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Jakes and Tootoo likely to be taken in Entry Draft

by Trenton Allen
on
At last year’s NHL Entry Draft, a number of Brandon Wheat Kings headed into the event with high hopes. The likes of Colin McRae, Ryan Craig, Brett Thurston, Mike Wirll, and even Robert McVicar sat anxiously by the phone hoping it would ring with the news that they had been drafted. Unfortunately, that season brought nothing but heartache. For only the second time in Wheat Kings history, no players off the team were selected in the draft.

Fortunately, the misery of 2000 has turned to promise for 2001. Two Wheat Kings figure prominently on the CSB lists. Jiri Jakes and Jordin Tootoo are listed in the top 65 on the CSB final lists and both have the scouts drooling. Here’s a breakdown on the players that figure to help put some shine back into the golden wheat shafts on the Wheat Kings logo.

Jiri Jakes is a 6’4, 210 Lb. right winger from Praha, Czech Republic. However, that’s the only indication that you’ll find about Jakes’s European background. Jakes’s style of play is completely opposite that of the traditional European. While most players trained on the other side of the pond tend to focus their attention on puckhandling, skating and one-on-one offensive skills, Jakes displays an obvious deficiency in these areas. Jakes plays a more up-and-down style, going into the corners, banging the body, digging for loose pucks, going to the front of the net and hoping for a rebound. He isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty or take a hit to make a play. He also has a good wrist shot, though most of his goals come of loose rebounds in fron Read more »

Penguins sign prospect Robinson

by Richard A. Plisco
on
The Pittsburgh Penguins have reportedly come to terms with 20 year old Canadian native Darcy Robinson. Robinson, a 1999 draft pick, stands at an impressive 6’5″ 222lbs.

He played 71 regular season games with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. He posted 3 goals and 11 assists while ringing up 150 penalty minutes. His plus/minus rating was a dismal -18, the worst on the squad.

Darcy rebounded in the playoffs, recording 1 goal and 1 assist with 20 penalty minutes in 20 contests. He improved his plus/minus ratio to +3.

The specifics of the contract were not released.

Kings Kick Three More to the Curb

by Tony Calfo
on
The Kings annual right of summer, losing once-heralded draft picks because they don’t sign them, continued with two pretty significant names slipping by. In addition to J.F. Nogues, the Kings lost two promising draft picks in Cory Campbell and Brian McGrattan.

Brian McGratten was having a career year until suffering a serious injury, and that can be the only reason they would let him go. McGrattan was showing signs of a true NHL game and would complement the other prospects the Kings are grooming, but that will not be. The Kings are tight-lipped about these maneuvers, but this one raises some eyebrows.

The other move was the Cory Campbell decision. Campbell seemed to overcome some confidence issues to show some solid play this season, but that has now gone to the wayside. I guess another Jamie Storr psyche in the crease was too much of a risk for the Kings.

While I personally find these two maneuvers troubling, it is the trend that concerns me most. While the Kings are loading up on draft picks, the question is what good will they do if we never sign them? Coming off a season in which great strides were made, and a season where many Kings’ fans learned to trust Dave Taylor through what looked like some questionable moves, Kings fans are again forced to trust that management is sticking to the plan.

While this is one I don’t see, here’s hoping I am wrong. Keep your eyes out for more on this story.

Habs Sign Two of Five

by Chris Boucher
on
The June 1st deadline came, and the June 1st deadline went. Although contract offers were made to all five of the Canadiens’ draft picks affected by the deadline, only Marc-André Thinel, and Jerome Marois were actually inked to deals.

Thinel and Marois were each signed to 3-year deals. Financial terms were not disclosed. By not signing Dusty Jamieson, Matt Carkner, and Sean Dixon the Canadiens renounce all rights to these players. Jamieson and Dixon will both re-enter the draft, as they had not turned 20 by the age-deadline. Carkner however will now become a free-agent.

Alexander Buturlin, the Canadiens’ 2nd round pick in the ’99 Draft does not fall under this deadline. He is considered a European player, as he was still playing in Russia when the Canadiens drafted him. Other ’99 draftees not affected by the deadline are Matt Shasby and Chris Dyment who both play US College hockey. As well as Vadim Tarasov and Mikko Hyytia who (as of this moment) play in Europe.

The possibility still exists that the Canadiens could re-draft Jamieson or Dixon during this year’s draft. However for that to happen, either player would have to be ranked higher by Habs’ scouts than all other players still available at that point in the draft.

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions or comments. Just click on my name at the top of this page. I am a former goaltender with writing, scouting, and coaching experience.

Bruins Big Losers at Signing Deadline

by Vincent Fusaro
on

June 1st, 2001 may go down as one of the darkest days in Bruins’ history. The Bruins failed to come to terms with all four of their prospects eligible to either reenter the draft or leave for unrestricted free agency. When next season rolls around, chances are good that none of Seamus Kotyk, Kyle Wanvig, Donald Choukalos, or Martin Grenier will be wearing black and gold. Goaltender Kotyk and behemoth defenseman Grenier will become unrestricted free agents by virtue of age (both are 21, buck the 20-year-old age cutoff for North American draft-eligible players). Right wing Wanvig and goaltender Choukalos will re-enter the draft.

Of the four, Choukalos is the easiest loss to justify. While at times looking solid, the WHL Regina Pat’s netminder was far from a standout. With John Grahame, Andrew Raycroft, and Seamus Kotyk appearing to be solid prospects, the need for depth in goal wasn’t quite as urgent as at other positions.

What makes Donald’s loss painful, however, is the subsequent failure of Bruins’ management to sign Kotyk. The smallish Ottawa 67’s netminder (5 feet, 11 inches, 185 lbs.) wasn’t considered anything special coming into this season, but steadily improving play and a fantastic Memorial Cup tournament saw his value increase significantly. Many Bruins’ fans were excited over the prospect of a Kotyk-Raycroft tandem in Providence of the AHL. Alas, it will never be. While there is still an outside chance Kotyk will sign with Boston as a free agent, odds are good that another team will offer significantly more m Read more »

Stingrays Win Kelly Cup

by Wil Kirwan
on
At the start of the 1999-2000 season, The Hockey News picked the South Carolina Stingrays to win it all in the ECHL. As it turned out, they were a year off. Additions to the team like Ryan Brindley, Zach Ham, Joel Irving, and Scott Swanson proved to be the difference between the team that underachieved, and the team that over achieved to beat the Brabham Cup Champion Trenton Titans. The Stingrays saw a season that had an initially bleak outlook when the team started 1-3-1 turn into the stuff dreams are made of through a season with plenty of ups and downs.

The season for the ‘Rays was filled with call-ups, and when Leading scorer Jason Sessa was called up to St. John’s of the AHL, many writers wrote off the Stingrays as having the ability to make a run deep into the playoffs. As it turned out, the loss of Jason Sessa was not something that would slow the team down. With Jason Sessa out of the lineup, Coach Rick Adduono made a call to Chad Remackel about playing for the Stingrays. Remackel, who drives a cement truck, and wasn’t able to play with the Stingrays for the whole year because he wouldn’t be able to support his wife and children was happy to say yes.

Apparently, it was an intangible Trenton had not counted on. When Trenton played South Carolina in the final meeting before the playoffs, South Carolina was an injury-riddled team, also suffering from 5 call-ups, including Adam Calder to Norfolk, Ryan Brindley to Rochester, and Scott Swanson to Springfield. With so many Stingrays players out, Trenton humiliated the team 8-0. With t Read more »

Panthers Retain 4 Prospects at Deadline

by Mark Fischel
on

SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers President and General Manager Bill Torrey announced today contract information for several of the team’s recent draft picks.

The club submitted qualifying offers to the following four players: D Chris Eade, G Davis Parley, RW David Morisset, and LW Mathew Sommerfeld. As a result, the Panthers retain the rights to these players for one more year.

Eade played in 40 games for North Bay of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) this season totaling three goals and 26 assists (29 points). Parley played in 52 games for Kamloops of the Western Hockey League (WHL) earning a 27-16-3 record and a 3.46 goals against average. Morissett played 61 games for Seattle of the WHL scoing 32 goals and 36 assists (68 points). Sommerfeld registered 62 games with Swift Current of the WHL totaling five goals and five assists (10 points).

The Panthers’ have declined to offer the following five players contracts: G Jean-Francois Laniel, RW Morgan McCormick, D Brad Woods, D Rod Sarich, and C Travis Eagles. These players are now eligible to re-enter the NHL draft.

From the Panthers Press Release

2001 Draft Profile: Lukas Krajicek

by Jonathan Litterine
on
There are a ton of very very solid defensemen in this upcoming
draft. Probably the top two who come to mind are Mike Komisarek and Dan
Hamhuis. Yet look for Lukas Krajicek to fly up draft boards in the next few
weeks leading up to the draft. At 6’1 , 183 Krajicek might be the top
offensive defenseman in the draft. Lukas moved up 10 spots to 6th overall on
the CSB North American Skater Board. Remember what your getting here though
folks, Krajicek is not a physical force. He will bang if necessary but don’t
look for him to go out and look for a fight. The Hockey News has him rated
21st overall which i believe is way too low. Look for Krajicek to be a
possibility for Nashville with the 12th pick or Phoenix with the 14th
selection. Krajicek was a standout as a OHL rookie this year on what is just
a so-so team in Peterborough. Look for Krajicek to be one of the players you
see flying up draft boards all around the NHL from now until draft day. He
would make nice nice addition for any National Hockey League Defensive Core.

Season review of Detroit Red Wings Swedish Prospects

by Zoran Manojlovic
on

Here is a look back at the best Red Wings prospects past season in
Sweden, it includes also a prospect ranking.

1. Henrik Zetterberg

Position: Center
Team: Timra
Born: 1980
Height: 6.0
Weight: 185
Drafted: 8th round in the 1999 draft (210 overall)
Rating: 8 / 10
Last season: 47 games 15 goals 31 assists 46 points 24 pim

This was a breakthrough season for the 20 year old Zetterberg. He had an
outstanding season in the Swedish Elite League, were he put up
impressive numbers. In Timra he played in every possible situation, in
most of the games he played on two lines and averaging about 20-25
minutes pro game. He was also voted as the player of the game most of
the time.

After the first 20 games he had a huge slow-down and registered only 2
points in 7 games. But he finished the season strongly with 7 points in
his last 3 games, and ended up with 46 points in 47 games, not bad for a
rookie.

He also played all year long for the national team (Three Crowns), were
he scored 4 goals and 4 assists in 24 games, including 1 goal and 3
assists in 7 games at the World Championships in Germany, were Sweden
took a bronze medal. He played really well when the coach gave him solid
ice time, he received a award as the player of the game in the first game
of the tournament, but towards the end of the tournament he saw less ice
time, and in the two final games he didn`t play at all, because of a late
arrival of Mats Sundin.

He is one of the best prospects in the world today, and
that he has a very bright future in the NHL. He has great skat Read more »

Panther Draft History Analysis

by Mark Fischel
on
After having what might have been their worst season in History, the Panthers are entering the new phase in the life of an Expansion team. After relying heavily on veteran players to help sell the sport to a fickle South Florida to great success, the Panthers have been drafting late in the draft several times. While teams like the Avalanche and the Devils can seemingly find gems in all rounds, most NHL teams are lucky enough to have all their first round picks play in the NHL. The Panthers are one of those teams.
The Panthers have taken part in 8 drafts and have had 6 first round draft selections, of which over half of them have been out of the top 10 (20th twice, and 12th once). Drafting this late generally goes to the better performing teams, and the Panthers veteran team might have caused the Panthers to miss out on some good young players when they should have been stock-piling high draft picks. Such is the nature of being a victim of your success.
To follow is a comprehensive analysis of the Panthers draft history, which has been under only Bob Clarke and Bryan Murray. While the drafting of 17 year olds is hardly an exact science, an analysis of the Panthers picks can show that they have been an above average team in the yearly crap-shoot known as the Entry Draft.

1993 Draft

5th – Robbie Neidermayer
41st – Kevin Weekes
47th – Chris Armstrong
67th – Mikael Tjallden
78th – Steve Washburn
83rd – Bill McCauley
109th – Todd MacDonald Read more »

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