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
First round prospects
Team: HC Ceske Budejovice
Born: August, 12th, 1983
Weight: 195 lbs.
CSB rank: 11th Euro
Jiri is a lock to be selected in the first round. Th Read more »
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 »
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.
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 »
The realignment includes three divisions in each of the two conferences. The
2001-2002 AHL alignment is as follows:
West Central South
Chicago Cincinnati *Hershey
Grand Rapids Cleveland Norfolk
Houston Rochester *Philadelphia
Milwaukee Syracuse *Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
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 »
The Rick Dudley era in Tampa has been an adventure when it comes to draft day. The Lightning G.M. has yet to make a selection in the teams correct slot, despite having two consecutive top three picks, electing instead to make deals for more immediate help.
Both of the previous draft day maneuvers resulted in the Bolts acquiring a young, talented “starting” goaltender. Or so they thought. Dan Cloutier was picked up from the N.Y. Rangers in 1999 along with Niklas Sundstrom and a couple of picks after Dudley had previously made a deal with Chicago for their pick. Sundstrom was subsequently dealt to the Sharks in a deal that brought four players to the team, of which only Andrei Zyuzin remains.
Cloutier struggled after having to take over prematurely for an injured Daren Puppa as the starter. The consensus was that Dan just wasn’t ready to carry that load and the team announced they would attempt to get a veteran netminder to lug the mail until Cloutier was ready.
Opting to ignore free agency, Dudley got another goalie with his second consecutive draft day deal. Instead of the veteran that he had earlier told season ticket holders they would go after, he chose to trade away the number one overall pick to the Islanders for another young backup Kevin Weekes.
Cloutier has since been traded and Weekes is apparently not the answer either despite playing strong at the end of last season. The Bolts made a deal for veteran Nikolai Khabibulin which should pretty much seal Weekes fate as a starter in Tampa
Needless to say, Lig Read more »
In the ever-active mind of Lightning General Manager Rick Dudley, there is a certain make-up a player must posses if he is to join one of the up-and-coming teams of the NHL. Knowing the history of the Lightning, one could assume that would be “knew how to skate,” and left it there. Seeing how 1996 first rounder Mario Larocque turned out, even that wasn’t always followed.
That was then, this is now. Dudley is looking for a few key ingredients in prospects to set them apart from the others. Primarily, he wants size, he wants speed and he wants skill. Secondarily, he would prefer a nasty streak and a well-rounded, defensive game already in place. In other words, the prospect must be able to find their own zone without the use of a map or asking a linesman for directions.
Normally when drafting in the top end of the first round, the plan of attack is common sense; take the best player available and if he doesn’t work out or you’re loaded at that position – deal accordingly. As more attention is made to prospects’ strength and development, especially in Europe (Dudley has made known his admiration for the developmental programs overseas, specifically Russia. This evidenced by 5/10 picks last year from Russia, 2 North American.), the more prospects are becoming closer to NHL readiness. Because of that, the more “need” creeps into the equation. Such is the case for Tampa, considering their shallow forward lines and strong draft position.
The Lightning need help filling holes up front and Dudley thinks this draft can help. In other Read more »
The Boston Bruins should be entering this year’s draft with the following goals in mind:
1. Increase depth in goal
2. Improve defensive prospects
Read more »
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim have the fifth overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Past top 5 picks have included: Paul Kariya (4), Oleg Tverdovsky (2), Chad Kilger (4), and Vitaly Vishnevski (5). With three of the four playing well with the NHL club, the 2001 draft brings a lot of optimism.
Short of free agency, the Anaheim club needs help at defense, right wing, and at center. If Ilja Bryzgalov (Russia) comes to Cincinnati (not likely) the Cincy Ducks will be solid in goal. With this lack of depth in the system it appears that the top player available will be chosen not just with the 5th pick but also throughout the draft. This has always been Pierre Gauthier’s strategy in the past.
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim will select the best player available at #5, which will most likely be Chistov or Weiss.
The Ducks have two early/mid picks in the second round (35 and 41). Gauthier has mentioned that he would like to trade one of them and/or other lower picks to get some established players with grit and/or leadership characteristics.
In addition to the Ducks first (5) and second (5,11) round picks the Ducks also have three fourth round picks (5, 8, 19), one 5th (5), one 6th (5), one 7th (28), one 8th (5) and one 9th round pick (5).
Dating back to their days in Hartford, the franchise hasn’t always been the best drafting team in NHL History.
Nobody is perfect, but the list of first-round blunders in the Whalers/Canes history is rather long.
It all began back in 1979. The former New England Whalers were just out of the crumbled World Hockey Association, and looking to make a name for themselves in the NHL.
With their first pick in franchise history, they selected smallish WHL scoring ace Ray Allison. On the surface, it looked like an airtight pick; Allison had been among the top scorers in the WCHL (now WHL) for three years, and there wasn’t much to suggest that he wouldn’t be a solid point producer for the Whalers in the future, Right?
Unfortunately, wrong. Allison was never able to achieve his full potential with the Hartford organization. He was dealt to Philadelphia in 1982 after only two full seasons in the organization, and topped out at 54 points, with the ’81-’82 Flyers.
Also a part of that deal was the Whalers first-rounder the next season, Fred Arthur. Arthur, a big, hulking defenseman from the Cornwall Royals of the OMJHL, racked up 75 points in his final season of junior. (5g, 70(!)a) He, too looked like a foolproof pick, but many didn’t believe his offensive prowess at the junior level would transfer on to the pro level. He, as previously mentioned, was a part of that big deal that sent fellow then-Whalers-prospect Ray Allison to Philly. Arthur would never realize his potential at the NHL level. He retired after the ’82-83 season, only amass Read more »