(Written by Bryan Kumiga)
The upcoming season should be very interesting for the Islanders organization. It is well known throughout the hockey community that the Isles posses one of the best assortments of prospects in the league and this season will be a critical one in the development of all this young talent. With training camp nearing there is always high expectations on prospects to make the big club, however it very unlikely that any Islanders elite prospects will make the NHL this year. The team is already the youngest in the league and has a host of unproven forwards who will finally get some quality playing time. Luongo, often regarded as the best player outside the NHL, will also most likely spend his season in the AHL. The player from this year’s draft with the best possibility of making the team would be Branislav Mezei. His is large, mobile, intelligent, plays within himself, and is already well adjusted to North American life. He is still expected to return to juniors while a young defense corps featuring Eric Brewer, Zdeno Chara, Kenny Jonsson, and Vladimir Chebaturkin continue to mature.
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40 chosen players took their first step towards making Canada’s National Junior team between August 3-10, 1999 in North York , Ontario at the Beatrice Ice Gardens. Between Dec 12-17, 1999, 30 players will again meet for the final selection camp. Though other players may be invited to the camp if they show a strong showing during the 1999-2000 regular season. This years World Junior Championships are held in Skelleftea and Umea, Sweden between December 25, 1999 – January 4, 2000.
GROUP A GROUP B
Czech Republic Sweden
TEAM CANADA WORLD JUNIOR EVALUATION CAMP ROSTER
PLAYER POSITION TEAM LGE DRAFT
Cory Campbell Goalie Belleville OHL LA 1999
Mathieu Chouinard Goalie Shawinigan QMJHL OTT 1998
Brian Finley Goalie Barrie OHL NAS 1999
Maxime Ouellet Goalie Quebec QMJHL PHA 1999
Brian Allen Defence Oshawa OHL VAN 1998
Jason Beckett Defence Seattle WHL PHI 1998
Mathieu Biron Defence Shawinigan QMJHL LA 1998
Paul Elliot Defence Medicine Hat WHL EDM 1998
John Erskine Defence London OHL DAL 1998 Read more »
(Note: Since this article was written, David Tanabe has announced that he will forgo his final three years of NCAA eligibility, and may be joining Kootenay of the WHL next season)
Eight of the Carolina Hurricanes prospects have chosen to remain in college. Four centers, three left wingers, and one defenseman are hitting the books and the ice this year. Here is an overview of future Canes who are going to school.
1. Erik Cole. A third round pick in 1998, this sophomore left winger was Clarkson’s leading scorer. A dominating player, whose physical play makes him excellent along the boards. Erik led the nation in 98-99 with six shorthanded goals. At 6’0″ and 185 pounds, he scored 21 goals and 18 assists during the regular season. His junior year holds a legitimate shot at the Hobey Baker Award.
2. David Tanabe. Carolina’s first round pick in 1999, this Wisconsin freshman was named to the WCHA All-rookie Team. He was the Badgers third leading scorer with 10 goals and 12 assists. An excellent skater and passer, the 6’1″, 195 pound Tanabe could have a bright future filling in Carolina’s need for offensive defensemen.
3. Ryan Murphy. A fourth round pick by the Hurricanes in the 1999 draft netted them Bowling Green’s third leading scorer. Murphy had 9 goals and 22 assists for the Falcons. Five of his goals came on the powerplay. This left wing is 6’1″ and 185 pounds, and could develop into a real scoring threat for the Canes.
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In the 1999 draft, the Sharks made further inroads towards building their defensive unit, which was already one of the envies of the league. By drafting Jeff Jillson with the 14th pick of the draft, the Sharks added a third prospect, all of whom could possibly pass as #1 dmen someday in the NHL. The other two players being Brad Stuart and Scott Hannan.
Jillson was the second defenseman taken in the 1999 draft, in addition to being the first player chosen out of college. The general opinion on Jillson is that he was pretty high on a lot of lists, but the teams that were picking ahead of the Sharks simply had their own players in mind. The fact that the Islanders had so many picks in the top 10, and that Jillson simply did not fit into their plans, probably was a factor in him being chosen as late as he was. A perfect example of how a trade between two teams can effect a third, who’s not even involved in any way, quite drastically.
Playing for the University of Michigan, Jillson earned a spot on the World Junior squad for Team USA and was selected to the CCHA All-Rookie Team. Ever since, his stock has only risen. In the preliminary Central Scouting Bureau rankings, he was ranked 6th among all collegiate hockey players. By mid season, he was ranked 15th among North American skaters. By the time the CSB finished, he was ranked 11th. The Hockey News accurately ranked him to go 14th, but named him as a candidate to crack the top 10 picks.
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Canada’s National Under 18 team takes home the gold medal from the 4 Nations Cup tournamament that was held in the Czech Republic. This event was hosted by the Czech Ice Hockey Association in Prostejov, about 200 km from Prague and it involves 4 teams 18 and under>> Canada, Czech Republic, USA, Slovakia. The tournament began August 19 and ended August 22 in the Czech Republic. August 14-18 exhibition games were played in Slovakia. Each team has a 22 man roster.
TEAM GP W L T GF GA Pts
CANADA 3 2 1 0 13 4 4
USA 3 2 1 0 11 6 4
CZECH REPUBLIC 3 2 1 0 7 11 4
SLOVAKIA 3 0 3 0 4 14 0
GAME RESULTS (include Canada's exhibition schedule)
August 12 Exhibition Canada 2 Frankfurt Lions 8
August 15 Exhibition Canada 1 Slovakia 2
August 16 Exhibition Canada 8 Slovakia 0
August 20 Tournament USA 6 Slovakia 1
Czech 0 Canada 7
August 21 Tournament Czech 3 Slovakia 1
Tournament USA 2 Canada 1
August 22 Tournament USA 3 Czech 4
Canada 5 Slovakia 2
TEAM CANADA ROSTER
PLAYER POS 98-99 TEAM LGE Read more »
It was the final game of tournament, but it didn’t seem like a final. The game was slow, and there were not many bodychecks. Defensive play wasn’t tight, and offense the shots often went too high or too wide. The biggest disappointment of the night came when the spectators heard that Jason “Killer” Doig of the New York Rangers wouldn’t play, because Rangers hadn’t give him permission. Jyp should have won the game, but were not fortunate. One shot in the 1st period and three in second hit the post and bounced away. They also had a few other good scoring opportunities, but again goaltender Markus Korhonen played very well. It was a shame the two best players on Kärpät today were thrown out of game in the 3rd period. First Martin Bergeron received a penalty for hooking when Jyp player took a dive. Then when Martin questioned the call with the referee, he received a personal unsportsmanlike conduct (10 minutes), which meant he would be sitting in penalty box for rest of game. A few minutes later Kimmo Koskenkorva got 5+20 for spearing, and his game was over as well. Kärpät scored two power play goals and one short-handed, while Jyp scored one power-play goal.
1st period: Read more »
The sweltering heat of the past couple months is now giving way to the cooler temperatures associated with the onset of fall. Before you know it, the leaves will be falling outside, while the sticks and gloves will be dropping in hockey rinks across North America.
While this writer was enjoying the fine Western New York summer weather, he was also neglecting his duties in keeping Buffalo Sabre fans abreast of any new developments with prospects in the Sabre organization. Helping fans get caught up won’t be difficult, however, as there has been little activity of note during the Sabre’s offseason. In the interest of keeping Sabre fans informed (as well as all readers of HF), this article will be devoted to pulling together some of the Sabre moves that have come to pass, as well as provide information regarding events which have yet to take place.
Sabre GM Darcy Regier has had his hands full attempting to re-sign several veterans, but he managed to find the time (and money) to sign Sabre prospects Jaroslav Kristek (RW), David Moravec (W) and Luc Theoret (D). Read more »
After making the trades on draft day, the Lightning’s first pick in the 1999 draft was in the second round, the 47th overall pick. With that pick they selected Sheldon Keefe, RW from the Barrie Colts. Although he came with tremendous statistical numbers, 51 goals, 65 asst., 116 pts. in 66 games, he also came with some baggage. Namely Mr. Frost. The agent/representative was rumored to have been advising Sheldon. Whether or not he actually was, is not clear. It is now, and was at the time of the draft, clear that if there was any connection between the two it had been terminated.
Tampa Bay had confidence that the information they got, about there being no ties between the two, was good. They also had heard that some of the other criticism about his attitude and size were mainly sour grapes brought on by the rumors about Mr. Frost. At pick #47, if their information was correct, they had a steal.
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“A rugged defenseman.” That is how D.J. Smith was described by Windsor Director of media relations, Steve Horne. “When he played for us at the major junior level he filled a lot of roles, including a lot of special teams action, but first and foremost he was a ‘rugged’ defenseman.”
Amazingly, D.J. is the last remaining player still on the Leafs, following the controversial Toronto-New York Islanders trade on March 13, 1996 which brought Wendel Clark and Matheiu Schneider to the team as well.
He scored 14 goals and 45 assists in 64 games in 1995-96 for Windsor. He became the team’s captain in 96-97 and increased his offensive productivity to 15 goals and 52 assists in 63 games. “He developed into a good powerplay quarterback for us in those final two seasons”, says Horne. Many scouts felt that he was one of the most improved players in the OHL in 96-97. He was named a second team OHL all-star in 1997 as a result of his good work.
Late in that 96-97 season, D.J. received his first taste of NHL life. He played 8 games with the Leafs late in that season. He was credited with an assist in his first NHL game against San Jose and won his first fight in his 3rd game against Colorado. He did not look out of place on the Leafs’ blueline, despite being beaten in a 1-on-1 rush by Detroit’s Slava Kozlov.
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The Peterborough Petes organization has been highly regarded in the ranks of Major Junior Hockey for many years. It boasts a proud record of sending more graduates into the National Hockey League than any other CHL franchise.
Yet, despite the constant turnover of quality players anually, the Petes have been able to maintain a competitive team each season. The Petes are hoping that this trend will hopefully continue for the ’99-2000 edition of the club. Last season’s fourth place finish was a disappointment for the Petes.
After challenging traditional rivals Oshawa, and the strong Belleville club for second place most of the season, the Petes faltered in the home stretch and then were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Generals. The ’99-2000 season will be a season of “ifs” for Peterborough. IF promising players such as Jason Williams and Preston Mizzi can bring their games up to the next level the Petes will compete for the division lead with Belleville and defending Memorial Cup champions the Ottawa 67′s. IF the Petes also receive strong goaltending from last year’s surprising tandem of Mike Pickard and Joey MacDonald this will also boost the Petes chances. Finally, IF new players in the lineup, such as Steve Montador and Marcel Rodman play as well as they are expected to, the Peterborough Petes may well be on the way to adding another chapter to their proud team history.
OFFENSE Read more »