MEANWHILE, DOWN ON THE FARM
Two new Baby Buds mean changes up front
As most Leaf fans know, the clubs AHL affiliate will be sporting a couple of new veterans in Bob Wren and Doug Doull come opening night at Mile One Stadium. Wren who has been in the Anaheim Mighty Ducks system for the past four seasons comes with the reputation as a nifty distributor fully intact having averaged 46 helpers a year in his stint with Disney. Doull, on the other hand, is almost his polar opposite. Not the most skilled player on the team puck-wise, the ex-St. John’s Flame is a never-say-die grinder who willingly drops the gloves when the occasion presents itself. By bringing in these two players there is more than one message being sent. With Wren in the line-up the top three pivots look to be the ex-Duck, Donald MacLean and Luca Cereda. This will allow the latter to develop in a stress free environment while still presenting a challenge as far as climbing up the rotation is concerned. It also heralds the conversion to wing of more than one Leaf prospect, the two coming readily to mind being Jeff Farkas and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Farkas, without question, is no surprise here. The Leafs have been grooming him for a spot on the wing for a year or so now. However, last year at times due to necessity, he lined up in the middle. Ponikarovsky, while playing outside in his limited stints with the big club, spent the bulk of his time in the middle when with St. John’s. As Toronto is thick with pivots and lacking in scoring wingers at the lower levels, look for the Ukrania Read more »
This year Detroit was one of the oldest teams in the NHL with players such as Igor Larionov (40), Chris Chelios (38), Larry Murphy (39), Pat Verbeek (36) and so on. Next season some of those and other older players will not be back, and that means that Detroit will give some youngsters a chance to show up in the NHL.
But unfortunately Detroit will still have some players that are to old and not so good as they were some years ago (Igor Larionov, Chris Chelios and Steve Duchesne ), it would have been much better to exchange them for some younger and more hungry players. But at the same time you can`t exchange ten NHL-veterans for some youngsters and still be a Stanely Cup contender, it will take some years to get this team younger and still keep it up front.
Next season Detroit will have three rookies, Jason Williams, Jesse Wallin and Pavel Datsyuk.
Jason Williams a 21 year young right winger who had great season in the AHL where he displayed his skills widely. He was signed to a three year contract after a fantastic training camp where he was among the best players. He could be on the 2nd line with Detroit.
Jesse Walin a 23 year old defensman that once again had a good season in AHL. He was one of the most consistant and important players on the team. Wallin is good stay-at-home defenseman with great leadership. Wallin is a RFA, but he will probably get signed, but with the signing of Fredrik Olausson and the hunt for another defenseman it is hard to see how Wallin will get icetime, maybe as 7th defenseman.
Pavel Read more »
A total of 18 Czech players were selected at this year’s CHL Import Draft. For information
about the top 11 picks please see Part 1 of this article, now I’ll try to feature the
remaining 7 players.
No. 36 Martin Kuna – Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
The Drakkar selected the Slavia Praha defenseman, who played only sparingly for the junior
Team: HC Slavia Praha
Born: March, 7th, 1983
Weight: 180 lbs.
NHL draft: 2002 eligible
national teams. Martin played his first season for the Slavia juniors and displayed a tough
defensive play. As a rookie, he didn’t have lots of opportunities to prove his qualities in
important game situations and was overlooked at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Martin is a reliable
stay-at-home defenseman who hasn’t a big offensive upside. His passing and shooting skills
could be improved, but Martin relies on his positional play and defensive skills. Never considered
as a serious prospect, Martin is hoping that he can impress in the QMJHL. He is very likely
to come over, but I doubt that he can turn into a serious NHL prospect.
No. 37 Jakub Klepis – Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Team: HC Slavia Praha
Born: June, 5th, 1984
Weight: 185 lbs.
NHL draft: 2002 eligible Read more »
For more information please vitit http://www.russianprospects.com
Yegor Shastin is a technically sound forward, but who has not been gifted with great size. He is a scoring forward who has the sense for the net. He also has the irreplaceable hockey sense to think on the ice and make solid decision. According to a Russian hockey expert, Maxim Dostoyevsky “Shastin is a brilliant little player. Probably as smart as Larionov. But he’s an average skater (not very fast) and … small-sized after-all.” A significant downside of Yegor’s game is his skating ability. Though he has good straight away speeds, he is not as good in lateral skating and his game suffers due to that. This problem is not mortal for his career and he can refine his skating in the next few years. Yegor possesses a great work ethic and plays hard when he is on the ice. Yegor Shastin’s maturity and experience on the ice is very rare for a player of his age. At only 18 he already has 2 full seasons with Super League’s Avangard Omsk. The Super League is a strong league that is comparable to the AHL and Avangard is one of the strongest team’s the league, making his feat even that much more impressive.
Back In Russia:
Read more »
Ever since Martin Brodeur took the Devils to the Conference Finals in 93-94 against the Rangers, goaltending has never been a major problem in New Jersey. Brodeur has proven to be very durable and can easily play 70+ games every year. However, Brodeur’s contract is up at the end of this season, and he will command high dollar and deservedly so. But with so many goaltending prospects in the organization, how long and for how much will Lamoriello want to lock up Martin?
For the first time since Mike Dunham backed up Brodeur, it looks like the Devils are ready to let a youngster learn the ropes as Brodeur’s caddy. From 1993 to 2001, Chris Terreri, Corey Schwab, Mike Dunham and John Vanbiesbrouck all served time as Brodeur’s back-up. The team would like to have kept Dunham, but expansion killed any chances of the Devils being able to hold on to him. Dunham has gone on to become a very solid goaltender for the Nashville Predators and has a very bright future ahead. But lets forget the past and look ahead to next year and beyond.
The main candidate for the back-up spot next year is Jean-Francois Damphousse. Damphousse was the Devils first round pick, 24th overall in 1997 and may be the most NHL ready of any of the Devils netminding prospects. After a sub-par ’98-99 season with Albany, he rebounded in both ’99-00 and ’00-01 with very solid seasons. In ’00-01 he took over the starting job with the Rats and almost lead them to a playoff spot after the team went through a horrible first 2 months of the season. When the Devils drafted him, he was very thin and wiry. He Read more »
Hockey’s Future is proud to announce the all new and improved updated Panthers Team Page. After countless debates, several fist-fights, the top 20 Panther prospects for the upcoming 2001-2002 season is listed below for your enjoyment.
Florida Panthers Top 20 Prospects
1.Kristian Huselius, Left Wing
Possibly the best prospect in Europe and the best player in the Swedish Elite League, the emergence of Huselius and his dominant play made it very easy to envision him on the second line of the Panthers. He has come to contract terms and will be counted on to make the adjustment to the NHL as soon as possible and provide a 2nd line scoring option.
2. Denis Shvidki, Right Wing
Quickly adjusted to the AHL and the physical play, Denis broke two AHL All-Star records and scored 24 points in 32 games in Louisville. At a late season call-up, Denis scored 7 points in his last 14 games and improved his play in all 3 zones. He is ready to play in the NHL and may not be hindered by getting reduced ice-time on the 3rd line for the next few years.
3. Stephen Weiss, Center Read more »
One of the top prospects in hockey, Vaclav Nedorost talks with Peter Baptista about what it’s like to be part of such a world-class organization, his
experiences during the NHL playoffs this year and what he thinks of Pittsburgh Penguins center Mario Lemieux .
PB: What does it feel like to be part of such a world-class organization?
VN: Colorado is a great organization. They treat the players great. I was
in Denver for playoffs and really enjoyed the city and the people in the Avalanche organization.
PB: When did the Avalanche talk to you about a contract for this season?
VN: I signed my contract in April. I am very happy with my contract.
PB: Are you playing in North America this season?
VN: Yes. Right now I am training in Edmonton and staying with my agent. I
want to get stronger and get ready for Colorado’s training camp.
PB: Do you think you could make the Avalanche out of camp?
VN: I will try my best.
PB: What is your strongest asset?
VN: I think that a have very good hockey sense and I read the game very well. That is my strongest asset.
PB: What is your weakest asset?
VN: I continually like to improve all aspects of my game. That is my goal.
PB: Who do you think is the best player on the Avalanche roster? Read more »
Most Bud draftniks greeted the selection of Karel Pilar in the second round with a collective ‘huh?’ when his name was called from the podium in late June. Little was known about the defender in the original media dispatches except for his height (6’1″) his weight (201 to 215 pounds depending on who you believe) and the fact that he played with recent Leaf acquisition Robert Reichel for Litvinov in the Czech Extra League. His stats on the year, 12 goals and 38 assists in 52 games (which lead Extra League defenders) came in shortly there after. But there is more to Pilar than simply statistics and measurements.
According to Robert Neuhauser, HF’s hockey correspondent in the Czech Republic, Pilar is actually a thinking player on the ice. He almost always opts for the safe play when there is any risk involved and is positionally very sound in his own zone. While he has the size to compete physically, his corner work and clearing work do need to improve at this stage in his career. His skating easily makes the grade and his lateral movement and pivot are NHL ready.
Offensively, the Czech rearguard again usually opts for the safe play, never forcing a shot or trying to thread the needle when attacking. That said, his right-handed shot from the point, while not in the Modin/MacInnis class in velocity, has an uncanny knack of getting through to the net and is easily deflected by forwards there. This and his hockey smarts should make him valuable on the Leaf powerplay where, all too often last year, the point shot either never came or never reached its int Read more »
One of Norway`s premier players who has spent the last seasons playing in Sweden for Leksand has decided to pass on the nearly 100.000 USD offer from the Blues as it was a two way offer which did not guarantee a roster spot in the NHL. If Vikingstad was to be demoted he would spend time at Worcester of the AHL and if recalled his salary would increase 5 times.
Vikingstad is now entertaining the thought of playing in Germany with fellow Norwegian Trond Magnussen for a larger one way contract at Dusseldorf. Vikingstad is also looking at his former Swedish club Leksand as well as Fårjestad and a couple Norwegian clubs.
Other News and Notes from Norway: Anders Myrvold of the Springfield Falcons(AHL) and New York Islanders turned down their contract offer and is now an unrestricted free agent. Myrvold played sparingly in New York last season and is said to be entertaining offers from several other NHL clubs.
Hecht signed for hometeam Adler Mannheim
Forward Jochen Hecht made a surpising announcement. He signed a one year contract with his former team in germany, Adler Mannheim. The DEL-champion held a press conference and you saw Hecht with his new jersey with the number 77. Why did he sign for Mannheim? The whole story: The 24 year old center became an restricted free agent after the season. He talked to his manager and his agent and they let him know the Blues will sign him to a new multi year contract. But, Hecht went back to germany to marry his girlfriend Christina in his hometown and no one talked to him till he received a message from his agent: The Blues traded him together with Jan Horacek and Marty Reasoner to Edmonton for Doug Weight and Michel Riesen. That shocked Hecht very much. “I know that this can happen, but i don’t like it!”
Jochen Hecht is still without a NHL-contract. So, remember Petr Nedved, he played in the czech republic to set the management under pressure. The only reason fot these movements is the money. One more time Hecht: “It’s a pleasure for me to play for the Oilers, a team Gretzky and Messier played for in the past. I want to play for them and i want to sign a good contract.” Hecht will play for Read more »