyer since that time.
“At this time, IHL ownership believes it is in the best interests of the league to cease operations of the Lumberjacks franchise,” IHL president Douglas Moss said in a release.

The Lumberjacks had been the primary development team of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. The Wild announced Monday they would be affiliating with the Houston Aeros of the IHL next season.

The Minnesota Wild have reached an agreement with the International Hockey League’s Houston Aeros to become their primary minor-league development affiliate.

It’s the first time the Aeros franchise has been affiliated with an NHL team.
Houston has made the IHL playoffs in six of the last seven years. Three Wild players — goalie Manny Fernandez, defenseman Flip Kuba and forward Cam Stewart — spent time with the Aeros.

Todd McLellan, who coached the Wild’s IHL affiliate Cleveland Lumberjacks last season, will coach the Aeros.

IHL FASTFACTS

On November 29, 1997 A IHL-record crowd of 20,804 pack The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit to see the Grand Rapids Griffins spoil the evening with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Vipers.

DID YOU KNOW

Last year the IHL lead all minor leagues in attendance for the 11th straight year.

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