Bolts lose Bierk, may replace him in Weekes
Just hours after the Lightning lost goalie of the future Zac Bierk, the
Bolts have reportedly replaced him and added a defenseman in the process.
The Tampa Tribune is reporting that a deal has been completed between the Lightning and Islanders. The Lightning would give the Islanders the number 5
selection in today’s draft, while the Islanders would send goaltender Kevin
Weekes and a prospect (reportedly monster 6’9” 255lbs. defenseman Zdeno
Weekes played outstanding following his trade to the Islanders from
the Canucks a season ago, posting a .902 save percentage on the island.
Coach Steve Ludzik is very familiar with Weekes after coaching him with the
Detroit Vipers in the 1998-99 season where he posted 19 victories. Chara
brings the Lightning what they severely lack on defense, size. However it
also just creates a larger logjam on the Bolts blueline. This will lead to
trade speculation involving some of the younger defensemen in the Lightning
cupboard, especially if they add a veteran D-man.
The deal will also leave the Bolts with the number 8 selection,
which they should use, on a scoring forward. Alexei Smirnov, Martin
Samuelsson, and Nikita Alexeev are just a few of the prospects that should be
available. But GM Rick Dudley’s wheeling and dealing may not be over. There Read more »
Need for a Goalie
There is not a lot of hype to look forward to for Draft Day 2000 as there was last year. We all knew Pavel Brendl, Patrik Stefan, and Daniel and Henrik Sedin would go tops in the draft. We had no idea that it would be the Canucks drafting them 2nd and 3rd overall.
Draft Day 2000 could be interesting as well, the Canucks have a young talent pool, and management wants a young goalie. Could it be us that lands DiPietro? Or Brent Krahn? Maybe even a young sniper such as Gaborik or Hartnell.
Vancouver’s needs are pretty simple, goalies. It takes many years to become a solid backup. Dipietro has credentials, but likely not even Vancouver would have plans of him starting next year. Krahn has great potential.
Here is a look at the Top 4 Goalies
1.Rick Dipietro Boston University, USA WJC, great puck handler, no. 1 goalie
2.Brent Krahn Calgary Hitmen WHL. 6 foot 4 no. 1 goalie.
3.J-F Racine Drummondville QMJHL, 6 Foot 3 no.1 goalie.
4.Peter Hamerlik Skalica Slovakia, Slovakia WU18, Struggling Prospect.
Only Racine, Krahn, and Hamerlik shall be available after the 23rd pick.
When Vancouver drafts
23, 42, 70, 92, 143, 207, 240, 271.
The Detroit Red Wings enter this weekend’s 2000 Entry Draft not having drafted an NHL scorer since 1990, when they took Keith Primeau and Slava Kozlov with their 1st and 2nd Round selections. Yuri Butsayev, Detroit’s 2nd Round pick in 1997, has emerged as more of a Tomas Holmstrom type grinder than a scorer, and with a decent core of defensemen, led by Jiri Fischer, the Wings will definitely look to draft a goal scorer in 2000.
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After trade speculation all week long the Ottawa Senators took a conservative stance and decided to wait for their first round pick; 21st overall. Anton Volchenkov, the 6′ 210lbs defenseman from the Central Red Army farm is an imposing physical specimen and was ranked as the second best defenseman available in Europe by CSB and was 6th our own hockeysfuture.com list. There are major weaknesses on the Senators blueline that Volchenkov will help to alleviate a year or two from now. At first 6′ appears too small for a NHL defenseman but rest assured that Volchenkov makes up for this with a thick 210 frame; think Kasparaitis of Pittsburgh. A note of interest is that hockey runs in Anton’s blood, as his father was a regular with Red Army in the seventies. Senators GM Marshal Johnstone said he was very pleased Volchenkov was still available so late in the first round, and so it appears the Senators’ draft luck continues.
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After Jeff Jackson was fired, Mike Eaves was the prime candidate to take his job and he is now the USA NTDP’s Under 18 Coach. Eaves approach to his new job is this, my assistants and I will set goals, work towards the goals, and make sure we are having fun. Mike’s son Patrick, who is one of the top 84’s in the country is following his dad out there and will be playing for the Under 17 team. Some of the players Eaves has high expectations of include Eric Nystrom, Dwight Helminen, Justin Maiser, Brian McConnell, Barry Tallackson, and newcomers Jesse Lane and Ryan Whitney. “I haven’t seen much of the team yet, only on a few tapes and from talking to scouts,” Eaves said. Expect the Under 18 team to have a strong year in the USHL and turn some heads during international competition.
Also of note Keith Allain has been rumored to be the new USA National Junior Coach but no official announcement has come from USA Hockey. USA Hockey must come up with a coach soon because of the National Junior Camp set for August as they need to invite the top players to Lake Placid for the camp.
The Minnesoata Wild Selected both goaltender Jamie McLellan and winger ScottPellerin. Both players should be solid contributors with the Wild this upcoming season. McLellan has proven himself as a solid NHL backup and Pellerin is a great checking forward. With a drop in production from last season when Pelly scored 20 goals, the blues elected to expose him and as expected the Wild jumped at the opportunity.
Many side deals have taken place throughout the day and many may still be in the making. For the blues, they must now focus on signing the two significant UFA’s, Tyson Nash and Mike Eastwood. The two are likely to recieve significant raises due their importance with the Blues organization and even more importance now since Pellerin has been lost.
In terms of Blues prospects, it looks like Brent Johnson will get a crack at the back-up job with the big club. There are rumors floating around stating that the blues may sign a veteran goalie in terms of insurance in the event of a call up due to injuries to Turek or Johnson. Cody Rudkowsky would be the third string and is certainly not ready for the jump to the big club as he had a so-so season as a backup to Johnson in Worcester.
The blues oragnization have stated on many occasions that they will be active in the free agent market come July 1st but for now, Draft day lies ahead of us. Read more »
In a decision which could affect numerous NCAA players and NHL teams, an arbitrator declared 1998 New Jersey first round draft choice Mike Van Ryn to be an unrestricted free agent.
Van Ryn, drafted after his freshman year at the University of Michigan, left college after his sophomore season to play for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. He and his agents argued that a loophole in the NHL collective bargaining agreement made the young defenseman a free agent.
Arbitrator Lawrence Holden agreed with Van Ryn, a bitter pill to swallow for both the Devils and the NHL. It was hoped New Jersey would avoid an arbitrator’s decision and settle with Van Ryn.
The Boston Bruins had a similar situation in 1999 with former draft choice Ben Clymer who left the University of Minnesota in order to play in the Western Hockey League. However the Bruins relented after receiving pressure from the league, allowing Clymer to become a free agent and sign with Tampa Bay. This avoided the inevitable arbitrator’s decision setting a precedent for the future.
Van Ryn, a solid two-way defensman, should generate considerable interest from other NHL teams. He is certain to receive more lucrative offers than he had received from New Jersey.
After an abysmal inaugural season in the NHL and a mediocre draft last year, the Atlanta Thrashers will look to build more organizational depth and acquire desperately needed talent at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft this weekend. The decisions made by general manager Don Waddell and the Atlanta scouting staff on Saturday and Sunday will be critical to the future health of the franchise. With very little talent on the current NHL roster and very few legitimate prospects on the way, the Thrashers must use every pick wisely.
It all starts with the second overall selection this weekend. Atlanta has many options available and its selection will likely depend on what happens with the first overall pick. The New York Islanders currently own that pick, but may trade it or swap picks with another team. If that happens, it can impact what the Thrashers plan to do.
Atlanta is perhaps most interested in Dany Heatley, the top rated North American player in the draft. Many scouts believe he is ready to step into the NHL immediately and the Thrashers could definitely use his dynamic offensive ability. The only potential problem is that Atlanta already has two excellent left wing prospects in Tomi Kallio and Zdenek Blatny. Still, there have been consistent rumors around Atlanta that Heatley is the team’s first choice. But nothing is certain at this point and Heatley might not be available if he is taken with the first pick.
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As the 2000 entry draft approaches, the Flyers are stocked at the goaltending position. 1995 first round selection Brian Boucher is coming off a stellar rookie season and waiting in the wings are highly touted 1999 first rounder Maxime Ouellet and SM-Liiga rookie of the year Antero Niittymäki. The Flyers depth in goal allowed the organization to trade yet another well-regarded prospect, Jean-Marc Pelletier, to Carolina as part of the Keith Primeau deal.
Moving out from the goal line to the blueline, even with Andy Delmore and Mark Eaton likely to stick for a full season with the Flyers in 2000-2001, there remains a decent pool of young defensemen in the farm system, although there are no likely #1 or #2 defensemen to be found. It is possible that the Flyers will use the 28th overall selection to take a defenseman. The Flyers like their defensemen big. The franchise has little or no interest in small defensemen, at least at the NHL level; the smaller blueliners the team has drafted or signed as rookie free agents tend to either be traded before turning pro (Mike Crowley, Ray Giroux) or converted to wingers (Dan Peters). However, there has been increased emphasis on finding mobile defensemen for the organization. Because most of the defenders who have been drafted by the Flyers in recent years tend to be big punishing types (Jason Beckett, Jeff Feniak, etc), the organization has signed undrafted rookies such as Delmore and Eaton to provide some speed on the blueline.
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IHL PLAYER PROFILE
Birthdate: January 7, 1975
Hometown: Turku, Finalnd
Weight: 185 lbs
Season Team League GP W L T GAA
1992-93 TPS Turku Finn-Jr. 12 4.22
1993-94 TPS Turku Finland 1 0
1993-94 Kiekko-67 Finland 2 3 2.21
1993-94 Kiekko-67 Finn-Jr. 18 3.16
1994-95 Kiekko-67 Finn-Jr. 2 2.41
1994-95 Kiekko-67 Finn-Jr. 9 5.22
1995-96 TPS Turku Finland 16 2.16
1995-96 Kiekko-67 Finland 2 16 2.42
1995-96 TPS Turku Finn-Jr. 13 2.63
1996-97 TPS Turku Finland 48 31 11 6 2.08
1997-98 Detroit IHL 6 2 2 2 4.13
1997-98 Indianapolis IHL 29 11 11 3 3.30
1998-99 Detroit IHL 12 7 3 1 2.43
1998-99 Cincinnati IHL 26 14 9 2 3.40
1999-00 Grand Rapids IHL 52 29 15 4 2.18
1999-00 Ottawa NHL 0 0 0 0 0.00
Assigned by the Ottawa Senators to the Griffins on October 11, 1999.
First season as a Griffin. Fifth year as a pro. Jani is in his third pro season
in North America. Ottawa resigned Jani to a multi-year deal on August 19,
1999 which runs through the 2000-01 season.
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