Since this projected to be one of the deepest drafts in recent memory the Oilers are in the driver’s seat so to speak. From the trade the Oilers have moved up 6 spots in the first round from 19th to 13th pick overall which does not sound significant but the talent seems to drop off a little after the 15th pick. Now the Kevin Lowe and Kevin Prendergast have a few options to mull over before draft day in June.
The ramifications of this decision could directly affect the future of this team over the next 2-3 years.
The first and most basic decision would be to hang on to the 13th pick and draft the best player available at that spot or a draft for need depending on player still on the board. With the extra pick in the second round they will be able to fill their stable for the future and have the problem of depth. With this particular choice they might be able to fill all the organizations needs on the farm team since the lack of depth at the goaltending and center positions are apparent, with offensive defenseman rounding out the three.
There is hope that if they stay at the 13th pick that one player from each position needed that they covet will drop a couple spots. Three possible defenseman may peak a lot of interest if they fall and in no particular order Michigan’s Mike Komisarek, Windsor’s Tim Gleason and Ryan Whitney from the U.S. developmental team. Obviously both goaltenders Dan Blackburn and Pascal Leclaire would be taken without hesitation and couple centers may slide down little because of maneuvering higher in the draft. Two intriguing cen Read more »
The Kings still have several prospects playing collegiately. Here is an update on some of them:
Noah Clarke- Colorado College- The diminutive Clarke had another solid season. The California native had 12 goals and 20 assiss in 41 games as a sophomore. Clarke’s size appears to be his biggest potential downfall.
Jim Henkel- RPI- Henkel has shown promise. Jim had 11 goals and 19 assists in 34 games for Renselaar. The junior forward has good size and has shown improvements in his game.
George Parros- Princeton- Parros is among the most intriguing prospects for the Kings. He is huge- 6’5″, 215 pounds and has improved his game over the last season. He had 7 goals, 10 assists and was a +5. Parros had 44 penalty minutes, including 19 minor penalties. Keep your eye on his progress.
Matthew Yeats – Maine- Yeats’s was the starting goaltender for the Black Bears for the entire season. He went an impressive 18-9-4 with a 2.40 GAA. His save percentage was a little low- .897. Yeats has the potential to be an NHL goalie and has shown he can prosper in a big-time college program.
Jason Crain- Ohio State- Jason Crain was once considered among the top prospects for the Kings, and still is, although he has struggled at times over the last two seasons. Crain had only 2 goals and 6 assists and was a -6. Crain’s game has not progressed at the pace many thought it would, but his promise is undeniable.
Jay Kopischke- Notre Dame- Jay is a physical player whose skills are not maximized by the college game, but Read more »
CSS Rankings Provided Courtesy of NHL.com
Central Scouting Service Final Rankings
North American Forwards and Defensemen
Rank Player (Previous Rank) Team Birthdate HT WT Pos Shot
1 Spezza, Jason (1) Windsor 13-Jun-83 6'2 214 C R
2 Hamhuis, Dan (3) Prince George 13-Dec-82 6'0 ½ 195 D L
3 Weiss, Stephen (2) Plymouth 03-Apr-83 5'11 ½ 178 C L
4 Komisarek, Mike (9) U of Michigan 19-Jan-82 6'4 225 D R
5 Umberger, R.J. (4) Ohio State 03-May-82 6'2 200 C L
6 Krajicek, Lukas (16) Peterborough 11-Mar-83 6'1 ½ 183 D L
7 Milroy, Duncan (5) Swift Current 08-Feb-83 6'0 180 RW R
8 Armstrong, Colby (15) Red Deer 23-Nov-82 6'1 ½ 180 RW R
9 Hemsky, Ales (11) Hull 13-Aug-83 6'0 170 RW R
10 Colaiacovo, Carlo (12) Erie 27-Jan-83 6'1 184 D L
11 Popovic, Mark (8) Toronto-St. Mike's 11-Oct-82 6'1 ½ 194 D L
12 Gleason, Tim (10) Windsor 29-Jan-83 6'0 ½ 199 D L
13 Woywitka, Jeff (17) Red Deer 01-Sep-83 6'2 ½ 197 D L
14 Watson, Greg (14) Prince Albert 02-Mar-83 6'1 ½ 177 C L
15 Bell, Brendan (19) Ottawa 31-Mar-83 6'1 198 Read more »
He’s the only player who’s captured the Calder Cup, taken the Turner Cup, manhandled the Memorial Cup and sipped from the Stanley Cup.
In his seven years in Chicago as a member of the Chicago Wolves, Young has achieved a comfortable level of celebrity.
And as a member of Wolves, league champions last season and in 1998, he gets to experience perks the rest of us can only write and read about.
“I got to throw out the first pitch at a Cubs game,” said Young.
“Last year, four of us sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game during the seventh-inning stretch.
“Before the game, we were behind home plate with the Turner Cup. They introduced all of us, gave a bit of a bio and the place was going crazy. It’s amazing the amount of people that knew us.
“Stuff like that makes it pretty cool.”
Besides his two Turner Cups, Young has won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins, a Calder Cup American Hockey League championship with the Hershey Bears in 1988, and a Memorial Cup major junior title with the Kitchener Rangers in 1982.
Young is the only player in hockey history to win all four titles.
“The guys that are really good hockey players will never get a chance to do it, because they’ll never play in the minors,” said Young.
“I was bad enough to play in the minors, good enough to play in the NHL, then bad enough to play in the minors again.
“Overall, how lucky was I to be on so many teams? … Whatever my talent level is, you could have that Read more »
The Czech Republic team looked to be in serious trouble after the preliminary round. They lost
the last game against Germany and this surprise caused them this trouble. They wanted to face
the third placed team of the Group A, but with a third place they had to play against the
second best team of the Group A. And this team was the USA squad. As usual, the Americans play
an aggresive in-your-face style of game, with lots of shooting and hitting. The Czech team,
used to the style of passing and passing, could have problems with the American style. But
the guys were motivated enough to beat the US guys and advance to the fight for a medal, which
would mean a great success.
The US team, where most of the team will not opt-in for this year’s draft, boasts a lot of
future NHLers. The names of Eric Nystrom, Jason Ryznar, Brian McConnell or smallish Dwight Helminen will be
soon the names to remember. The most outstanding star is Ryan Whitney, a player who could be
a top 10 pick if he opts in either in 2001 or 2002.
And the USA team stormed on the Czechs. They were very good in front
of Miroslav Kopriva in the net for the Czech Republic, where they tried to deflect and rebound
the shots. This led to two quick goals after five minutes played, Gionta and Brian McConnell
scored those goals while standing in front of Kopriva. After that was Kopriva replaced by
Martin Laska, who started playing well. And in the 15th minute Frantisek Bakrlik was able
to bring the puck behind the back of Travis Weber after passes from Lukas Chmelir and Petr
Puncochar. But Read more »
What does a NHL team do with their franchise goalie when his own teammates can barely score more than 2 goals with him in net? This was the problem that Florida management faced when assessing the teams play in front of Trevor Kidd and the back-up goalie at the time, Roberto Luongo.
In the early part of the season, The Panthers were decimated with injuries to their already thin defense, and at times this left the unfortunate burden on the two goalies to keep the Panthers in each game. Thrown into the fire was the confident and technically proficient Roberto, who struggled mightily in providing the necessary clutch goaltending. One of the early criticisms that he faced was the tendency of some teams to win or tie the game in the waning moments of the game.
Luongo started the season going 1-11-2, in which he got his first shut-out against Minnesota on Oct 22nd before he was able to get his first win against Tampa Bay on Dec 25th. At the time, he had a steady, but unspectacular .901 save percentage and 2.5 GAA. Clearly not good enough to put the Panthers in the win column when the offense rarely scored over 2 goals a game, and for the season Luongo had the unfortunate luck of being the starting goalie in 5 of the 6 games that the Panthers were shut out in.
Read more »
Nathan Schwartzbauer: This Quesnel Millionaire defenseman is one of the biggest in the league at 6’5 210 lbs. Schwartzbauer (82) is reputed to be the fastest skater on the Mills up and down the ice. For a player this size that`s not a easy task. If this big d-man can work on his lateral movement and anticipation he should be a big influence on the Millionaires and the BCHL next year. This Alaskan has alot of size and teams are looking for that on defense. Look for Nathan to take a step up if the rest of his game does. Players will not find it pleasant in front of the Millionaires net next season, when Nathan is on the ice.
Alex Nikiforuk: Alex plays right wing for the Burnaby Bulldogs of the BCHL. Not many rookies can rack up over a point a game in the BCHL but this native of Kelowna did. Not big at 5’8 165 Alex relies more on speed and smarts to make his game talk. Nikiforuk( 83) was one of the top point getters on Burnaby this season and should have a even bigger role next season. As in most BCHLers a scholarship is his goal and this should not be a problem. A season near 100 points could be in the future for this smart player.
Rod Pelley: Rod Pelley had a great first year in the BCHL. This player at only 16 years old played a regular shift on the Prince George Spruce Kings. Pelley (84) is listed by the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL and will have to make the decision whether to play in the Dub or pursue a scholarship. This kid from Kitimat B.C. is a strong skater and has pretty good size for a 16-year-old at 6’0 180. Rod played wel Read more »
Over the season and especially in the playoff’s it became apparent that a little tinkering is needed to the roster. Veteren experience and reliability seems to be the new mantra coming out of the front office in Edmonton but not at the expenses of dismantling the core group. Finding a defenseman and a winger whom both have leadership qualities and Stanley Cup experience will weigh heavily on the minds of Kevin Lowe and his staff. Around draft day in June seems the most likely time a decision will be made since one way or another the Doug Weight contract scenerio will have been played out. The funds left over either way will determine who they can obtain to fill those roles and if the ownership group would be willing to spend an extra million or two to make it all come together.
Down the road the Calgary Flames spent more on thier rosters this season and perhaps they didn’t get the results they wanted, but if the ownership group and the fans and have a little give and take it could be accomplished. If in Edmonton the season tickets could be in the 16,000 area with only 1,100 to spare they could sell out 30-35 games a year the funds could be available. That essentially with the 5% increase in tickets prices could be allocated in signing Doug Weight to a three year contract and adding the two veterens needed.
Now barring if the money is available whom would be considered a good candidates for the veteren positions and what would be the cost. Now if someone were to mull over the current rosters in the NHL to see what is available they may find that Edmon Read more »
A perfect nickname for this towering Russian prodigy who has played his third season for the Sudbury
Wolves. Last season Alexei Semenov was named OHL defensive defenseman of the year and by all accounts this season should result with the same accolads.
A steady marked improvement in all aspects of his game will give him a legitimate chance of cracking the Oilers roster next season.
His most appealing attributes are a perfect fit for the needs of the present Oilers blueline. His best qualities include his devastating open ice hits and menacing presence in front of the net. Alexei also provides a excellent shot from the point and would be an excellant alternativeon the second powerplay unit along side Tom Poti. Whats even more appealing to the Oilers managemnt is his wing span and mobility will make it near impossible to beat him one on one.
A nice progression in his point total over the last two seasons give the coaching staff reason to believe some of that talent will come forth to the next level.
99-00 GP-65 G-9 A-35 Pts-44 Pim-135
00-01 GP-67 G-21 A-42 Pts-63 Pim-106
00-01 Playoff’s Gp-12 G-4 A-13 Pts-17 Pim-17
Adding Semenov to the mix could allow the Oilers to have 3 solid units on defense and pair the two offense defense with a solid efensive partner without tearing up the Jason Smith and Igor Ulanov duo. By pairing Alexei Semenov and Tom Poti together it would allow Tom to be more offensivly creative without having to worry about the backend. Plus an added bonus is since both of them are young they wi Read more »