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Penguins Prospect Update

by pbadmin
on

Boy oh boy is Milan Kraft looking like a draft jewel! He shows up at the World Junior Championship and dominates. Kraft ended the tourney with 5 goals 7 assists in 6 games. He helped the Czech Republic win gold, and he is a major piece in the building of the future for the Pittsburgh Penguins who seem to be rejuvenated with new coach Herb Brooks. Jaromir Jagr loves the offensive freedom. Kraft can be the total package when he adds weight to his frame, and a little knowledge defensively. Other than that, he is one year away from playing with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL for a few games before a call up to play with the best there is, Jagr. Alexander Zevakhin has been playing superb hockey also, collecting 5 points in 5 games, with fairly limited ice time. Alexander needs to mature up and play harder, he seems out of shape at times gasping for air after a bad shift. He plays like Pavel Bure at times, and Andrei Kovalenko at others.

It seems as though Craig Hillier is never going to get his chance like J-S Aubin. He needs more confidence and ice time in the parent league. Hillier plays like Martin Brodeur when he is confident, but most of the time no one has confidence in him, thus leaving him no confidence in himself. He can be a regular goalie when and if he is called on. Hillier should just wear number 13, because that is how his career has turned out to be. Lucky at times and unlucky at times sums it up nicely.
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WJC observations

by Peter Westermark
on

I was impressed by the smarts and the work-ethic of Canadian winger Chris Neilsen. He is very versatile, gives his all for the team and doesn’t ignore any part of the game. 16-year-old defenseman Jay Bouwmeester certainly looks like someone who can evolve into a world-class player. It is very rare that a player who’s 6’4″ can be such a magnificent skater.


Jason Spezza also looked good in the spot duty he got and in hindsight maybe he should have got all the icetime Mike Ribeiro, who was very disappointing, got. Josef Vasicek was a more consistent contributor that Milan Kraft, and deserved the All-Star nod ahead of the more inconsistent Kraft. The choice of Rick DiPietro as best goalie was right on. He was very solid, a true star in this tournament.

Of the 2000-prospects, Marian Gaborik shined, but also his smart all-round center Tomas Kopecky. Dany Heatley will surely be a high-pick in Calgary this summer. He looked better than highly-touted Jamie Lundmark and Mark Bell, picked 11th and 8th respectively, did. Heatley can put the puck in the net and has a deadly shot.

JWC – FINAL DAY

by Peter Westermark
on

The Czech Republic won the goldmedal after a penalty-shootout in the most
boring game ever played in the Skellefteå Isstadion. Congratulations to the
Czechs for winning, but seeing two teams prioritize defense above all and in
doing so decide not to forecheck, not to hit, not to attack with more than
two forwards at the time is so boring that I, and surely most of the people
attending, wished that I had just stayed at home and watched a Jeopardy
rerun. The highlight of the game was when the music-guys played
Elvis-impersonator Eilert Pilarm during a stoppage of play.
The bronze game was more entertaining, with Canada pulling off a
well-deserved win after a shootout. The Canadians looked disinterested in
the first period and didn’t have much emotion after the Americans had earned a
1-0 lead after the first period. Checking winger Willie Levesque scored the
goal shorthanded after Canada made some sloppy plays during their powerplay.
The Canadians looked more fired up for the second period, and they started
hitting the Americans more frequently, but also ran into penalty-trouble.
The Canadian penalties in the first period came from laziness and not being
up for the game, but those in the second period came from being aggressive,
though it should be noted that Swedish referee Christer Lärking sent
Canadians to the penaltybox for clean hits as well. The Americans got their Read more »

Rinkside Reflections (Playoffs)

by Lasse Johansson
on

The two semi-finals (USA-Czech Republic; Canada-Russia) were both even and entertaining. The Czech Republic got a very early goal by Michal Sivek against Team USA, and then showed off their defensive skills to keep the americans from tying the game. The Czech defense was easily the best of all the teams. With two goals seperated by only a minute and a half in the second period, the Czechs killed all american dreams of a place in the final. Still the americans fought bravely, and managed to get a goal early in the third period, but the Czechs scored the winning 4-1 goal in the empty net after a very foolish attempt to dribble on his own blue-line by american defender Jeff Jillson. Team USA owned the game, but the result wasn’t unfair, as the Czechs played an outstanding defensive game, and had a great goaltender in Zdenek Smid, who won MVP honours for his performance.
Canada vs. Russia was the second semi-final, some considered it to be the “real” final, saying that the team that won this game would have no trouble at all defeating the Czech Republic in the final. The game was the best of the tournament. Brilliant technique from the russians faced off against the physical Team Canada. Valeri Khlebnikov scored the important first goal for the russians after a magnificent display of technique. Oleg Smirnov made it 2-0 on a breakaway, but the canadians refused to give up and clawed one back by Dany Heatley, brilliantly assisted by Brandon Reid. 3-1 to Russia came early in the third period and decided the game for the russians. It finally ended 3-2. Read more »

IHL Notebook

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL TOP ROOKIE SCORERS

TOP SCORERS


PLAYER TEAM GP G A PTS
Petr Schastlivy Grand Rapids 31 13 7 20
Nils Ekman Detroit 23 11 7 18
Dieter Kalt Long Beach 36 9 9 18
Kyle Calder Cleveland 36 5 12 17
Vlad Serov Manitoba 37 9 8 17
Bryan Adams Orlando 29 8 9 17
Dale Rominski Detroit 36 6 7 13

IHL TOP ROOKIE PLUS-MINUS


PLAYER TEAM +/-
Vlad Serov Maniotba 17
Philippe Plante Grand Rapids 14
Brad Williamson Houston 13
Kyle Calder Cleveland 7

IHL PENALTY SHOT RESULTS

November 19,1999: Chris Herperger of Cleveland vs Randy Petruk (goalie) Cincinnati at 19:47 of
the 1st period. Result was no goal.

December 11, 1999: Aaron Gavey of Michigan vs Chris Mason (goalie) Milwaukee at 8:00 of the
3rd period. Result was no goal.

IHL RECAPS FROM JANUARY 3, 2000


Orlando Solar Bears 3
Detroit Vipers 6

IHL RECAPS FROM JANUARY 2, 2000


Orlando Solar Bears 3
Cincinnati Cyclones 0 Read more »

AHL Prospect Profile:Derek Armstrong

by Adam Loss
on

DEREK ARMSTRONG


POSITION: CENTER
SHOOTS: RIGHT
HEIGHT: 6-1
WEIGHT: 193
BIRTHDATE: APRIL 23, 1973
BIRTHPLACE: OTTAWA, ONTARIO

HISTORY:

During his stellar junior career with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario
Hockey League, Derek Armstrong was drafted in the fifth-round of the 1992
National Hockey League Entry Draft by the New York Islanders. Now in his
seventh professional season, he has played 82 NHL games with the Islanders
(1993-94, 95-96, 96-97), Ottawa Senators (1997-98) and New York Rangers
(1998-99), totalling 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) and 56 penalty
minutes. In 359 minor league games with Salt Lake (1993-94), Denver
(1994-95), Utah (1996-97) and Detroit (1997-98) of the International Hockey
League, and Worcester (1995-96) and Hartford (1997 ? present) of the American
Hockey League, Armstrong has 108 goals, 182 assists and 328 penalty minutes.
In 1995, he was a member of the IHL Turner Cup Champion Denver Grizzlies. He
is a two-time AHL All-Star (1999, 2000), who was the Bauer Canadian Player of
the Game in 1999. His 105 assists and 162 points for the Hartford WolfPack
are all-time club records, and last season’s 80 points (29 goals, 51 assists)
are a single-season club record, as well as a personal high.

TALENT ANALYSIS:

Armstrong is the WolfPack’s first-line center, as well as a regular Read more »

Kings: Reality Hits- The Kings Court is Empty

by Tony Calfo
on

The Los Angeles Kings recent slide has overshadowed what has been a great season to-date. The Kings started the season playing over their heads and are currently playing below their ability. That is not unusual- teams go through slumps. The part that may be somewhat distressing is that when the Kings could use a spark from the farm system, some peek at a great prospect that will reinvigorate players and fans alike, the best the Kings could do…

Len Barrie.

No offense to Len Barrie. He plays hard and with grit and he is an excellent minor league hockey player, but he would likely not crack 75% of the NHL teams fourth line. It was this move that lead to a look at the system. The fact, while hard to swallow, is that the Kings do not have an impact player that is even remotely ready to play in the NHL.

The Kings seem to be on either side of the prospect fence. They have prospects like Pavel Rosa and Jason Podollan who posses promise but a call-up would likely expose the holes in their games and impede on any potential movement in regards to expansion. Both of these guys, along with Donald MacLean, Nathan Lafayette and Rich Brennan can prosper in the minors, making themselves more appealing to Columbus or Minnesota.
Read more »

WJC – SEMIFINALS

by Peter Westermark
on
Team USA beat Sweden with a great team-effort in the quarterfinals, but could for some reason not find that game in the semis. The Americans are very good when they are playing with the lead, but not so good when they’re behind, and today they fell behind almost right away. Defenseman Pat Aufiero (Rangers) made a poor pass along the offensive blueline which was intercepted by the Czech’s and powerful center Milan Kraft (Pittsburgh) was sent in on a breakaway. Rick DiPietro made the initial save, but could not control the rebound which was jammed home by winger Michal Sivek (Washington). The US then had to put the pressure on to tie the score, and the offensive game has not been the strength of the American team this tournament. Energy, teamwork and dedication has, but the US even lacked this quality today. There were players who had their worst games of the tournament, already mentioned Pat Aufiero, goalie Rick DiPietro among many others, and few players who raised the level of their game. Winger Dan Cavanaugh, a Flames pick, got into the tournament on a banana-peel after defenseman John Liley injured his shoulder in the final exhibitiongame before the tournament. Cavanaughs icetime has increased every game, and he was given a chance to play with USA’s top offensive weapons – center Jeff Taffe and winger Barrett Heisten (Buffalo) today and did not disappoint. Cavanaugh was the Americans best forward showing good teamwork, good skating ability and very good passing ability. Cavanaugh got the Americans only goal on a rebound after setting up the play with a nice f Read more »

Viking Cup 2000: AJHL versus Sweden. Could the Swedes defeat the undefeated?

by Kelly Holtz
on
I was all ready for a fast paced and high scoring game when I sat down in
the 5th row of section A today. The undefeated AJHL All-Stars versus the
Under 18 Swedish National Team. Players I was set to watch out for were:

Team AJHL

#9-Riley Riddell- Riley is a local boy from Camrose, he is the 2nd leading
scorer in the AJHL this season. He is fast, has got soft hands, very agile
and great speed but also he is one of the smallest players in the league.

#19-Connor James- I wasn’t quite sure what to look for in this guy because I
had only noticed he was leading the AJHL All-Stars in scoring.

Team Sweden

#12-Tim Eriksson- Very fast, has incredible puckhandling abilities and is
probably the best playmaker in the Viking Cup.

#13-Jens Karlsson- Possibly the best player on the team. Has great size,
great stickhandling, cannon for a shot, and also has very soft hands.

The 1st period started out with the AJHL throwing some big checks and getting some early
penalties. The AJHL took a lot of unnecessary penalties resulting in good
scoring chances in front of the AJHL net. You could tell that the Albertans
were getting on the the Swedes nerves, everytime the Swedish goalkeeper
covered the puck there was an AJHL player there to crowd the net, this
resulted in a lot of pushing and small skirmishes around the net. For Read more »

Rinkside Reflections (Ukraine-Slovakia)

by Lasse Johansson
on

Team Ukraine sensationally won the first relegation game against Slovakia
by three goals to one. The Ukrainian netminder Vadim Seleverstov
was highly resposible for the win, as he didn’t get much support from his defencemen. Slovakia missed five or six “open goal” opportunities and should have won the game comfortably if Seleverstov hadn’t been playing like a god. Slovakia was the better team on every aspect of the game, except the two most crucial aspects; goaltending and goal scoring. The third Ukrainian goal scored by Artem Gnidenko was one of the flashiest goals I have ever seen.

Prospect Report:

Team Ukraine:

#1 Vadim Seleverstov G – Vadim was definately the MVP of this game making loads of extremely big saves. He plays a very spectacular game, and my guess is that he is somewhat inconsistent. You could compare him to Dominik Hasek because of his unorthodox playing style. He was lucky at times, but a good goaltender needs luck. His play reminded me of fellow Ukrainian goaltender Igor Karpenko, who impressed the scouts so much in the 1995 WJCs that he was drafted by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

#2 Denis Isaenko D – Captain of the Ukranian team and one of the few players in the offensive minded Ukrainian team who acted with maturity in his own zone. Physical with fairly good size in the otherwise small Ukrainian team. Posesses a hard shot from the point.

Read more »