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Thrashers Update

by pbadmin

The big “day” is coming…

Draft day is coming in less than 3 days, will Atlanta GM, Don Wadell
trade the pick?
“There is now a 75% chance that I will keep the pick,” Waddell says.
“That’s based on the fact that when you have more time to do your
homework and review your options, this player begins to grow on you. It
just gets harder and harder to trade this pick.”

Wadell had about 1 or 2 tempting offers, to trade the 1st overall draft
The best offer he had received came from the Montreal Canadiens, who
2 draft picks in the first round and 3 goalies. (Jeff Hackett, Jose
Theodore and Mathieu Garon.)
The Thrashers would be most interested in Mathieu Garon.

Don Wadell says he had never discussed with the Sabres organization on
Mike Peca and a goalie.

Wadell has interviewed both Kovalchuck and Svitov, and is interested in
both of them.
But he is more likely to select Kovalchuck. Kovalchuck, 6’2 – 207
pounds, is an incredibly
skilled player with amazing puck handling and checking abilities. “He is
a high-skilled player who can go around players, but he can also go over
them,” Waddell says. “He’s a force. He can take the hit to make the
play, but he is also the guy who can give a hit”

Many compare Kovalchuck to Pavel Bure, except Kovalchuck plays a bit
more physical.

” NHL Central Scouting described him as someone who already has “shown
the potential to be a franchise player.” “Ilja has all the physical and
technical qualities to become a top-class player, and he’s a strong
character,” s Read more »

Kings Update- DT Radio Wrap and Draft Picks

by Tony Calfo
Kings GM Dave Taylor was on Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton’s drivetime radio program on XTRA on Wednesday and commented on a variety of subjects, including Scott Barney. Here is a quick rundown:

Scott Barney-
Taylor said that Barney is not even skating right now and from what I heard, it seems that Barney’s career is over. DT said that in all likelyhood, Barney will not be able to overcome the two back surgeries and will likely never wear the Kings sweater.

Yannick Lehoux-
DT spoke very highly about Yannick and stated that Lehoux is working with the Kings this summer in Los Angeles. He stated that he had another year of juniors but didn’t rule out a possible shot with the Kings.

Jared Aulin-
Taylor was moderately positive about Jared. He stated that he needed to complete his game and it didn’t seem that Aulin had a prayer to make the roster this season.

Alexander Frolov-
DT spoke highly about Frolov, commenting on his length and classified him as a “finisher”. Taylor seemed excited about Alexander.

Alexey Volkov-
Taylor was actually more positive than I anticipated about Volkov. He said that Alexey was moved to the ECHL for playing time and they were pleased with his progress.

Potential Moves-
DT said that the Kings were interested in moving up, but were probably night going to be able to get to they spot they desire, so they will likely stay put. He did say that between the picks and an expendable goalie (which will be dealt) that they had some assets to trade. Taylor said their goal was to Read more »

Devils Draft Preview

by Jared Ramsden

The Devils have a well earned reputation for being one of the most successful drafting teams in the NHL. And at this weekend’s Entry Draft form Sunrise, Florida, General Manager Lou Lamoriello and Head Scout David Conte will look to carry on the success.

Since 1990’s draft, 47 of New Jersey’s drafted players have gone on to play at least one NHL game, which is best in the league along with Colorado and NYI. Last year alone, the Devils had 9 of their own drafted players on their roster and 6 others who spent some time up with the Devils as well. The 9 players were: Martin Brodeur (‘90,1/20) Ken Daneyko (‘82,1/18) Scott Niedermayer (‘91,1/3) Colin White (‘96,2/49) Scott Gomez (‘98,1/27) Patrik Elias (‘94,2/51) Petr Sykora (‘95,1/18) Sergei Brylin (‘92,2/42) and Jay Pandolfo (‘93,2/32). The other 6 were: Mike Commodore (‘99,2/42) Sascha Goc (’97,/159) Pierre Dagenais (‘98,4/105) Jiri Bicek (‘97,5/131) Stan Gron (‘97,2/38) and Mike Jefferson (‘00,5/135). They have plenty of other notable draftees of theirs around the league like Brendan Shanahan (‘87,1/2) Bill Guerin (‘89,1/5) Steve Sullivan (‘94,9/233) Jason Smith (‘92,1/18) and Brian Rolston (‘91,1/11). That is proof of how well the Devils have been able to use the draft to stock their team. They can find players high or low and can always seem to find the diamond in the rough or sleepers that other teams pass over.

Like last year, New Jersey has a huge chunk of their picks is the first half of the draft including 5 in the third round. They have an overall total of 12. As of right now, the Devils picks are Read more »

Le draft qui déterminera l’avenir du CH

by Vincent Belisle
Le DG du canadiens a clairement qu’il n’était pas question de repêcher Mikko Koivu seulement parce qu’il est le frère de Saku. « Mikko est un bon prospect a considéré, mais il n’est pas privilégié des autres » a indiqué le chef du recrutement Martin Madden.

Les joueurs dans la mire de Savard

Pour le 7ième choix

Stephen Weiss
Le joueur le plus complet du repêchage, il possède de très bonne qualité offensive tout en maintenant une conscience défensive. Il a marquer 40buts dans la OHL avec Plymouth l’an dernier. Malheureusement, il serait surprenant que Weiss soit encore disponible lorsque se sera à Savard de parler.

Mikko Koivu
Il est très attendu a Montréal. Selon les dépisteurs, il a les qualités de son frère avec le physique en plus. Il a le même désire de vaincre que son frère. Un winner comme on dis. Petit hick, lui et Mark Komisarek sont ciblés par le Wild qui possède le choix juste devant celui de Montréal.

Igor Knyazev
Un joueur à la Kasparaitis. Le genre de joueur qui plaît à Savard. Un gars qui se présente a chaque match avec une attitude et un leadership remarquable. Ne se laisse pas marcher sur les pieds et n’a pas peur de jeter les gants pour regler ses comptes. Exactement le genre de joueurs qui nous faut à Montréal. Cependant, Knyazev pourrait être encore disponible lorsque le Canadiens parlera pour la deuxième fois. Mais est-ce que Savard prendra la chance de le perdre?

Pour le 25ième choix

Ales Hemsky
Si le Tchèque est encore disponible, il serait un bon choi Read more »

NHL Draft Preview – Overage Slovak Players

by Daniel Kysel
The last draft proved that overage players are a much better investment for new teams than 18-year old unknown youngsters. In total 31 overage players were selected last year. Fourteen of them skated on NHL rinks last season. Eight found regular spots on their teams (Cechmanek, Sekeras, Kultanen, Visnovsky, Nummelin, Kharitonov, Simicek and Sushinsky (before his outgoing to Russia)). The others traveled between first and farm teams (Ronnqvist, Wallin, Bartos, Von Arx, Kolarik and Lilja). All of them were 24+ years old. Pure accident? I don’t think so. Such players have a lot of experience from top European leagues, international tournaments, world championships, Olympic games etc. Younger players (I mean 21-24 year old) need time to develop for the NHL level but I believe that some of them could play in NHL right now e.g. Tellqvist, Richter.

The European leagues – Russian, Slovak, Swiss, German and especially Czech, Finnish and Swedish offer a lot of skilled, experienced players. Mark Schwartz presented in his excellent article “Instant help and the NHL draft” overage players. I cannot and don’t want to compete with him however I want to present my view as well. Of course I don’t know all Euro-leagues in detail but I can mention other ones who were not mentioned by him e.g. Czech players Dusan Salficky (G, 1972, Plzen) & Viktor Ujcik (F, 1972, Slavia). However my intention is to write about Slovaks, so let’s see their names:

Peter Pucher (C, 12/08/1974, 6'1" 207, Znojmo - Czech Extraliga)
Regular season 		52 GP	22G 	34A 	56Pts	+31	32 Read more »

Blue Jackets Draft Preview

by Collin Wheeler
Success has its rewards, but in the case of the Columbus Blue Jackets, it also has its drawbacks. Doug MacLean’s vision of a team that would be competitive every night and start building a winning tradition, has blossomed into a 28 win inaugural season. The city of Columbus has embraced the team and the combination of solid veterans and late blooming prospects gives them a strong base for respectability in the future. In achieving these goals, however, Columbus will be drafting 8th in the first round, instead of in the top 2 or 3 that might be expected by an expansion team.

The depth of this years draft has made the lower draft position a little bit easier to endure, but the thought of missing out on outstanding prospects like Jason Spezza and Ilya Kovalchuck must be heavy on MacLean’s mind. The Blue Jackets are thrilled with last years first round choice, defenseman Rostislav Klesa and think he will anchor their defense for years to come. In Mark Denis, they feel that they have an outstanding young goaltender. What they lack is a big time blue chip forward that they can build their offence around. Maclean would love to choose any of the top 5 forwards.

If the draft goes like most people predict, those 5 forwards will be long gone by the 8th choice. Some people in the Blue Jackets organization think the top prospect still available at that spot might well be goaltender Dan Blackburn. That’s tough to predict in a year that might see a lot of wheeling and dealing on draft day.

Doug MacLean is one of the more proactive G.M.’s in the Read more »

Sabres Report: 2001 Draft Preview

by Ken McKenna

The 2001 NHL Entry Draft approaches amidst a swirl of trade rumors, with the potential for a change of address for many of the league’s biggest stars. Names such as Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Yashin, Doug Weight and Eric Lindros are being bandied about as trade fodder in the days leading up to this weekend’s draft, as are the names of a couple of the Buffalo Sabres’ stars, Dominik Hasek and Michael Peca.

Trades of this magnitude could have a direct effect on the draft, as there is talk of possibly one, or both, of the top 2 picks being dealt in return for immediate help. Once again, Buffalo’s name has been mentioned prominently in trades involving the top draft choices held by Atlanta (#1) and the N.Y. Islanders (#2), but so far, at least, Sabres’ GM Darcy Regier has publicly denied any pursuit of these prime draft picks.

The trade rumors have so far caused a diversion from what looks to be a very solid 2001 draft class. At the top of the draft is 4-5 highly touted forwards, led by the mercurial Russian RW Ilya Kovalchuk. There is plenty of solid, if not spectacular, talent to be found beyond the top 5, however, with talent to be had well into the second round. The depth of this draft should be good news for the Sabres, as 4 of their 6 draft choices will be made in the first 2 rounds (barring trades, of course).

Buffalo enters this draft with a diminished prospect pool, as they recently said goodbye to 8 of their 12 1999 draft choices. One of those farewells was particularly painful, as they lost promising C Mike Zigomanis due to a Read more »

Philadelphia Flyers draft preview

by Bill Meltzer

Going into the 2001 NHL entry draft, the Flyers organizational depth chart is lacking in quality prospects at every position except goaltender. There are a handful of forwards and defensemen with NHL potential in the system (such as defenseman Bruno St. Jacques and forward Alexander Drozdetsky) but there is nobody developing into a “can’t-miss” type of prospect.

It has been widely speculated that the Flyers will select a defenseman with the 23rd overall pick this year, because the team’s single biggest positional need is on defense, especially with the core of their sometimes-shaky NHL blueline starting to age. Names such as Tim Gleason, Lukas Krajicek, Mark Popovic, Fedor Tyutin, and Igor Knyazev have been bandied about as potential selections.

The Flyers could only hope that they had anything near the system type of depth and up front that they have in goal. After all, a team only needs two goalies, but they need twelve forwards and six defensemen. Unfortunately, going into the 2001-2002 season, most of the Flyers call-up players will probably continue to be minor league veterans such as Mark Greig. There is a chance that perhaps someone like Tomas Divisek or Vaclav Pletka could take a step forward and challenge for a spot with the big team, but that is far from a certainty.

The Flyers 2000 draft class almost exclusively featured the selection of forwards. This year, positional preference will tip otherwise balanced scales toward defenseman. That presents a wonderful opportunity– and a daunting challenge. Defense may be the single hardest position Read more »

2001 Panthers Draft Preview

by Jes Golbez
After a disasterous season, the Florida Panthers find themselves in a very
enviable position: 4 picks in the Top 50, and the draft in their home court.
With the 2001 NHL Entry Draft considered to be the strongest in some time,
the Florida Panthers have the chance to stock their bare cupboards with some
blue-chip talent, and possibly bring in some older talent to help them compete
in the near future. As with any bottom-feeder squad, there are many gaping holes
to be filled. First, a look at the essentials.

Draft Tendencies:

The Panthers have had a love affair with the CHL, especially the OHL and WHL.
Of the 6 First Round picks the Panthers have had, 4 of them have been from the CHL.
26 of the past 36 Panthers picks have been from the CHL, with many of them being ‘safe’
‘character’ players that have amounted to absolutely nothing.
The Panthers have been deathly afraid of college players (DiPenta is the only
college pick of note), and have not ventured often into Europe, including just three picks
from the Czech Republic and ZERO picks from Slovakia.
This one-dimensional approach to drafting has led to predictable results, and it shows
in the standings, and on the farm. When the Panthers have ventured into uncharted waters
(Europe), they have had good success. Radek Dvorak, Filip Kuba, Oleg Kvasha, Kristian Huselius,
Jaro Spacek, Niklas Hagman, Marcus Nilson and Vladimir Saphozhnikov have all been very good
picks, and since the Panthers have only picked twelve European players since 1995, they have had
a Read more »

AHL Announces 2001-2002 Alignment

by Corine Gatti

The realignment includes three divisions in each of the two conferences. The
2001-2002 AHL alignment is as follows:

Western Conference

West Central South Chicago Cincinnati *Hershey Grand Rapids Cleveland Norfolk Houston Rochester *Philadelphia Milwaukee Syracuse *Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Utah

Eastern Conference

East North Canadian Albany Lowell Hamilton Bridgeport Manchester Manitoba Hartford Portland Quebec Providence Worcester Saint John Springfield St. John’s

“We are very excited about the new alignment,” stated Norfolk Admirals
owner Mark Garcea. “The Admirals played some of their most memorable games
against these teams last season, including the playoff series against
Hershey. Our fans should see big rivalries continue against the new division
foes all season long.”

Last season, all four teams in the new South Division were in the AHL’s
Western Conference. Norfolk was in the Southern Division, while Hershey,
Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton were all in the Mid-Atlantic
Division. The Admirals faced each of the three teams eight times during the
regular season, the most games against any teams outside of their division.
The new South Division teams are those closest to Norfolk geographically.

The realignment places five of the expansion teams from the former
International Hockey League (IHL) in the Western Conference’s West Division,
with the sixth former IHL club, Manitoba, joining the Eastern Confer Read more »

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