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Sabres Report: 2001 Draft Preview

by Ken McKenna
on

The 2001 NHL Entry Draft approaches amidst a swirl of trade rumors, with the potential for a change of address for many of the league’s biggest stars. Names such as Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Yashin, Doug Weight and Eric Lindros are being bandied about as trade fodder in the days leading up to this weekend’s draft, as are the names of a couple of the Buffalo Sabres’ stars, Dominik Hasek and Michael Peca.

Trades of this magnitude could have a direct effect on the draft, as there is talk of possibly one, or both, of the top 2 picks being dealt in return for immediate help. Once again, Buffalo’s name has been mentioned prominently in trades involving the top draft choices held by Atlanta (#1) and the N.Y. Islanders (#2), but so far, at least, Sabres’ GM Darcy Regier has publicly denied any pursuit of these prime draft picks.

The trade rumors have so far caused a diversion from what looks to be a very solid 2001 draft class. At the top of the draft is 4-5 highly touted forwards, led by the mercurial Russian RW Ilya Kovalchuk. There is plenty of solid, if not spectacular, talent to be found beyond the top 5, however, with talent to be had well into the second round. The depth of this draft should be good news for the Sabres, as 4 of their 6 draft choices will be made in the first 2 rounds (barring trades, of course).

Buffalo enters this draft with a diminished prospect pool, as they recently said goodbye to 8 of their 12 1999 draft choices. One of those farewells was particularly painful, as they lost promising C Mike Zigomanis due to a Read more »

Philadelphia Flyers draft preview

by Bill Meltzer
on

Going into the 2001 NHL entry draft, the Flyers organizational depth chart is lacking in quality prospects at every position except goaltender. There are a handful of forwards and defensemen with NHL potential in the system (such as defenseman Bruno St. Jacques and forward Alexander Drozdetsky) but there is nobody developing into a “can’t-miss” type of prospect.

It has been widely speculated that the Flyers will select a defenseman with the 23rd overall pick this year, because the team’s single biggest positional need is on defense, especially with the core of their sometimes-shaky NHL blueline starting to age. Names such as Tim Gleason, Lukas Krajicek, Mark Popovic, Fedor Tyutin, and Igor Knyazev have been bandied about as potential selections.

The Flyers could only hope that they had anything near the system type of depth and up front that they have in goal. After all, a team only needs two goalies, but they need twelve forwards and six defensemen. Unfortunately, going into the 2001-2002 season, most of the Flyers call-up players will probably continue to be minor league veterans such as Mark Greig. There is a chance that perhaps someone like Tomas Divisek or Vaclav Pletka could take a step forward and challenge for a spot with the big team, but that is far from a certainty.

The Flyers 2000 draft class almost exclusively featured the selection of forwards. This year, positional preference will tip otherwise balanced scales toward defenseman. That presents a wonderful opportunity– and a daunting challenge. Defense may be the single hardest position Read more »

Coyotes trade for Markov

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

The Coyotes have been very busy trading. Starting with the first deal, the Coyotes dealt holdout center Robert Reichel, along with Travis Green and minor leaguer Craig Mills to the Toronto Maple Leafs for young defenseman Danny Markov. Markov is a solid two-way defenseman with good offensive instincts. He should play a big role for the Coyotes this upcoming season and in the future as well.

The second deal saw the Coyotes deal center Juha Ylonen to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Todd Warriner. Not much to talk about here as this was clearly a 3rd liner for 3rd liner type deal. The Coyotes needed wingers badly so making this deal helped them out.

Today the team announced that they have traded veteran defenseman Keith Carney to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in return for the 41st overall pick in the 2001 Entry Draft. With the addition of Markov, plus the solid group of young defenseman such as Paul Mara, Ossi Vaananen, Kiril Safranov and Radoslav Suchy, trading away Keith Carney was a move to reduce the payroll while improving for the future and also giving some playing time to the youngsters on defense. Teppo Numminen will be the backbone of the Coyotes defense this season and he will be looked upon by the youngsters for leadership, unless he is dealt this off-season, which has been rumored.

Today the Coyotes also signed Unrestricted Free Agent Branko Radivojevic. Radivojevic, 20, is a 6’0 186-pound right winger who played three seasons with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL. He was drafted in the 3rd round (93rd overall) of the 1999 Entry Draft by the Colorado Aval Read more »

AHL News

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

AHL NEWS

The American Hockey League announced today its Conference and Divisional Alignment for the 2001-2002 season.

The realignment features nine new American Hockey League cities, bringing the League’s membership to 27 teams in six divisions and two conferences.


Western Conference
West          Central        South
Houston       Rochester      Philadelphia
Utah          Syracuse       Hershey
Chicago       Cincinnati     Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Grand Rapids  Cleveland      Norfolk
Milwaukee


Eastern Conference
East         North       Canadian
Albany       Lowell      Hamilton
Hartford     Worcester   Saint John
Springfield  Portland    St. John's
Providence   Manchester  Quebec
Bridgeport               Manitoba

Each AHL club will play an unbalanced 80 game schedule featuring traditional and regional rivalries. The schedule format detailing the frequency of games between opponents will be announced Tuesday June 19 at noon est.


AHL FASTFACTS

The 1999 Providence Bruins set a League record as they tallied a combined regular season and playoff win tally of 71 games, including another League record of 10 playoff home wins, en route to the Calder Cup Championship.


TODAY IN HOCKEY

June 18, 1992 the Ottawa Senators make goaltender Peter Sidorkiewicz the first overall pick in the NHL expansion draft.

Canadiens’ Draft Preview

by Chris Boucher
on
André Savard will experience his greatest challenge on June 23rd. Seen by many fans as the man most responsible for the Ottawa Senators’ draft success, his talent-evaluation skills will be relied upon to return the Montreal Canadiens to their traditional place among the league’s elite teams.

The Habs’ GM has kept his draft intentions close to the vest. He has not spoken publicly on which player he covets, or what type of players he’ll be looking to grab with the team’s two first-round picks. However, he has said what he looks for in young players; he bases his initial opinion on skating, then skill. Hockey sense, and attitude are also important. Size, however, is rarely a deciding factor.

He has also stated that he will not draft any player that he has not seen play. This explains why he spent much of the past six months travelling the world scouting many, if not all, of the major tournaments involving draft-eligible players.

The 2001 Draft is seen by most experts as one of the top drafts in recent memory. Ilya Kovalchuk has undoubtedly emerged as the number one choice. However, with Jason Spezza’s playoff struggles, and Stanislav Chistov’s emergence as arguably the most talented player available, the second overall pick has become difficult to predict. Probable trades, and the possibility of a goalie being chosen with one of the top six picks, only adds to the difficulty in predicting which players will still be available when the seventh pick arrives.

Keeping this in mind, this preview will in Read more »

Draft preview – Czech players

by Robert Neuhauser
on
After the NHL awards have found their new owners, the eyes of all fans, scouts and people around
the National Hockey League focus on an event, which decides about the future of all teams and
also about the future of approximately 300 young players. No wonder that the NHL scouts get
ready for this event for the whole year. After hundreds of mock drafts were made, the time for
a decision is here. The players from Europe play under the careful eye of NHL scouts from
the time they’re about 15, players who regularly attend the tournaments of junior national teams
gain most attention of course. Now I would like to have a closer look at the Czech players,
who may be selected this year. It’s almost a wonder how a country with about 10 million
people still can produce top NHL prospects every year. Just look at the NHL drafts since 1998.
Every year there were at least two Czech players selected in the first round and also the
later rounds seem to hide some Czech gems. The overage selections like Philadelphia Flyer
Roman Cechmanek also seem to be good fits to their respective teams. With the Czech triumphs
at the Under-20 WJC, the World Championships and a solid performance at the Under-18 WJC there
is no sign that the trend of drafting Czech players should change. And now finally come to the
names!

First round prospects


Jiri Novotny
Position: center
Team: HC Ceske Budejovice
Born: August, 12th, 1983
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 195 lbs.
Shoots: R
CSB rank: 11th Euro
Jiri is a lock to be selected in the first round. Th Read more »

Hidden Gems of the 2001 NHL Draft

by Jonathan Litterine
on
Not all players get the same amount of publicity as others. Yet there are
quite a few players who haven’t been talked about a lot leading up to the
2001 NHL Draft. Below is a list and why you should know about each of them…

Carlo Colaiacovo (D , Erie Otters) …. Colaiacovo is certainly one of the
top three offensive defenseman in the draft. Which makes you wonder why
people haven’t talked about him a whole lot. He tallied 12 goals and 27
assists last year on a on a offensive Erie Otters team which featured Brad
Boyes and Nikita Alexeev. Carlo is certainly a good choice in the middle of
the first round. If he slides up the charts leading up to draft day don’t be
shocked. Many scouts and this writer feel he will be a good one.

Duncan Milroy (RW , Swift Current Broncos) …. There are a large amount of
factors that work against Duncan Milroy in the NHL game. On the top of the
list is size. Milroy is just 6 feet and 180 pounds. Which is espically tough
for a guy who goes through players to score goals. Yet don’t doubt the talent
of this kid. Last year for Swift Current of the WHL , Milroy had a 38 goals
and 54 assists for 92 points in just 68 games. Some team is going to take
Milroy and hope he can compensate with skill for his lack of size. Yet , if
anyone can find the way to get it done it is Milroy , who has a amazing
amount of offensive potential.

Martin Podlesak (C , Lethbridge Hurricanes) …. Your 6’6 and your 200
pounds. Who are you and why aren’t you in the top of the first round? Well
y Read more »

2001 Panthers Draft Preview

by Jes Golbez
on
After a disasterous season, the Florida Panthers find themselves in a very
enviable position: 4 picks in the Top 50, and the draft in their home court.
With the 2001 NHL Entry Draft considered to be the strongest in some time,
the Florida Panthers have the chance to stock their bare cupboards with some
blue-chip talent, and possibly bring in some older talent to help them compete
in the near future. As with any bottom-feeder squad, there are many gaping holes
to be filled. First, a look at the essentials.

Draft Tendencies:

The Panthers have had a love affair with the CHL, especially the OHL and WHL.
Of the 6 First Round picks the Panthers have had, 4 of them have been from the CHL.
26 of the past 36 Panthers picks have been from the CHL, with many of them being ‘safe’
‘character’ players that have amounted to absolutely nothing.
The Panthers have been deathly afraid of college players (DiPenta is the only
college pick of note), and have not ventured often into Europe, including just three picks
from the Czech Republic and ZERO picks from Slovakia.
This one-dimensional approach to drafting has led to predictable results, and it shows
in the standings, and on the farm. When the Panthers have ventured into uncharted waters
(Europe), they have had good success. Radek Dvorak, Filip Kuba, Oleg Kvasha, Kristian Huselius,
Jaro Spacek, Niklas Hagman, Marcus Nilson and Vladimir Saphozhnikov have all been very good
picks, and since the Panthers have only picked twelve European players since 1995, they have had
a Read more »

AHL Announces 2001-2002 Alignment

by Corine Gatti
on

The realignment includes three divisions in each of the two conferences. The
2001-2002 AHL alignment is as follows:

Western Conference

West Central South Chicago Cincinnati *Hershey Grand Rapids Cleveland Norfolk Houston Rochester *Philadelphia Milwaukee Syracuse *Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Utah

Eastern Conference

East North Canadian Albany Lowell Hamilton Bridgeport Manchester Manitoba Hartford Portland Quebec Providence Worcester Saint John Springfield St. John’s

“We are very excited about the new alignment,” stated Norfolk Admirals
owner Mark Garcea. “The Admirals played some of their most memorable games
against these teams last season, including the playoff series against
Hershey. Our fans should see big rivalries continue against the new division
foes all season long.”

Last season, all four teams in the new South Division were in the AHL’s
Western Conference. Norfolk was in the Southern Division, while Hershey,
Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton were all in the Mid-Atlantic
Division. The Admirals faced each of the three teams eight times during the
regular season, the most games against any teams outside of their division.
The new South Division teams are those closest to Norfolk geographically.

The realignment places five of the expansion teams from the former
International Hockey League (IHL) in the Western Conference’s West Division,
with the sixth former IHL club, Manitoba, joining the Eastern Confer Read more »

Pittsburgh Penguins Draft Preview

by Erik Johnson
on

It’s possible that the 2001 draft could be the start of a new era for the Pens (along with the continuation of an “old” era). It’s likely that the Pens will part with 4 time scoring camp and 2 time Cup winner Jaromir Jagr this summer and it’s possible that could come before (or during) the draft. In any event, the Pens will need to find that groups of prospect that will lead them to as successful of a decade as the one that just past. It won’t be easy for GM Craig Patrick, but he’s dealth with adversity well before and there is no reason to believe that he won’t make a successful post-Jagr transition.


Pens Draft Strategy

As with most teams, the Pens will draft the best player on the board in the first round, as their usual philosphy. The Pens draft table is a democracy, with GM Patrick and head scout Greg Malone at the head of that table. European scout Mark Kelly has a lot of influence in the decision making process and the Pens picks usually reflect that.


Recent Draft History

Last year was one of the few times in Patrick’s tenure that the Pens spent their first round pick on a North American born player. 4 of the 5 previous picks were used to select skilled European forwards. After the first round, the Pens generally select players to fill specific needs, all with a general theme. In 1997, the Pens spent 6 of their final 8 picks on defensemen. In 1998, 6 of 9 were forwards. 199 was a bit of a mix of players. They added depth to a number of positions. And finally last year, they spent most of their picks on tough gritt Read more »

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