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Rangers Update: Graduation Day!

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

With the new management coming in and the captain, Mark Messier, coming back to the team, everyone in New York with a pint-sized brain, including me, figured this year would be an exciting season in which the Rangers could do something big, maybe even become legitimate contenders for hockey’s prized trophy, the Stanley Cup.

Well, so far it has not gone as planned.

After a good 2 months to start the season, the losing started to pile up and the Rangers never were able to recover. Mike Richter was lost for the season with a knee injury and Theoren Fleury just recently volunteered to enter the NHL’s Drug Abuse and Behavior program, likely meaning he will not return to the ice this season. This leaves the Rangers in 10th place in the East and a near impossible chance of being able to catch Boston or Carolina for the 8th and final playoff spot. Although there has not been many, a few of the bright spots for the Blue shirts this season has got to be the improved play of rookie defensemen Tomas Kloucek and Dale Purinton.

Both Kloucek and Purinton now have surpassed the 25 games played mark, meaning this year will indeed be their rookie seasons for Rangers defensemen Tomas Kloucek and Dale Purinton. There’s not one game where I can remember seeing Tomas Kloucek (31 games played) or Dale Purinton (26 games played) not giving it their all on the ice every shift, game in and game out. That has not been something we have seen from other players on the team, and that shows that we indeed need to get some more youngsters on this team. Kloucek and Purinton both play a v Read more »

Pittsburgh Penguins Prospect Update

by Erik Johnson
on

Junior Player of the Year 2/5 – 2/11

Goalies:


Peter Hamerlik (Kingston)- 1-1, 2.00 GAA, .911 SvPct


Defensemen:

Jeremy Van Hoof (Ottawa)- 2 games, 2 PIM
Darcy Robinson (Red Deer)- 2 games, 20 PIM
David Koci (Prince George)- 3 games, 2 PIM


Forwards:

Joel Scherban (London)- 2 games, 1 goal, 1 assist
Tomas Skvardilo (Kingston)- 2 games, 1 assist
Steve Crampton (Moose Jaw)- 3 games, 5 assists, 9 PIM
Shane Endicott (Seattle)- 3 games, 2 assists
Jan Fadrny (Kelowna)- 3 games, 2 goals, 6 assists, 2 PIM
Michel Ouellet (Rimouski)- 3 games, 2 goals, 2 assists


Player of the Week

1st: Fadrny
2nd: Crampton
3rd: Hamerlik


Standings

Ouellet 41 (4)
Fadrny 33 (5)
Hamerlik 32 (3)
Endicott 27 (4)
Crampton 10 (1)
Scherban 9 (1)
Skvardilo 4
Robinson 1 Read more »

Center Stage: Bruins Prospect Andy Hilbert

by Michael Karlstrom
on

Andy Hilbert has quickly emerged as one of the Bruins’ highest regarded prospects. The 5’11″ , 190 lbs. center from Howell Michigan was selected 37th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2000 entry draft.

“I had a little hunch that the Bruins were interested,” said Hilbert. “I had a meeting with them at the draft and thought it went really well. They’re an original six team, a great organization, and a really great city. I nearly committed to play college there (Boston University) I really liked it when I went out there for my visit.”

Success can really reflect nicely on the regard for a prospect and Hilbert has been enjoying a ton of it helping lead his strong Michigan Wolverine team to a really impressive run in the NCAA this year. After 34 games played, Hilbert has 23 goals and 34 assists this season for 57 points. He has been dominant on the ice with a +21 ranking in goal differential and has been gritty running up 64 minutes in the penalty box. All in all, one can certainly understand with numbers like these why many are starting to pencil him into the Bruins lineup at the conclusion of this season.

Before Hilbert can join the Bruins, a contract would need to be signed. While there have been some signs that this could be possible, current NCAA rules would prohibit Hilbert from signing while still maintaining his eligibility to play with the Wolverines. As to what would happen after that, the Bruins would hold Hilbert’s rights while he remained in University, but Andy is open to the thoughts that he might be willing to postpone the completion of Read more »

Bolts Bits – Tampa Bay Prospect Update

by Megan Sexton
on

Ekman Fairing Well

In his latest stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nils Ekman appears to be doing something right. Not only has he stayed with the club since his call up in mid-January, but he has also seen time on the top line with Captain Vincent Lecavalier.

“When you are playing with players as good as I am right now, sooner or later I have to score,” Ekman, who has 6 goals so far this season, explained.

That theory hardly explains his 22 goals and 14 assists in 33 games with Detroit (IHL) this season though.

Questions arose last season, when Ekman, who was the IHL Rookie of the Year, couldn’t seem to carry his minor league success over to the NHL. That question mark is slowly fading. Ekman has 10 points in 24 games so far this season. His six goals, tie him for 9th place in scoring on the team.

Ekman has also seen time on the power play and penalty killing units. He has goals from each to show. He is one of only 5 Bolts to score shorthanded.

Ekman is not reading too much into his improved play. “I kept on working hard and obviously things are going better for me now.”

But he does admit there is a different feel this time around. “It’s easier to play here this time. I feel more confidant and self-confidence is a big part of the game.”

Ekman is the type of player that thrives on ice time. By the looks of things as long as he does what is asked of him, he will continue getting his. “He is getting a chance offensively,” explained Head Coach John Tortorella. “He is learning that if he is not playing the way we want hi Read more »

Petr Kanko-“no troubles, no problems”

by Ivana Paulova
on
One of the many talents of Czech hockey. He is not a very well known player but in his age group (16, born 2-7-1984) it is not unusual. He is a potential 2002 draft pick. He already made an impression in the highest Czech league when he played 2 matches and scored one goal in the colours of the Extraleague Champion Sparta Praha. This creative right winger steadily plays in the junior team of Sparta Praha even though his age enables him to play in one category lower.

He was born in Pribram, a town not far from Prague. He started with hockey at the age of 7 in Pribram and as tradition his father was the main force that made Petr play the game hockey. Petr in fact never had an ambition to play anything other than hockey. He likes to play football and tennis, but not very much. At the age of 10 he started to play for Sparta where he plays at present.

It is obvious that hockey means everything to him. He is 16 and he does not go to school anymore; he has decided to devote everything to hockey. All his attention is centred around hockey. There are no other areas that are as important to him as hockey. He has no other hobbies or interests. He does not go out to clubs or discos with friends. Why? Because it is not fun for him. These are just things that do not attract him. He likes to be with his family, sometimes watch TV (usually sport) and be with his team mates. His life may seem boring to others but not for him. He does what he likes the most. He concentrates only on hockey which is very beneficial for his future career. He cannot be disturbed b Read more »

Christian’s Crusade

by pbadmin
on
After five years of service in the Western Hockey League in Saskatoon and Prince George this 6-0/185 boy has evolved into 6-0/216 man. After being drafted in the 7th round in 1999 Christian has stormed out of the gate the following year and posted very respectable numbers in the 1999-00 season. Even with being traded from Saskatoon to Prince George he managed 18 goals and
38 assists in 68 games while serving 64 minutes in the box.

Not to be out done this season by highly toated fellow teammate Dan Hamhuis, he leads all defenseman with 57 points in 51 games which is tied for first on the team with centerman Blake Robson. At the ripe old age of twenty Christian Chartier is looking forward to next seasons training camp to show the Oilers organization he is ready to take the step, inform the rest of the league that leaving him until the 7th round was a grave mistake. The added 20 pounds to his frame since draft day has helped give the confidence to become a more well rounded player on both sides of the ice. With such mass on a short body he will make life difficult for forwards trying gain position on him in front of the net. Time will only tell how he fairs against Ryan Smith, Mike Grier and Ethan Moreau during training camp when they set up shop in front of the net. If he passes that difficult test he will most likely split time in Edmonton and their farm team gaining valueable experience.

For Christian the four dragons that must be slain for him to take a regular shift with the Bronze and Blue next season are the ability to make safe plays in his own Read more »

Rangers Youth Movement?

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
As the executioner readies his trigger finger the to end the Rangers playoff possibilities there is some brightness shining through this darkness called Year 2000-01.

As we watch Graves, Kamensky,LaCroix, Lefebrve toil up and down the ice like Jarri Kurri did in his last pathetic season one has to look to next year and what sun is shining in.

As Detroit, St.Louis and San Jose…the hockey vultures fly over the carcass of the Rangers players like Graves and Lefebrve could be on their way out. St.Louis who just lost Chris Pronger may have changed again it’s designs on what they need… Adam Graves can help but he is older, slower and less productive this season…which is not a good mix for the ever so fast and fluent Blues… Sylvain Lefebrve can be a nice addition to help anchoring the defense. Val Kamensky…who we are just waiting to come up lame again may find a new spot in Vancouver… Eric LaCroix would like nice in Dallas, Detroit and San Jose… what the Rangers would receive would be pieces of the future…draft picks, prospects and pieces to retool the Hartford Wolf Pack for their run to defend the AHL title.

While Manny Malhotra(limited ice), Jeff Toms(who looks good in his 4 mins a game), Dale Purinton (toughness) and Tony Tuzzolino(nice corner work) try to jump start the engine…only Malhotra is a true solid prospect for the future and one has to wonder what the treatment via Ron Low has done for him. In Hartford Mike Mottau continues to play better…he recently scored his 9th of the season and he is playing a more discipli Read more »

Oilers Prospect Update Part 2

by pbadmin
on
OILERS PROSPECT UPDATE PART 2
Christian Chartier

Prince George WHL GP-51 G-12 A-45 PTS-57 PIM-89
Alexander Ljubimov

Togliatti Rus GP-20 G-1 A-2 PTS-3 PIM-8
Dan LaCouture

Edmonton NHL GP-37 G-2 A-4 PTS-6 PIM-29
Lou Dickenson

Kingston OHL GP-51 G-14 A-18 PTS-32 PIM-29
Brad Norton

Hamilton AHL GP-36 G-3 A-12 PTS-15 PIM-56
Matthew Lombardi

Victoriaville QMJHL GP-60 G-24 A-35 P-59 PIM-56
Oleg Smirnov

Moscow Dynamo RUS GP-25 G-2 a-0 PTS-2 PIM-14
Chad Hinz

Hamilton AHL GP-60 G-11 A-17 PTS-28 PIM-28
Jonathan Fauteaux

Victoriaville QMJHL GP-43 G-6 A-15 P-21 PIM-113
Paul Flache

Brampton OHL GP-60 G-7 A-16 PTS-23 PIM-94

BCHL: A Look At Kevin Estrada

by Jacob Bestebroer
on
In 1997, Kevin Estrada made his Junior A debut with the Chilliwack Chiefs as a wide-eyed 15-year-old, full of promise and the goal of one day being awarded a NCAA scholarship. In his first year with the Chiefs, Kevin paid his dues, often watching from the stands as he managed only one goal during his rookie season. His next two seasons saw a steady increase in ice time, and point production, but injuries took their toll. The 1999-2000 regular season was especially tough for Estrada as he sustained two serious facial injuries, causing him to miss a total of fifteen games. The Chiefs however, had a very successful season which culminated in a bronze medal performance at the Royal Bank Cup, Canada’s National Junior A Championship. It was at this tournament that Estrada began to show the NCAA and NHL scouts just what he could do, as he led the tournament in scoring, with eight points in six games. This season, Estrada has not missed a beat as he leads the league in scoring with 118 points in 58 games. Estrada’s line, with 16 year old Gabe Gauthier, and 17 year old David Van Der Gulik, is not only one of the youngest lines in the league but also the most potent, with all three players currently among the top ten scorers in the league. Currently, Estrada is ranked 196th among North American skaters, but many scouts feel that his draft ranking has increased dramatically over the last month, and that he could go as high as the third round in this years NHL Draft. Estrada’s strong skating, his work ethic, and his his understanding of positional play are assets which have NHL sc Read more »