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1998 NHL Draft Progress Report

by Paul MacDonald
on

Statistics are updated through Sunday’s games. The season is finally over.

First Round Selections


1. Tampa Bay Lightning - Vincent Lecavalier, C


TEAM LGE GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Tampa Bay NHL 80 25 42 67 -25 43


Season over.


2. Nashville Predators - David Legwand, C


TEAM LGE GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Nashville NHL 71 13 15 28 -6 30


United States WHC 6 1 1 2 -- 4


Season over.


3. San Jose Sharks - Brad Stuart, D


TEAM LGE GP G A PTS +/- PIM
San Jose NHL 82 10 26 36 +3 32


Playoffs NHL 11 1 0 1 -10 6


Season over.


4. Vancouver Canucks - Bryan Allen, D


TEAM LGE GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Syracuse AHL 9 1 1 2 even 11 Read more »

Sparta’s promising prospects

by Ivana Paulova
on

Of the hundred European players expected to be drafted this year, approximately 20 of them will be Czech players. The most highly rated Czech player is Vaclav Nedorost followed closely by Jan Bohac. But there are many more talented players who were not observed in such detail by scouts but who still can make it to the NHL. By the CSB ranking on 66th and 73rd position there are 2 Czech defenders who together play in the junior team of Sparta Praha. Their abilities show they are the best defending pair in Sparta and therefore are high in the draft.

Jan Hanzlik

His play during the whole year earned him an invitation to the U18 year Championship in Switzerland. The team did not have an exceptional performance. The team did not work as a team which nowadays is the most common reason for non-success. Hanzlik, however, was 2nd among defensemen in the plus/minus statistics.
His size is not ideal for defense in the NHL but he possesses excellent puck technique, ability to read the game as well as a good hockey sense. This year he was strong support for his team (junior team of Sparta Praha) and for the national team as well. And he is really happy with his performance now. He is not in a hurry to go to the NHL even though he does want to go there one day. He is not prepared to leave the security of home for the insecurity of North America. Read more »

2000 Draft Overview

by Nathan Estabrooks
on

In the early days of June the eyes of every true hockey fan are directed at
draft weekend. This year’s draft will take place in Calgary on June 23rd;
the day previous the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets will pick
current NHL players from the expansion draft list.

The intention of the host franchise is to have a GM and a coach by
such time. It remains to be seen if this will be completed, but the latest
word out of Cowtown is an announcement is forthcoming. Lanny Macdonald as
V.P. of hockey operations, Mike Murphy as GM and an exiled Roger Nielsen as
coach.

In the meantime other teams will be reviewing scouting reports and
interviewing prospects. An oddity, which will make this year’s draft
interesting is the large amount the prospects unable to sign contracts with
teams that drafted them in ’98. These prospects will re-enter draft as a
result. Those who weren’t ranked by CSB all season will suddenly make a
relatively shallow draft pool deeper.

Does a team take a player two years older and more experienced, or a
younger player whose potential is yet be known?

Ramzi Abid a forward from Montreal failed to come to terms
with the Colorado Avalanche. By far Abid’s best year was his draft year,
otherwise Abid has been unpredictable and unable to separate himself from
the pack. Probably an early second rounder this time out. Abid had 67 goals Read more »

Will Sather Help The Future?

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
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.
Read more »

Results of the 2000 OHL Priority Selection

by pbadmin
on

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
season.

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
come true.”

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 »

It’s Decision Time For The Class of ’98

by pbadmin
on
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.
Read more »

NHL Drafts – Slovak Review (1988 – 1999)

by Daniel Kysel
on

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).

Explanatory note:

Name, year of birth, NHL team and No. of pick, position, team in draft year, mother team, last season team

1988

Read more »

Elitserien veterans in high demand

by Peter Westermark
on
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.
Read more »

Three “prospects” re-enter the 2001 Draft

by Bill Placzek
on

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 »

Canadiens’ Draft Outlook

by Chris Boucher
on
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.
Read more »