After trade speculation all week long the Ottawa Senators took a conservative stance and decided to wait for their first round pick; 21st overall. Anton Volchenkov, the 6′ 210lbs defenseman from the Central Red Army farm is an imposing physical specimen and was ranked as the second best defenseman available in Europe by CSB and was 6th our own hockeysfuture.com list. There are major weaknesses on the Senators blueline that Volchenkov will help to alleviate a year or two from now. At first 6′ appears too small for a NHL defenseman but rest assured that Volchenkov makes up for this with a thick 210 frame; think Kasparaitis of Pittsburgh. A note of interest is that hockey runs in Anton’s blood, as his father was a regular with Red Army in the seventies. Senators GM Marshal Johnstone said he was very pleased Volchenkov was still available so late in the first round, and so it appears the Senators’ draft luck continues.
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IHL PLAYER PROFILE
Birthdate: January 7, 1975
Hometown: Turku, Finalnd
Weight: 185 lbs
Season Team League GP W L T GAA
1992-93 TPS Turku Finn-Jr. 12 4.22
1993-94 TPS Turku Finland 1 0
1993-94 Kiekko-67 Finland 2 3 2.21
1993-94 Kiekko-67 Finn-Jr. 18 3.16
1994-95 Kiekko-67 Finn-Jr. 2 2.41
1994-95 Kiekko-67 Finn-Jr. 9 5.22
1995-96 TPS Turku Finland 16 2.16
1995-96 Kiekko-67 Finland 2 16 2.42
1995-96 TPS Turku Finn-Jr. 13 2.63
1996-97 TPS Turku Finland 48 31 11 6 2.08
1997-98 Detroit IHL 6 2 2 2 4.13
1997-98 Indianapolis IHL 29 11 11 3 3.30
1998-99 Detroit IHL 12 7 3 1 2.43
1998-99 Cincinnati IHL 26 14 9 2 3.40
1999-00 Grand Rapids IHL 52 29 15 4 2.18
1999-00 Ottawa NHL 0 0 0 0 0.00
Assigned by the Ottawa Senators to the Griffins on October 11, 1999.
First season as a Griffin. Fifth year as a pro. Jani is in his third pro season
in North America. Ottawa resigned Jani to a multi-year deal on August 19,
1999 which runs through the 2000-01 season.
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On Saturday, the 2000 NHL entry draft will commence and all the
anticipation and excitement that has built up here at hockeysfuture.com
will come to a head. For some of us, this draft will be considered a great
success for your respective team. For others, the bitterness of
disappointment is sure to sting you. I have always found it fascinating
that more fans do not get involved in the entry draft and follow along.
This is where the future stars of the NHL are found and the future great
teams of the NHL are built. On June 24-25, the great teams of the next
decade will begin to lay the foundation for success. Odds are that the team
that wins the Stanley Cup seven or eight years from now will look back to
the 2000 entry draft as a reason for their success. It might not even take
that long, as Scott Gomez demonstrated by winning the cup with the New
Jersey Devils, less then two years after hearing his name being called as a
first round selection in June of 1998. Is there another diamond in the
rough like Scott Gomez? Right now it appears no but, as we all know, there
will undoubtedly be at least a few who pop their heads up in the future that
were drafted in Calgary in 2000. The following is my mock draft of the 2000
NHL entry draft. There are a few surprises, I am sure of that. Some might
complain about where Scott Hartnell is placed, but it could happen. Who
would have thought that Jamie Lundmark would have slipped to the number Read more »
What does Columbus need? Answer: Everything; scoring, defense, goaltending, a captain, a coach, prospects and a new mascot. Of these items only prospects will be partially filled on June 24th and June 25th. Don’t expect any draft day trades by MacLean, opting instead for the 4th overall pick in the first round.
So who will be chosen? Answer: Nobody knows for sure. Heatley and Gaborik will probably already be chosen by the time Columbus takes the podium. After the 2nd spot who knows what will happen; the draft has few consensus picks after the top four. Players may rise and fall like Ty Jones’ chances of making the Blackhawks. There are some very good players in the 2000 Entry Draft, as for who they are it depends on which scout you talk to.
Here is the list of the likely suspects to be taken 4th overall by the Columbus BlueJackets, including a couple of darkhorse options:
Rick DiPietro - a superb college goaltender that really shined in the WJC for the U.S.A. What makes him so enticing, besides his competitiveness, is his flashy stick handling which forces the opposition to play him like he was a Rover in the 1800′s.
Rostislav Klesla - considered the best all around defenseman in the draft, Klesla combines toughness (174 PIM) with good outlet passes. He projects to be a # 2 Dman.
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Ricky DiPietro may be cocky, flashy and some have even said arrogant, but even if all those things are true one fact remains, he will be one of the top five picks in the upcoming NHL entry draft and will most likely have a long successful career in the NHL.
The first time I saw Ricky play I was in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for a job interview. I flew in from Portland, Oregon and was turning the channels on the TV looking for some hockey. I hadn’t seen much college hockey (except for the frozen four on ESPN a couple years back), so when I came across a Boston University game I have to admit I wasn’t all that excited. I watched for a few minutes and was mesmerized by the BU goalie. Not only was he making saves and playing smart hockey, he was also taking several chances and virtually dictating the pace of the game himself. The most incredible display of skill was his ability to handle the puck. It has been said that he is like having another defenseman, but I honestly think he is like another forward. After my long flight and a big dinner I was falling asleep, when the BU goalie launched a perfect outlet pass opening up a forward for a breakaway and a goal. Needless to say, I watched the rest of the game and have been hooked on college hockey ever since.
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After an abysmal inaugural season in the NHL and a mediocre draft last year, the Atlanta Thrashers will look to build more organizational depth and acquire desperately needed talent at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft this weekend. The decisions made by general manager Don Waddell and the Atlanta scouting staff on Saturday and Sunday will be critical to the future health of the franchise. With very little talent on the current NHL roster and very few legitimate prospects on the way, the Thrashers must use every pick wisely.
It all starts with the second overall selection this weekend. Atlanta has many options available and its selection will likely depend on what happens with the first overall pick. The New York Islanders currently own that pick, but may trade it or swap picks with another team. If that happens, it can impact what the Thrashers plan to do.
Atlanta is perhaps most interested in Dany Heatley, the top rated North American player in the draft. Many scouts believe he is ready to step into the NHL immediately and the Thrashers could definitely use his dynamic offensive ability. The only potential problem is that Atlanta already has two excellent left wing prospects in Tomi Kallio and Zdenek Blatny. Still, there have been consistent rumors around Atlanta that Heatley is the team’s first choice. But nothing is certain at this point and Heatley might not be available if he is taken with the first pick.
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As the 2000 entry draft approaches, the Flyers are stocked at the goaltending position. 1995 first round selection Brian Boucher is coming off a stellar rookie season and waiting in the wings are highly touted 1999 first rounder Maxime Ouellet and SM-Liiga rookie of the year Antero Niittymäki. The Flyers depth in goal allowed the organization to trade yet another well-regarded prospect, Jean-Marc Pelletier, to Carolina as part of the Keith Primeau deal.
Moving out from the goal line to the blueline, even with Andy Delmore and Mark Eaton likely to stick for a full season with the Flyers in 2000-2001, there remains a decent pool of young defensemen in the farm system, although there are no likely #1 or #2 defensemen to be found. It is possible that the Flyers will use the 28th overall selection to take a defenseman. The Flyers like their defensemen big. The franchise has little or no interest in small defensemen, at least at the NHL level; the smaller blueliners the team has drafted or signed as rookie free agents tend to either be traded before turning pro (Mike Crowley, Ray Giroux) or converted to wingers (Dan Peters). However, there has been increased emphasis on finding mobile defensemen for the organization. Because most of the defenders who have been drafted by the Flyers in recent years tend to be big punishing types (Jason Beckett, Jeff Feniak, etc), the organization has signed undrafted rookies such as Delmore and Eaton to provide some speed on the blueline.
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There will be more than a little bit of nail-biting going on in Toronto this weekend as the Leafs attend the Entry Draft for the first time since super scout Anders Hedberg and Mike Smith, no small fry in the field either, left the Buds organization. This is a club that has been cursed for nearly 25 years by having Harold Ballard associated with the franchise and suffered at the draft table because of it.
Remember when the Leafs had 3 first round picks in 1989? Instead of actually spending some money on hiring good scouts, Gord Stellick was left to run this Mom ‘n’ Pop operation relatively alone when compared to other clubs. In the end the Leafs ended up taking Scott Thornton (after a decade of limbo has finally developed into a 3rd line checking winger) 3rd overall, Rob Pearson (out of hockey for years now) with the 12th pick and Steve Bancroft (career minor league defenseman) in the 21st slot overall, all from the Belleville Bulls. This in a draft class that included Bill Guerin (#5 to New Jersey), Olaf Kolzig (#19 to Washington) and Adam Foote (#22 to Quebec).
Or how about Benning, Boimstruck, and Gill starting on the Leaf blueline in the same season as rookie 18 year olds so King Harold would have a box office draw that year? That was the beginning of the end of the first two and the last only stuck it out because of expansion. It’s highly doubtful that Todd Gill would still be in the NHL today if there were only 21 teams, like there were 10 years ago. The draft and development fiascos go on and on. Read more »
This was Mike Smith’s maiden voyage as General Manager, though he has worked for months prior for the Blackhawks organization in the capacity as advisor in the draft.
Assessing prior draft results showed there was much needed, and Smith started by holding on to his two first rounders and then moving down in the second to add additional picks as the draft went on.
Chicago’s 1st round pick, 10th overall, was center and power forward Mikhail Yakubov, 6’3″ 185-pounder from Barnaul, Russia. He is a creative playmaker who works every shift and whose size/skill ratio projects to any forward position. This big hard driving horse plays a power game and will take the hit to make the play. He has jump in his stride along with puck skills, and nose for the net. He is a good faceoff man with a strong work ethic, always defensively responsible and doing the little things that make good three zone players.
Going into the 2000 entry draft, the Hawks felt he was one of the players that would most likely be taken before pick #10. There were a couple questionable reaches made by teams ahead of the Hawks, so when he was still available, they could not afford to pass him up. Their original plan was to make Pavel Vorobiev their “safe” pick and try and trade the other #11 overall pick for more higher picks. They never even interviewed Yabukov. The unlikely happened, and when he dropped into the Hawk lap, General Manager Mike Smith called timeout and said he was going use both picks for Russian team forwards, no less.
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The 2000 NHL Entry Draft holds several options for the up start Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning hold 15 picks in this years draft, including two picks in the top ten. The Bolts pick at numbers five and eight in the first round. These picks have led to a lot of speculation as to what GM Rick Dudley has planned. Dudley has acknowledged that several teams have called in interest of the picks, and Dudley has made no secret that he is willing to trade the picks for immediate help on the team. If Dudley were to trade the picks look for a goaltender, veteran defenseman, and/or scoring winger to come back in return.
In the later rounds look for the Lightning to stock up on wingers and goaltenders, but don’t be surprised if a few more defensemen are added to the already talented corp.
As the draft draws near, the question most asked about the Lightning’s draft is not who they’ll take in the first round, but if they’ll be picking at all. With the 5th and 8th overall picks and the need for immediate help, General Manager Rick Dudley should probably stock up on extra cell phone batteries. All indications show that he has already fielded numerous calls about trading one or both of the picks. He has said publicly that he will trade them if it will improve the team. He looks at draft picks very much as he does players. They are assets. Although every team needs to have a strong system, one cannot dismiss the fact that from time to time immediate help for a team outweighs the need to bolster their youth.
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