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Penguins Future – Coming On Strong

by pbadmin
on

Numerous problems have plagued the Pittsburgh Penguins this season. From personal
tragedies, to injuries, to coaching changes and inconsistency on the ice,
it never seemed to stop. Fortunately, despite the chaos, the team as a whole never stopped believing in the impossible. Classed as an ordinary talent, a struggling team whose playoff chances are slipping away, the Pittsburgh Penguins are far from quitting. The truth is they will do whatever it takes to build a winner, and positively reinforce their farm system, even if it takes a year or two longer to be recognized for their efforts. At the moment a trail of disappointment ripples through the system, but there is hope on the horizon. No team is more capable of making a statement than Pittsburgh. When they decide to do something, they usually go all out.
On February 7th, the Pittsburgh Penguins named Ivan Hlinka associate head coach, with the intention of making him successor to Herb Brooks as head coach next season. Ivan, who is a world-class talent behind the bench and led the Czech National team (including Jaromir Jagr) to Olympic gold, will become the first European coach to take the helm of a NHL team. It’s fitting considering the Penguins are credited for being the first NHL team to draft heavily from Europe and build their current roster around such. It will take some getting used to, especially for those players who are not from the Czech Republic, but the common opinion is it’s a huge step in the right direction.
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Washington Capitals Prospect Report

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
Hello and welcome to my latest Capitals Prospect Update. I will give you all the latest news and up-to-date statistics on all of the players on the top 50 list.

The Portland Pirates are still rolling along full steam ahead. Their record stands at 32-14-9 (73 pts.) which puts them first overall in the AHL, four points ahead of Kentucky (San Jose) who have played one more game. Portland will be without Alexei Tezikov for a while as he has been recalled to the NHL. The Pirates currently have five players assigned to Hampton Roads (ECHL): forwards Mike Omicioli and Mike Siklenka, as well as defensemen Gerad Adams, Steve Shirreffs and Dean Stork.

Misc. Notes: The Capitals continued to restructure their minor league system by trading forward Alexandre Volchkov to the Edmonton Oilers for a third or fourth round pick in 2001 (depending on how he performs). The Washington scouting staff feels that the 2001 draft is very deep, and are stockpiling picks. There are only two major injuries in the Capitals’ system at the moment: forward Trevor Halverson has missed the entire season so far with a concussion, while defenseman Nathan Forster has sat out the past few weeks with a thigh contusion.

A++ players – performing above and beyond the call of duty.

5. Jason Shmyr: impressive numbers for this tough guy.

4. Patrick Boileau: +16 rating leads Portland.

3. Alexei Tezikov: earned his way back into the NHL.
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Updated Flyers Prospect Report

by Bill Meltzer
on

Stepping Up:

* The two best prospects in the Flyers system continue to be goaltenders
Maxime Oullet and Antero Niittymäki. The strong play of both youngsters
pretty much cancels out any loss of organizational goaltending depth
suffered when Jean-Marc Pelletier was traded to Carolina in the Keith
Primeau deal.

Oullet, coming off a spectacular World Junior Championships, continues to
be the best goaltender in the Quebec League. Oullet is now being widely
hyped around the hockey world as a potential franchise goalie. Arguably,
he’s the best goalie in junior hockey today, although the Finley contigent
might dispute that. The buzz around Oullet coming off the WJC is not quite
equal to the hype that surrounded Roberto Luongo but it’s arguably on par
with the excitement created by Marc Denis and Martin Biron as they
progressed at the junior ranks.

Niittymäki, selected the best goaltender in the Finnish Elite League during
the first half of the season, faltered a tad at the World Juniors
(particularly in Finland’s game against Russia) and ended up splitting time
in goal with Devils draftee Ari Ahonen. It’s also true that Niittymäki’s
teammates did not play all that well in front of him in some of their key
games. However,
Niittymäki has bounced back strong upon the resumption of league play.The
rookie continues to rank #1 or #2 in most goaltending categories in the Read more »

OHL Prospect’s Game Report

by Bob Chery
on

Although just one game, the 2000 Prospect’s Game at the Air Canada Center
served as a microcosm for the scouting fraternity’s lukewarm response to this
year’s crop of CHL draft-eligibles. Complete packages are few and far between,
as players strong in one or more elements of the game leave you wanting for
more in other areas.

Trying to watch a game where everyone on the ice is a prospect can indeed be
a challenge. Sitting high behind the net in the first row of the upper deck, the
game has to be broken down into it’s most basic components. For starters,
who among the forwards can take the puck to the net on a consistent basis?
An ability to do so implies some combination of skating ability, acceleration,
stick-handling, and strength to fight off checks.

Mississauga’s LOU DICKENSON was the only player who was a consistent
threat throughout the game, utilizing his speed and acceleration to penetrate
the opposition net on several occasions. Unfortunately for Lou he came up
empty on each foray. Off this game, it would come as no surprise to anyone
that Lou showed well in the Prospect’s Skills Competition where he placed
in the top three for puck-control, the 60-foot dash, and the full lap.

Several more prospects gave a good account of themselves when the home-run
threat was dropped from the equation and other attributes were looked at.

TEAM CHERRY

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Look back at the 1996 Bruins draft

by pbadmin
on

The importance of a strong draft can never be under-stated. The Boston Bruins have had difficulties winning in 1999-2000 and when you look at the disastrous showing of Sinden and Company in 1996, you can begin to understand why. Despite a top-10 pick and eight additional selections, the Bruins have gotten exactly zero NHL games out of the players they chose that summer. Let’s take a trip back to that fateful June of 1996 and find out what went so terribly wrong…

That year, the Bruins owned the 8th pick, compliments of the then- Hartford Whalers who had dealt their top choices from ’95-’97 to the Bruins in exchange for defenseman Glen Wesley. Boston had tabbed Kyle McLaren the year before with the Whalers’ 9th overall selection and so there was reason for Bruins fans to be excited in 1996, despite the forecast from scouts of a weak talent pool from which to choose from. The Bruins had traded their own 1st-round choice(21st) in the deal for Bill Ranford, but seemed poised to get an impact player nonetheless because of Sinden’s shrewd deal back in 1994.

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Washington Capitals Prospect Report

by pbadmin
on

Hello and welcome to my latest Capitals Prospect Update. I will give you all the latest news and up-to-date statistics on all of the players on the top 50 list.

At the AHL All-Star game, the Capitals had three players involved. Forward Mike Peluso was a last minute substitution, while goaltender Martin Brochu and forward Alexandre Volchkov also participated. During the skills competition, Volchkov won the accuracy contest, hitting all four targets in only seven shots. Brochu was outstanding during the whole weekend, stopping all ten shots in the ambush competition, and winning the MVP for the game itself. Forward Miika Elomo, who had been previously invited, was unable to play because of injury.

The major junior leagues also held their All-Star games recently. Forward Krys Barch (London) was selected to the OHL game, and collected one assist. Forwards Kris Beech (Calgary), Blake Evans (Tri-City) and Michal Sivek (Prince Albert) were invited to participate for the WHL. During the game, Beech scored two goals and one assist, while Sivek picked up an assist. In the skills competition, Sivek finished second in the fastest skater event – completing the lap in 14.72 seconds.
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Penguins: Top 25 Prospects Update

by pbadmin
on

1.
Name: Michal Rozsival
Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-1
Weight: 208
Birthdate: Sept. 3, 1978
Birthplace: Vlasim, Czech Rep.
Acquired: 1996 NHL Draft, fourth round (105th overall)

HF Comments: Michal started off the 99-00 season on a positive note, impressing Penguins management enough to earn himself a spot on the full-time roster. Since then he has continued to climb the latter of success. His valiant efforts have not gone unnoticed and have moved him up to the number one spot on the prospect list. As a rookie, Michal still has much to learn, but he does appear to be doing so quickly. Mid-way through the season, and one coach later, he’s not only earned the respect of his teammates, but more importantly, he has also earned the respect of his coach. Herb Brooks has admitted to being very impressed by Michal’s work ethics. He says even though Rozsival is a young defenseman, he feels as though he can trust him on a nightly basis.
Year Team League GP G A Pts PIM
1999-00 Pittsburgh NHL 45 3 11 14 22
1998-99 Syracuse AHL 49 3 22 25 72
1997-98 Swift Current WHL 71 14 55 69 122

2.
Name: Andrew Ference
Position: Defenseman
Ht: 5’10″ Wt: 190
Born: March 17, 1979
Edmonton, Alberta
Acquired: 1997 NHL Draft, eighth round selection (208th overall)
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Kings: DT vs. the Disaster

by pbadmin
on

Dave Taylor is a legend to Kings fans. Everything he has done in his professional career has been done with a drive and work ethic that have made him a successful forward in the NHL for 17 seasons and now the General Manager of his beloved Kings. How has he done? It’s hard to day. You would have to compare him to his predecessor, Sam “the Disaster” McMaster.

The Disaster was forced out in 1997. Kings fans everywhere, including yours truly, called for his head and wanted our fair-haired boy DT to take over after his three year apprenticeship under the Disaster. DT was the most appealing choice to succeed the Disaster because of his lifelong dedication to the Kings. Kings fans were elated- not only to have DT as the GM, but to have the Disaster out of the organization. Well Kings fans, I have some bad news. We would not be enjoying the limited success we have if Sam was not the previous GM.
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Stacking Up Against The Rest

by pbadmin
on

For Andrew Raycroft, this is a season to remember. Raycroft for the first time in his 3 year OHL career was the starting goaltender in the OHL all star game. In a game of the best of the best, Andrew lived up to his current outstanding level of play stealing every scoring chance but one in the first period. All season long for the Kingston Frontenacs, Raycroft is showing he was a sleeper draft pick in the 1998 entry draft. Selected by the Boston Bruins 135th overall, Raycroft currently has a won-lost-tied record of 26-12-5 and a 2.93 goals against average. In 45 appearances this season the native of Belleville, Ontario has faced a total of 1786 shots, putting him in the lead as the OHL’s busiest goaltender. Raycroft has only allowed 125 goals this season and has an OHL and CHL leading save percentage of .930. Raycroft was selected as the OHL’s Goaltender of the Month for November. In 13 appearances in November Raycroft posted a 2.77 goals against average and a .939 save percentage. On December 9 Raycroft made 47 saves in a 4-1 win in Peterborough and on December 10 he turned aside 43 shots in a 4-1 win over the visiting Oshawa Generals. A highlight of Raycroft’s week was a 59 save performance in a 4-3 win in Oshawa on December 12. Raycroft’s play had helped the Frontenacs extend their undefeated streak to 11 games, and he received honors as the OHL player of the week for December 12.
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Pens bright side are the youngsters

by pbadmin
on

With a mere 32 games left in the season, the Pittsburgh Penguins (21-25-4) find themselves struggling to hang on to a playoff spot. The bright side rests with the Penguins of tomorrow.

The “Jr. Pens” left winger Robert Dome has found his scoring touch again. He had 4 goals in three games, then 2 assists in a 5-3 loss against Hartford. Another bright spot on the “Jr. Pens” roster is Alexei Kolkunov, who has four goals in his last five games after a 14-game drought. Then there is rookie defenseman Andrew Ference who has 2 goals and 6 assists in a span of 9 games.

The brightest spot in the organization however, is not a “Jr. Pen,” he is a “Raider.” Besides putting on a brilliant show on the world stage in Sweden, Milan Kraft has 44 points (18-26) in 34 games with the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL).

Perhaps the best thing the Penguins can do right now is hold on to the hope of the future. If they cannot find heroes, and cannot find defenseman who truly can play a European style game, making necessary passes to those in motion, then stick to tomorrow. Try to imagine the havoc Kraft and Jagr will create playing side by side. It may take another year for this to happen, but it is a realistic goal and one to keep the Penguins optimistic.
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