Every NHL team’s main goal is to improve from season to season. This improvement usually comes through the maturing of young players, off-season trades, and a “fiscally responsible” dip into the free-agent waters. André Savard’s recent moves definitely fall into the above categories. The Canadiens have improved since last year. They have added 48 goals to the roster (Perreault-24, Dackell-13, Juneau-10, Quintal-1), without giving up a single player from last season’s squad.
The Habs have increased their depth; bringing in a trio of forwards who could possibly step in as the team’s number two line. In fact, these players would have been the Canadiens’ number one line for most of last season; given the team’s injury problems.
Yanic Perreault joins the team, and instantly becomes the top goal scorer on the roster (using last season’s numbers). He was the league’s top face-off man, with a winning percentage of 63%. This aspect of his game will immediately improve the Habs’ special teams; a part of the game where puck-control is tantamount to success.
His salary of under $3 Million per season allows Savard to keep the team’s salary structure in order. This is particularly important when it is considered that Saku Koivu and Brian Savage are restricted free-agents. If we accept the fact that Koivu should be the highest paid skater on the team, then signing a free-agent to more than $3 Million would send Koivu’s salary through the roof. Player’s salaries are affected as much by the team’s fiscal structure as they are by the league’s.
Per Read more »
Death by a Thousand Cuts for Killer?
This must be getting frustrating for Ottawa 67’s Coach Brian Kilrea. For the second year in a row, his first line center going into training camp, a draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, looks like he won’t be playing in the OHL this year. Last year, a heart murmur detected in Luca Cereda wiped him out for the entire schedule after heart surgery. Up until that time, he was a serious pre-season candidate to be the OHL’s Player of the Year. Enter Vadim Sozinov. After a slow start to his initial campaign with the 67’s, he became an integral part of Kilrea’s attack and the coach had gone so far as to predict a breakout year from the second year junior. He may well have that breakout year, but it looks like it won’t be in Ottawa, rather in Novokuznetsk of the Russian Elite League. Make no mistake, if the Khazakh forward makes the big squad in Russia, he’ll be playing in a league that is just a step below the NHL and above anything he’d find in the OHL or on ‘The Rock’. But he also might end up playing for their junior team as well. In any case, with this decision, Brian Kilrea has got to be wondering how long he’s going to have Jaroslav Sklenar in the Black, White, and Red, who, you guessed it, was another Leaf pick that he chose in the import draft.
The Door Swings Open for Tellqvist
With the placing of Glenn Healy on waivers and the signing of Swedish goaltender Mikael Tellqvist to a 3 year deal it looks like one of the SEL’s most dominant players in the last two sea Read more »
Evan, Edge and I took the time to make new rankings for the Rangers section here at Hockeysfuture. We each made our own Top 30 list, and then we combined the three together and came up with the final list, which was kind of the average of the three lists. Each player ranked by each of us got a certain number of points. A player ranked 1st on a list received 30 points, and a player ranked 30th received 1 point. I totaled up all the points and then ranked the players from most points to least, and that’s how I got these rankings. If you do not agree with any of the rankings, that’s fine. Since the list was put together in part by the three of us, there are some players on this list that we each feel should be higher or lower, but overall this is a solid list, and I’m sure people will disagree with it, however that is your opinion. Anyway, on to the rankings and I hope you enjoy them! (Note: the comments for the players were contributed to by the three of us)
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Fredrik Sjostrom, drafted 11th Overall by the Coyotes in the 2001 Entry Draft, was drafted 39th Overall by the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL in last week’s CHL Import Draft. Sjostrom has signed a contract with the Hitmen and will skate for them in the WHL this upcoming season.
It is believed Coyotes 1st round pick in ’00, center Krys Kolanos, is close to signing a 3 year contract with the Coyotes. The deal should be completed before training camp. The Coyotes also came to terms with 6’4 Swiss defenseman Goran Bezina, an 8th round pick in 1999.
The Coyotes acquired 24 year old center Daymond Langkow from the Philadelphia Flyers in return for two future draft picks. Cliff Fletcher continues to change around this whole team.
Jeremy Roenick signed with the Philadelphia Flyers this week. The Coyotes should receive a 2nd round pick in the 2002 Draft as compensation for Roenick leaving the team via Free Agency.
SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers Assistant General Manager Chuck Fletcher announced today that the club has agreed in principle with its top two European prospects, Swedish left wing Kristian Huselius and Finnish left wing Niklas Hagman. Both players led their teams in goals last season and have represented their countries in numerous world tournaments.
Huselius, the Panthers’ second choice (47th overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, led the entire Swedish League last season in goals (32), assists (35), points (67), power play goals (10), shorthanded goals (5), and game-winning goals (9) in 49 games. It marked the first time a player swept all six categories in Swedish League history and it is believed to be a first in any major European league. Playing for Vastra Frolunda, the 22-year-old (11/10/78) tied for the team lead in plus/minus (+15) and added a team-leading nine points (4-5-9) in five playoff games. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Huselius stands 6’ 1” and weighs 195 pounds. Huselius also participated in the World Championships in Germany this past year helping Sweden to a 3-2 bronze medal victory over the United States. He finished tied for seventh on his team in scoring with two goals and three assists in nine tournament games.
“Kristian is a gifted offensive player who adeptly combines excellent puck handling skills with tremendous speed,” stated Fletcher. “After an initial adjustment period to NHL-style hockey, we expect him to be a quality offensive player for our organization for years to come.”
Hagman, the Panthers’ thir Read more »
The first to go was Peter Lorentzen by the Tri City Americans with the 13th overall pick. Lorentzen played for Norwegian Elite Team Stjernen-Fredrikstad the last season and looks to make a splash in the Canadian Junior System following such Norwegians as Anders Myrvold(Laval) and Bård Sorlie(Plymouth) among others. Lorentzen a left wing is NHL Draft Eligible in 2002.
The other Norwegian taken was center Patrick Thoresen of Storhamar by Moncton with the 30th pick overall. Thoresen is also looking to make a big splash in the CHL and will be NHL Draft Eligible in 2002.
Norway making a big splash in the Canadian Juniors. Keep an eye on these kids as they may prove to be the next generation NHLers.
Nashville Predators 2nd pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft (33rd Overall).
Timofei Shishkanov’s 6’1 and 203lb frame is definitely more then sufficient for the rigors of the NHL. He is a very talented player. Timofei is an excellent skater, able to blow by his opponents with great moves and fast speed. He also possesses a solid shot, though he rarely uses it and does not really have a trademark shot that he is known for. Timofei Shishkanov is also a very good puck handler, able to work it in both zones of the ice.
According to a Finnish observer from the U18 2001 World Junior Championships, Timofei had a comprable skill set to that of Kovalchuk, but “the difference between Kovalchuk and Shishkanov is the hunger, Kovalchuk wants all the time desperately [to] score goals, but Shishkanov sometimes floats around.” The observer added further that Kovalchuk shot the puck a lot more then Shishkanov, while Shishkanov seemed “meaner, more unpredictable and stronger then Kovalchuk”. The main area where Shishkanov loses to players of Kovlachuk’s class is in his hockey sense. He still has not developed that knack for making split second decisions on the ice that players of Kovalchuk’s caliber possess.
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Here are the Montreal Canadiens’ eight draft picks in the 2001 year entry draft. This is the first draft under Andre Savard.
#7 – Mike Komisarek, 6’4″ 225 lbs.
There seems to be two Mike Komisareks out there, at least offensively. On the top pairing at Michigan with San Jose Sharks draft pick Jeff Jillson, he had 11 points in 26 games against conference rivals, not too bad for a freshman, it was against non-conference rivals that he tended to struggle scoring only 5 points. He has a commitment to finish school, it shows he isn’t just in it for the bucks, but for the game too. He is as good physically, and defensively as all the reports say, and he skates like the wind. The concern is his offence, he needs more presence in the offensive zone, but he has three years to work on his offence, and since the rest of his game is already NHL ready, he will make the team eventually.
#25 – Aleksandr Perezhogin, 5’11” 185 lbs.
Not many people have seen Perezhogin play since he wasn’t at the WJC, and like most people am basing my opinion on him solely on what scouts have had to say. He is an excellent skater, and has good vision and puck handling. But there seems to be a consensus that he needs to capitalize more on his offensive chances and show that he is capable of playing a more NHL-like physical game, since he is only 5-11, 185 lbs this could be a concern. He had a solid if not spectacular season with Avangard Omsk’s 3rd division team in 1999-00 with 23 points in 22 games, but his real attention grabber for scouts was at WJU18’s this ye Read more »
Now that Doug Weight has been traded to St. Louis the aftermath will be lessened due to Kevin Lowe’s timing. In the best interest of the team he made the deal now to allow the new members of the club to blend into the existing fold with as little turmoil as possible.Knowing that Doug Weight’s value would diminish the longer he was kept with the team it was felt that severing the ties and receiving a reasonable return and focus on the team, as a whole would serve a greater purpose.
The deal as follows has Doug Weight and Michel Riesen going to St. Louis and Jochen Hecht, Marty Reasoner and Jan Horacek returning to Edmonton. Now on the surface it may seem that the Oilers did not receive full value for Doug Weight but appearances can be deceiving. The difficulties that arose for Kevin Lowe were the facts that Doug Weight was to be an unrestricted free agent next summer and he would not be able to afford him and he requested to be traded to a contender only. Having only a few options since Weight would not have signed with a rebuilding team this was the best that could be done by Kevin Lowe. It was felt through out the organization that trading Weight now would give the time for the team to come together as a group with the new players and establish leadership roles to replace their captain.
Both forwards from St. Louis have the type of skills that the Oilers management was looking for and each could adapt to the system quickly with a full training camp. After two seasons’ with the Blues Hecht has displayed a tremendous amount of talent and it appears to Read more »
The weekend’s busy free agent round-up effected the Penguins quickly. Garth Snow was snatched up by the Islanders and Bob Boughner was obtained by the Flames.
The Pens have let Rene Corbet and Steve McKenna also field other offers. The complete list of Pen’s personnel to currently be unrestricted are as follows :
All eyes are on the Pens now, as Craig Patrick has stated that after the major name free agents were signed, the Jagr trade could finally materialize.
The following prospects are also availabe :
Boris Protsenko (see archive articles)
Sakic, Blake, Roy, Hasek, Turgeon, Weight, Robitaile, Audette, and others have contracts. The Rangers have been frantically stockpiling prospects in mini trades throughout the league and have not secured a marquee name as of yet, leading many to speculate the Jagr is still the main target.