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Under-18 WJC: Czech Republic Team Preview

by Robert Neuhauser
on

The eyes of almost all NHL scouts now focus on the Finnish cities Lahti, Heinola and the
capital Helsinky. The Under-18 WJC, a hilight for the players preparing for the NHL Entry
Draft, takes place in Finland between April, 12th, 2001 and April, 22nd, 2001. The Czech team,
however he is very succesfull at the Under-20 WJC, is still overcoming a six year drought
for a medal. Only twice since the break of Czechoslovakia in 1993 the Czechs were able to
bring home a medal. This was in 1993 and 1994 when they finished with a back-to-back bronze medal.

That year, 1994, the Czech boasted the likes of current NHLers like Tomas Vokoun in goal, Petr
Buzek and Pavel Trnka on defense and Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora, Vaclav Varada, Radek Dvorak,
Jan Hlavac, Josef Marha and Jan Hrdina on forward. Last year the Under-18 WJC was a sixth place disaster
and only three of the 13 players eligible were selected in the draft. Coming back from the
previous year’s team are Jiri Novotny and Petr Puncochar.

This year it’s a whole new squad, which has a big change.

For the first time in history the
head coach Jiri Kalous was permitted to select also players playing in the CHL this season.

That is mainly to the big success of the CHL players with the Under-20 team, where they
contributed heavily to the golden success. In this historic moment Jiri Kalous selected three
players, Lukas Krajicek of the Peterborough Petes and Jan Platil of the Barrie Colts on defense
and Frantisek Bakrlik, also from the Colts, on forward. They should boost the team’s ov Read more »

Big Decision for the Coyotes

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

The Phoenix Coyotes have a big decision to make before June 1st, 2001. Should they sign Moose Jaw Warriors’ Center Scott Kelman or let him reenter the 2001 Entry Draft? That is the question.

The Coyotes drafted the 6’2 188 pound Winnipeg native in the 1st Round (15th Overall) of the 1999 Entry Draft with the pick they received along with Travis Green when they dealt defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky back to Anaheim. Phoenix saw a chance to take a character player in Kelman who has a lot of heart, is a physical presence and gives it his best effort every game. The only knock on Kelman was his offensive abilities. Scouts were not convinced that he would be able to be a scorer in the NHL. And they were right.

Nearly two years later, many hockey people feel Kelman has not improved at all since being drafted, despite scoring a career high 20 goals this season with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL. Kelman was dealt to the Warriors in the beginning of the season in the deal that saw star New York Rangers prospect Jamie Lundmark head the other way to Seattle. The Coyotes have to decide whether Kelman is worth 1st round money and be confident that he could become that 2nd line center they saw in him when they drafted him. If they decide to not sign him, Scott will reenter the 2001 Entry Draft and it’s anyone’s guess where he will end up. If I had to take a stab at it, I’d say Kelman wouldn’t be taken higher than the 3rd round. The Coyotes would also receive a 2nd round pick in compensation for letting Kelman go. The pick would likely be in the late 30’s to the earl Read more »

Florida Panther Page Update

by Mark Fischel
on
With a Panther record 374 man-games lost this year (as compared to the previous years total of 168), Florida had the opportunity to see a good number of players get some NHL ice time and to give management a fair idea of what the future can hold for several players.

The Panther page is able to successfully announce the graduation of Roberto Luongo, Denis Shvidki, Marcus Nilson, and Dan Boyle. These players make up the post-season list and who I feel are the players that will be given the opportunity to keep their roster spots next year, instead of having to win them from veterans. The next wave of graduated prospects will be determined by what rookies this year earn a starting spot on what surely will be a revamped Panther roster next year.

As of right now, player profiles have been updated for Luongo, Nilson, Shvidki, Novoseltsev, Jakopin, and Ference. Over the next few days all the top player profiles will be updated, and all new profiles can be expected for the 2001 draft picks. The stats for this year have also been updated for all the graduated prospects and the top prospects.

Also to be posted soon to the Panther page, an analysis of Roberto Luongo’s amazing season, a full Panther prospect report card and season review, a comprehensive 2001 NHL Entry-Draft preview and review, and new poll questions.
Read more »

Tomas Duba- Tomas who?

by Ivana Paulova
on

Czech goaltender Tomas Duba is certainly well known by the scouts these days but it is not that long ago when most of you would have said “Tomas who?“ Due to his excellent performance in the 2001 Junior World Championship his name is fast becoming a house-hold word – well at least a hockey-household word. The Czech team had been expected to perform well and most of the people saw only one question mark and it was above the position of the goaltender at the Championship. There were many excellent goaltenders: Ahonen or DiPietro. In the Czech goal there was ‘only’ “ Tomas who?” But Tomas Duba showed his class right in the first match and crowned his performance by winning a trophy for the best goaltender of the championship as well as the gold medal for the Czech team.

He was born on 2nd July 1981 so he could have been drafted 2 years ago. It was a disappointment for him when none of the teams picked him in the 1999 draft. This year he sees the draft as a chance not as a major goal. He does not want to look forward to it because it may simply fuel another disappointment. But there is difference between Tomas Duba 2 years ago and Tomas Duba now. Today he has more experience and an extra 2 gold medals from the Junior World Championships. He has gained more confidence and he has learned how to cope with failures. There is no reason to rush so he still keeps all the options open. Now he is rated the number 1 European goaltender for the oncoming draft.

And the history of this star? When he first came to the stadium of HC Read more »

Islanders have second pick in 2001 draft

by Jonathan Litterine
on
The New York Islanders had a bad bad year. The least they could hope for
was the number one overall selection in June’s NHL Draft. Well there not
going to win that battle either. Earlier today the NHL conducted it’s annual
“Draft Lottery”. Due to the fact the Islanders had the worst record they were
most likely to win the lottery and acquire the first pick. The Islanders
ended up with the second overall pick. Isles GM Mike Milbury said if he had
the 1st pick he was going for Windsor Spitfires Center Jason Spezza. Well now
that the Atlanta Thrashers have the first pick, chances are Milbury will
either take Spezza or Ilya Kovalchuk, depending on who is taken first.
Spezza seems to be the likely choice, but Kovalchuk is flying up draft
boards while playing over in Russia. Either way all this proves is that
nothing goes right for the Islanders. Last Year they won the draft lottery
and in my opinion blew the pick on Rick DiPietro. Instead of Roberto Luongo
and maybe Marian Gaborik or Dany Heatley, the Isles ended up with DiPietro
and Mark Parrish, after a draft day deal with Florida. That is a loss at
both ends of the ice. So the logical pick for Milbury seems to be either
Spezza or Kovalchuk, but has Mike Milbury ever done anything logical in his
tenure as general manager of the Islanders?

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