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Canadiens’ Pre-Draft News Update

by Chris Boucher
on
Days before the NHL Entry Draft, and many Canadiens’ fans are already sitting on their hands in anticipation. The next two weeks will be chalk full of big news, so let’s take this opportunity to re-cap the most recent happenings in Hab-land.

Vadim Tarasov (7th round, 1999) has reportedly signed a two-year contract with the Canadiens. However, Montreal management has yet to announce the signing. Tarasov was named top goalie in Russia during each of the last 3 years. He finished last season with a 16-13-4 record, a 2.10 GAA, and a .912 save percentage. He’ll likely make his first official appearance in North America during the Canadiens’ prospect camp to be held in August.

The Canadiens will receive a compensatory pick for the loss of Shayne Corson via free-agency. The pick will fall in the fourth round (109th overall). The Corson pick gives the Habs a total of 10 picks in this year’s draft. They will pick 7th, 25th, 37th, 71st, 104th, 109th, 171st, 203rd, 235th, and 266th.

Add Tyler Hanchuk (3rd round, 2000), and Petr Chvojka (6th round 2000) to the list of former Hab draft picks re-entering this year’s NHL Draft. Unlike Dusty Jamieson (5th round, 1999), and Sean Dixon (6th round, 1999) who can re-enter the draft because they were unable to come to terms on a contract before the June 1st deadline, the Habs only had to offer a contract to Hanchuk and Chvojka in order to retain their rights. Not doing so is known in NHL circles as renouncing rights.

In related news Matt Carkner (2nd round, 1999) has reportedly signed a deal with the Read more »

Devils Draft Preview

by Jared Ramsden
on

The Devils have a well earned reputation for being one of the most successful drafting teams in the NHL. And at this weekend’s Entry Draft form Sunrise, Florida, General Manager Lou Lamoriello and Head Scout David Conte will look to carry on the success.

Since 1990’s draft, 47 of New Jersey’s drafted players have gone on to play at least one NHL game, which is best in the league along with Colorado and NYI. Last year alone, the Devils had 9 of their own drafted players on their roster and 6 others who spent some time up with the Devils as well. The 9 players were: Martin Brodeur (‘90,1/20) Ken Daneyko (‘82,1/18) Scott Niedermayer (‘91,1/3) Colin White (‘96,2/49) Scott Gomez (‘98,1/27) Patrik Elias (‘94,2/51) Petr Sykora (‘95,1/18) Sergei Brylin (‘92,2/42) and Jay Pandolfo (‘93,2/32). The other 6 were: Mike Commodore (‘99,2/42) Sascha Goc (’97,/159) Pierre Dagenais (‘98,4/105) Jiri Bicek (‘97,5/131) Stan Gron (‘97,2/38) and Mike Jefferson (‘00,5/135). They have plenty of other notable draftees of theirs around the league like Brendan Shanahan (‘87,1/2) Bill Guerin (‘89,1/5) Steve Sullivan (‘94,9/233) Jason Smith (‘92,1/18) and Brian Rolston (‘91,1/11). That is proof of how well the Devils have been able to use the draft to stock their team. They can find players high or low and can always seem to find the diamond in the rough or sleepers that other teams pass over.

Like last year, New Jersey has a huge chunk of their picks is the first half of the draft including 5 in the third round. They have an overall total of 12. As of right now, the Devils picks are Read more »

Le draft qui déterminera l’avenir du CH

by Vincent Belisle
on
Le DG du canadiens a clairement qu’il n’était pas question de repêcher Mikko Koivu seulement parce qu’il est le frère de Saku. « Mikko est un bon prospect a considéré, mais il n’est pas privilégié des autres » a indiqué le chef du recrutement Martin Madden.

Les joueurs dans la mire de Savard

Pour le 7ième choix

Stephen Weiss
Le joueur le plus complet du repêchage, il possède de très bonne qualité offensive tout en maintenant une conscience défensive. Il a marquer 40buts dans la OHL avec Plymouth l’an dernier. Malheureusement, il serait surprenant que Weiss soit encore disponible lorsque se sera à Savard de parler.

Mikko Koivu
Il est très attendu a Montréal. Selon les dépisteurs, il a les qualités de son frère avec le physique en plus. Il a le même désire de vaincre que son frère. Un winner comme on dis. Petit hick, lui et Mark Komisarek sont ciblés par le Wild qui possède le choix juste devant celui de Montréal.

Igor Knyazev
Un joueur à la Kasparaitis. Le genre de joueur qui plaît à Savard. Un gars qui se présente a chaque match avec une attitude et un leadership remarquable. Ne se laisse pas marcher sur les pieds et n’a pas peur de jeter les gants pour regler ses comptes. Exactement le genre de joueurs qui nous faut à Montréal. Cependant, Knyazev pourrait être encore disponible lorsque le Canadiens parlera pour la deuxième fois. Mais est-ce que Savard prendra la chance de le perdre?

Pour le 25ième choix

Ales Hemsky
Si le Tchèque est encore disponible, il serait un bon choi Read more »

NHL Draft Preview – Overage Slovak Players

by Daniel Kysel
on
The last draft proved that overage players are a much better investment for new teams than 18-year old unknown youngsters. In total 31 overage players were selected last year. Fourteen of them skated on NHL rinks last season. Eight found regular spots on their teams (Cechmanek, Sekeras, Kultanen, Visnovsky, Nummelin, Kharitonov, Simicek and Sushinsky (before his outgoing to Russia)). The others traveled between first and farm teams (Ronnqvist, Wallin, Bartos, Von Arx, Kolarik and Lilja). All of them were 24+ years old. Pure accident? I don’t think so. Such players have a lot of experience from top European leagues, international tournaments, world championships, Olympic games etc. Younger players (I mean 21-24 year old) need time to develop for the NHL level but I believe that some of them could play in NHL right now e.g. Tellqvist, Richter.

The European leagues – Russian, Slovak, Swiss, German and especially Czech, Finnish and Swedish offer a lot of skilled, experienced players. Mark Schwartz presented in his excellent article “Instant help and the NHL draft” overage players. I cannot and don’t want to compete with him however I want to present my view as well. Of course I don’t know all Euro-leagues in detail but I can mention other ones who were not mentioned by him e.g. Czech players Dusan Salficky (G, 1972, Plzen) & Viktor Ujcik (F, 1972, Slavia). However my intention is to write about Slovaks, so let’s see their names:


Peter Pucher (C, 12/08/1974, 6'1" 207, Znojmo - Czech Extraliga)
Regular season 		52 GP	22G 	34A 	56Pts	+31	32 Read more »

Blue Jackets Draft Preview

by Collin Wheeler
on
Success has its rewards, but in the case of the Columbus Blue Jackets, it also has its drawbacks. Doug MacLean’s vision of a team that would be competitive every night and start building a winning tradition, has blossomed into a 28 win inaugural season. The city of Columbus has embraced the team and the combination of solid veterans and late blooming prospects gives them a strong base for respectability in the future. In achieving these goals, however, Columbus will be drafting 8th in the first round, instead of in the top 2 or 3 that might be expected by an expansion team.

The depth of this years draft has made the lower draft position a little bit easier to endure, but the thought of missing out on outstanding prospects like Jason Spezza and Ilya Kovalchuck must be heavy on MacLean’s mind. The Blue Jackets are thrilled with last years first round choice, defenseman Rostislav Klesa and think he will anchor their defense for years to come. In Mark Denis, they feel that they have an outstanding young goaltender. What they lack is a big time blue chip forward that they can build their offence around. Maclean would love to choose any of the top 5 forwards.

If the draft goes like most people predict, those 5 forwards will be long gone by the 8th choice. Some people in the Blue Jackets organization think the top prospect still available at that spot might well be goaltender Dan Blackburn. That’s tough to predict in a year that might see a lot of wheeling and dealing on draft day.

Doug MacLean is one of the more proactive G.M.’s in the Read more »

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 »

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 »

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