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Cereda vs Boyes: A Comparative Study

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on

A popular debate amongst followers of the Leafs these days is which of Luca Cereda and Brad Boyes will be the better player down the road. Drafted in the first round by Toronto in the 1999 and 2000 drafts respectively, they were the second and third pivots selected first by the Buds in a row (with Nik Antropov going in 1998). So who is better? It’s still too early to tell, but a closer examination of both skaters is in order as the NHL gets ready for it’s various training camps.

Cereda since his draft year has had a myriad of problems, some personal, but the main one medical. With his heart murmur and surgery behind him now, this coming season looks to be the one in which he will leave his mark on the Leafs farm system. A slick distributor with the puck, the Swiss product is a rock on his skates who sees the game very well, both offensively and defensively. While there has been a knock on him that he is not a physical player, this columnist having seen him play doesn’t buy it. He will never be a Darcy Tucker type flying into the boards at high speed regardless of risk. That said, he uses his lower body strength very much to his advantage. Other players might have to get an elbow up here or there to gain leverage in the corners, but Cereda just plants himself and pivots where they aren’t. His skating doesn’t come into question as he is above average across the board. If there is something he could work on, it’s his finishing ability. Cereda will never been a 40 goal man, but he will no doubt be the setup man for one down the line. The best comparison when it comes to Read more »

The Top 15 Fantasy Breakthrough Players

by Curtis Allen
on

Everybody in the fantasy hockey world knows whom to draft in the early rounds: your Jaromir Jagrs, Pavel Bures and Paul Kariyas are guaranteed to go quickly. But what makes any fantasy team successful is scoring balance, and that means scoring some gems in the later rounds of your draft. So here are some players who are poised to take the next step, and round out your roster. Chances are they were on your team last year, but can be expected to increase their scoring totals this year and could prove to be keepers for years to come, making you look awfully good for nabbing them.

15. Patrick Stefan, LW, Atlanta

Has suffered under the burden of being the #1 pick on an expansion franchise, and has been plagued by concussions. But has slowly improved as he adjusts to the NHL game, and a late-season shift to wing saw him produce 11 points in the Thrashers last 15 games. Huge leap in scoring may be a year away, but could sneak up on a lot of people this year, and could prove to be a keeper. And just think what he could do once Dany Heatly and Ilya Kovalchuk develop.

2000/01 stats: 66GP, 10G21A=31PTS Projected 2001/02 stats: (23G29A=52PTS)

14. John Madden, LW, New Jersey

You’ve got to love the Devils’ depth. This guy scored 23 goals while playing mostly on their fourth line. Now that takes talent. One of the league’s most dangerous shorthanded threats, Madden will be called upon to help replace Mogilny’s 43 goals. A high scorer at Albany of the AHL, Madden is proving he can do it at the NHL level.

2000/01 stats: 80GP, 2 Read more »

Kobasew comes westward

by Jeff Arnim
on

At a press conference this morning, Kelowna Rockets President and General Manager, Bruce Hamilton, announced that list player Chuck Kobasew has elected to leave Boston College and become a member of the Western Hockey League.

The 14th overall selection in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames, Kobasew spent the entire 2000-01 hockey season with the BC Eagles, garnering honors as the Hockey East Rookie of the Year, as well as the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Prior to his collegiate experience he played for the BCHL’s Pentiction Panthers, amassing 54 goals and 106 points in his only full season in the league. Kobasew was named MVP of the BCHL’s Interior Division as well.

Player vitals
Position: Right wing
Height: 6-0
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthdate: 4/17/82
Hometown: Osoyoos, BC

Statistics

Year     Team           League   GP   G   A  Pts  PIM
1998-99  Penticton      BCHL     30  14  14   28  n/a
1999-00  Penticton      BCHL     58  54  52  106  n/a
2000-01  Boston Coll.   H-East   43  27  22   49   38

Lukin leads Canada at U-18 World Cup

by Jeff Arnim
on

Kamloops Blazer forward Jarret Lukin scored two goals for Team Canada, including the game winner, en route to the squad’s 5-0 shutout over Slovakia in the first official game of the 2001 Six Nations Tournament in Kolin, Czech Republic. Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Chicoutimi, QMJHL), Maxime Talbot (Hull, QMJHL), and Ben Eager (Oshawa, OHL) also tallied for Canada on Monday.

Lukin, a 5-foot-9 and 170 pound native of Fort McMurray, Alberta, played his first full season in the Western Hockey League last year as a 16-year-old, posting 11 goals and 18 points in 61 games for Kamloops, along with 43 penalty minutes. He also appeared in all four Blazer playoff games.

Brandon Wheat Kings winger Lance Monych also added an assist on Lukin’s second goal, at 12:04 of the third period.

In addition to Lukin and Monych, four WHL players, all defensemen, are a part of the Canadian National Under-18 team. They include Tyler Boldt (Kamloops), Derek Meech (Red Deer), Andy Thompson (Kootenay), and Ian White (Swift Current).

The next action for the team is Tuesday against the host Czech Republic squad.

Player vitals: Jarret Lukin
Position: Center
Height: 5-9
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birthdate: 1/24/84
Hometown: Fort McMurray, AB

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New Coyotes’ Top 20

by Brandon LeBourveau
on
Conducting a Top 20 list of prospects is not an easy thing to do. Everyone has their own opinion on a certain player’s talent and potential, and if you ask 5 people to give you a Top 20 list, I’m willing to bet all 5 would be different. I know not everyone is going to agree with this list, and I respect that. I respect your opinion, and if you feel like expressing it in an e-mail or a comment at the bottom of this article, please feel to do so. I will try to reply to all comments. Well, enough of the gibberish, let’s get right to it: The List.

Read more »

Cipolla Heads North to Winnipeg

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

AHL NEWS

Manitoba Moose have announced that they have purchased the contract of LW/C Jason Cipolla from the Rochester Americans. Cipolla spent the past two seasons with the Amerks but Moose fans may remember him from his two years as a member of the Milwaukee Admirals, where he recorded 111 points in 129 games between 1997 and 1999. Cipolla is the fourth player acquired by the Moose this season, joining defensemen Brian Chapman and Justin Kurtz, along with forward Jimmy Roy.

The Toronto product posted totals of 12 goals and 25 assists for 37 points in 72 games with the Americans last season. He signed with Rochester prior to the 1999-2000 season and was part of the Amerks’ run to the Calder Cup final. Cipolla is known as an individual with good character. On the ice he is feisty and agressive. Off the ice, he was awarded the Americans’ McCulloch Trophy for his work in the community last season.

“Jason Cipolla is a hardworking player that will show up every night,” said Carlyle. “When Vancouver goes through a string of recalls over the course of the season he will be one of the players that we will depend on as a constant variable along with players like Brian Chapman, Justin Kurtz and Jimmy Roy. We expect that he will be able to contribute offensively and will be a positive influence in the dressing room.”

Cipolla will join all the Canucks hopefuls in Burnaby, B.C. when Vancouver opens their training camp on September 11th.

AHL FASTFACTS

In 1996-97 Hamilton Bulldogs Dennis Bonvie set an AHL record when he recorded 522 penalty Read more »

2001-02 Season Previews, From Vydareny to Reid.

by Kirk Pedersen
on

The Canucks have been a team in the past who have gotten quite a bit of high-quality talent from the NHL Draft. The past few seasons have been no exception. Since Brian Burke and his band of merry men took over in 1998, the Canucks have seen players such as Artem Chubarov and the Sedins take roles in the future of this franchise. With players such as Bryan Allen, Rene Vydareny and Brandon Reid set to undertake spots in the hopefully not-too-distant future.

Here are prospects #3-6, a preview and forecast of the upcoming seasons for Rene Vydareny, Alexander Auld, R.J. Umberger, and speedster Brandon Reid.

Rene Vydareny was drafted in 1999, in the third round, from Bratislava, in the Slovakian Junior league. He was the #12 European skater for the ’99 draft, ahead of such players as Luca Cereda, Kristian Kudroc, Andrei Shefer, and Mattias Weinhandl. He came over to North America for the 1999-2000 season, picking up thirty points (7g, 23a) in 51 games with the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL.

He missed a good chunk of this season due to a contract dispute with his Slovakian Club team, which blew up into him not being able to play in Kansas City, or with the Canucks, as stipulated in his contract. The Canucks spent the better part of a few weeks trying to wrestle the rights to Rene away from Bratislava, and eventually succeeded, although they paid an undisclosed sum to the Slovakian team for Rene’s services. He finally arrived in Kansas City, around the midpoint of the final season for the IHL. He didn’t score at all; (0g,1a in 39 games) but he showed flas Read more »

Tim Branham

by Scott McFarlane
on

When the Vancouver Canucks selected Tim Branham with their 3rd pick (93rd overall) in the 2000 NHL entry draft, the Canucks knew that they were drafting a solid, talented defensemen.

Tim Branham

Position: D

Shoots: Left

Height: 6-2

Weight: 185 lbs

Birthdate: 1981-05-05

Hometown: Eagle River, Wisconsin

The 6’2, 185-pound Branham is known more as an offensive defenseman, rather than the typical defensive defensemen. Tim Branham’s skating is one of his more notable skills, along with his big shot. Branham will have more of a realistic chance to make the Canucks within the next 4 years.

The Canucks are deep on defence, with Bryan Allen, Zenith Komarniski and Rene Vydarney all ready to make the next step to the NHL. It leaves very little room for Tim Branham and other defensemen prospects like Bonni, Hay, and Ytfeld to make the team. There are hardly any open spots on the Vancouver Canucks for the next couple years. So many players are trying out for those few spots, only so many can earn those spots. It is going to be tough for the players, but fun for us writers and fans to watch.

Last year Branham played for the Barrie Colts of the OHL.

Tim Branham’s stats

1999-00 Barrie Colts OHL GP 38 G 3 A 16 P 19 PIM 46

2000-01 Barrie Colts OHL GP 68 G 7 A 25 P 32 PIM 77

Tim Branham posted very respectable numbers last season. A nice stat to see was the 77 penalty minutes in 68 games; this shows that he can throw his tall, skinny frame around and doesn’ Read more »

Fulfilling the league’s potential.

by Jake Dole
on
Since 1946, hockey has taken over as the sort of competition which, to this day, familiarizes other nations with Russia and its system of sporting procedure. Until the fall of the Soviet Union, the system was extremely successful(although somewhat inhumane), which was evident with the enjoyed success of the “Sbornaja” clubs for more than 3 decades. Although, the system had its flaws, the secret lay within the strict development of youth to ensure the country’s athletic prosperity and assure consequent triumphs.
With the upcoming winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, one can only wonder if the nation can realistically compete for gold. Whether or not the problem lies within the apparent shortage of hockey youth, an argument can be made that unlike in the late 80’s or early 90s, Russia can no longer exhibit a punch of youthful energy to its lineup. Ten years ago, the likes of Mogilny, Bure and Fedorov represented the core of the country’s hockey prosperity. However, in 2001 the country is faced with putting together a team either with the millionaire stars who don’t want to be there or with the unproven youngsters who…well, have yet to prove anything. The lackluster development of hockey posterity in the 90’s has resulted in numerous disappointing world championship results for Russia, a tournament which was supposed to showcase more of the country’s budding youth. Although there has been clear improvement with an increase, let alone, the proportion of talent, many problems still plague the junior hockey systems in Russia.
A key problem Read more »

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