The 2000-01 season was one of challenges and responsibilities
for the St. Michael’s Majors’ Mark Popovic. Without a doubt it
made him a better all-around player, although it did not
necessarily provide him with the ideal conditions to best
display his considerable talents.
The first responsibility hoisted upon his shoulders came in the
off-season when he was named team Captain, an honour not often
bestowed on young players who are in their NHL draft-eligible
year. New coach Dave Cameron made it clear that he did not think
a major overhaul of the roster was necessary, but rather the
style of play employed by the club would have to be altered.
Step one in that process was to have Popovic lead the way in
buying into the new system.
Although Mark was tied with Ottawa’s Jon Zion for the
league-lead in scoring among OHL defencemen six weeks into the
season, Cameron’s philosophy of defence, defence, and more
defence would make that result impossible to maintain as the
season wore on.
In looking at the St. Mike’s roster, it would appear that the
coach had little choice. There were only two NHL draftees on the
roster, forwards Adam DeLeeuw, a 6th-round pick of the Red Wings
in ‘98 and Darryl Bootland, an 8th-round pick of the Avalanche
in 2000. The absence of 1st-round talent like a Spezza/Ott or
Boyes/Alexeev combo would ensure that the Majors would have
trouble scoring goals.
On the blue-line, Popovic along with 19 year-old Chris Boucher
would be the only 3rd-year players until an early seas Read more »
WBS 3 Stars of the Week 3/12 – 3/18
Eric Meloche- Meloche may be the most improved player of the year for the Pens. Started his first professional season a little slow, but he’s adjusted and has risen his level of play significantly. This week, he led the Pens with 3 goals and 2 assists. Scored 2 goals and added an assist in a win over Norfolk
Alexandre Mathieu- Another vastly improved player from the beginning of the season. Alex had goals in the Norfolk and Hamilton games.
Milan Kraft- Milan continues his stellar play with a goal and 3 assists.
Crozier 27 (3)
Peterson 25 (3)
Slaney 19 (3)
Kraft 17 (2)
Caron 15 (2)
Parent 11 (1)
Tibbetts 10 (1)
Cull 9 (1)
Laing 8 (1)
Meloche 7 (1)
Ference 6 (1)
Zevahkin 6 (1)
Kelleher 5 (1)
Rozsival 5 (1)
WBS 3 Stars of the Week 3/19 – 3/25
Rich Parent- Rich had an excellent week, recording 2 wins and stopping 78-79 shots with 2 shutouts.
2nd Star: Milan Kraft- Kraft continues to be the Pens best player, week in and out, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists this week, including a 3 point game in the blowout of Worcester.
3rd Star: Toby Peterson- Toby had an excellent game vs. Worcester, scoring 2 goals and adding an assist.
Crozier 27 (3)
Peterson 26 (3)
Kr Read more »
Vancouver Canucks’ farm team will switch leagues and teams next season.
Canuck assistant general manager Dave Nonis said Thursday the National Hockey League team plans to move its minor-league team from Kansas City to Winnipeg for next season.
The minor-league Canucks will also switch leagues because AHL governors voted unanimously to expand and absorb the money-losing International Hockey League.
Vancouver wanted to use the Moose as its minor-league affiliate last season, but the Manitoba franchise’s insistence that ex-Winnipeg Jet Randy Carlyle remain as coach was a deal-breaker for the Canucks.
The NHL club then signed a one-year operating agreement with Kansas City.
Nonis said the coaching hurdle has been removed and the Canucks will name their own coach, although minor-league bench boss Stan Smyl has yet to sign a new contract with Vancouver.
Nonis cautioned, however, there are other contractual matters to be resolved with the Moose.
“It is likely that it’s going to happen,” Nonis said of the farm’s return to Canada for the first time since 1994, when Canuck minor-leaguers moved to Syracuse, N.Y., from Hamilton. “We were really happy with both leagues. From our standpoint, the 1/8 AHL expansion 3/8 won’t make a difference. If you have your own development team, that’s the best way to go.”
IHL PLAYOFF RECAPP FROM SUNDAY MAY 13, 2001
Manitoba Moose 0 Read more »
Atlanta Thrashers Junior Prospects Update Read more »
The NHL draft is the livelihood of a lot of NHL teams. Teams like
Calgary, Buffalo and other small market teams have to draft well or even
better then the rest since they cannot compete for high priced NHL
The Edmonton Oilers will be at the draft table for the 23rd time in
there brief NHL history. Edmonton has had both success and failure at
the draft table over the past 23 years. From 1979-1981, they drafted
players that were integral parts of their dynasty. No NHL team has ever
drafted players like Lowe (1979), Messier (1979), Anderson (1980), Kurri
(1980), Coffey (1980), Moog (1980), Fuhr (1981), Smith (1981) in three
Last year, the Oilers turned over a new “leaf” in there franchise. Gone
are long time coach and GM Glen Sather and Barry Fraser who was there
chief scout since the Oilers inception into the NHL in 1979. Fraser and
his staff uncovered a lot of jewels in the draft in the early years but
from 1984-1992, no first rounder the Oilers drafted played more then 15
games for the Oilers.
The Oilers have one of the worst drafting records in the NHL. In the
1980’s, they had some excuses as they were continually winning and ended
up with low draft picks but in the 1990’s, they missed the playoffs for
a few years but again they continually came up with bad drafts. In
1993, they drafted Arnott and Nick Stajduhar in the first round. 1994
saw the Oilers draft Jason Bonsignore (4th overall) and Ryan Smyth (6th
overall) . 1995 & 1996 (the last years the Oilers would miss th Read more »
Bryan Allen probably made the biggest jump of any Canuck prospect this season, he had a very good season in Kansas City, and figures into the mix for next season with the big club.
Stats for 2000-01 for Allen
Kansas City (IHL) 75 GP 5G 20A 25PTS 99 PIM
Vancouver (NHL) 6GP 0G 0A 0P 0 PIM
Overall this season B+
Future Potential B+
He should be a better than average defender for the Canucks in the future.
Artem Chubarov was a high draft pick by the Canucks back in 1998. He will be a big part of the Canucks’ future, being a good two-way player for them. He has shown a lot of promise thus far, but hasn’t been able to stay healthy for long enough to keep his good thing going.
Stats for 2001 for Chubarov
Kansas City (IHL) 10GP 7G 4A 11PTS 12 PIM
Vancouver (NHL) 1GP 0G 0A 0PTS 0 PIM
Overall this season Incomplete
Future Potential A-
If he can stay healthy, I can see him hitting 60-70 points someday.
Possibly one of the biggest steals of the 1999 draft, Rene Vydareny had a great season for Rimouski of the QMJHL in 1999-00, but a contractual problem with his club team back in Slovakia caused him to miss more than half of this season, and as a result, he looked rusty and out of place with the Blades in his audition.
Stats for 2001 for Vydareny
Kansas City (IHL) 39GP 0G 1A 1PTS 25 PIM
Overall this season C
Future Potential B Read more »
When you look at Ales Hemsky, you won’t see a big body as for example Martin Podlesak, his
Czech mate for the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. But you will face a gifted scorer, who even if hasn’t
a huge frame, has many other hockey talents which made him one of the top 2001 draft prospects.
The tale of Ales Hemsky has something in common with the lifeline of fellow Czech young
players Martin Havlat and Vaclav Nedorost. Just like Martin Havlat, Ales Hemsky is a son
of a hockey coach. Just like Vaclav Nedorost, Ales has a brother, one year older than him,
who plays hockey. It’s Petr Hemsky, the lesser known brother of Ales who took the QMJHL
by storm this year. Petr Hemsky is now competing in the OHL, he was traded from a top team,
the Belleville Bulls, soon after his arrival and faced problems with lack of ice time for
the whole season. It was the first year when those two brothers played in different leagues.
Ales and Petr grew up in the Czech city of Pardubice under the watchful eye of their father
Petr, who brought his sons to his beloved sport very soon. At the young age of four Ales
already stood at his skates and tried to be better than the older Petr. Their father was the
main force why the guys started playing at 5 and they’ve both spent a lot of time on the ice.
Even if they attended practices, they still have spent some time with their father, who
gave them tips and taught them a lot of hockey basics. By that time it became obvious that
those guys are something special and the younger Ales was a huge talent in every way. Thanks
to Read more »
Kim Johnsson a Rangers defender from Sweden has anchored his teams defense and has produced solid numbers, recording (6gp-2g-4a-6p) and is a soid +9
Erstwhile Wing Radek Dvorak has been a force at the Worlds posting (6gp-4g-3a-7p) and a +7 for the undefeated Czechs. Dvorak looks very much at home with the Czech`s open free to roam style. Jan Hlavac was felled by injury at the close of the season thus thwarting his bid to play for the Czechs.
An old friend is playing in the tourney, Milan Hnilinka of the Thrashers minds the nets for the undefeated Czechs. In 6 games Milan has posted a 1.59 goals against and a .944 save percentage.
Rangers prospect Martin Richter has appeared in all 6 games for the Czechs and has not registered a point. The intl. experience is a wonderful dose.
Rangers prospect Andreas Johansson has recorded (6gp-1g-1a-2p) for the Swedes and his playing center.
One time Rangers defender Peter Andersson is also playing for Sweden and has not recorded a point.
Finally one time Ranger Simon Wheeldon, yes the same…the Canadian born forward has been suiting up for years for Austria, led his team in scoring with 3 points in 6 games.
Stay tuned for more….!
It all started with Ryan Healy being sent home for “philosophical
differences” with head coach Paul Theriault and finished with a 5 game
losing skid. In between it was like riding a roller coaster.
There were some high expectations for the Soo Greyhounds coming in to
the 2000-01 season. The goaltending and defence were expected to be
solid while the offence, although a question mark, was seen as something
that was not going to be a huge problem.
In hindsight the goaltending was solid, the defence was suspect at best
and the offence… well let’s just say the offence didn’t come to play.
To start the season the Greyhounds did have some offensive spark in
guys like Preston Mizzi, Ryan Held and Cory Pecker. The Greyhounds also
featured some potential in Jeff Richards, who showed up to camp in great
shape, CHL Import Pick Martin Bonda as well as defenceman Trevor Daley
and rookie Brett Trudell. There was a lot of potential but,
unfotunately, not all of it was realized.
The defence was suspect but did come up with some great efforts against
some of the OHL’s top teams. The defensive corps was somewhat young with
three 19-year-olds, two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old.
The Greyhounds goaltending was solid during some games and off during
others. Ray Emery was solid during the stretch run but the team lost
some key games at the end of the year which knocked them out of playoff
The turmoil all began during training camp in September. During one of
the scrimmages rookie Jorda Read more »