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Washington Capitals Off-Season Preview

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
The Capitals have already had a busy off-season, but the biggest moves are yet to come. Many of the changes so far have affected the minor league system, leaving the NHL roster intact. However, with six big-name Restricted Free Agents and the potential for some blockbuster trades very soon – the Caps could have a different look for 2000-01.

As with the rest of the league, the Capitals had to sign their 1998 draft picks by June 1st or lose the rights to them. George McPhee got things started early by signing collegiate defenseman Michael Farrell in March. Then, right at the deadline, the Caps came to terms with Krys Barch, Nathan Forster and Rastislav Stana. They are all expected to play minor pro next season, and the Caps have high hopes for all of them. This meant that the remaining 1998 draft picks: Goaltender Jomar Cruz, Forwards Blake Evans and Todd Hornung re-entered the 2000 draft. None of them were selected, and they will look for Free Agent deals during the summer.
Read more »

An Interview With Panthers Prospect Kyle Rossiter

by Jonathan Litterine
on
For all of you fans who frequently check in with HockeysFuture.com This
is a really great time to be a fan. As an offseason special, I got a chance
to conduct an interview with Spokane Chiefs defenseman Kyle Rossiter. Kyle
was drafted 30th overall by the Florida Panthers in the 1998 NHL draft. To
this date, he has currently played 4 season’s for Spokane of the WHL.

Hockey’s Future: How old were you when you started playing hockey?

Kyle Rossiter: I was 5 when I started playing hockey in Edmonton.

HF: What did it feel like to be drafted into the NHL?

KR: It was a big relief because it just seemed like the pressure had been
building all season and everyone speculates as to when and where you’ll be
drafted you really feel like you are under the microscope.

HF: Was there any special team(s) you wanted to be drafted by?

KR: Any team was fine by me, at this point you just want to get your foot in the
door.

HF: Why did you decide to play Major Junior instead of perhaps going to a U.S.
college?

KR: I, like most hockey people, viewed major junior as the faster track to the
NHL. I knew that I could always go back to school if things in Junior
didn’t work out and with the CHL scholarship plan I knew that if things
didn’t go my way that Spokane would foot the bill for four years of
university.

Read more »

Thrashers Draft Report

by pbadmin
on
The Man they call “Trader Don” may have earned a new nickname in Calgary, You may soon hear
other General managers referring to the Thrasher GM as “Drafting Don”. In the weeks before the
2000 NHL Draft, Waddell told everyone that he felt the Thrashers would trade their pick for some
veteran talent. Looking back, Waddell must now be one of the happiest men in the NHL. Trading
the Thrashers number one pick may have been beneficial for the short term, but acquiring a
player of the caliber of Dany Heatley was a big plus for this club.

Heatley has been a bonafide scorer (with Size) at every level. He successfully made a
smooth transition to US collegiate hockey last year, continuing his development with the
Wisconsin Badgers. He was the man the Waddell wanted all along, after hearing no astounding
offers from any other clubs, and should be a perfect fit on a future Thrasher line centered by
last years #1 pick Patrick Stefan. The Number 1 North American in the Final CSB Rankings, as
well as number one THN draft eligible, Dany lists at 6’1″ but is more like 6’3″. He plays
agressive attacking Hockey which led to 28 Goals in 38 Games last year. His season-long growth
at Wisconsin earned him a big jump from the 20 or so mid-season CSB Rank. Scouts Liked the
scoring pop, as well as his work ethic, and think this guy can’t miss. The Thrashers do not
expect Dany to jump in Right away, but could give him a shot in Training camp. Either way, he Read more »

Stars 2000 Draft Review

by pbadmin
on

The Dallas Stars 2000 draft consisted of ten picks, with eight of the ten being European. Dallas selected an overage prospect later in the draft. Below is a detailed look at the Stars’ 2000 draft day.

#25 Steve Ott, C
6-0 168lbs 10-19-82 Windsor (OHL)

Must gain weight to be effective in the NHL, but already has the necessary skills. Has speed, good puck control, and good passing ability, while also maintaining a distinct edge to his game. Proof of his skills lie in the fact that he led his team in scoring as a rookie, and was MVP for Team Cherry in the ’00 CHL Prospect Game.

Solid pick with good upside, and should develop into a nice two-way player

Regular Season gp-66 g-23 a-39 pts-62 pim-131
playoffs gp-12 g-3 a-5 pts-8 pim-21


#60
Dan Ellis
, G
6-0 180lbs 6-19-80 Omaha (USHL)

A butterfly goalie that played last season in the weaker USHL, and will attend college next season. Possesses good quickness, rebound control, and focus, but must translate his game to the higher levels of competition.

A reach made because of need, but his progress has been encouraging.

gp-55 w-34 l-16 t-4 so-11 gaa-2.25


#68
Joel Lundqvist
, C
6-0 182lbs 4-2-82 Vasta Frolunda Jrs. (Sweden)

He has played well in recent international tournaments, while showing Read more »

IHL News

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

WOLVES GOALIE ONLY PLAYER TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 4 LEAGUES

Wendell Young is the only player with championships in the NHL, AHL, IHL
and major junior, the 36-year-old Young added another IHL ring this season
when his Chicago Wolves defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 3-1 in Grand
Rapids, Mich., for the Turner Cup.

Young won his Memorial Cup with Kitchener (1981), his Calder Cup with
Hershey (1988) and his two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh (1991, 1992).
“I’ve always said I’ve been blessed to play on great teams. A lot of great
athletes never get the chance to play for a championship. When I sit back I
realize how fortunate I’ve been.”

Young, healthy all year, shared time throughout the season with ex-NHLer
Andrei Trefilov. Young had a 32-12-4 record in the regular season with a 2.77 goals-against
average. He was 5-3 in the playoffs with a 3.32 average. He said sharing time with Trefilov, his close friend, was a huge plus as the
Wolves kept running into tired goalies in the post-season.

Young played 187 NHL games over 10 NHL seasons with Vancouver, Philadelphia,
Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. He’s played the last six years with the Wolves and his time with the club
dates back to opening night in franchise history.

The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto wanted to take a picture of Young with
his four major trophies after the 1998 victory. Read more »

2000 Calder Trophy Candidates Directly From CHL

by Jonathan Litterine
on
Every year in the NHL they have their annual awards show after the Stanley Cup Finals are over. And usually the same guys, like the Jagr’s take home trophies every year. Yet one award that is never won by the same guy more than once is the Calder Trophy. Given to the NHL’s annual Rookie of the Year. It seems nowadays though that pretty much all of the candidates for this award are supplied from the CHL or a few like Mike York of the Rangers, are from college’s around the United States. This year’s winner of the award Scott Gomez of the New Jersey Devils had 70 points this year as a rookie. Most in the league by a rookie since 1993. And for the past couple years Gomez harnessed his game with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League. Gomez was a huge producer with Tri-City in the 98-99 finishing with 30 goals and 78 assists for 108 points in 58 games. Yet Gomez was still a late first round pick being selected 27th overall by the Devils in the 98 Entry Draft. Obviously no one expected this kind of offensive outburst from Gomez. Yet perhaps others like Tim Connolly of the Islanders and an Erie Otters native was rushed to the NHL due to a lack of offense on Long Island. Yet guys like Connolly and Halifax Mooseheads product Alex Tanguay continued to put up numbers and show flashes of brilliance in the first campaign. Other guys with big time first season’s were Simon Gagne of the Flyers, who was moved along from the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts. Brendan Morrow who played in Dallas this year and before that was a member of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. And defenseman B Read more »

IHL News

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

CANUCKS MOVE FARM CLUB TO KANSAS CITY

The Vancouver Canucks have changed their farm team from the Syracuse Crunch
of the American Hockey League to the Kansas City Blades of the International
Hockey League.
Kansas City’s proximity to Vancouver factored into the switch, Brian Burke,
general manager of the NHL Canucks, said Monday.
The Canucks have signed a two-year agreement, the second year being
Vancouver’s option, with the Blades. Under terms of the deal, Vancouver will
supply 18 players to the Blades, plus a coaching and training staff.
Stan Smyl, who guided the Crunch to a 35-36-9-1 record in his first season
as a head coach, will be the Blades coach.

IHL FASTFACTS

On January 17, 1962 the Saint Paul Saints win the most lopsided game in IHL
history, a 20-3 drubbing of the Toledo Mercurys.

IHL TEAMS PLACE IN IHL HISTORY

Detroit Vipers: The Vipers had a league high 122 points in 1997 on their way
to capture the Turner Cup. That championship allowed the city of Detroit to
be the first city to capture two cups as the Detroit Red Wings won the
Stanley Cup the same year.

TODAY IN HOCKEY

June 28, 1985 the Detroit Red Wings sign undrafted free agent Adam Oates.

DID YOU KNOW

The St. Louis Blues are the only team to be swept in the Stanley Cup finals Read more »

Pittsburgh Penguins 2000 Draft Review

by Erik Johnson
on

In the press conference announcing Ivan Hlinka as the new Pens head
coach, Ivan talked about needing to get a little bigger at both the
forward and defensive positions. It didn’t take very long for the new
coach to have an impact on the draft as the Pens stocked up on tough,
gritty, hard hitting players.

For only the 3rd time in the 11 drafts that Craig Patrick has presided
over, the Pens took a non-European player in the first round (the others: Chris Wells 94 and Craig Hillier 96) when they drafted hard
hitting Boston College defenseman Brooks Orpik with the 18th overall
selection. The Pens were so sure that Orpik would be drafted before
their selection that they didn’t even conduct a pre-draft interview with
him. The Pens, however, were thrilled that he was around to select as
he was a unanimous selection at the draft table.

The Pens have needed a strong physical defenseman ever since Ulf
Samuelsson was traded to the Rangers in 1995 and they could have that in
Orpik. His hard-hitting style is likely to make him an immediate fan
favorite. The Pens were sold on his talent at the NCAA Western Regional
Final when he was paired against #2 pick Dany Heatley.

Orpik still has two years left at Boston College and the Pens aren’t known
as a team that pressures kids to leave school early. Orpik seems to
love the college atmosphere and it’s a good bet he’ll stay at BC for at
least another year.
Read more »

Kings Post Draft Analysis

by Tony Calfo
on
The Kings left Calgary with more questions than answers last week after taking a serious blow in the loss of Sean O’Donnell and the rumours about Eric Lindros coming to Los Angeles. Where do the Kings go from here, and just how did they do in Calgary?

The weekend didn’t exactly get off to the best start when the Kings lost Steve McKenna and Sean O’Donnell to the expansion Minnesota Wild on Friday. The Kings went through some painful growing pains with Sean O’Donnell to see him become a solid defenseman. Now another team, almost certainly a contender by year’s end, will enjoy the fruits of the Kings labors. On paper, the King lost their #3 defenseman who is in his prime, was a feared fighter, and was a leader in the clubhouse. They also lost a fringe enforcer in McKenna. The biggest losses will be felt in the locker room where Mac and Odie were well liked and looked to as leaders. McKenna will be a hit with Minnesota because of his size and personality, and I personally saw some improvement in his skills this season. On a team with other enforcers, McKenna could grow into a contributor. O’Donnell has become a physical, stay at home defender who could either be a captain or great trade bait to a contending team. Either way, it leaves the Kings already softening lineup with no enforcer and no blue liner who will drop the gloves. With Galley, Odie and a likely Berg holdout, the Kings are in trouble where they were once strongest.
Read more »

Lightning add five new faces to Tampa Bay Russian community

by pbadmin
on
If the 2000 NHL Entry Draft did anything, for the Lightning, it added
depth to a young talented pool of prospects. The Bolts went in with three
goals: add a goaltender that will contribute immediately, add some
goaltending depth, and add a group of talented forwards to the system. All
of these goals appear to be accomplished. By trading the number five
selection (plus a fourth and seventh round picks), the Lightning added
goaltender Kevin Weekes and defenseman Kristian Kudroc from the New York
Islanders. Instead of adding a veteran to mentor Dan Cloutier, the lightning
added another kid to push Cloutier. The throw in to the deal is Kudroc. He
simply adds to the already ample defense core of the Bolts. He does.
However, bring a big body (6’6” 230 lbs.), more physical style of play, and
the ability to put up some points.

Once the Lightning were done playing the trading game, they were able to
draft an entire line of Russian forwards. With the eight overall selection
GM Rick Dudley chose Nikita Alexeev. Alexeev is big and fast, and hopefully
able to generate some offense. He will score most of his points from in
close, but also has the speed to create his own offense. He will need to
improve his puck handling before he is able to blow by opponents. He is
compared to Calgary Flames winger, and ex-bolt, Andrei Nazarov but with
better hands. In the second round, Dudley took solid 6’2” 202lbs. Winger Read more »