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Pittsburgh Penguins Draft Preview

by Erik Johnson
on

It’s possible that the 2001 draft could be the start of a new era for the Pens (along with the continuation of an “old” era). It’s likely that the Pens will part with 4 time scoring camp and 2 time Cup winner Jaromir Jagr this summer and it’s possible that could come before (or during) the draft. In any event, the Pens will need to find that groups of prospect that will lead them to as successful of a decade as the one that just past. It won’t be easy for GM Craig Patrick, but he’s dealth with adversity well before and there is no reason to believe that he won’t make a successful post-Jagr transition.


Pens Draft Strategy

As with most teams, the Pens will draft the best player on the board in the first round, as their usual philosphy. The Pens draft table is a democracy, with GM Patrick and head scout Greg Malone at the head of that table. European scout Mark Kelly has a lot of influence in the decision making process and the Pens picks usually reflect that.


Recent Draft History

Last year was one of the few times in Patrick’s tenure that the Pens spent their first round pick on a North American born player. 4 of the 5 previous picks were used to select skilled European forwards. After the first round, the Pens generally select players to fill specific needs, all with a general theme. In 1997, the Pens spent 6 of their final 8 picks on defensemen. In 1998, 6 of 9 were forwards. 199 was a bit of a mix of players. They added depth to a number of positions. And finally last year, they spent most of their picks on tough gritt Read more »

Trader Rick

by Ron Hoover
on
The Rick Dudley era in Tampa has been an adventure when it comes to draft day. The Lightning G.M. has yet to make a selection in the teams correct slot, despite having two consecutive top three picks, electing instead to make deals for more immediate help.
Both of the previous draft day maneuvers resulted in the Bolts acquiring a young, talented “starting” goaltender. Or so they thought. Dan Cloutier was picked up from the N.Y. Rangers in 1999 along with Niklas Sundstrom and a couple of picks after Dudley had previously made a deal with Chicago for their pick. Sundstrom was subsequently dealt to the Sharks in a deal that brought four players to the team, of which only Andrei Zyuzin remains.

Cloutier struggled after having to take over prematurely for an injured Daren Puppa as the starter. The consensus was that Dan just wasn’t ready to carry that load and the team announced they would attempt to get a veteran netminder to lug the mail until Cloutier was ready.

Opting to ignore free agency, Dudley got another goalie with his second consecutive draft day deal. Instead of the veteran that he had earlier told season ticket holders they would go after, he chose to trade away the number one overall pick to the Islanders for another young backup Kevin Weekes.

Cloutier has since been traded and Weekes is apparently not the answer either despite playing strong at the end of last season. The Bolts made a deal for veteran Nikolai Khabibulin which should pretty much seal Weekes fate as a starter in Tampa

Needless to say, Lig Read more »

Lightning 2001 draft preview

by Chad Schnarr
on

In the ever-active mind of Lightning General Manager Rick Dudley, there is a certain make-up a player must posses if he is to join one of the up-and-coming teams of the NHL. Knowing the history of the Lightning, one could assume that would be “knew how to skate,” and left it there. Seeing how 1996 first rounder Mario Larocque turned out, even that wasn’t always followed.

That was then, this is now. Dudley is looking for a few key ingredients in prospects to set them apart from the others. Primarily, he wants size, he wants speed and he wants skill. Secondarily, he would prefer a nasty streak and a well-rounded, defensive game already in place. In other words, the prospect must be able to find their own zone without the use of a map or asking a linesman for directions.

Normally when drafting in the top end of the first round, the plan of attack is common sense; take the best player available and if he doesn’t work out or you’re loaded at that position – deal accordingly. As more attention is made to prospects’ strength and development, especially in Europe (Dudley has made known his admiration for the developmental programs overseas, specifically Russia. This evidenced by 5/10 picks last year from Russia, 2 North American.), the more prospects are becoming closer to NHL readiness. Because of that, the more “need” creeps into the equation. Such is the case for Tampa, considering their shallow forward lines and strong draft position.

The Lightning need help filling holes up front and Dudley thinks this draft can help. In other Read more »

Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Draft Preview

by pbadmin
on

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim have the fifth overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Past top 5 picks have included: Paul Kariya (4), Oleg Tverdovsky (2), Chad Kilger (4), and Vitaly Vishnevski (5). With three of the four playing well with the NHL club, the 2001 draft brings a lot of optimism.

Short of free agency, the Anaheim club needs help at defense, right wing, and at center. If Ilja Bryzgalov (Russia) comes to Cincinnati (not likely) the Cincy Ducks will be solid in goal. With this lack of depth in the system it appears that the top player available will be chosen not just with the 5th pick but also throughout the draft. This has always been Pierre Gauthier’s strategy in the past.

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim will select the best player available at #5, which will most likely be Chistov or Weiss.

The Ducks have two early/mid picks in the second round (35 and 41). Gauthier has mentioned that he would like to trade one of them and/or other lower picks to get some established players with grit and/or leadership characteristics.

In addition to the Ducks first (5) and second (5,11) round picks the Ducks also have three fourth round picks (5, 8, 19), one 5th (5), one 6th (5), one 7th (28), one 8th (5) and one 9th round pick (5).

Take Your Pick

by Shane Walsh
on





Hurricanes Draft Preview

by Kirk Pedersen
on
Dating back to their days in Hartford, the franchise hasn’t always been the best drafting team in NHL History.
Nobody is perfect, but the list of first-round blunders in the Whalers/Canes history is rather long.

It all began back in 1979. The former New England Whalers were just out of the crumbled World Hockey Association, and looking to make a name for themselves in the NHL.

With their first pick in franchise history, they selected smallish WHL scoring ace Ray Allison. On the surface, it looked like an airtight pick; Allison had been among the top scorers in the WCHL (now WHL) for three years, and there wasn’t much to suggest that he wouldn’t be a solid point producer for the Whalers in the future, Right?

Unfortunately, wrong. Allison was never able to achieve his full potential with the Hartford organization. He was dealt to Philadelphia in 1982 after only two full seasons in the organization, and topped out at 54 points, with the ’81-’82 Flyers.

Also a part of that deal was the Whalers first-rounder the next season, Fred Arthur. Arthur, a big, hulking defenseman from the Cornwall Royals of the OMJHL, racked up 75 points in his final season of junior. (5g, 70(!)a) He, too looked like a foolproof pick, but many didn’t believe his offensive prowess at the junior level would transfer on to the pro level. He, as previously mentioned, was a part of that big deal that sent fellow then-Whalers-prospect Ray Allison to Philly. Arthur would never realize his potential at the NHL level. He retired after the ’82-83 season, only amass Read more »

Offseason notes

by Brian Roe
on

David Legwand is working with established trainer Charles Poloquin. Legwand will be spending a few days a week with Poloquin and then take the program back with him to Michigan until Training Camp opens.

”It seems like everyone who works with him has a breakout year afterward,” said Legwand’s agent, Pat Morris.

Charles Poloquin has worked with Chris Pronger, Al MacInnis, Gary Roberts and more recently Wade Redden, Martain LaPointe, and Eric Brewer. The Preds and Legwand are both hoping Poloquin continues his winning streak.

And last but not least, GM David Poile is back in contact with centerman Petr Sykora. The Preds are hoping Sykora can play in Nashville as early as next season. The highly touted 22-year old center scored 44 points in 47 games last season in the Czech Republic.

In the NHL Entry Draft next weekend, the Predators own the 12th overall pick in the first round and then own two picks in the second and third rounds. This year’s draft, the deepest draft since Nashville joined the NHL, is the most important one Nashville has ever been apart of.

The Islanders and the Virtue of Patience

by Drew Bennett
on

With almost a week before the 2001 National Hockey League Entry Draft,
rumors are heating up on Long Island about what “Mad” Mike Millbury will do
next. Last year Millbury traded the top prospect in hockey, Roberto Luongo,
to draft Rick Dipietro. Will Mike Millbury be up to his usual self again
this year? Only time will tell…

The Islanders have many options in this year’s draft. They have a solid
nucleus of young forwards (Tim Connolly, Taylor Pyatt, Brad Isbister, Juraj
Kolnik, and Justin Mapletoft), skilled and big defenseman (Branislav Mezei,
Mathieu Biron, and Roman Hamrlik), as well as talented net minders (Rick
DiPietro and Stephen Valiquette) in the fold. The speculation is that the
Islanders will either trade the pick or select Jason Spezza or Slanislav
Tchistov; both offensive weapons.

If the Islanders do trade the pick, it is expected that they will make a
deal for Boston’s Jason Allison or Ottawa’s Alexi Yashin. If they are to
make a trade for one of the two, it will cost the team more than the 2nd
overall pick in the entry draft. Most likely, a deal which would bring
Yashin or Allison to the Island would include the 2nd overall pick and two
of the Islanders young talents. That list would include Zdeno Chara, Mark
Parrish, Tim Connolly, and Brad Isbister. The question that I ask myself
about that kind of a deal is, “Is it worth giving up two of the NHL’s
up-and-coming talents and a top draft choice for a star player who might not
be able to single handedly push the Islanders into the play Read more »

IHL Suing Ft. Wayne Komets

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

The IHL is suing the owners of the Fort Wayne Komets, which left the IHL two years ago for the United Hockey League, for $292,000 in dues and worker’s compensation. When the Komets left the IHL, the franchise was “suspended” which meant, said the lawsuit, it owes $143,456 in dues for the last two seasons and worker’s comp costs of $148,600.
“It’s money we feel is owed to us,” said IHL commissioner Doug Moss. “Unfortunately these things happen.”
Moss said Fort Wayne is the only former team that’s caused a problem because they’ve cleared up those issues with other teams that have left, such as Kalamazoo, Long Beach, Las Vegas and Indianapolis, in the last couple of years.
“It costs money to operate a team and a league. Other people pay their dues,” said Moss.
The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported the IHL is also seeking an injunction against Fort Wayne’s use of the Komet name, logo and uniforms “claiming the team granted the league excusive rights to everything associated with the Komets’ identity.”

The Professional Hockey Players Association is also suing the Komets for more than $33,000 for its players’ insurance fund and $45,100 for a former defenceman Guy Dupuis.
The IHL has also filed a claim as a creditor against the Cincinnati Cyclones bankruptcy.
In AHL news and announcement is expeceted tomorrow on the new realignmnet of its divisions and conferences and Kansas City is exploring the possibilities of an AHL franchise coming to town for next year.

AHL FASTFACTS

The 1972 Nova Scotia Voyageurs, the 1978 Read more »

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