Never let it be said that the Buffalo Sabres are predictable at the draft table, at least when it comes to making their 1st round picks.
Back in 1983, they chose high school goaltender Tom Barrasso with the 5th pick overall, which at the time was the highest a
goaltender had been chosen. In 1997, the Sabres called Finnish goaltender Mika Noronen’s name, a choice that was met with a
resounding chorus of “Who?”
Buffalo this year continued their tradition of risk-taking in the draft’s 1st round with the selection of Russian center Artem
Kriukov [6’3", 180lbs., Yaroslavl (RUS)]. There is certainly a lot to like about Artem- he is a well-rounded package of
offensive skills, as he possesses above-average speed, good size, sharp playmaking skills and a good shot. The major knock against
Kriukov has to do with his health, specifically his susceptibility to concussions. Artem suffered a major blow to the head early in the
99-00 season, causing him to miss a good portion of the schedule. The Sabres claim that this is the only concussion Kriukov has
suffered, and that they are comfortable with using the 15th pick overall to draft him. There are conflicting reports, however, that
indicate that this may not be Artem’s first concussion, so the Sabres could well be whistling past the graveyard with this pick. To
sum up, Kriukov will either be a major find for the Sabres scouting staff, or he will be a black mark on a drafting record that has
otherwise been good in recent seasons.
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The Avs management has returned from the 2000 Entry and Expansion Drafts with a smile. Despite a flurry of deals, the Avs stood strong, and only made one questionable deal. Many were shocked by the trade of All-Star defender Sandis Ozolinsh, and the lack of perceived value that the Avs got in return. While it would have been wiser for the Avs to try to trade Ozo to different team for more value, you must remember that Ozolinsh’s value is diminished by the fact that Carolina still has to sign him to a heavy $5 million contract. A signed Ozo is worth more than an unsigned one, thus the return Colorado received. Having another physical defender in Nolan Pratt on the squad is a benefit. In the playoffs, defenders like Greg DeVries and Eric Messier weren’t enough against strong trapping teams like Dallas. A pairing of Pratt and Miller or Klemm could be the Avs 3rd pair.
The Bruins exercised their option to take the Avs first round pick this year. This almost left the Avs with out a pick until the second round. But, they were fortunate to acquire a pick (14th), plus 2 second round ones from Carolina in the Ozolinsh trade.
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Klesla, picked 4th overall, has makes a good outlet pass and has a very solid shot form the point. “We really believe this kid can come in now and make our hockey team,” GM Doug MacLean said. “We think he’s the best defenseman in the draft.”
There is no arguing MacLean on the last point. But the notion that he can come in and play right away might just be a case of post-draft hysteria. Sure, Klesla can play he has all the tools to be compete but defensemen are notoriously slow developers and need to refine their game in the minors before setting up shop at the NHL level. Remember current Norris Trophy winner, Chris Pronger, struggled mightly his first year in Hartford.
MacLean’s second round pick was used to procure Marc Denis, a 22 year old goaltender from Colorado, who stands a chance to make a bigger imapct than #1 overall Rick DiPietro.
The third round unearthed a Right Wing that dropped in favor during the draft. Ben Knopp posesses good touch around the net and really found his game towards the end of the season, leading the surpirsing Moose Jaw Warriors into the playoffs. Knopp’s stock dropped, he was ranked 42 NA by the CSB and 52 by THN, because he played on a line centered by Jamie Lundmark much of the season and didn’t finish Lundmark’s passes as frequently as the scouts liked. Still the character and poise Knopp showed towards the end of the season made him a a gem at 69th overall.
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With needs in every department the Wild drafted what they thought was the best player available to them.
Minnesota in possession of the 3rd overall pick selected Slovakian winger Marian Gaborik. Trades changed the draft picture for Wild, but here are the players chosen:
3. Marian Gaborik, LW from Dukla Trencin (Slovakia)
6-1, 183…born Feb. 14 1982…25 goals in 50 games for Trencin last season.
Comments: Minnesota might have taken Rick Dipietro had he been around. A possible superstar…blessed with dynamic speed and soft hands, much like Slovakian compatriots Miroslav Satan and Zigmund Palffy. Had a “sub-par” WJC, but lead a struggling Slovakia in scoring. He did score 25 goals in a “man’s” league and will be more ready for NHL-play than most 18-year-olds.
33. Nick Schultz, D from Prince Albert (WHL)
6-0, 187…born aAAlbert.
Comments: If Schultz can develop his positional and physical play he will be a great asset to the Wild.
99. Marc Cavosie, LW from RPI (ECAC)
Cavosie, 18 (8/6/81), was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team this year after compiling 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists) in 33 games for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). The 6-foot, 173-pound native of Albany, New York, played at RPI with current Minnesota Wild teammate Pete Gardiner.
132. Maxim Souchinsky, RW from Omsk (Russia) Read more »
With seven picks in the first three rounds of the NHL’s 2000 Entry Draft, the New Jersey Devils had a great chance to solidify its future. General Manager Lou Lamoriello and his staff made some surprising picks, some solid picks and some intriguing picks.
New Jersey had the 22nd pick of the draft and surprised no one by choosing a defenseman. What did surprise many was that the pick turned out to be David Hale of Sioux City of the USHL.
Hale, 6-1 and 204 lbs., was rated 25th among North American skaters by the Central Scouting Bureau. Since there were so many highly touted Europeans in this year’s draft, many expected Hale to go later in the second round. However, the physical defenseman, who will attend North Dakota this coming year, surely seems like a good fit for the Devils.
In the second round, New Jersey had four picks, picking two forwards and two defensemen. Finnish right wing Teemu Laine was a solid pick while unheralded Russian center Aleksander Suglobov could be classified as a surprise. The Devils then added two American defensemen later in the round. Matt DeMarchi of the University of Minnesota was chosen along with future Golden Gopher Paul Martin of Elk River High School.
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The 2000 Entry NHL draft has ended and left the Rangers, now under a new
President and General Manager in basically the same “small” spot as they
were the day before the first round began. Once again the Rangers
“management” decided against size and went with the smallish underweight,
undersized players that they have drafted in greater numbers over the bigger
more physical players needed to compete in the Eastern Conference of the
National Hockey League.
With their highest pick being in the 2nd round, ala all that is left from
the Pavel Brendl spot from Tampa for Niklas Sundstrøm and Daniel Cloutier,
Glen Sather after being thwarted in his bid to acquire ex.Bolt and current
Islander (past-Oiler) Roman Hamrlik a smooth skating defensive project now
making his home on Long Island with the nemesis N.Y.Islanders in a deal that
sent prospects Josh Green and Eric Brewer to the cost conscious Oilers,
Sather packaged the Rangers 2nd rounder to Detroit for their 2nd rounder and
3rd rounder. With these picks, the Rangers selected:
Country: Czech. Republic
Height: 6 00
Birthdate: May 7 1982
League: WHL (Canadian Juniors)
Team: Regina Pats
CSS final ranking #33 … seventh in team scoring this season … played in
the 2000 NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game … was the WHL’s Rookie of the Month Read more »
As the old and often used adage goes, “Pick the best player available. If you have an extra asset in one area, deal it for help in another area.” The Florida Panthers did just that during the 2000 Entry Draft in Calgary, as they picked up perhaps the best prospect in all of hockey: Roberto Luongo.
Before the Entry Draft got under way on Saturday afternoon, Panthers GM Bryan Murray and Islanders GM Mike Milbury pulled one of the most surprising trades of the day, as the Panthers sent RW Mark Parrish and LW/C Oleg Kvasha to the Isles for franchise-goalie-in-the-making Robert Luongo and disgruntled center Olli Jokinen. With this trade, the Panthers nabbed themselves the #3 and #4 picks from the 1997 draft, while dealing away 2 of the many scoring wingers within the Panthers organization. With Kristian Huselius, Denis Shvidki, Ivan Novoseltsev, and fiesty Marcus Nilson all knocking on the door, the Panthers could afford to trade Kvasha and Parrish, in the expectation that one or more of these prospects will make an impact next season.
It had been well known to Panthers fans that Mike Milbury had craved Oleg Kvasha for some time. In fact, Kvasha had been involved in trade talks that almost brought Mariusz Czerkawski and Kenny Jonsson to the Panthers, before previous Islanders ownership nixed the deal late last season. Milbury finally got the player he coveted, as well as Mark Parrish, a productive scoring winger.
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Although the fruits of this past weekend’s lottery will not be realized for several seasons, this draft was important to a new regime understandably anxious to continue the fine work previously done by Hedberg and Smith. Additionally, many players previously drafted (Hodson, Rourke, Gagnon, Warren, Ponikarovky and Travnicek) will graduate to the St John’s roster in the fall thus leaving several holes to fill at the lowest levels of the organizational depth chart.
Here is a thumbnail assessment of the newest Maple Leafs.
1. Brad Boyes (Erie Otters) - Offensively gifted pivot who fell to the Leafs at number 24 due to a perceived lack of size and/or dynamic skating ability. The Leafs have implemented a formal development program for their youngsters during the past couple of years and have already graduated several key players (Antropov, Kaberle and Farkas to name but a few) who were also once regarded as questionable prospects. Brad is a prime candidate to join this group in that he is highly intelligent and possesses elite hockey sense. Watch for him to become a dominant scorer and team leader at the junior level during the next two seasons and eventually to become the #2 center in Toronto (behind Antropov) by 2004.
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At this year’s draft the Oilers with the first three players drafted at 6’5″,
6’4.5″ and 6’3″ Edmonton took huge steps to ensure the future looms
larger than life.
After stealing defense man Eric Brewer and left winger Josh Green with a
second round pick 35th overall in this years draft for defense man Roman
Hamrlik from the New York Islanders right before the beginning of the
second round only added to the success felt by the Oilers brass. General
manager Kevin Lowe and director of player personnel fulfilled their
mandate of adding size and gritty players to a fairly decent list of
prospects whom rate in the top ten in the league on regular basis, the
retiring of long time chief head scout Barry Fraser they wanted to go
out with a bang.
1st Rnd – 17th pick: LW/RW Alexei Mikhnov 6-5/200 Team: Yaroslavl
(RUS) Dob: 08-31-82 Sh: Left
Notes: This young man remains a bit of a enigma due to the infrequency
and lack of availability to see the native of Ukraine play, with the
cancellations of games and tournaments some scouts were reluctant to
make a full evaluation on him. With comparisons to Oleg Kvasha, Nik
Antropov and Andre Nazorov what to expect from Alexei may be hard to
gauge however his upside and potential could very well make him one of
the steals in the draft. with a large Ukrainian and Russian community in
Edmonton they will receive him with open arms and make Alexei fell like Read more »