The 2001 NHL Entry Draft is now history. It was also historical for the Czech hockey. It was
for the first time that 31 players have heard their names selected. It is doubtful that
everyone of this crop will ever play in the NHL, but there are some, who can turn into the
stars of the future. The last successes of the Czech hockey also helped the overage players
to a chance to play in the big league.
As projected, three Czech players were taken in the
first round of the draft. But especially the lower rounds were rich on Czech picks.
Now I will try to comment every Czech pick, round by round,
with a bigger comment on players not included in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft preview.
No. 13 Ales Hemsky – Edmonton Oilers
Position: right wing
Team: Hull Olympiques, QMJHL
Born: August, 13th, 1983
Height: 6’1” Read more »
The Hurricanes have had a few draft follies. In the last four drafts, only five players, David Tanabe, Tommy Westlund, Niclas Wallin, Josef Vasicek, and breakthrough rookie Shane Willis, have made the NHL.
The Hurricanes are coming off a very positive season, where they made the playoffs, and took the defending champion New Jersey Devils to six games, in a very hard-fought series, and in no small part left their own imprint on the 2001 playoffs, as one of the harder-working teams. Backed by the goaltending of Arturs ‘Archie’ Irbe, the Hurricanes have a franchise goaltender, but he’ll need help in the future, as nobody is ageless. The defense, anchored by David Tanabe and Sandis Ozolinsh, could use a bit of re-tooling, but is solid as an overall unit. The forwards, who are led by cornerstone Jeff O’Neill and nearly-ageless Ronnie Francis, look to be in good shape, as well. A solid, if unspectacular unit overall.
The Hurricanes were in need of another defensive prospect, with Nikos Tselios being their only decent D prospect, and he hasn’t scratched the surface of the NHL thus far.
With the number fifteen selection in the Draft, the ‘Canes selected Russian Defenseman Igor Knyazev.
Knyazev, a solid two-way defenseman, has the body to be a solid D-man on both sides of the puck. He has a good shot from the point, and good overall offensive instincts. Even though his statistics may not dictate that he is offensively-oriented, young defenders in Russian hockey are geared towards solid defensive play first. He was named Captain of the Russian Natio Read more »
SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers President and General Manager Bill Torrey announced contract information today regarding several Panthers players.
The club offered qualifying contracts to nine players: defenseman Dan Boyle, recently acquired right wing Valeri Bure, defenseman John Jakopin, center Olli Jokinen, goaltender Roberto Luongo, left wing Marcus Nilson, right wing Joey Tetarenko, right wing Rocky Thompson, and defenseman Lance Ward. All of these players are considered Group 2 Free Agents.
By giving these players qualifying offers, the club maintains the right to match any contract offer they may receive, and the Panthers can receive draft pick compensation if there is a signing with another club. If a player is above the league’s average salary, the qualifying offer is the same as last year’s salary. If a player is below the league’s average salary, than a qualifying offer is a one-year contract with a ten-percent raise from last season’s salary.
The Panthers also picked up the option for the 2001-02 season on the contract of center Vaclav Prospal.
In addition, the Panthers did not make contract offers to defenseman Chris Allen, center Len Barrie, defenseman Anders Eriksson, center Andej Podkonicky, defenseman Peter Ratchuk, defenseman Remi Royer, and defenseman Mike Wilson. All of those players will become unrestricted free agents as of July 1, 2001. Also becoming unrestricted free agents are: left wing Greg Adams, right wing Paul Brousseau, defenseman Yan Golubovsky, goa Read more »
First of all, i would like to welcome the fans of the San Jose Sharks, the Ottawa Senators, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals who read an article from germany for the first time. These team all drafted players from germany, the number goes high to SEVEN. A new record for germany and we also beat slovakia and the suiss with this high number of draftees.
Germany saw three years without a draftpick. We hadn’t very good talents in this years and the best prospects got no chance to play in their team, to many foreigners own a spot. The last pick from a german team was forward Andrej Nedorost in last years draft as he were picked in the last round by the Columbus Blue jackets. Nedorost spent the two season before his draft in Essen, Germany. And the last german-born player who was drafted is Sascha Goc, the fifth pick from the New Jersey Devils, #159 overall in 1997.
First round with second Goc
The NHL Entry Draft 2001 starts without big surprises. Several trades happened, for example: the disputed russian center Alesei Yashin was traded to the New York Islanders. The Atlanta Trashers pick up russian teenage sensation, center Ilya Kovalchuk, the best canadian, Read more »
Rangers General Manager Glen Sather traded another veteran player today, this time dealing away center Tim Taylor to the Tampa Bay Lightning for 25 year old left wing Nils Ekman and 22 year old left wing Kyle Freadrich. This was a solid move for the team, as Taylor would likely have been bought before Midnight tonight, the deadline for teams to buy out players at two-thirds of their salary.
Nils Ekman is a skilled Swede who is a defensive specialist. Although he is considered small at 5 foot 11, he plays a tough physical game and tries to get under the skin of his opponents. He has the tools to be a permanent NHLer, but he will have to impress the Rangers in camp to earn his spot on the roster. As for Freadrich, he is one of the biggest players in the history of the NHL, at 6 foot 7 and 260 pounds. However, as is the case with most big players, Freadrich is an awful skater and even courses at a skating school couldn’t help him. Freadrich is considered mainly a 4th line tough guy who will stick up for his teammates and drop the gloves often, however he doesn’t have much offensive skills. He will likely play in the minors this season, but may see a game or two in the NHL because of injuries.
In another deal, Glen Sather sent 24 year old left winger Jeff Ulmer and 24 year old defenseman Jason Doig to the Ottawa Senators for 27 year old defenseman Sean Gagnon and reportedly “future considerations”. Gagnon is a physical defenseman who likes to drop the gloves, but he has been a career minor leaguer throughout his career. Maybe Slats felt he wanted to strengthen the Read more »
The names of recent Kootenay ICE
European members of their club read
somewhat like a whose who of able
scorers, deft puck-handlers and flashy
offensive moves, Stanislav Gron,
Jaroslav Svoboda, Zdenek Blatny and
most recently, Marek Svatos. Needless
to say, the Kootenay ICE’ first pick
(16th overall) in Wednesday’s CHL’s
Import Draft is going to have some very
big shoes to fill.
The pick, the result of
compensation from the Tri-Cities
Americans luring former ICE G.M. Bob
Tory to fill the same position in
Kennewick, was used to select Thomas
Plihal, a 6′ 1″, 180lb, seventeen-yr-old
left-winger from the Czech Republic.
Roy Stasiuk, Director of Player
Personnel for the ICE says that the club
has known about the lanky winger for
some time. “We’ve known about him for
two years,” said Stasiuk on the phone
from his Edmonton home. “He played
with the Czech under-17 team in
Timmins, Ontario (host of the ’99 World
Under-17 Tournament) two years ago,
playing against two of our young players
at the time, Dan Blackburn and Tyler
Stasiuk figures that the Czech Republic
native could come in and make an
impact with the ICE right away. “He’s
got pretty good size, he’s got excellent
stick skills and he’s a good skater, not in
the pure speed aspect but Plihall is very
strong on his skates with great balance
and someone who can handle the puck
very well coupled with a very good
shot,” said Stasiuk. The club’s head
scout also offered a glimpse of where
the lanky import would fit in a
somewhat revamped ICE line-up tha Read more »
In the 2001 draft, the Ducks took a potential top line star, a player who will fight for a forward position this year, and adding some much needed depth at the blue line. They also drafted small with 7 players measuring 6’0″ and under, 4 Canadians, 2 Russians, and one of each from Finland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. They also drafted very skilled. The following is the list of players the Ducks selected.
First Round – 5th Overall
Stanislav Chistov (Omsk/Russia) – Right Wing (18) 5’9″ 169lbs Shoots: Right
Central Scouting Report
“An excellent skater with impressive speed and agility … and outstanding offensive-minded player who is a scoring threat every time he is on the ice … a creative playmaker with very strong puck handling skills … has the ability to control the puck and maneuver very well at top speed … has good vision and strong hockey instincts … a very good competitor and a hard worker who plays with a lot of intensity.”
The best available player at #5 and arguably the most skilled player in the draft, Chistov is expected to return to Russia next season but commented that he would attend the Ducks camp this season if invited. He has also played center. Compared to both Kariya and Sergei Samsonov, though it’s been said his skating isn’t as powerful as Kariya’s.
Here’s a capsule look at the current status of Toronto’s top 10 prospects based upon their respective performances during the 2000/2001 season:
Mikael Tellqvist (G) – Tellqvist’s outstanding season in the SEL has been well documented here at Hockey’s Future. While leading his club team to a second consecutive Swedish championship and also showing well in several international competitions, Mikael has firmly cemented his place at the top of Toronto’s prospect list. What’s Next: Having already accomplished just about everything that he possibly can at home, Tellqvist is poised to try the North American scene next season. Although there is a outside chance that he might win the back-up job in Toronto, his long term development would probably be better served by starting 40-50 games in St. John’s.SEASON GRADE: A
Brad Boyes (C) – Boyes, Toronto’s first round selection at last June’s draft, was another prospect who saw his rating soar during the course of 2000/2001. Brad led the Erie Otters with 45 goals and 45 assists for 90 points in only 59 games. He was awarded the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s most outstanding player in recognition of a truly dominant season. What’s Next: Brad has one year of eligibility remaining in junior hockey and will almost certainly return to Erie next fall. He will be asked to improve his defensive positioning, skating and upper body strength in order to better prepare for a pro debut in 2002/2003.SEASON GRADE: A
The Boston Bruins spent the entire NHL Entry Draft adding skill, size, and toughness to their system, all 3 of which were absolutely necessary. They also added two little-known goaltenders who both appear to have some potential for the future.
The Draft Preview Article stated the Bruins needed to increase depth in goal, improve defensive prospects, and add wings to the organization. The Bruins met all those goals despite not meeting the goals with the best players available.
The Bruins used their 19th overall pick on defenseman Shaone Morrisonn. Many consider Morrisonn’s selection the first surprise pick of the draft. The CSB had Morrisonn ranked 41st among North American Skaters. Even Shaone thought he was a second round pick, “I was rated, 41st, I think, and I expected to go in the second round.”
The Bruins felt otherwise about the 6’ 3” 185 lbs. defenseman from Vancouver, BC and made him their top choice.
“He was high on our list, and made our top ten. We were waiting to see if he was still there, and fortunately he was,” said Bruins Director of Scouting, Scott Bradley.
The 18-year old reportedly made huge improvements as the Western Hockey League season reached its mid-point and Morrisonn, the Kamloops Blazers, and even the Bruins hope he can build on those improvements to become even better. Shaone climbed 17 spots from his mid-season ranking of 58 to his final ranking of 41 on the CSB list.
“It was a surprise that Morrisonn was taken so early in the draft, but I can see where Boston was coming fr Read more »