With the horrific season known as 1999-2000 over the Rangers ship had to be righted, not in order to sail in New York for OpSail 2000 but to save the club from prolonging the embarrassment that they had now become.
Glen Sather the builder of champions in Edmonton has landed in Manhattan and it could not have come at a better time. Sather the designer of the Oilers` dynasty in the 80`s that featured his drafting and nurturing of Wayne, Mark, Kevin, Charlie, Jarri, Paul, Glen and Grant among others (no last names needed)… has an even more daunting task. That being to rebuild the Ranger ship in as short as time as possible with the ever opinionated media on his back, the ownership that wishes to run the club “hands on” and the pressure from Gary Bettman and the NHL to build a new winner in New York…and not New Jersey or the Island. The Rangers have become the flagship team on the American Side of the National Hockey League.
For the Rangers kids, Sather`s entrenchment could not have come at a better time. Neil Smith restocked a few shelves with prospects… Mike York, Kim Johnsson, Radek Dvorak and Jan Hlavac at the NHL level… Pavel Brendl and Jamie Lundmark at the development level and a couple Euro Prospects in Johan Holmqvist and again Rudolf Vercik, in addition with the Baby Rangers in Hartford (AHL) with Tomas Kloucek and Johan Witehall and then there is Manny Malhotra… perhaps Sather is his savior.
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Mississauga – The Ontario Hockey League today held the annual Priority
Selection process of players at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.
Players born in the years 1981 – 1984 were eligible for selection with
member teams permitted to select a maximum of 15 players who were born in
1984. The first two players that a team selected that were born in 1984 will
be eligible to play in the Ontario Hockey League during the 2000-01 season,
with the balance of players born in 1984 eligible to play in the 2001-02
Soo Thunderbirds centre Patrick Jarrett was selected first overall by the
host Mississauga IceDogs. The 5’11″, 175 lb. centre led the Tier II Junior A
Thunderbirds with 22 goals and 32 assists for 54 points in 39 games.
“Right now I’m up here living a dream,” Jarrett said after being presented
with the Jack Ferguson Award as the first overall selection. “Last year
while attending the draft in Brampton with my brother Cole, who went to the
Plymouth Whalers, I saw Jason Spezza walk up to the stage and I set my goal
right there that I would be selected first overall next season. My dream has
The Toronto St. Michael’s Majors used the second overall selection to
acquire Cambridge Junior B centre Tim Brent, who scored 19 goals and 16
assists for 35 points in 40 games.
The Owen Sound Platers took the first defenceman of the day, Richard Power Read more »
After studying hard for 2 years, GM Larry Pleau came to a conclusion concerning the draft class of 1998. The crop of young talent that everyone gets excited about on draft day, just never materialized. Christian Backman has not improved like the Blues had envisioned, Maxim Linnik is a bust in every sense of the word, Brad Voth?, what was that? The jury is still out on Andrei Trochinsky, however, the Blues still own his rights. Brad Twordik didn’t show enough to warrant a pro contract so he is gone as well. The best player may be, John Pohl, who was the last player drafted with the 255th pick. He will be in his junior year at the University of Minnesota next season.
Out of the eight players chosen, the Blues signed one. Defenseman Matt Walker, who attended training camp last fall, showed enough improvement this season to draw some attention his way. At 6-2, 222 pounds, Walker has good size. Playing for Kootenay in the WHL, Matt has made great strides this year both defensively and offensively. After training camp, he will return to Kootenay for his last season of junior hockey.
Christian Backman may turn into a serviceable player someday, but that day will not be this year. Backman, who’s name has been mentioned in numerous trades, may not get his chance with the Bluenote or even Worcester. The Blues want him to sign a contract and play in North America next season, however, he has shown little interest in doing so. If Backman comes to camp this season it will be a miracle.
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Statistics are updated through Saturday’s Games. The season is finally over.
First Round Selections
1. Boston Bruins - Joe Thornton, C
TEAM LGE GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Boston NHL 81 23 37 60 -6 87
2. San Jose Sharks - Patrick Marleau, C
TEAM LGE GP G A PTS +/- PIM
San Jose NHL 81 17 23 40 -10 36
Playoffs NHL 4 0 1 1 -2 2
3. New York Islanders - Olli Jokinen, C
TEAM LGE GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Islanders NHL 82 11 10 21 even 80
Finland WHC 9 1 3 4 -- 6
4. New York Islanders - Roberto Luongo, G
TEAM LGE GP MIN GAA W L T EN SO GA SV SP
Lowell AHL 26 1517 2.93 10 12 4 1 1 74 733 .908
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As the date of the NHL draft comes closer, people look forward to this big day in the life of these 18-20 year old prospects. Slovak fans are no exception to this rule.
Many scouts and GM’s could take a lesson from past drafts in order to avoid missing out on some good Slovak prospects. I can draw your attention to the fact that many scouts think Slovakia is just Bratislava (Slovak capital located in western part of the country) and maybe 50 miles from there. They have omitted and still omit the kids from central and eastern Slovakia where some teams e.g. Martin, Poprad, Banska Bystrica, Kosice, Zvolen, are grooming very talented prospects – Svehla, Bondra, Suchy, Bartecko, Handzus, Zednik, Orszagh, Petrovicky, Nagy, Vaic etc. All these players grew up neither in Bratislava nor in western Slovakia. Dear scouts, do not forget to travel across Slovakia to see other rinks, not just Bratislava, Nitra and Trencin.
However, I do not want to write about new prospects (it will be in my next article). My target is to review the players who have already been drafted.
I will start in 1988 because the other players drafted before this year retired except for two 40-year-old veterans – Igor Liba (37 games on L.A. and N.Y.R.) and Miroslav Ihnacak (56 games on Toronto).
Name, year of birth, NHL team and No. of pick, position, team in draft year, mother team, last season team
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More than six Elitserien veterans could be drafted this year, and there are two major factors that have created this demand. First, the expansion of the NHL obviously creates a need for more players. Second, some players are simply late bloomers, and there are diamonds in the rough in every league.
From the Elitserien, defensive defensemen seem to be the most attractive players. Brynäs´ Niclas Wallin and Malmö´s Andreas Lilja are solid stay-at-home types who can get involved physically. Lilja has expressed a desire to play in North America, but the wishes of Niclas Wallin still remain a secret.
Swedish champions Djurgården have been losing key players right and left it seems, and the situation could get worse. Espen Knutsen has already signed on to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and two more players could be on the verge of crossing the Atlantic to play. Unsung hero defenseman Mikael Magnusson had a very solid showing at the World Championships and in the Elitserien this season, and there is some buzz that he might be drafted this year. The 27-year-old defender scored 5 goals and 6 assists in 49 games and also racked up a solid 73 penalty minute total. The other player rumoured to be heading for the NHL is a bigger surprise, not so much around the name as the timing. Defensive center Niclas Falk, who had a poor season by his standards, has not been drafted after good seasons in the past when he was a key player in both Djurgården and for Team Sweden at the World Championships.
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The Hawks have confirmed that they have elected not to sign three 1998
draftees who are on my Hawk depth chart. Unlike other teams whose signees
and re-enters were reported on Thursday, the news trickled slowly out of
1901 West Madison.
They are Jonathan Pelletier (26 ), Sean Griffin(31),and Alexandre Couture (3
4 ). The numbers in parenthesis after their names indicate where I had them
slotted on the Hawk depth chart, all in the long shot area.
They will be reentering the draft since their agents wanted salaries and
signing bonuses quite higher than the organization wanted to pay.
More and more teams will be rejecting ridiculous negotiations when the player
seems a long way from being an NHL level talent.
I don’t think it is as much a negotiation tactic as it is fiscal
responsibility by the owners. The Mike Van Ryn ruling will determine once and
for all if drafting college players(along with drafting Europeans) will give
NHL teams an added time span in which the team holds the players rights, even
if they eventually play Major Junior for a year. Presently taking a European
player or college player gives you more time for them to develop and secures
them as team property as opposed to a junior player who you must sign with
the big league club after their final year of play in Canadien junior.
Van Ryn started out as a collegian and then dropped back into the OHL with Read more »
Past failures, and recent pressure indicate that the Canadiens will be looking to Europe for their early draft picks this year. The Montreal media have been quite vocal concerning the Habs’ past failures at the draft table. Serge Savard’s legacy still lives on in this regard. The past 10 years have seen too many players drafted for size rather than talent. Look for the Habs’ to be calling names like Nordqvist, Krykov, and Jonsson rather than names like Boyes, Taffe, and Dipietro.
Dave King’s presence in Europe during the past season is a huge indication of the team’s latest direction change. King has spent most of his time scouting players and working his contacts. Leading up to a draft there is usually 1 or 2 opinions that carry more weight than all the others. GM’s and scouting directors listen more attentively to these voices than to all the others combined. Look for Houle and Dorion to be paying especially close attention to the voice of one Dave King.
Another indication of the Canadiens’ draft plans is the recent agreement reached between the Habs and the Djurgarden Ice Hockey Club in Sweden. This agreement will allow both hockey clubs to send some of their top prospects to participate annually in the other teams’ rookie camp. The teams will also share information on player evaluation methods. Thereby allowing the Habs access to Djurgarden’s personal scouting reports.
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The Sarnia Sting had modestly high hopes for the 1999-2000 OHL season. They had lost quite a bit after the 1998-99 season as they lost 2-time league scoring champion Peter Sarno as well as 40-goal scorer Ivan Novoseltsev.
Things were looking good for the Sting early in the year as they sat 3rd in the 5-team West Division behind the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds and the Windsor Spitfires. The Sting remained consistent throughout the season and finished the season 3rd in the West Division and 4th in the Western Conference.
Going into the playoffs the Sting felt that they had a shot at going a fairly long way in the playoffs. Sting overager Mike Van Ryn told me before the playoffs, “I think we have the makings of going a fairly long way in the playoffs.” With the team that they had I can’t say that I disagree with him considering what they had lost coming into the season.
In goal the Sting boasted two strong goaltenders in overager Greg Hewitt and rookie Andrew Sim. Both were consistently good throughout the season. Sim posted the best Goals against average of any rookie goaltender with a 2.93 GAA.
On defense the Sting boasted the likes of overagers Dan Watson, a former league All-Star, former Canadian World Junior Team captain Mike Van Ryn and veteran Ryan VanBuskirk. All three of them provided the Sting with veteran experience on a fairly young team.
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With the entry draft on the horizon, and the Capitals coming off what might be their best draft ever, I thought I would take a look back at what is considered the Caps’ worst draft of the 1990s. In 1996, Washington had twelve picks – including seven of the top 100. Not only that, but there was an NHL-calibre player on the board every time their turn came up. Now, just four years later, they have only one player to show for it.
This season the Capitals dealt former first round picks Alexandre Volchkov to Edmonton and Jaroslav Svejkovsky to Tampa Bay. That left the Capitals with young centre Jan Bulis as the only player under contract from their entire 1996 draft.
Washington held all of their picks 1 through 9 except the 4th rounder (98th) that they traded to Colorado for Anson Carter. They had acquired four extra selections through trades: L.A.’s 1st (4th overall ) and Dallas’ 4th (85th) from the Kings in exchange for Byron Dafoe and Dimitri Khristich; Dallas’ 3rd (58th) from Colorado for John Slaney; and Chicago’s 4th (74th) for Igor Ulanov.
Let’s take a look at the selections that David Poile and the Washington Capitals made in 1996, and try to determine what they were thinking on draft day and where they went wrong.
RW Alexandre Volchkov 6’1″ 194 – Barrie Colts (OHL)
(1st round, 4th overall – originally Los Angeles’ pick)
C.S.B. Ranking: 2nd, North American skaters
Actually drafted: 3rd N.A. skater taken
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