A Change in Strategy
Last year, the Pens took a North American born skater in the first round for the first time since 1996. Thsi year, they went even further. Not only did they take another North American in the first round (Canadian Colby Anderson), but they spent the majority of their picks this year on players from North America.
When the Pens pick came up at 21, they had numerous options available to them. A number of quality players with varing skillsets were ripe for the picking, whether it being a hard hitting defenseman (Jeff Woywitka), a large number of solid 2-way defensemen (Gleason, Popovic), and skilled European or North American forwards (Perezhogin, Polushin, Milroy). The Pens went a different direction, selecting Red Deer forward Colby “Cheese” Armstrong, a gritty 2-way forward who is an excellent skater with a nice scoring touch.
Armstrong is an admitted pest, saying “If you talk to most guys, they probably hate me here. But that’s probably a compliment.” His game is compared to current Maple Leaf Darcy Tucker or former NHL player Brent Sutter (who is also his current coach at Red Deer).
Armstrong scored 36 goals and 42 assists in 72 games with 152 PIM for the Memorial Cup winning Rebels this past season. He also scored 6 goals and 12 points in 21 WHL playoff games and a goal in 4 games in the Memorial Cup playoffs.
Capsules for the 2001 Draftees:
Colby Armstrong, RW
Red Deer (WHL) Read more »
Here are the fowards who played on the team this year, except Pascal Dupuis and Christian Matte.
Matt Johnson 6-5 230 LW, The team gave up to much to get him (a 3rd rounder) but he played much better than expected. On most nights he didn’t hurt the Wild defensively when he was on the ice, he led the team in PIM’s, He was needed because the wild forwards are to small. He is a true heavyweight. He had 1g 1a 2p and 137pim’s in 50 games.
Sylvain Boulin 6-2 207 LW, Another enforcer, was picked up in the waiver draft. Was not expected to do much other then fight, he performed well when given the chance. He even scored in 3 straight games. A poor man’s Shane Churla. He had 3g 2a 5p 117pims in 41games.
Roman Simicek 6-3 210 C, a great trade for the wild, even if he doesn’t produce in the NHL, because he was traded for a big nothing named Steve mMckenna. Simicek is big but looks awful when skating, if he can improve on his first year in the NHL he should be a good 3rd liner, and see time on the power play. He will even fight if he as to. He scored 5g 10a 15p PIMs in 51 games with Pittsburgh and the wild.
Wes Walz 5-10 180 C, As the season went on, he was the Wild’s best forward, he never stopped, every play 100 percent. He scored the most short handed goal for an expansion team. He had 18g 22a 30p 37pims in 82 games.
Darby Hendrickson 6-1 195 C, A Minnesota boy who picked up his game this year with the added ice time, some nights he played like a first line center some other nights he looked like his old 3rd li Read more »
The first day of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft could have been sub-titled “Darcy’s Lost Weekend”, but by the close of the NHL’s annual Prospectpalooza, there was more evidence provided that Buffalo GM Darcy Regier is one of the top GMs in all of hockey, if not the best.
Heading into the draft, there were high hopes amongst Buffalo fans that the weekend’s activities might yield a plethora of good, young prospects, with those players being acquired either through the draft, or through the departure of stars Dominik Hasek and Michael Peca via trades. As the first day of the draft wound down, however, the Sabres had little to show for all the rumors that had been associated with their prized trade bait, and they instead went about the business of making their first 4 choices.
Sunday was a new day, with Buffalo quickly consummating a trade with the San Jose Sharks, which sent Buffalo’s 5th round choice (formerly Montreal’s) to the Sharks in exchange for San Jose’s 5th (155th), 8th (234th), and 9th (279th) round selections. This trade allowed Buffalo to draft 4 more players over the final 6 rounds, leaving Buffalo with a total of 8 new prospects.
Darcy Regier’s day wasn’t finished, though, as he finally dealt Michael Peca to the New York Islanders for two promising young players, C Tim Connolly and LW Taylor Pyatt. Of the two players acquired, Connolly would seem to have the greater upside potential, as he is being touted by many to be a future offensive sta Read more »
New Jersey Devils 2001 Draft Review
Every NHL Draft seems to follow a similar pattern for Lou Lamerillo and David Conte and this year was no different. The Devils went in with a substantial amount of draft picks, added to their deep pool of young talent, and threw in a few surprises as well. Here is a brief summary of what the Devils did and who they picked at this years’ draft.
New Jersey trades this pick to the Florida Panthers for two 2001 2nd rounders(#44 and #48)
Analysis: I think that if Marcel Goc had fallen to this slot, the Devils would have grabbed him. I was a little surprised they didn’t select Krajicek, because I thought he would have been a perfect pick for the Devils, but I also wasn’t surprised the pick was traded. Anytime Lamoriello gets a chance to gain an extra pick, he’ll do it.
1st Round(#28): Adrian Foster, C/LW, 6’1″, 200, Saskatoon(WHL)
Player Notes: Has played only 12 games the last two seasons for Saskatoon as a result of an abdominal injury from the junior A ranks in his hometown of Calgary. Played in only 5 games last season, recording 5 assists. Played midget hockey with Thrashers top prospect Dany Heatley. Described as a smooth skater that can accelerate well. Good puck-handling skills, compared to Doug Weight. Will play physical.
Analysis: As per usual, the Devils pulled of a draft day surprise. The CSB didn’t even have Foster ranked. This pick will be high-risk, high reward, and if the Devils did their homework on this guy(which I’m sure they did) he Read more »
Fate just put me there. An innocent draft watcher just waiting for my Blackhawks to change their fate. I never thought I would be smack dab in the middle of a snafu that certainly made draft history. I just happened to be sitting in section with Chiodo entourage: Andy, his parents, friends, agent,advisors,and coach Dave Cameron. There was talk about how Atlanta had made inroads and were definitely interested in taking the young goaltender. As a new franchise they were looking for help in net and Chiodo is a young man who handles adversity well. The every fact that he had to share time in net on the Toronto St. Petes with Peter Budaj probably had already weaken his hold on a draft slot. Loss of starts means lack of showcase by NHL scouts.
As the 5th round cranked into the fourth pick, the voice at the podium blared out, “Atlanta Thrashers pick, from St. Mike’s of the OHA, Andy Chiodo.”
There was the usual celebration with the draftee, alone, making his way to the floor to meet the team’s management. Usually photos and baseball cap fittings ensued.
Not this time.
We all watched as Andy Chiodo made his way back to his seat to the bewilderment of his following. Andy returned and quietly explained why he was no longer on the hallowed draft floor. I tried hard to hear as Andy quietly repeated the story to members of his enclave. Apparently Atlanta, though interested in him, also had Colorado College’ Colin Stuart on their board. When a team decides, the name goes two places. One to the central registry which is the official pick and the other to the podium. Ap Read more »
Though the promise was to go defense today, the Hawks did quite well at forward too. And a drop down deal today brought two additional picks.
San Jose was again this year, a willing participant in taking the #106 pick for San Jose’s #119, 186 and 216 picks.
The Hawks opened the fourth round taking RH D Brent MacLellan of Halifax, Nova Scotia with pick #104.
In talking to the 6’3″ 210 pounder, I asked the Rimouski defenseman how he thought he ended up a Blackhawk and he answered, “Good interview.” He was a likable conversationalist, who didn’t dodge my question of how he was known for his hitting and clear out abilities, but that scouts thought he didn’t make improvements this season. He answered that he thought he played the last third of the season strong and aggressively, and his “problem” early on is he started thinking he was a end rusher and scorer and forgot what got him where he was. (He usually makes the smart pass out the defensive zone.) Known to protect teammates,he was the alternate captain on team Orr at the 2001 prospects game.He will be at the Hawk camp in July and he said and knows that he can build stamina.
With pick #115, Mike Smith made his second annual western Russia pick ala Radulov last draft. It was virtual unknown Vladimir Gusev, a LHD who is 6’1″ 189 lber who played at Khabarovsk in Russia.
Pick #119 was LH Forward from the Russian superleague named Aleksey Zotkin, a 6 foot 200 lber from Magnitogorsk where he had 2 goals and 5 points in 40 games along with 34 pims. Neither was at the draft.
The fifth round is where I felt th Read more »
If the San Jose Sharks drafted as well as they hope, in a few years the San Jose Sharks could potentially have a very German flare to it.
In Saturday’s first round of the NHL Entry Draft, San Jose chose only the second player from Germany to be taken in the first round, centerman Marcel Goc; the first was Sharks left wing/center Marco Sturm. San Jose didn’t have selections in the second or third rounds due to trades with Montreal for Vincent Damphousse and Columbus for retaining Evgeni Nabokov respectively.
Goc, a 6’1” 187lbs center plays a style most comparable to Scott Gomez of the New Jersey Devils. Goc’s puck handling ability is as good as many players currently playing at a high level in the NHL. What impresses scouts the most about Goc, however, is his poise and ability to read plays.
The second youngest player selected, Goc still has time to improve his skills, as he will likely not see time with San Jose until the 2002/03 season at the earliest. Goc already possesses many skills that cannot be taught and that most players his age are still developing.
“Marcel is a very complete player with very little weaknesses,” said Tim Burke, Director of Amateur Scouting. “He has the potential to be a number one center.”
While not nearly as highly touted as names such as Kovalchuk and Spezza, Goc has found a niche’ for himself being considered one of the late-first-round gems such as Martin Havlat selected 26th in 1999 by Ottawa and Gomez, selected 27th in 1998.
Several scouts from teams including Detroit, Bu Read more »
The Flyers moved down 4 spots in the draft and still got their puck moving defenseman. By doing so they gained a 7th rounder this year and a high second round pick in 2002. With what seems like small moves in the later rounds, they gained high picks in the 2002 draft. Looking at this draft, it seems like the Flyers are planning to build their team through the draft. They took 5 defenseman in the draft and 2 goalies. It seems like they are trying to stock their system and at the same time develop players at the minor league levels.
They acquired a potential 1st or 2nd line center with size and skill in Jiri Dopita, who is considered the best player outside of the NHL by the Hockey News. If he is anywhere near that, the Flyers stole him for a second round pick . This may in the future allow the Flyers to sign Jeremy Roenick and then trade Daymond Langkow . Also, the Flyers could chose not go after Roenick and try to sign Rob Blake instead.
Now if the Flyers can just deal their 10 year old headache, Eric Lindros. There seems to be no end in site for this saga. Eric and Carl still think they are larger than the game. My thought is that the Flyers will still go after Roenick even though they acquired Dopita. This will allow the team to get the fans excited and put the Lindros dealings “on the back burner” as Clarke promised. The Flyers future is bright.
A pick-by-pick draft review follows.
1st Round (# 27)
Jeff Woywitka (D)
Read more »
Like every other NHL team, the Minnesota Wild went into the 2001 NHL Entry Draft claiming that, regardless of organizational need, they would be picking the best available talent. However, when it came time to make their picks, it became apparent that the skills of those the Wild scouts tabbed the “best player available” correlated nicely with what most deemed to be the biggest weaknesses in the team’s system. The Wild needed to add size and skill up front, and they were able to do just that, especially with their first two picks.
Whether the team drafted for need or not, Wild fans should be fairly pleased with the team’s drafting over the weekend. Without reaching for marginal picks, the club were able to address their biggest organizational weaknesses and bring substantial talent into their system. The Wild made only one minor trade, dealing away their 5th round pick in order to move up from #79 overall to #74 and select defender Chris Heid. Here’s a quick look, in order, at the team’s selections in the 2001 draft :
6. Mikko Koivu C, TPS Turku (Finland) 6’2″ 183 lbs. Born March 12, 1983.
2000-01 TPS 21 GP 0- 1- 1 2 PIM
2000-01 TPS jr. 30 GP 11-38-49 34 PIM
Read more »
How the trades broke down on the first and second day as follows.
To Calgary: C Rob Niedermayer and the 56th overall pick in the 2nd round (G) Andrei Medvedev
To: Florida: RW Valeri Bure and C/LW Jason Wiemer
To Calgary: G Roman Turek and the 124th overall pick in the fourth round (LW) Egor Shastin
To: St.Louis: G Freddy Braithwaite, C Daniel Tkaczuk, LW Sergei Varlamov, and the 270th overall pick in the 9th round (C) Grant Jacobsen.
To Calgary: Dean McAmmond
To Philadelphia: Calgary’s 4th round pick in 2002 Entry Draft.
Three trades at the draft completely reshaped the Flames into a defensive unit with a couple of two-way players whom could solve their desperate penalty killing units. Overall both trades on the first day established two things for the Flames next season a reliable and legitimate number one goaltender who can play 65-70 games a year and a two-way second line center with size and speed.
So what in reality did Calgary actually give up well now the two forwards leaving cow town both take with them some baggage but each were skilled in their own right. The diminutive Val Bure is an exceptionally talented scoring winger whom could dazzle you with his flash and dash but had difficulty bying into a team concept if it did not fit his own purpose. There is no reason if he is healthy and happy that he cannot put up 60-70 points a year and is a complete menace on the power play. Bruising forward Jason Wiemer has little offensive upside with averaging only 10 goals ove Read more »