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Jaroslav Sklenar taken in import draft

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on


THE LATEST TORONTO 67

As has been the trend recently, when it came the Ottawa 67’s turn to take a player in the CHL Import Draft they opted for another selection of the Toronto Maple Leafs in left winger Jaroslav Sklenar from the Brno Jrs of the Czech Republic. Sklenar, when chosen in the 6th round this year, inspired a chorus of ‘who?’ among most draftniks and for good reason. It is next to impossible to find information on any player not in the Czech Extraleague unless, of course, you speak Czech. Your columnist, however, has had the good fortune to correspond with Robert Neuhauser also of Hockey’s Future who has seen the young Czech winger in action on numerous occasions. His scouting report points to speed and the ability to use it coming off the wing to either gain himself or a teammate a scoring chance, by going hard to the net as his big plus. He is accomplished with the puck on his stick and coaches in the Czech ranks have noticed this as he has shot through the system in the last couple years always being the first call-up when injuries or slumps cause problems for the team above his present one. The downside, which is somewhat expected among young players, is his lack of attention to defense, his intensity which can vary from game to game, and his weight. If he were to stop developing as a player today, he might end up being something akin to Petr Klima. However, under Brian Kilrea, many of these shortcomings can be expected to be corrected. And with that in mind look for Jaroslav Sklenar to remind some folks of Geoff Sanderson or Gle Read more »

Oilers acquire Jan Horacek in Doug Weight deal

by Dean Belanger
on
In what was considered somewhat of a surprise move, the Edmonton Oilers traded their all-star centerman yesterday to the St Louis Blues. While no one is shocked Weight was traded, many thought the Oilers would had received more for their best asset. The deal shakes down like this; gone with Weight is RW prospect Michel Reisen for LW Jochen Hecht, C Marty Reasoner, and D prospect Jan Horacek. Of course, anytime you trade the best player in a deal, it is very hard to come out on top, but there are many factors to consider when you analyze this trade. First off, this is a money-motivated deal, which automatically puts GM Kevin Lowe behind the eight ball. Another important factor is that Weight was a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and one year away from being an unrestricted free agent. All of these factors helped to reduce Weight’s trade value. Rather than debate whether Lowe received enough compensation for Weight, or possible other players he may have been able to trade for, I’m going to focus on what they received, and how the lineup has been affected.

While many people will focus on Hecht as the key to the deal, the Oilers actually feel that Horacek could be the key player in this trade. According to the Oilers scouts, Horacek is ready to challenge for a spot on the blue line this season. His game is simple…very little offense, but he can hit. He will add another physical dimension to the Oilers blue line, and is very adept to clearing the front of his own net. They believe that this 22-year-old can be a 5th or 6th D man for the Read more »

Possible Canucks next year

by Scott McFarlane
on

The Vancouver Canucks are in need of a top 6 forward. Preferably a player that plays right wing. Players out there that are UFA could be the answer. Or maybe Brian Burke will want to do something trade wise. Everyone knows how he likes to wheel and deal. I don’t think he should trade anyone on the team. The Canucks have a good nucleus that should not be traded away, I know Brian Burke knows this. They should keep the young nucleus of the team together. Let the core of young players grow into a powerhouse in the Western Conference for many years to come.

A route that the Canucks might go in the off season is to go out and get a free agent that can add veteran leadership and can score. This player must have a fair amount of NHL experience. This would be helpful for the young Canucks players to learn how to win in the regular season and the playoffs.

The only 2 players that have the natural position of right wing on the Canucks are Vadim Sharifjanov and Trent Klatt. Obviously Sharifjanov is not ready for the NHL and Trent Klatt has proven that he can play in the NHL. The Canucks might be looking for a player of Klatt’s caliber. A player that gives 110% every game, can hit, and can put the puck in the net.

Players mentioned that are interested in coming to Vancouver are Mike Keane of the Dallas Stars, Donald Audette of the Buffalo Sabres, and Steve Heinze also of the Buffalo Sabres. All of these players are UFA. So the Canucks would not have to give up anything to get them.

I have heard Mike Keane’s name mentioned in the paper lately. I don

2001 Draft Review & Grades

by Gerry Watson
on

Anaheim A-

Last year was slim pickings for the Ducks; this year, they hit the
jackpot. If he finds a fifth gear to go with his Bure-like hands,
small-but-deadly winger Stan Tchistov (5-9, 165) could team up with Paul
Kariya to form the top scoring tandem in the league. If he doesn’t,
he’s still a can’t-miss electrifying talent. Defenseman Mark Popovic
(35th overall) is as reliable as they come, and could soon find himself
paired with Vitaly Vishnevski on the top unit. Joel Stepp, with speed
and grit, was a good third round pick.


Atlanta B+

Looking at Patrik Stefan after two years, it’s understandable why the
Thrashers were nervous about having the #1 pick again this year. But
they played it safe, refrained from making a hasty trade, and took the
best 18-year old hockey player in the world. Ilya Kovalchuk is head and
shoulders above Stefan, clearly the top talent this year. He should
make the roster this fall, and he could be an 80-point player by age
21. Little to shout about in the later rounds, though. Defenseman
Brian Sipotz was a nice pick at #100, he’s huge (6-7, 230), sturdy, and
could be a solid defensive defenseman down the road.


Boston B
Read more »

Preds Draft Day Smart, but not Sexy

by Brian Roe
on

With the 12th pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft the Nashville Predators
select defensemen Dan Hamhuis…the often goal-less Predators used the 12th
pick in the draft to select a defensemen.

Why, you ask? Well, he was the second best defensemen available in the
draft, the Preds do not have a blue chip defensemen in their system, and
finally all the top 10 forwards were all taken … in the top 10. So the Preds
grabbed the next best thing … Dan Hamhuis.

Dan Hamhuis is a solid two-way player. He is an offensive defensemen,
and should be a force in the near future (but not next fall near future).
Hamhuis was eight in the WHL in scoring last season scoring 13 goals and 46
assists in 62 games. Hamhuis is known as a quarterback on the power play,
with above average speed, and solid leadership skills. I would say Dan
Hamhuis could be on the Predators Pro Roster as early as 2002, but as always
the Preds won’t rush him.

Three of the next four picks for the Predators were all forwards.
Timofei Shiskanov (Russia), Tomas Slovak (Slovakia), Denis Platonov (Russia),
and Oliver Setzinger (Finland). The Preds then made an interesting move in
trading their 4th, 5th and 7th round draft choices to the Flyers for their
4th round selection. They used that pick to grab 5’8 Jordan Tootoo
(TOO-too), the 17 year old had 20 goals and 28 assists last season for
Brandon Wheat Kings. He also won the hardest shot contest at this year’s Top
Prospects Evaluation (96 MPH). Nashville had been sc Read more »

Geoff Peters and Jeff Paul released

by Bill Placzek
on

They may have thought it a wise move when they made it.

Take a chance on a German born player?
Marco Sturm?
When San Jose was offering two #2 picks?
The Hawk organization in 1996 knew that they were hurting for prospects and moved out to secure two #2s used to draft Remi Royer and Geoff Peters.
With their own #2 they reached at Jeff Paul, knowing their farm ‘system” was woefully bare at defense.
Geoff Peters along with Remi Royer were the two players drafted with the Marco Sturm first rounder trade.
Sturm plays in San Jose and all three of these players will be looking elsewhere this summer. Royer was all offense and just didn’t play defense well.
Peters though good in most areas just didn’t seem to evolve to a better player.
Paul just didn’t skate well enough for the new NHL.
There is a lesson to be learned here. Trading down works if your scouting staff is competent. Montreal goaler hopefull Garon was there but Hawk’s didn’t seem interested.
The Blackhawks also purged themselves of Michel Larouque and Jeff Maud, their Norfolk goalie duo.
Though Tretiak marveled at Larouque and continued to heap praise on him, he is gone. (Or is this one of the Hall of Famer’s character chararcter flaws: always falling in love with the back-up?)
Maud had injuries and told me while he was in Chicago that he he was in awe of the speed at which the NHL game was played.

Mike Leighton will grauate and get ample chances to develop in Norfolk and Craig Andersson will not be far behind him.

To their credit, the Black Read more »

Panther Contract Situations

by Mark Fischel
on

FLORIDA PANTHERS ANNOUNCE CONTRACT OFFERS

SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers President and General Manager Bill Torrey announced contract information today regarding several Panthers players.

The club offered qualifying contracts to nine players: defenseman Dan Boyle, recently acquired right wing Valeri Bure, defenseman John Jakopin, center Olli Jokinen, goaltender Roberto Luongo, left wing Marcus Nilson, right wing Joey Tetarenko, right wing Rocky Thompson, and defenseman Lance Ward. All of these players are considered Group 2 Free Agents.

By giving these players qualifying offers, the club maintains the right to match any contract offer they may receive, and the Panthers can receive draft pick compensation if there is a signing with another club. If a player is above the league’s average salary, the qualifying offer is the same as last year’s salary. If a player is below the league’s average salary, than a qualifying offer is a one-year contract with a ten-percent raise from last season’s salary.

The Panthers also picked up the option for the 2001-02 season on the contract of center Vaclav Prospal.

In addition, the Panthers did not make contract offers to defenseman Chris Allen, center Len Barrie, defenseman Anders Eriksson, center Andej Podkonicky, defenseman Peter Ratchuk, defenseman Remi Royer, and defenseman Mike Wilson. All of those players will become unrestricted free agents as of July 1, 2001. Also becoming unrestricted free agents are: left wing Greg Adams, right wing Paul Brousseau, defenseman Yan Golubovsky, goa Read more »

German Draft Review

by Oliver Janz
on






Seven in time

First of all, i would like to welcome the fans of the San Jose Sharks, the Ottawa Senators, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals who read an article from germany for the first time. These team all drafted players from germany, the number goes high to SEVEN. A new record for germany and we also beat slovakia and the suiss with this high number of draftees.

Germany saw three years without a draftpick. We hadn’t very good talents in this years and the best prospects got no chance to play in their team, to many foreigners own a spot. The last pick from a german team was forward Andrej Nedorost in last years draft as he were picked in the last round by the Columbus Blue jackets. Nedorost spent the two season before his draft in Essen, Germany. And the last german-born player who was drafted is Sascha Goc, the fifth pick from the New Jersey Devils, #159 overall in 1997.

First round with second Goc

The NHL Entry Draft 2001 starts without big surprises. Several trades happened, for example: the disputed russian center Alesei Yashin was traded to the New York Islanders. The Atlanta Trashers pick up russian teenage sensation, center Ilya Kovalchuk, the best canadian, Read more »

Ekman and Freadrich acquired in trades

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Rangers General Manager Glen Sather traded another veteran player today, this time dealing away center Tim Taylor to the Tampa Bay Lightning for 25 year old left wing Nils Ekman and 22 year old left wing Kyle Freadrich. This was a solid move for the team, as Taylor would likely have been bought before Midnight tonight, the deadline for teams to buy out players at two-thirds of their salary.

Nils Ekman is a skilled Swede who is a defensive specialist. Although he is considered small at 5 foot 11, he plays a tough physical game and tries to get under the skin of his opponents. He has the tools to be a permanent NHLer, but he will have to impress the Rangers in camp to earn his spot on the roster. As for Freadrich, he is one of the biggest players in the history of the NHL, at 6 foot 7 and 260 pounds. However, as is the case with most big players, Freadrich is an awful skater and even courses at a skating school couldn’t help him. Freadrich is considered mainly a 4th line tough guy who will stick up for his teammates and drop the gloves often, however he doesn’t have much offensive skills. He will likely play in the minors this season, but may see a game or two in the NHL because of injuries.

In another deal, Glen Sather sent 24 year old left winger Jeff Ulmer and 24 year old defenseman Jason Doig to the Ottawa Senators for 27 year old defenseman Sean Gagnon and reportedly “future considerations”. Gagnon is a physical defenseman who likes to drop the gloves, but he has been a career minor leaguer throughout his career. Maybe Slats felt he wanted to strengthen the Read more »

Draft review – Czech players

by Robert Neuhauser
on
The 2001 NHL Entry Draft is now history. It was also historical for the Czech hockey. It was
for the first time that 31 players have heard their names selected. It is doubtful that
everyone of this crop will ever play in the NHL, but there are some, who can turn into the
stars of the future. The last successes of the Czech hockey also helped the overage players
to a chance to play in the big league.
As projected, three Czech players were taken in the
first round of the draft. But especially the lower rounds were rich on Czech picks.
Now I will try to comment every Czech pick, round by round,
with a bigger comment on players not included in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft preview.

First round

No. 13 Ales Hemsky – Edmonton Oilers

Position: right wing
Team: Hull Olympiques, QMJHL
Born: August, 13th, 1983
Height: 6’1” Read more »

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