On Day One of the 2001 Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins managed to stear clear of Europe and selected three Canadians and one American youngster.
The Pens selected Colby Armstrong in round 1, 21 overall. (Many speculated that they would target Czech’s Hemsky or Krajicek, who went 13 and 24 respectively in round one) Armstrong, a native of Lloydminster, Saskatoon played for Red Deer of the WHL in 2000/01. He is 6’1″ 180lbs. and plays the right wing.
Round 2 saw the focus shift to defense. Noah Welch was picked 54 overall. The 6’3″ 212lbs. defender hails from Brighton, Mass. and played for St. Sebastians high school last season.
Round three selections included defenseman Drew Fata, the 86 pick, from Sault St. Marie, Ontario. Fata, at 6’1″ 211lbs. skated for Tor.St. Michaels in the OHL. Picked 96 overall in round three was blue-liner Alexander Rouleau from Mont-Laurier, Quebec. Roleau, at 6’0 180lbs. suited up for Val D’or of the QMJHL this past campaign.
The Penguins confined their first four selections (of nine this year) to North Americans. They made no moves to secure a higher first round slot with a trade and in fact, Jaromir Jagr was allowed to begin his vacation in the Czech Republic. This leads many to believe that the Jagr trade will not materialize this weekend.
The Pens put an early emphasis on restocking their stable of defenseman, leading to speculation that several current prospects may see big league action sooner than later. RW Armstrong is expected to bring a little grit to the forward position.
Heading into the morning right before the draft, the NCRC was abuzz with many rumors of trades and declarations among pontificating beat writers as to whom their team will be selecting with their picks.
Shane and myself arrived very early in the morning to scope out and claim our spot on the press table, right in the front row! Elation turned to displeasure when we found out our neighbors at the table were all really big men, reducing the space available for us to work. Sitting amongst radio media, Television media, and beat writers for every team, the early morning quickly turned into the rumor pit.
Amongst the rumors that started our day out and quickly got us out of early morning stupor, was the unconfirmed news of Alexie Yashin going to the Islanders, Michael Peca going to Florida for the #4, Doug Weight going to Chicago for Daze, McCarthy, and Mark Bell. Dominik Hasek was rumored to be going to 7 different teams, Valerie Bure going to Chicago and Florida, and finally, Eric Lindros for Federov and Aaron Ward. Of course, most of these never happened, which brings us to……
Official trades of Day 1 of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft
– Ottawa trades C Alexei Yashin to the NY Islanders for the Islanders 1st round pick (2nd overall: Jason Spezza), D Zdeno Chara, and RW Bill Muckalt.
– Toronto trades C Igor Korelev to Chicago for Philadelphia’s 3rd round pick (88th overall: C Nicolas Corbeil)
– Montreal trades it 4th round pick (104th overall) to Chicago for D Stephane Quintal.
– Calgary trades its 1st round pick (11th Read more »
On the first day of the 2001 NHL entry draft, the Philadelphia Flyers made a pair of trades, affecting both their first and second round selections.
The Flyers traded their first round pick (#23 overall) to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for three draft picks (#27 overall, #225 overall, and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2nd round pick in 2002). The move caused some raised eyebrows, as the Flyers had at their disposal several of the most prominent defensemen in the draft. By moving down to #27, the Flyers were hoping that one of three defensemen they were eyeing (probably Tim Gleason , Lukas Krajicek and Jeff Woywitka ) would still be there when the 27th pick came up. Gleason and Krajicek were taken with the next two picks, but Woywitka was still there at #27.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Flyers dealt their second round pick (#56 overall) to Florida, in exhange for the rights to unsigned veteran Czech center Jiri Dopita. Dopita, who will turn 33 in December, has long been considered one of the biggest stars in European hockey and is a long-time fixture on the Czech national team.
Over the last nine years, Dopita has rebuffed numerous offers to come to the NHL. His rights were previously been held by Boston and the New York Islanders before they were dealt to Florida, and numerous other teams have inquired about his availability over the years. Until now, the answer was always no.
Why the change now? For one, he is close friends with his former Vsetin teammate Roman Cechmanek, another veteran Czech star who fin Read more »
With several players on their list already taken the Oilers scouting staff felt the long term needs of the organization was to acquire a pure goal scorer or a reliable defenseman. Interestingly enough the first three rounds turned out almost exactly as planned. They did not get the goalie they coveted but all in all I felt it was a productive first day in adding dimensions to the farm system. The first three rounds went quickly for the Edmonton Oilers and the players selected are as follows.
1st Round 13th Overall
Ales Hemsky RW Sh: Right 6-0/170 Born: August13/1983
Not all the scouts agree with each other on the assessment of this Czech winger who played in the offensive minded QMJHL but no one deny his skills. At this pick it is exactly one the main needs the Oilers were trying to address, a scoring winger in the Miro Satan mold who can break open games on occasion.
He arguably one of this draft’s most electrifying players with the puck and one of the only reason he was not taken higher is his unwillingness to play in traffic so to speak. Not particularly muscular by any means but that seemed to be of little concern to the Oilers brass since they were looking for pure skill over brawn. Because of the teams current depth of young gritty forwards in the system it was apparently felt that this selection was necessary.
For the most part Ales will provide that elusive swift skating goal scorer whom can make opposing defenseman look foolish. Also noting are his amazing puck skills in the handling and passing departme Read more »
The Islanders moved another prospect on Friday when they sent
Mathieu Biron packing to Tampa Bay. Also ‘Mad’ Mike Milbury sent the
2nd round pick for tomorrow to Tampa. In return the Islanders recieved
defenseman Adrian Aucion and forward Alexander Kharitonov. Aucoin has
name for himself the past few years in the NHL , mostly with Vancouver.
Aucoin is known to have a big time shot from the point and would fit
on the power play with either Kenny Jonsson or Roman Hamrlik. In 66
with the Lightning this past season Kharitonov tallied 7 goals and 15
for 22 points. So even the day before the draft Mike Milbury has begun
dealing , this weekend is shaping up to be a big big weekend for the
Expect to hear the names of OHL defencemen called early and often at this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft. This is a bumper crop of fleet-footed, skilled players, no lumbering oafs here. NHL central scouting has seven OHL defencemen rated among their top 30 North American prospects. Compare this total with three from the Western league and one each for the Q and the NCAA. Here’s a quick look at this bumper crop (in alpha order):
A classic European-trained player, skating and puck skills are his best assets. Straight-away speed keeps opposing fore-checkers honest and lets him cheat a little in the offensive zone much like Brian Leetch. Outstanding lateral mobility makes him tough to beat wide and tough to defend when quarterbacking the PP. He makes crisp tape-to-tape breakout passes and handles the puck with confidence whether on the rush or the PP. Not a heavyweight, he doesn’t intimidate the opposition physically but does finish his checks and battles hard in the trenches. This Czech could use more Petr Svoboda-style grit in his game.
Read more »
A look back at last year’s draft and then take a look at this year’s draft.
Last year’s draft was a good draft and could turn into a great draft if some of the players that didn’t make the NHL this year make the team in a few years.
In drafting Marian Gaborik and L. Sekeras it was a good draft already. Maxim Sushinsky was exciting as they come, but he couldn’t handle America and went back to Russia. Peter Bartos played well at times and should make the team next year. There 2nd round pick Nick Schultz is exciting and could turn out to be a top 4 defenesman. Mark Cavosie made the world juniors team, and has all the speed in the world. Eric Johansson scored 44 goals but is known more for his defense.
Doug Risebrough drafted 3 players that could play in the NHLin his first of drafting, how many will he draft this year? And that’s what I will look at now.
Doug Risebrough has many options that he can choose from:
Option 1- Taking a center with the number 6 pick in the draft, The draft is deep with centers and that’s the wild’s main need. The wild could take any of these players, Stephen Weiss, R.J. Umberger, Alexander Svitov, Mikko Koivu, and Tuomo Ruttu. My guess is Stitov, and Koivu will be gone, so Wiess would be the center of choice.
Option 2- A LW or RW, Stanislav Christov is the only worthy forward taking at this pick. and he should be taken by then.
Option 3- A goaltender, if they take a goaltender the man is Dan Blackburn, Doug Risebrough is in love with this guy, if he’s there he’s the Wild’s number one pick.
Opt Read more »
There are less than 48 hours until Ilja Kovalchuck will be selected 1st overall in the 2001 entry draft; the first ever Russian to be the top pick. It is clear by now that Kovalchuck is what interests the Thrashers most. “We’re certainly very high on the Russian player. We’re going to follow up this week, meet again with the top three or four players in the draft. Yeah, as I sit here today, you know, the Russian is very high on our list. We think he’s a dominant player. Could be a potential superstar.” Waddell says.
“This is probably the most important thing that’s happened to the franchise in its short three years.” (the 1st overall pick) ” How we deal with this pick could definitely be the biggest thing for the next five or six years that this franchise has to deal with.”
Most NHL Gm’s are currently in Florida at this moment. There has been many rumours on trading the pick to the Buffalo Sabres or the Montreal Canadiens. Waddell says he has spoken to Montreal GM, Andre Savard on his goaltenders and his draft picks. But says there “isn’t anything on the table” at the moment. Montreal GM Andre Savard says he is very interested in gaining the 1st overall pick to select Kovalchuck, but is not willing to let go of Theodore. Maybe Garon and the 7th overall pick.
Why are most trade rumours about goalies heading to Atlanta? It’s simple. The Thrashers need a good young goalie. They have veteran, Damian Rhodes who was injured for most of the last season. They also have Norm Maracle who was goaltender of the IHL this year. But they need a young goalie who c Read more »
Today’s events started with the obligitary “Meet the Prospects” event in Downtown Ft Lauderdale. At Riverfront, a local tourist shopping and dining complex, a small but eager crowd waited in the on again, off again rain for their opportunity to see the players they probably have only read about in the papers.
As Denis Potvin warmed the crowd up with stories of past drafts, a water-taxi quietly sailed up the adjecant New River bearing Stanley, the Panther mascot, and 12 of the top prospects.
Jason Spezza, Mikko Koivu, R.J. Umberger, Dan Hamhuis, Mike Komisarek, Lukas Krajicek, Pascal LeClaire, Dan Blackburn, Stanislav Chistov, Alexander Svitov, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Stephen Weiss no doubt enjoyed the solitude of the open water before being thrown into the media luncheon.
After being introduced to the crowd and signing some autographs, the players all headed into a local che-che bistro to meet the media. LeClaire and Blackburn met with some large crowds, while Spezza and Kovalchuk undoubtably had their share. Watching Spezza work the room was a pleasure, and it quickly reminded me that this kid has been doing this thing for the last 3 years. Whatever team selects him will definitely have a media and fanfriendly marquee-type player.
Chistov and Svitov seemed to be slightly uncomfortable among the media crush, and were basically left alone almost the whole time by the heavily slanted North American media. Svitov doesn’t speak English, and Chistov might not be so confident with his English. It made for a difficult interview.
One of the more a Read more »
By: Alexander Shapiro
By: Eugene Belashchenko ( http://www.russianprospects.com)
Chistov: Russian Karya? That title does not intrigue me
the last month Avangard forward Stanislav Chistov moved into second place
amongst the most promising juniors of the world and now gives way to only Ilja
Kovalchuk. Yesterday Chistov was
phoned in Florida by SE correspondent.Read more »