Notebook — 5/21/2001
The CHL Memorial Cup playoffs is now taking place but the OHL championship has not come and gone without some play (and thus
analysis) of a few Dallas Stars prospects in the Onatario Hockey League. Naturally, many scouting eyes were upon highly
touted rookie Jason Spezza and his somewhat disappointing playoff performance for the Windsor Spitfires. Spezza’s rather
quiet playoffs, in which he was outplayed and kept fairly in check by opposing forward Stephen Weiss (4 goals, 5 assists, 9
points in 9 games), has caused some scouts to rank him lower in the draft. The Red Line report, for instance, proposed that
he may be moved as far as 4th or 5th in the draft this year because of his playoffs.
I mention Spezza because (naturally) Spezza’s performance calls to mind that of teammate (oft linemate) Steve Ott’s
own performance. 18-year old Ott (3 goals, 8 assists, 11 points in 9 games) lead his team in playoff scoring this postseason
and proved to be an antagonostic presence throughout much of the Spitfire’s admittedly short run (27 PIM). Still, things
could have been better for the Windsor Spitfires. Windsor’s top line was not able to muster much against Plymouth’s during
the Spitfire’s quick exit in the 2nd round. A sign of their offensive stars (and Ott himself) being overrated? Or merely a
natural result of having too many offensive eggs in one basket in a highly defensive-oriented postseason?
Read more »
After this years Turner Cup 6 teams from the IHL are expected to join the AHL to make 1 triple A minor hockey league.
According to sources close to the situation, the International Hockey League will cease operations after its playoffs, and six IHL teams will be absorbed by the American Hockey League.
Six IHL teams, are expected to officially become members of the AHL following a meeting of the AHL’s board of governors.
The new AHL would grow to also include the Grand Rapids Griffins, Milwaukee Admirals, Manitoba Moose, Chicago Wolves, Utah Grizzlies and Houston Aeros.
All six teams would pay $2.5 million apiece to enter the AHL, with $1 million from each team earmarked for the IHL to help the league close business after 56 years of operation.
The IHL has been experiencing financial problems. The league, which had 19 teams in 1996-97, was down to 11 clubs this season and on life-support.
The Cleveland Lumberjacks nearly folded in midseason, but were bailed out and run by the league. The Lumberjacks, however, lost their NHL affiliate last week when the Minnesota Wild chose not to exercise its option for 2001-02.
Efforts by the IHL to find a Cleveland buyer for the Lumberjacks have been fruitless.
Cleveland is not the only floundering IHL franchise, either. The Detroit Vipers, Orlando Solar Bears and Cincinnati Cyclones have been plagued by financial problems and dismal attendance and, along with the Lumberjacks and Kansas City Blades, were not expected to be part of the IHL next season.
With the addition Read more »
How successful have the New York Rangers been at the draft table? Below is an analysis of the past five drafts for the Rangers.
22nd Overall – Jeff Brown
48th Overall – Daniel Goneau
76th Overall – Dmitri Subbotin
131st Overall – Colin Pepperall
158th Overall – Ola Sandberg
185th Overall – Jeff Dessner
211th Overall – Ryan McKie
237th Overall – Ronnie Sundin Read more »
When the Phoenix Coyotes made the trade that sent Keith Tkachuk to the St. Louis Blues for Michal Handzus, Ladislav Nagy, prospect Jeff Taffe and the Blues 2001 1st Round pick, they knew their could be a catch.
The St. Louis Blues were punished by the NHL a few years ago for talking to Scott Stevens about a contract before he actually became a free agent. At the time, he was property of the Devils, and New Jersey filed a suit against the NHL that the Blues should be penalized, and they were. The NHL awarded the Devils the right to take one of the Blues 1st round picks in the next couple of drafts, and also the right to swap 1st round picks in another draft. Well, the Devils exercised their option to take the Blues 1st round pick this year, which the Blues originally dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes. So in this weird scenario, it turns out the Devils will actually get the Blues 1st round pick this season and the Coyotes will get the Blues 1st round pick next year, in the 2002 Entry Draft. But wait, there’s more.
The Devils still own the right to swap picks with the Blues. So even if the Blues finish in the bottom of the standings, the Coyotes won’t get that high pick because the Devils will surely swap picks, leaving the Coyotes with a late 1st round pick which is what the Devils’ pick would likely be. So no matter what, the Coyotes will likely end up with a late 1st round pick next season from the St. Louis Blues.
As for this years draft, I will be posting a draft preview sometime in mid-June in which I will analyze where the Coyotes select and what players wo Read more »
Kristian Huselius could not have had a much greater season than this past one. He was chosen MVP by the players in the SEL and received the “Golden Helmet”. 111 players had voted Huselius as the #1 player in the league out of 255 players total. Everyone had the opportunity to vote on three players, #1, #2 and the #3 in the league. Here’s how the voting ended:
1. Kristian Huselius, Frölunda
2. Mikael Renberg, Luleå – Returning NHL’er who was very dominating
3. Mikael Tellqvist, Djurgården – Toronto prospect was the best goalie in the league.
4. Tim Thomas, AIK – American goalie who was virtually unstoppable. Read more »
The Kings enter the 2001 draft knowing that this may be among the most important drafts in their history.
After making an impressive run and starting to get their system in order, the Kings will have five picks in the first three rounds of the draft. The learning curve is over- the Kings cannot afford to miss with thier top picks. With the slower development of some of their previous picks, look for the Kings to take some solidly built players who can handle both sides of the ice.
The needs would be skilled forward, a defenseman- ideally one with offensive skill, and another goalie for the system. Here are some of the potential players that will be available when the Kings make their first selection.
Chuck Kobasew- RW- Boston College- This is my pick. Their is some concern whether he will be there when the Kings pick, but he is a solid forward. He is built well- 6’1, 195 pounds, and he is part of a championship team as a freshman. He went the month of January with a point in every game. The Kings got a good look at what skilled college players can do- Chris Drury for one. This is the guy I would like to see become a King.
Ales Hemsky- LW- Hull- Very skilled forward with a solid offensive game. Fairly well built, although a little light at 6’1, 180 pounds. Finished the regular season with 36 goals and 64 assists. Will likely be available, but a smallish wing seems to go against what the Kings are looking for.
Colby Armstrong- RW- Red Deer- Big right winger with alot of potential. His name keeps com Read more »
Listed are only players who played for germany at the world championships in germany. So, these are the most interesting players for the NHL-teams.
They play in this league (Sturm), the could be drafted (Goc, Greilinger, Seidenberg), they’ve played in the NHL (Goldmann, Benda), are overage players who hope to be drafted as a overage (Kreutzer, Müller) this year or last but not least Lüdemann, who hopes to get a chance in the try out camps.
Before the championship started all german hockey fans looked at the NHL Play-Off’s. German NHL-Players Jochen Hecht (St.Louis Blues), Marco Sturm (San Jose Sharks), Olaf Kölzig (Washington Capitals) and Sascha Goc (New Jersey Devils recall-list) are all appear for their teams in the NHL Play-Off’s. The Washington Caps and the SJ Sharks lose their series, but only Sturm comes to germany. Vezina-trophy-holder Kölzig suffers a injury after the series.
Marco Sturm get the chance and the germans are hopefully that he take the chance to lead this ‘new’ german national team. Sturm did it, he leads the young team in every game and recorded four goals and one assist in seven gam Read more »
From the hockey point of view, Martin Podlesak wasn’t born very lucky. He saw the light
of the world on September, 26th, 1982, just a day after fellow prospect Frank Lukes, who
played for the Toronto St.Mike’s Majors of the OHL this year. He missed the 2000 NHL Entry
Draft eligibility only by 11 days.
He could shine among the Czech 1982 born forwards, as
only three were selected in 2000. That concerns the players playing in Europe. Vaclav
Nedorost was of course the huge star, but Podlesak’s great size and potential could have earned
him a second round spot at the 2000 draft. But this simply didn’t happen.
The crop of the
late-born 1982’s and 1983’s Czech forwards seems to be stronger than the previous year, but
people are talking mostly of Jiri Novotny and Ales Hemsky as potentional stars. Podlesak
seems to be hidden a bit, even this is almost impossible when you would meet him. Martin could
become the tallest Czech forward to ever play in the NHL.
Originally born in Melnik, Czech Republic, Podlesak started playing hockey at the early age
of five. The coaches usually let the tall guys play defense, but Martin wasn’t such a high
tower when he was playing for the first grades. He had exceptional puck skills, which every
coach would love and so he wasn’t forced to call the blue line home. His tough workouts
allowed him to gain the power and Podlesak was able to play with guys older than him. He had
to work on his shooting a bit, but his power helped him to make his shots hard and quite
accurate. He was a strong guy who was almost Read more »
What a difference a year makes. While the 2000 crop of
draft-eligibles had a few good players at the high-end, it did
not match what the 2001 crop has to offer, and the depth this
year is also impressive. From Guelph to the west, Oshawa to the
east, and scenic bread-and-breakfast country along the shores of
Georgian Bay in beautiful Owen Sound, it was a pleasure to watch
this year’s prospects. Expect to see 16-18 OHLers drafted in the
first three rounds of the NHL draft, and some interesting
long-shots in the later rounds.
We’ll start off by having a bit of fun as the make-up of this
year’s group has some things in common with the players taken at
the top of the 1998 Draft. Of course, this isn’t the exact order
in which I would rank the prospects, but it is interesting to
look at the similarities. Included are the numbers that the
players put up in their respective draft-eligible seasons:
1. Vincent Lecavalier – 58GP 44G 71A 115 PTS 117 PIM
Both players have good size and a high skill-level with skating
1. Jason Spezza ——- 56GP 43G 73A 116 PTS 43 PIM
ability, especially with Spezza, being the main concern.
2. David Legwand – 59GP 54G 51A 105 PTS 56PIM Read more »
Looking closer at the current junior team of HC Sparta Praha we can spot some real talent there. Among those players born in 1983, Daniel Volrab is the top player. He is in the 56th position among European players (according to the CSB latest ranking). In the mid season ranking he occupied 16th place. But there are several reasons for this drop. The first thing is that the 16th place was rather over estimated because going by his performance- and let’s face it that is what matters!- he should be somewhere between 30th and 40th position. The second thing is that due to his sickness (he had mononucleosis) he missed out 4 months from this season which cost him strength as well as valuable time which he could have spent improving his skills. The third thing is that the CSB ranking was highly dependant on the results and performances in the under 18 World Championship in which Daniel didn’t play as well as had been expected.
And his story? He discovered the beauty of ice hockey at the tender age of 5. His older brother was playing hockey in Decin so Daniel went on to do the same thing. In the 7th grade he changed teams so he moved from Decin in the hockey town of Litvinov which is a 60km distance from his home. His decision to play for Litvinov was mainly that it was good team and it was nearest to his hometown, of Decin. There he finished primary school and that was the end of his “formal education”.
After winning the title with Litvinov in the 9th grade he made another move. In Litvinov he found limited playing time and felt the need for a chan Read more »