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German Draftee Situation

by Oliver Janz

How far is Portland away from Mannheim

How far away is Portland from Mannheim?

Washington Capitals’ draftee Robert Müller is going to leave Mannheim. The reason for this is his frustration at not getting to play many games this season. In 50 contests for his team, Müller only played 14 times, and did so as well as his goaltending partner Mike Rosati. However, Rosati has been the clear-cut number one netminder. He’s an (italo-)Canadian, has a lot of experience, has played in the NHL and is one of the best goalies in the German hockey league. If that’s an argument enough, Mannheim has won two championships with Rosati in goal. It’s not an easy situation for a backup goalie.

Müller is highly talented, for sure. The coach has the best goalie tandem in the whole league, except for maybe Nürnberg’s goalies Frederic Chabot (former LA Kings and Montreal goalie) and German Olympic sensation Marc Seliger. Chabot and Seliger share their job in Nürnberg’s goal. Various German hockey experts and fans have asked themselves why Mannheim’s coach hasn’t done that with Rosati and Müller. Müller needs the playing time for his development. Since Rosati signed a contract extension, Müller’s time in Mannheim will end after this season. It doesn’t look like he could get more ice time, so he’s figuring it’s better to change the team.

Where could Read more »

From Potential Phenom to Potential Bust – The Story of Rico Fata

by Brandon LeBourveau
When Rico Fata suited up for the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds as a 15 year old in 1995-96, it was a dream come true for a young player ready to embark on a hopefully successful career. Growing up in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Fata had the opportunity to play in the NHL for his hometown team a year before he was even eligible for the OHL Priority Selection, thanks to an interesting rule only allowed in the OHL. Any player can play for his hometown team at age 15, but then still become available for to be drafted by any team when he’s 16 and the Priority Selection rolls around. Fata played 62 games during his rookie season totaling 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points, including 52 penalty minutes. He appeared in all 4 playoff games the Greyhounds played that season, but failed to register any points or penalty minutes.

After his rookie season was complete, scouts began to drool over his potential. Many even went as far to say that he was a lock to be the 1st overall selection in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, a draft that was still two years away. Fata’s stay in Sault Ste Marie was short, as the London Knights shared the same opinion on Fata as tons of scouts. After finishing with a 3-60-3 record en route to one of the worst seasons by any team in the history of the OHL, the Knights wasted little time in making Fata the first player selected in the 1996 OHL Priority Selection. The Knights finally had a star player that they hoped would lead their team back to respectability.

In Fata’s first season with the London Knights, 1996-97, he tallied just under a poi Read more »

Bolt Banter: Alexeev

by pbadmin

Roundtable: Has Nikita Alexeev proved himself worthy of the 8th overall draft selection?


No, he has not, but the jury’s still out and will probably be out for a couple more years.

A big, potential power-forward like Alexeev will need some time to adjust his game to the NHL level and get more consistent. The developmental track of Fredrik Modin comes to mind.

The fear is Dudley may have drafted a big, fast power defensive-forward, rather than a guy that’s going to pot 30 a year. Alexeev has improved each game he’s played for the Lightning and has taken advantage of increased ice time due to injuries to Modin and
Martin St. Louis. He’s good along the walls and his vision and passing are underrated. He will be a fine complimentary winger, but will never challenge for the Richard Trophy. Most complimentary wingers don’t get drafted top-8, also.

Considering the players with offensive upside taken with 15 picks after Alexeev (players such as Yakubov, and especially Frolov, Nedorost and Kolanos), Alexeev has a long way to go to make Rick Dudley, who perhaps was mesmerized by Alexeev’s physical attributes, look like a genius for taking him so high.


Let me preface this by saying that at the time he was selected, I hated the selection of Nikita Alexeev with a vitriolic passion. From what I had seen he was a player who played soft, and whose offensive production was solely measured in garbage goals or leaching off his linemates. His shot was laughable, with his slapper hitting only in Read more »

Colorado Prospect Update (2/24/02)

by Brandon LeBourveau


Marek Svatos, Center, Kootenay (WHL)
Stats: (SVK-WJC) 7 GP, 7 G, 1 A, 8 P, 6 PIM, +5
Stats: 43 GP, 32 G, 32 A, 64 P, 50 PIM, +5

Kurt Sauer, Defenseman, Spokane (WHL)
Stats: 51 GP, 2 G, 14 A, 16 P, 59 PIM, +22

Blake Ward, Goaltender, Lethbridge (WHL)
Stats: 34 GP, 11-17-4, 3.54 GAA. .876 SV%

Charlie Stephens, Center, London (OHL)
Stats: 52 GP, 21 G, 29 A, 50 P, 47 PIM, -22

Danny Bois, Right Wing, London (OHL)
Stats: 55 GP, 15 G, 11 A, 26 P, 226 PIM, -13

Aaron Molnar, Goaltender, London (OHL)
Stats: 15 GP, 4-9-2, 3.98 GAA, .870 SV%

Agris Saviels, Defenseman, Owen Sound (OHL)
Stats: 55 GP 5 G, 26 A, 31 P, 33 PIM, -1

Colt King, Left Wing, North Bay (OHL)
Stats: 50 GP, 13 G, 11 A, 24 P, 107 PIM, -23

Cody McCormick, Right Wing, Belleville (OHL)
Stats: 54 GP, 10 G, 13 A, 23 P, 106 PIM, +6

Darryl Bootland, Right Wing, Toronto (OHL)
Stats: 50 GP, 34 G, 48 A, 82 P, 114 PIM, +45

Scott Horvath, Right Wing, Toronto (OHL)
Stats: (UMass-Amherst, HE) 15 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 P, 8 PIM, -2
Stats: (Toronto-OHL) 18 GP, 4 G, 4 A, 8 P, 19 PIM, +3

Peter Budaj, Goaltender, Toronto (OHL)
Stats: (SVK-WJC) 4 GP, 3.11 GAA, .919 SV%, 1 SHO
Stats: 35 GP, 21-9-4, 2.36 GAA, .918 SV%

Pierre-Luc Emond, Center, Cape Breton (QMJHL) Read more »

Talking with an USHL top rookie

by Oliver Janz

Is it greeding

Is he greedy? It looks like Danny Richmond got his talent from his father, Steven L. (known as Steve) Richmond, who skated in 163 NHL games while scoring 27 points for the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings. Now, he is 42 years old. Son Danny started his hockey playin’ days several years before he ended his own professional career in 1991. Steve was a defenseman and now Danny has become a defenseman too.

Now, roughly eleven years later, Steve Richmond can be proud of his 17 year old son. After playing at the Midget AAA level for Team Illinois last season, Danny is now a member of the Chicago Steel from the United States Hockey League. It’s his first year in a Junior A league, so we have to call him a rookie.

However, he hasn’t looked and played like a rookie. His scoring numbers thus far are also very high. He currently has totals of 5-33-38 in 41 games. Four of his five goals have come on the powerplay. “I love the powerplay! Most of my goals are on the powerplay, but my assists are pretty much spread out between various situations”. These assists are a result of his passing skills – one of his b Read more »

Calgary Flames Prospect ranking

by David Glaz
1). Leopold – Like Kobasew, a lock to make the team next year, and is correctly placed atop the list.

2). Kobasew – See Leopold.

3). Saprykin – Only 21, but has to step up his game soon or he may be dealt. Has all the tools, but he just can’t seem to put it together.

4). Betts – Leading scorer for St. John this season, Betts is enjoying a productive and injury free season. Projections of being a 3rd line center seem accurate.

5). Montador – Came out of nowhere to earn a spot on the list. Impressed with his solid, yet unspectacular play. There may not be a lot of upside, but could be a solid 5th/6th defenseman.

6). Stoll – Captain for Canada at the World Juniors plays an excellent two way game, and was a steal in the second round of the 2000 draft.

7). Johansson – An unknown, but played for Sweden in this year’s Olympics. A checking forward, and that appears to be his upside.

8). Taraturkhin – Played for Russia at the World Juniors, and is showing he could turn out to be a steal from last year’s draft. Showed a bit of a temper and an edge to his play at the WJC.

9). Medvedev – Whenever he gets the call, he’ll be put into shape and we’ll see what he has to offer. Poor kid looks like the fat kid from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

10). Krahn – Injuries have really hurt him, but, like Betts, one healthy and productive year could shoot him back up the charts.

All in all, General Manager Craig Button and his scouts have appeared to retooled and improved the prospects in the last year. Are the Read more »

Likely rookies for 2002-03

by Stephen J. Holodinsky

How Many Rookies Should Toronto Be Starting Next Season?

After years of addition by way of free agency or the trade market, next season could very well herald the first fruits of the Leafs pipeline. Three youngsters have been up and down this year in Jeff Farkas, Alexei Ponikarovsky, and Karel Pilar. The first two have been in the big show before and their latest stint proved they are ready. Pilar, in his call-up, demonstrated with a bit more tightening of his game, he could be a net gain on the blueline for Toronto in the near future.

That said, we’ve heard all of this before only to have the Leafs stick with the veterans once they break camp. This time however, it could be different. Among those players who consistently find themselves on the bubble Jonas Hoglund, Gary Valk, Tie Domi, and Cory Cross are in the last years of their contracts. It would not be a stretch to suggest that none of this foursome will be with the Blue and White in 2002-2003. Dimitry Yushkevich is also in the walk year of his deal. While he may feel comfortable in Toronto and that feeling may well flow both ways, one should remember he is a Mark Gandler client like Alexander Karpovtsev before him. We all know what happened there. To be sure, it is expected that the Leafs will make their annual plunge into the free agent markets, but that aside there will still be roster spots to fill. From this columnist’s viewpoint, there is room for at least Jeff Farkas and Alexei Ponikarovsky on the opening night roster and quite possibly Karel Pilar.

Switzerland: where are they now?: Part 8

by Joeri Loonen

Nationalliga A

HC Ambri-Piotta

Robert Petrovicky3823234634
Thomas Vlasak4421224341

Pauli Jaks4101102.51

SC Bern

Patrik Juhlin4427265324
Derek Armstrong4417355258
Sven Helfenstein352101239
Thomas Ziegler2635824

EHC Chur

Johan Witehall4322163836
Mika Strömberg426212728
René Stüssi213252

HC Davos

Lonny Bohonos4220264622
Kevin Miller4324184258
Josef Marha4418143236
Michel Riesen3512122428
Reto von Arx316152195
Beat Forster3313449

Lars Weibel440522.19

HC Fribourg-Gottéron

Michael Gaul4311294074
Patrick Howald4414193348
Craig Ferguson43102232106
Jean-Yves Roy3811122330
Anders Myrvold600016

EHC Kloten

Adrian Wichser4118274518
Frederik Nilsson4415163122
Chris O’Sullivan386152134
Martin Höhener444111512
Severin Blindenbacher3813422

SC Langnau Tigers

Brian Bonin4019183726
Dixon Ward238202840
Erik Hämäläinen441011218
Daniel Gauthier26911204
Mirko Murovic90000

Lausanne HC

Andrei Bashkirov32719268

HC Lugano

Christian Dubé3822375922
Mike Maneluk4321325390 Read more »

The Islanders Playoff Race Begins

by Bill Bennett


The Magic Number:

Ninety points in the past seems to be the point total for a team in the Eastern Conference to make the playoffs, with overtime losses it could be higher, but ninety should put any team in the playoffs. At the moment the Isles are on pace for ninety six points and have games in hand on most teams in the Conference.


In this league there is no such thing as an easy game anymore. Atlanta was 6-4-2 over a twelve game stretch recently. Bottom line, you don’t work hard your team is not going to win. The Islanders will see the Thrashers three games in the next few weeks and need six points and the upcoming game from the Pens.

Getting points against teams above them like Philadelphia, St.Louis, Toronto is a bonus, but for the Islanders to keep their place or improve they must get two points against teams like Florida and Minnesota.

For a good part of the season, the Islanders have lost points to teams that you would expect them to beat and taken points against teams where you would expect them to lose.

Nassau Coliseum:

The Islanders finally showed they can close games in front of big sellout crowds that have been coming to the Coliseum all season with wins against top teams like Toronto and the Blues.

Putting on a show for the home crowd is not as crucial as getting the two points. To date the Islanders have gotten a total of sixteen out of a possible eighteen points on the road in the Eastern Co Read more »

Jakub Lev – The lion in the net

by Robert Neuhauser
During the communistic regime the Czech city of Kladno was known for two things. High-quality
steel and developing of top prospects. Now twelve years after the fall of the
iron curtain only the quality prospects are remaining. Just remember the names of Jaromir Jagr
or Patrik Elias, both risen in Kladno, or these days Montreal Canadiens draftee Tomas Plekanec.
But forget all the forwards. This will be a story of a goaltending

Jakub Lev was also born in Kladno, the city of steel. At first it didn’t look like he was heading
for a hockey career. He didn’t have his dad or relatives playing or coaching hockey and didn’t
make his first strides as soon as he could make first normal steps. Jakub only liked the
game but that was enough for him. He is a proof that advertising is highly important. Even
if it is advertising of a sport, in this case hockey. Hockey coaches of the youngest grades
sometimes attend kindergartens or the lowest grades of elementary schools to look for guys
eager to play hockey. And now those two sides met. Jakub Lev, willing to play hockey, and
a coach looking for little players. Jakub’s career had a green light.

From the very first moment he fell in love with pads, glove and blocker. Players often try
all three positions in the youngest grades before they finally see what position suits them
best. Take for example Roberto Luongo. But not Jakub Lev. The player nicknamed “Lefa” positioned
himself between the pipes and started stopping the pucks. It was soon evident that he does
it with exceptional poise and talent. Jakub L Read more »