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Rangers Prospect Update

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Week Of 12/10 to 12/20

Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Pavel Brendl  Calgary   WHL    26  29  23  52   24   21

This Week: No Games Played
Notes: Will represent the Czech Republic in the upcoming World Junior Championships.


Player           Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Jamie Lundmark  Seattle   WHL    20  17  17   34  19  +3

This Week: 1 GP, 2 G, 0 A, 2 P, 0 PIM, +2
Notes: Playing for team Canada at the WJC. Has been Seattle’s best player since the trade.


Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Filip Novak   Regina    WHL    34  12  22  34   38   12

This Week: 3 GP, 1 G, 0 A, 1 P, 5 PIM, +1
Notes: Would be playing for the Czech Republic in the WJC, but because of past problems with his former Czech team, they refused to let him play in the tournament. He currently has 5 more goals this year through 34 games than he had all last year in 47 games. He also is only 5 points away from matching last seasons totals. His play has really improved from last season.


Player              Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Garret Bembridge  Saskatoon  WHL    35  24  20  44   12  -13

This Week: 3 GP, 1 G, 0 A, 2 P, 0 PIM, -6 Read more »

Jamie Lundmark Shines In Sweden

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Jamie Lundmark was selected to the under-20 Canadian team for the upcoming World Junior Championships in Moscow, Russia, and he hasn’t disappointed so far. Team Canada left for Sweden a couple of days ago to play 2 exhibition games against the Sweden team before taking off for Moscow for the championships.

In the first exhibition game, Canada defeated Sweden 6-4. Lundmark had 2 goals and 3 assists and 2 PIM. One of his goals was an empty net goal at the end to close out the game. All 3 of Lundmark’s assists were primary assists and they also all occurred while Canada was on the power play.

Lundmark made a name for himself in last year’s WJC with a solid all-around performance and looks as though that will happen this year as well. Canada and Sweden face off tomorrow, so stay tuned to what Lundmark will do!

News and Notes: The only other 2 players in the Rangers organization that I know of that are participating in the WJC are Pavel Brendl and Sven Helfenstein. I will try and find out tomorrow if there is anyone else, and there probably is, so stay tuned.

Tomas Kloucek recalled from Hartford

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

The Rangers finally have made a move to help their defense defensively, but it did not come in form of a trade as many thought it would. Tomas Kloucek, a 6-3 220 pound 20 yr old defenseman, was recalled from Hartford on Sunday to patch up the Rangers defense. Kloucek played in 4 games with the Rangers earlier in the season, and he played a very steady, solid game and did not make any mental errors at all, as most rookies do. He registered no points and 2 penalty minutes while with the Rangers.

The Rangers have decided to give Kloucek a huge chance to prove how good he is, as they have him penciled in to play about 15 minutes tonight against the Florida Panthers at the garden. Before possibly making a trade, the Rangers want to experiment with the defenseman they already have to see if they can fix the problem with the players in their organization. If the stay-at-home defenseman Kloucek can not make much of a difference, than we will likely see a trade happen soon. However, the Christmas trade freeze takes place tomorrow, so any immediate deal will have to happen tonight.

To make room for Kloucek, the Rangers sent forward Manny Malhotra to Hartford. I think this is only temporary while Kloucek gets his chance to impress the management. They originally wanted to send Bert Robertsson down to Hartford, until they found out he would have to clear waivers. So with that, Malhotra was an option that they had to take. He should be recalled soon if Kloucek can’t cut it with the big club, or if Kloucek impresses and the Rangers move some bodies to get Manny back on the t Read more »

Canadian Team Set for Action

by Brad Coccimiglio
on
After 4 days of practicing and scrimmaging the Canadian entry for the 2001 World Junior Hockey Championships is now set. On Monday morning the final cuts were made and the final roster was set.

In a surprise move the Canadian team management cut Kris Beech of the Calgary Hitmen and Pascal Leclaire of the Halifax Mooseheads on the final day. Also cut on Monday were Krys Kolanos and Luke Sellars. On Sunday, Rob Zepp, Garnet Exelby and Stephen Weiss were cut while Antoine Bergeron, Kurtis Foster, Jonathan Zion and Nathan Smith were cut on Saturday.

The goaltending on this team will be strong as Maxime Oullet and Alex Auld are going to backstop the Canadian team. From what’s been said by those who seen the camp, all four goaltenders (Oullet, Auld, Leclaire and Zepp) all played well.

The defensive corps on this team is somewhat young with just two 19-year-olds in Barret Jackman and Steve McCarthy. They should be solid nonetheless with three returnees in Jackman, McCarthy and Jay Bouwmeester. Four defensemen on this team are undrafted (Bouwmeester is draft eligible in 2002, while Dan Hamhuis, Jay Harrison and Mark Popovic are all eligible in 2001).

Offense should not be a problem for this team. Jamie Lundmark, Dany Heatley, Brandon Reid and Jason Spezza are all back from last year’s bronze-medal winning team. When you add Brad Boyes, Raffi Torres and Jason Jaspers to the mix you have an offence that should be capable of producing.

This year’s team seems to be more balanced than those of recent years where coaches tried to c Read more »

Czech NHL rookies – Roman Simicek

by Robert Neuhauser
on
Even if Roman Simicek would be the best NHL rookie, he has no chance of winning the Calder Trophy. He is already 29 and no player older than 26 years can win this trophy. Maybe Roman didn’t even believe in making it to the NHL. But the fortune wanted it so. Better to say, Ivan Hilnka wanted it so. After this Czech coaching phenom became the head coach of the Pittsburgh penguins, he felt the need of a big skilled center who could play on a line with Jaromir Jagr. The former GM of Litvinov knew all possible Czech players and at the second draft day he told GM Craig Patrick to spent the ninth-round pick on a big skilled Czech center Roman Simicek. This really overager went to the Pens with the 273rd overall selection. His way to the NHL was free.

Roman was born 11-04-1971 and so 1990 eligible. In the years 1971 and 1972 there were a lot of future stars born in Czechoslovakia, for example Bobby Holik, Robert Reichel, Jaromir Jagr, Petr Nedved or Jan Caloun and Roman wasn’t playing a lot in the junior national teams. He was also scratched from the roster for the European championship of the Under-18 teams in 1989. No doubt that he was overlooked at the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. There were other Czech stars which could be selected, Jaromir Jagr topped the list.I don’t believe he worried a lot about this fact in the communistic Czechoslovakia. He had to worry about becoming a regular in the Extraleague after his junior days were over. He broke in the Elite League with HC Vitkovice and used his talent well. The sized center created a lot of smart plays and used his body Read more »

Rebuilding the System

by Tony Calfo
on
When Dave Taylor took over as the Kings GM, the job ahead of him seemed daunting to say the least. He had a terrible product on the ice, nominal fan interest, and a struggling farm system that he would likely have to rebuild twice to make the Kings better. His first rebuilding project was easier- the Kings had some prospects from the Sam McMaster era and some top draft picks. These factors allowed the Kings to make the Ziggy Palffy deal, one that looks brilliant right now, but one that left the Kings with virtually nothing. Combine that with the Scott Barney back saga and the stagnant development of Pavel Rosa, and the Kings officially had nothing in the cupboard.

The Palffy trade has helped the Kings right the ship- they are now offensively potent, have some depth at forward, and finally have the power play that seemed to have left with the great one. The Kings seemed poised to go to the playoffs for the third time in four seasons. Perhaps the best news is that the Kings are starting to find some depth in their system and next season, they will have their own AHL team to develop them.

The Kings have NHL caliber talent on the AHL level. They have players they can call up in the event of injury and still not damage their development. They have what could be considered potential superstars who are still very young and have time to develop. They have quality goaltending depth (Volkov, Campbell, Yeats), potentially solid defensemen (Rullier, Seeley, Crain) and some players who know how to find the net (McGratten, Lehoux, Frolov, Shefer.

Read more »

Finnish Roster for WJC

by Mikko Vuori
on
Goaltenders
Player             C Ht.    Wt. Birthdate Hometown     2000/2001 Team        Drafted
Kari Lehtonen      L 6'02.5 178 11/16/83  Helsinki     Jokerit Helsinki      Eligible 02
Ari Ahonen         L 6'02   179 02/06/81  Jyväskylä    IFK Helsinki          NJ  99

Defensemen
Player             S Ht.    Wt. Birthdate Hometown     2000/2001 Team        Drafted
Markku Paukkunen   L 6'01   190 04/15/81  Kuopio       JYP Jyväskylä         Not drafted
Harri Tikkanen     L 5'09   163 06/02/81  Lappeenranta SaiPa Lappeenranta    Not drafted
Lasse Kukkonen     L 6'00   185 09/18/81  Oulu         Kärpät Oulu           Not drafted
Janne Niskala      L 6'00.5 190 09/22/81  Västerås     Lukko Rauma (jrs.)    Not drafted
Tuukka Mäntylä     L 5'09.5 172 05/25/81  Tampera      Tappara Tampera       Not drafted
Olli Malmivaara    L 6'04.5 205 03/13/82  Kajaani      Jokerit Helsinki      CHI 00
Tero Määttä        L 6'01.5 205 01/02/82  Vantaa       Blues Espoo           SJ  00

Forwards
Player             S Ht.    Wt. Birthdate Hometown     2000/2001 Team        Drafted
Mikko Koivu        L 6'02   176 03/12/83  Turku        TPS Turku             Eligible 01
Ville Hämäläinen   L 5'11.5 187 07/06/81  Lappeenranta SaiPa Lappeenranta    Not drafted
Sami Venäläinen    R 5'11.5 179 10/14/81  Kangasala    Tappara Tampera       PHX 00
Miro Laitinen      L 5'10.5 179 01/01/81  Pietarsaari  Tappara Tampera       Not drafted
Tomi Mustonen      R 5'11   176 04/29/82  Jokela       KJT Järvenpää (Div 1) Not drafted
Juha-Pekka Hyt Read more »

Sharks Youngsters Stepping Up

by Mike Delfino
on
As the Sharks’ 2000/01 campaign passes its 1/3rd mark, one can not discount the impact of several Sharks youngsters such as Mark Smith, Patrick Marleau, Marco Sturm, and of course, the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for November, Evgeni Nabokov. One thing is for certain, if not for the Sharks’ core of young players, they would not be in a position where many teams are beginning to key on the Sharks as one of the top teams.

“It’s a real eye-opener that top clubs are getting ready for us now. We’re not going to sneak up on people anymore,” said Jeff Friesen after a tie against the Western Conference Champion, Dallas Stars.

For the Sharks to continue their development they will have to continue playing well and beat teams like the Dallas Stars, and others who are perennial favorites to win their respective divisions. It is one thing to beat the teams you are supposed to beat, however, to make the next jump to the next level, the Sharks must begin beating the top teams in the league. To do that, they will need help from every source available.

To start the year, the Sharks began with two rookies at forward, Mark Smith and Matt Bradley. The return from injury by Owen Nolan, impressive play of Tony Granato, and inconsistent play has resulted in Bradley being assigned to the Kentucky Thoroughblades of the AHL after being a healthy scratch in several games. Not having Matt Bradley on the roster for the Sharks results in a slight loss of team speed, and an extra player who has the ability to pinch in offensively as well. If he can Read more »

Sens Graduated Prospects

by Richard Polonsky
on

Currently the Sens are fighting for top spot in the Eastern Conference with one of the youngest, cheapest and most exciting squads in the league. They have made amends with Alexei Yashin, and he is back among the elite players. And they some blue-chip youngsters in the line-up.

Let’s begin with the cream of the crop, Martin Havlat. This Czech prodigy has adjusted to the speed, strength and confinement of the NHL quite well. So much so that he has been dominating on some nights and currently sits with 15 points in 22 games. He missed some time with a separated shoulder, but it has not affected him at all as he scored two goals in his first game back. He has also formed a bond with Czech teammate Vaclav Prospal and plays with Rob Zamuner all on one line. Sens fans are no doubt excited at the progress of Havlat and will be in awe of his skills for a long time. He really is a future star.

Next, there is Russian winger Peter Schastlivy. Originally, a 4th round draft choice (101 overall), the Sens look like the uncovered another sleeper. Peter boasts great speed and skill and has shown a sniper’s touch filling in for the injured Magnus Arvedson on a line with Marian Hossa and Radek Bonk. The Sens obviously look to him to fill the net consistently and lock down a permanent spot on the roster which he failed to do at training camp.

In goal, Jani Hurme has done an admirable job as the backup and didn’t look out of place filling in for an injured Patrick Lalime earlier in the year posting a 3 wins, a shutout and a 2.78 GAA. He is a late rookie, but the Read more »

Slovak Roster Before World Junior Championship

by Daniel Kysel
on

World junior championship is coming closer and ten national teams will travel to Russian Moscow and Podolsk to contest for golden, silver and bronze medals.

Slovak national coaches Jan Selvek and Jozef Fruhauf decided to open a camp for Slovak adepts in Dubnica (by the way Pavol Demitra is Dubnica native). They invited 28 players who will compete for 22 national jerseys. The roster is very interesting. I do not think any national team would have players from more leagues than Slovak. Ten players are from CHL (five WHL, three OHL, two QMJHL), two ones play in the U.S. junior A leagues, one is from IHL, thirteen kids skate in the Slovak Extraliga (senior Elite), one players is from Slovak Div.I league and the last one is from Slovak junior league.

Five of them – Bartovic, Vydareny, Hossa, Kopecky and Starosta have the experiences from the last championship. The coaches could not consider with Marian Gaborik (Minnesota) and Kristian Kudroc (Detroit – IHL) who were not released by their NHL teams.

Let us to see the roster containing 28 names:


Goalies
Name               Born         Team          League      Drafted by
Peter Budaj        18-09-1982   Toronto       OHL         -
Peter Hamerlik     02-01-1982   Kingston      OHL         Pittsburgh
Lubomir Pisar      04-02-1981   Martin        Extraliga   -

Defensemen
Name               Born         Team          League      Drafted by
Miroslav Durak     09-06-1981   Sherbrooke    QMJHL       Nashville
Stefan Fabian      10-02-1981   Kosice        Extraliga   -
Ladisl Read more »