From the hockey point of view, Martin Podlesak wasn’t born very lucky. He saw the light
of the world on September, 26th, 1982, just a day after fellow prospect Frank Lukes, who
played for the Toronto St.Mike’s Majors of the OHL this year. He missed the 2000 NHL Entry
Draft eligibility only by 11 days.
He could shine among the Czech 1982 born forwards, as
only three were selected in 2000. That concerns the players playing in Europe. Vaclav
Nedorost was of course the huge star, but Podlesak’s great size and potential could have earned
him a second round spot at the 2000 draft. But this simply didn’t happen.
The crop of the
late-born 1982′s and 1983′s Czech forwards seems to be stronger than the previous year, but
people are talking mostly of Jiri Novotny and Ales Hemsky as potentional stars. Podlesak
seems to be hidden a bit, even this is almost impossible when you would meet him. Martin could
become the tallest Czech forward to ever play in the NHL.
Originally born in Melnik, Czech Republic, Podlesak started playing hockey at the early age
of five. The coaches usually let the tall guys play defense, but Martin wasn’t such a high
tower when he was playing for the first grades. He had exceptional puck skills, which every
coach would love and so he wasn’t forced to call the blue line home. His tough workouts
allowed him to gain the power and Podlesak was able to play with guys older than him. He had
to work on his shooting a bit, but his power helped him to make his shots hard and quite
accurate. He was a strong guy who was almost Read more »
What a difference a year makes. While the 2000 crop of
draft-eligibles had a few good players at the high-end, it did
not match what the 2001 crop has to offer, and the depth this
year is also impressive. From Guelph to the west, Oshawa to the
east, and scenic bread-and-breakfast country along the shores of
Georgian Bay in beautiful Owen Sound, it was a pleasure to watch
this year’s prospects. Expect to see 16-18 OHLers drafted in the
first three rounds of the NHL draft, and some interesting
long-shots in the later rounds.
We’ll start off by having a bit of fun as the make-up of this
year’s group has some things in common with the players taken at
the top of the 1998 Draft. Of course, this isn’t the exact order
in which I would rank the prospects, but it is interesting to
look at the similarities. Included are the numbers that the
players put up in their respective draft-eligible seasons:
1. Vincent Lecavalier – 58GP 44G 71A 115 PTS 117 PIM
Both players have good size and a high skill-level with skating
1. Jason Spezza ——- 56GP 43G 73A 116 PTS 43 PIM
ability, especially with Spezza, being the main concern.
2. David Legwand – 59GP 54G 51A 105 PTS 56PIM Read more »
Looking closer at the current junior team of HC Sparta Praha we can spot some real talent there. Among those players born in 1983, Daniel Volrab is the top player. He is in the 56th position among European players (according to the CSB latest ranking). In the mid season ranking he occupied 16th place. But there are several reasons for this drop. The first thing is that the 16th place was rather over estimated because going by his performance- and let’s face it that is what matters!- he should be somewhere between 30th and 40th position. The second thing is that due to his sickness (he had mononucleosis) he missed out 4 months from this season which cost him strength as well as valuable time which he could have spent improving his skills. The third thing is that the CSB ranking was highly dependant on the results and performances in the under 18 World Championship in which Daniel didn’t play as well as had been expected.
And his story? He discovered the beauty of ice hockey at the tender age of 5. His older brother was playing hockey in Decin so Daniel went on to do the same thing. In the 7th grade he changed teams so he moved from Decin in the hockey town of Litvinov which is a 60km distance from his home. His decision to play for Litvinov was mainly that it was good team and it was nearest to his hometown, of Decin. There he finished primary school and that was the end of his “formal education”.
After winning the title with Litvinov in the 9th grade he made another move. In Litvinov he found limited playing time and felt the need for a chan Read more »
Although Slovak Extra League (Extraliga) has finished more than one
month ago, I would like to mention several facts about the league and
Slovak champion is HKM Zvolen when defeated Dukla Trencin 3 : 1 in
Stats of selected players:
P.Rybar Regular season 55 GP 3320 min. 2.00 GAA .927 SAV
Playoffs 4 GP 248 min. 3.00 GAA .878 SAV
Name GP G A Pts +/- PIM
J.Plch Regular season 53 35 44 79 +59 38
Playoffs 10 5 5 10 +4 4
R.Sechny R.s. 53 24 46 70 +27 64
P. 10 9 10 19 +14 10
P.Fabus R.s. 52 31 22 53 +13 94
P. 14 4 6 10 +4 60
T.Surovy R.s. 53 22 28 50 +3 30
P. 6 2 1 3 +2 4
R.Pukalovic R.s. 51 15 35 50 +45 20
P. 10 3 3 6 +2 6
Z.Ciger R.s. 53 17 32 49 +17 22
P. 8 6 3 9 +4 16
L.Sabol R.s. 48 24 20 44 -2 18
P. 3 1 1 2 +1 0
M.Kulha R.s. 47 23 12 35 -4 58
P. 8 3 4 7 +2 4
T.Nadasdi R.s. Read more »
The highly-touted Toronto prospect was the back-up goalie for Tommy Salo.
Mikael Tellqvist, Djurgården – drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs
Tellqvist did only get to play one game and it was Sweden’s final game against
the USA. He allowed two goals, stopped 30 and had an impressing .938 SVS%.
Mats Sundin was one of those who were really astonished with Tellqvist’s great
But Sundin didn’t seem very anxious to get Tellqvist over the pond considering
the fact that he would most likely see limited ice-time behind Curtis Joseph.
If Tellqvist would have been sent down to the AHL he’d perhaps play 60-70
games, but the question is if he wouldn’t have a better development in the
Swedish Elite League with Djurgården.
Stats: GP: 1, GAA: 2.00, SVS%: .938
Daniel was the best Swedish defenseman along with Kim Johnsson from the NY
Daniel Tjärnqvist, Djurgården – belongs to the Atlanta Thrashers
Rangers. Tjärnqvist played a first-class two-way game. He was registered for 6
assists and several of those came on the power-play where Tjärnqvist was
terrific. Although he has a good shot he didn’t manage to score a goal
throughout the tournament, but on the other hand several of his shots were
deflected by Swedish forwards who then scored.
It will be a huge sensation if the Atlanta Thrashers won’t try to get Daniel
over to the NHL next season. He was the best defenseman for the duration of
the regular season in the SEL and he was the best defenseman in the SEL
p Read more »
The 2000-01 season was one of challenges and responsibilities
for the St. Michael’s Majors’ Mark Popovic. Without a doubt it
made him a better all-around player, although it did not
necessarily provide him with the ideal conditions to best
display his considerable talents.
The first responsibility hoisted upon his shoulders came in the
off-season when he was named team Captain, an honour not often
bestowed on young players who are in their NHL draft-eligible
year. New coach Dave Cameron made it clear that he did not think
a major overhaul of the roster was necessary, but rather the
style of play employed by the club would have to be altered.
Step one in that process was to have Popovic lead the way in
buying into the new system.
Although Mark was tied with Ottawa’s Jon Zion for the
league-lead in scoring among OHL defencemen six weeks into the
season, Cameron’s philosophy of defence, defence, and more
defence would make that result impossible to maintain as the
season wore on.
In looking at the St. Mike’s roster, it would appear that the
coach had little choice. There were only two NHL draftees on the
roster, forwards Adam DeLeeuw, a 6th-round pick of the Red Wings
in ‘98 and Darryl Bootland, an 8th-round pick of the Avalanche
in 2000. The absence of 1st-round talent like a Spezza/Ott or
Boyes/Alexeev combo would ensure that the Majors would have
trouble scoring goals.
On the blue-line, Popovic along with 19 year-old Chris Boucher
would be the only 3rd-year players until an early seas Read more »
WBS 3 Stars of the Week 3/12 – 3/18
Eric Meloche- Meloche may be the most improved player of the year for the Pens. Started his first professional season a little slow, but he’s adjusted and has risen his level of play significantly. This week, he led the Pens with 3 goals and 2 assists. Scored 2 goals and added an assist in a win over Norfolk
Alexandre Mathieu- Another vastly improved player from the beginning of the season. Alex had goals in the Norfolk and Hamilton games.
Milan Kraft- Milan continues his stellar play with a goal and 3 assists.
Crozier 27 (3)
Peterson 25 (3)
Slaney 19 (3)
Kraft 17 (2)
Caron 15 (2)
Parent 11 (1)
Tibbetts 10 (1)
Cull 9 (1)
Laing 8 (1)
Meloche 7 (1)
Ference 6 (1)
Zevahkin 6 (1)
Kelleher 5 (1)
Rozsival 5 (1)
WBS 3 Stars of the Week 3/19 – 3/25
Rich Parent- Rich had an excellent week, recording 2 wins and stopping 78-79 shots with 2 shutouts.
2nd Star: Milan Kraft- Kraft continues to be the Pens best player, week in and out, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists this week, including a 3 point game in the blowout of Worcester.
3rd Star: Toby Peterson- Toby had an excellent game vs. Worcester, scoring 2 goals and adding an assist.
Crozier 27 (3)
Peterson 26 (3)
Kr Read more »
Vancouver Canucks’ farm team will switch leagues and teams next season.
Canuck assistant general manager Dave Nonis said Thursday the National Hockey League team plans to move its minor-league team from Kansas City to Winnipeg for next season.
The minor-league Canucks will also switch leagues because AHL governors voted unanimously to expand and absorb the money-losing International Hockey League.
Vancouver wanted to use the Moose as its minor-league affiliate last season, but the Manitoba franchise’s insistence that ex-Winnipeg Jet Randy Carlyle remain as coach was a deal-breaker for the Canucks.
The NHL club then signed a one-year operating agreement with Kansas City.
Nonis said the coaching hurdle has been removed and the Canucks will name their own coach, although minor-league bench boss Stan Smyl has yet to sign a new contract with Vancouver.
Nonis cautioned, however, there are other contractual matters to be resolved with the Moose.
“It is likely that it’s going to happen,” Nonis said of the farm’s return to Canada for the first time since 1994, when Canuck minor-leaguers moved to Syracuse, N.Y., from Hamilton. “We were really happy with both leagues. From our standpoint, the 1/8 AHL expansion 3/8 won’t make a difference. If you have your own development team, that’s the best way to go.”
IHL PLAYOFF RECAPP FROM SUNDAY MAY 13, 2001
Manitoba Moose 0 Read more »
Atlanta Thrashers Junior Prospects Update Read more »
The NHL draft is the livelihood of a lot of NHL teams. Teams like
Calgary, Buffalo and other small market teams have to draft well or even
better then the rest since they cannot compete for high priced NHL
The Edmonton Oilers will be at the draft table for the 23rd time in
there brief NHL history. Edmonton has had both success and failure at
the draft table over the past 23 years. From 1979-1981, they drafted
players that were integral parts of their dynasty. No NHL team has ever
drafted players like Lowe (1979), Messier (1979), Anderson (1980), Kurri
(1980), Coffey (1980), Moog (1980), Fuhr (1981), Smith (1981) in three
Last year, the Oilers turned over a new “leaf” in there franchise. Gone
are long time coach and GM Glen Sather and Barry Fraser who was there
chief scout since the Oilers inception into the NHL in 1979. Fraser and
his staff uncovered a lot of jewels in the draft in the early years but
from 1984-1992, no first rounder the Oilers drafted played more then 15
games for the Oilers.
The Oilers have one of the worst drafting records in the NHL. In the
1980’s, they had some excuses as they were continually winning and ended
up with low draft picks but in the 1990’s, they missed the playoffs for
a few years but again they continually came up with bad drafts. In
1993, they drafted Arnott and Nick Stajduhar in the first round. 1994
saw the Oilers draft Jason Bonsignore (4th overall) and Ryan Smyth (6th
overall) . 1995 & 1996 (the last years the Oilers would miss th Read more »