The Minnesoata Wild Selected both goaltender Jamie McLellan and winger ScottPellerin. Both players should be solid contributors with the Wild this upcoming season. McLellan has proven himself as a solid NHL backup and Pellerin is a great checking forward. With a drop in production from last season when Pelly scored 20 goals, the blues elected to expose him and as expected the Wild jumped at the opportunity.
Many side deals have taken place throughout the day and many may still be in the making. For the blues, they must now focus on signing the two significant UFA’s, Tyson Nash and Mike Eastwood. The two are likely to recieve significant raises due their importance with the Blues organization and even more importance now since Pellerin has been lost.
In terms of Blues prospects, it looks like Brent Johnson will get a crack at the back-up job with the big club. There are rumors floating around stating that the blues may sign a veteran goalie in terms of insurance in the event of a call up due to injuries to Turek or Johnson. Cody Rudkowsky would be the third string and is certainly not ready for the jump to the big club as he had a so-so season as a backup to Johnson in Worcester.
The blues oragnization have stated on many occasions that they will be active in the free agent market come July 1st but for now, Draft day lies ahead of us. Read more »
In a decision which could affect numerous NCAA players and NHL teams, an arbitrator declared 1998 New Jersey first round draft choice Mike Van Ryn to be an unrestricted free agent.
Van Ryn, drafted after his freshman year at the University of Michigan, left college after his sophomore season to play for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. He and his agents argued that a loophole in the NHL collective bargaining agreement made the young defenseman a free agent.
Arbitrator Lawrence Holden agreed with Van Ryn, a bitter pill to swallow for both the Devils and the NHL. It was hoped New Jersey would avoid an arbitrator’s decision and settle with Van Ryn.
The Boston Bruins had a similar situation in 1999 with former draft choice Ben Clymer who left the University of Minnesota in order to play in the Western Hockey League. However the Bruins relented after receiving pressure from the league, allowing Clymer to become a free agent and sign with Tampa Bay. This avoided the inevitable arbitrator’s decision setting a precedent for the future.
Van Ryn, a solid two-way defensman, should generate considerable interest from other NHL teams. He is certain to receive more lucrative offers than he had received from New Jersey.
Bolts lose Bierk, may replace him in Weekes
Just hours after the Lightning lost goalie of the future Zac Bierk, the
Bolts have reportedly replaced him and added a defenseman in the process.
The Tampa Tribune is reporting that a deal has been completed between the Lightning and Islanders. The Lightning would give the Islanders the number 5
selection in today’s draft, while the Islanders would send goaltender Kevin
Weekes and a prospect (reportedly monster 6’9” 255lbs. defenseman Zdeno
Weekes played outstanding following his trade to the Islanders from
the Canucks a season ago, posting a .902 save percentage on the island.
Coach Steve Ludzik is very familiar with Weekes after coaching him with the
Detroit Vipers in the 1998-99 season where he posted 19 victories. Chara
brings the Lightning what they severely lack on defense, size. However it
also just creates a larger logjam on the Bolts blueline. This will lead to
trade speculation involving some of the younger defensemen in the Lightning
cupboard, especially if they add a veteran D-man.
The deal will also leave the Bolts with the number 8 selection,
which they should use, on a scoring forward. Alexei Smirnov, Martin
Samuelsson, and Nikita Alexeev are just a few of the prospects that should be
available. But GM Rick Dudley’s wheeling and dealing may not be over. There Read more »
Need for a Goalie
There is not a lot of hype to look forward to for Draft Day 2000 as there was last year. We all knew Pavel Brendl, Patrik Stefan, and Daniel and Henrik Sedin would go tops in the draft. We had no idea that it would be the Canucks drafting them 2nd and 3rd overall.
Draft Day 2000 could be interesting as well, the Canucks have a young talent pool, and management wants a young goalie. Could it be us that lands DiPietro? Or Brent Krahn? Maybe even a young sniper such as Gaborik or Hartnell.
Vancouver’s needs are pretty simple, goalies. It takes many years to become a solid backup. Dipietro has credentials, but likely not even Vancouver would have plans of him starting next year. Krahn has great potential.
Here is a look at the Top 4 Goalies
1.Rick Dipietro Boston University, USA WJC, great puck handler, no. 1 goalie
2.Brent Krahn Calgary Hitmen WHL. 6 foot 4 no. 1 goalie.
3.J-F Racine Drummondville QMJHL, 6 Foot 3 no.1 goalie.
4.Peter Hamerlik Skalica Slovakia, Slovakia WU18, Struggling Prospect.
Only Racine, Krahn, and Hamerlik shall be available after the 23rd pick.
When Vancouver drafts
23, 42, 70, 92, 143, 207, 240, 271.
The Detroit Red Wings enter this weekend’s 2000 Entry Draft not having drafted an NHL scorer since 1990, when they took Keith Primeau and Slava Kozlov with their 1st and 2nd Round selections. Yuri Butsayev, Detroit’s 2nd Round pick in 1997, has emerged as more of a Tomas Holmstrom type grinder than a scorer, and with a decent core of defensemen, led by Jiri Fischer, the Wings will definitely look to draft a goal scorer in 2000.
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After trade speculation all week long the Ottawa Senators took a conservative stance and decided to wait for their first round pick; 21st overall. Anton Volchenkov, the 6′ 210lbs defenseman from the Central Red Army farm is an imposing physical specimen and was ranked as the second best defenseman available in Europe by CSB and was 6th our own hockeysfuture.com list. There are major weaknesses on the Senators blueline that Volchenkov will help to alleviate a year or two from now. At first 6′ appears too small for a NHL defenseman but rest assured that Volchenkov makes up for this with a thick 210 frame; think Kasparaitis of Pittsburgh. A note of interest is that hockey runs in Anton’s blood, as his father was a regular with Red Army in the seventies. Senators GM Marshal Johnstone said he was very pleased Volchenkov was still available so late in the first round, and so it appears the Senators’ draft luck continues.
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After Jeff Jackson was fired, Mike Eaves was the prime candidate to take his job and he is now the USA NTDP’s Under 18 Coach. Eaves approach to his new job is this, my assistants and I will set goals, work towards the goals, and make sure we are having fun. Mike’s son Patrick, who is one of the top 84’s in the country is following his dad out there and will be playing for the Under 17 team. Some of the players Eaves has high expectations of include Eric Nystrom, Dwight Helminen, Justin Maiser, Brian McConnell, Barry Tallackson, and newcomers Jesse Lane and Ryan Whitney. “I haven’t seen much of the team yet, only on a few tapes and from talking to scouts,” Eaves said. Expect the Under 18 team to have a strong year in the USHL and turn some heads during international competition.
Also of note Keith Allain has been rumored to be the new USA National Junior Coach but no official announcement has come from USA Hockey. USA Hockey must come up with a coach soon because of the National Junior Camp set for August as they need to invite the top players to Lake Placid for the camp.
What does Columbus need? Answer: Everything; scoring, defense, goaltending, a captain, a coach, prospects and a new mascot. Of these items only prospects will be partially filled on June 24th and June 25th. Don’t expect any draft day trades by MacLean, opting instead for the 4th overall pick in the first round.
So who will be chosen? Answer: Nobody knows for sure. Heatley and Gaborik will probably already be chosen by the time Columbus takes the podium. After the 2nd spot who knows what will happen; the draft has few consensus picks after the top four. Players may rise and fall like Ty Jones’ chances of making the Blackhawks. There are some very good players in the 2000 Entry Draft, as for who they are it depends on which scout you talk to.
Here is the list of the likely suspects to be taken 4th overall by the Columbus BlueJackets, including a couple of darkhorse options:
Rick DiPietro - a superb college goaltender that really shined in the WJC for the U.S.A. What makes him so enticing, besides his competitiveness, is his flashy stick handling which forces the opposition to play him like he was a Rover in the 1800′s.
Rostislav Klesla - considered the best all around defenseman in the draft, Klesla combines toughness (174 PIM) with good outlet passes. He projects to be a # 2 Dman.
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This was Mike Smith’s maiden voyage as General Manager, though he has worked for months prior for the Blackhawks organization in the capacity as advisor in the draft.
Assessing prior draft results showed there was much needed, and Smith started by holding on to his two first rounders and then moving down in the second to add additional picks as the draft went on.
Chicago’s 1st round pick, 10th overall, was center and power forward Mikhail Yakubov, 6’3″ 185-pounder from Barnaul, Russia. He is a creative playmaker who works every shift and whose size/skill ratio projects to any forward position. This big hard driving horse plays a power game and will take the hit to make the play. He has jump in his stride along with puck skills, and nose for the net. He is a good faceoff man with a strong work ethic, always defensively responsible and doing the little things that make good three zone players.
Going into the 2000 entry draft, the Hawks felt he was one of the players that would most likely be taken before pick #10. There were a couple questionable reaches made by teams ahead of the Hawks, so when he was still available, they could not afford to pass him up. Their original plan was to make Pavel Vorobiev their “safe” pick and try and trade the other #11 overall pick for more higher picks. They never even interviewed Yabukov. The unlikely happened, and when he dropped into the Hawk lap, General Manager Mike Smith called timeout and said he was going use both picks for Russian team forwards, no less.
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Ricky DiPietro may be cocky, flashy and some have even said arrogant, but even if all those things are true one fact remains, he will be one of the top five picks in the upcoming NHL entry draft and will most likely have a long successful career in the NHL.
The first time I saw Ricky play I was in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for a job interview. I flew in from Portland, Oregon and was turning the channels on the TV looking for some hockey. I hadn’t seen much college hockey (except for the frozen four on ESPN a couple years back), so when I came across a Boston University game I have to admit I wasn’t all that excited. I watched for a few minutes and was mesmerized by the BU goalie. Not only was he making saves and playing smart hockey, he was also taking several chances and virtually dictating the pace of the game himself. The most incredible display of skill was his ability to handle the puck. It has been said that he is like having another defenseman, but I honestly think he is like another forward. After my long flight and a big dinner I was falling asleep, when the BU goalie launched a perfect outlet pass opening up a forward for a breakaway and a goal. Needless to say, I watched the rest of the game and have been hooked on college hockey ever since.
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