Canadiens Stay Close To Home on Draft Day
In a draft which was dominated by players overseas, the Canadiens opted to stay close to home with their draft selections. Despite adding several full-time European scouts, specifically Dave King, the Habs focused on American-born players in the College and high school ranks for a second year in a row after neglecting the NCAA route for years. To continue the trend started in ’99, Montreal primarily drafted blueliners, particularly when they drafted south of the border; all five college and high school players drafted over the last two years are defensemen.
This trend surprisingly started quickly in this year’s draft. With Montreal’s first pick, they selected Ron Hainsey: a College player with offensive tools. The swift skating defenseman out of Hockey East plays with poise, intelligence and has terrific vision to make crisp outlet passes out of his own zone; something the Canadiens desperately need. However, he was pegged as a late first round draft pick, and perhaps even an early second rounder. Is this yet another foolish move by the Canadiens’ management?
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The Washington Capitals surprised no one with the players they selected early on in the 2000 Entry Draft. The top three selections all came from the Western Hockey League, where the Caps have gone for several high picks before. The unexpected moves came when the Capitals made four trades involving nine draft picks and one player – 1995 first-rounder Miika Elomo. Elomo had survived Friday’s expansion draft and was expected to make the jump to the NHL next season.
In the first round (26th overall), they chose Brian Sutherby from Moose Jaw. He is a two-way center, and is very physical. The Caps needed more offensive forwards, but could not pass on Sutherby. He suffered a shoulder injury in November and missed some time. He plays a similar style to current Capital Jeff Halpern, but is a bit bigger.
With the first of their two second-round picks (43rd overall), the Capitals grabbed Matt Pettinger. He is a big winger who has some offensive ability. He left college mid-season to enter the WHL and scored seven goals in his first 12 games. He is the fourth member of the 1999-2000 Calgary Hitmen on the Capitals’ reserve list – joining Kris Beech, Rastislav Stana and
The other second-round pick (61st overall) was used to select big defenseman Jakub Cutta from Swift Current. He is an stay-at-home defenseman but likes to carry the puck. He is originally from the Czech Republic, but has adjusted to the North American game very quickly.
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After day one of the draft, the St. Louis Blues have landed three forwards and a defenseman.
1st round, 30th overall, Jeff Taffe C
In the first round, the Blues opted for center Jeff Taffe from the University of Minnesota who was ranked 10th among NA Skaters by Central Scouting and was named Minnesota’s Rookie of the Year this season. Taffe was one of the strongest players on the US national junior team this year, recording five points in seven games. At 6’1.5, 180 lbs, Taffe is not a huge center but will remind many of Marty Reasoner. Central Scouting calls Taffe “a smooth skater with good speed and acceleration….a very smart player who understands the game and his positional play…an exceptional puckhandler who excels in one-on-one situations…has a good wrist shot with a quick release…very strong on faceoffs…often used on the power play…an aggressive forechecker.” Taffe was born on February 19, 1981 in Hastings, Minnesota.
Year Team League GP G A Pts PIM
1999-00 U of Minnesota WCHA 34 9 10 19 16
1998-99 Hastings H.S. USHSW 25 38 48 86 26
2nd round, 65th overall, David Morrisset RW
With the Blues second round pick, they opted for another forward and
this time around they selected a right winger which they are in desperate
need of. David Morisset is also 6’1.5 but heavier then Taffe at 195 lbs.
Ranked 59th on the CSS Mid-Term Report, his final ranking was 40th … Read more »
With a smile the cheshire cat would be envious of, Brent Krahn stood in front of a roaring crowd at the Saddle Dome with the confidence of a stanley cup veteran, and absorbed the moment he had been waiting for since he was a child living in the province Manitoba.
Ranked 1st among goaltenders in North America on the Central Scouting Mid-Term Report and he stayed that way until the final rankings. He was named the Hitmen’s Rookie of the year and earned WHL Goaltender of the month honors for the Eastern Conference in October. Brent’s performance in the Top Prospect game was nothing less than spectacular and showed he can raise his level of play in big games and can single handedly take over and dominate a game. With another year with the Hitmen and possibly one season in Saint John he could take the position of the number one guy in the year 2002. His concentration and focus are beyond his experience level and he never seems to get rattled or distracted by the traffic around him or when he has been scored against, he shows a similar demeanor to Grant Fuhr in that respect. Although he is a big kid his lateral movement and agility is exceptionally good, he takes advantage of his size in the crease and can be intimidating when players are in close and Brent should not have a problem at all with players trying to crash the net as they may get a rude awaking when they do.
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No surprise’s in Expansion
There was very little doubt about who was going to be chosen off the Oilers roster in this years Expansion Draft. Centerman Jim Dowd went to the Minnesota Wild and Swede defenseman Bert Robertsson was picked up by Columbus.
With the loss of these two players someone will have too fill the void as a checking line center and pesky number six defenseman. However, there are a few prospects that could come up and fill the void, and the possibility is still there to pick up a free agent that does not hurt the pocket book. Although Jimmy Dowd had success on the fourth line this season ,with his linemates Boyd Devereaux and George Laraque, that would have changed due to the injury to Boyd at the end of the season that might end his playing career.
On defense their is a few young defensemen ready to take Bert’s spot and leaving one or both of them in the farm team again for another year may not be healthy for the development and confidence of the players. But the loss of two character players is still too bad and I wish them both success with their new teams just not at the expense of Edmonton.
Draft Day Craziness
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With Calgary staying put in the ninth overall position, Mckenzie and the crew select Hitmen goaltender Brent Krahn. To the delight of the hometown crowd Krahn will be an integral part of the Flames franchise for years to come. Krahn had an outstanding season for the Hitmen recording 33 wins 6 losses 4 shutouts and a goals against average of 2.38 in 39 games. He’s a big man at 6’4″ 200lbs, somewhat a stand-up goaltender with an unbelievable glove hand. With his size he’s become a very good positional player, one thing he may need to work on his speed outside of the crease.
When asked about moving across the hallway to the Flames room Krahn replied, “Its really exciting. Calgary is a great city. I love the people here. I was extremely ecstatic when I got chosen. I can’t wait till training camp. Its unbelievable. Words can’t describe it.”
With Brathwaite and newly acquired Mike Vernon in the crease for Calgary, Krahn will learn and grow into a top goaltender in the NHL for years to come. Good job Mr. Mckenzie.
Calgary’s second round pick, 40th overall, nabbed a huge defenceman from the Peterborough Petes, Kurtis Foster. At 6’5″ 205 lbs, Foster boasts an excellent shot and great puck handling skills, as well as an excellent hockey sense on the ice. An upright skater with adequate mobility… a very steady and reliable defenseman. His size gives him the ability to utilize a very effective poke check. Foster is an excellent choice, lets hope his tenacity compares to his size.
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With no first round pick or third round pick coming into the NHL draft, the Rangers had all of their draft day eggs in one basket within the second round. They traded that pick to the Detroit Red Wings for their second and third round choices. With wingers Ben Knopp and David Morriset waiting to be called, the Rangers pulled a little bit of a surprise and chose Regina Pats Defenseman Filip Novak. In a case stated in the Draft preview it was was simply the Rangers drafting whom they felt was the best player at that time.
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The Phoenix Coyotes rolled the dice in the 2000 draft by selecting three forwards with their first three picks. They were attempting to get bigger and more aggressive. Two of the three picks helped accomplish that. Expect the Coyotes to continue their search for big character players; especially at forward.
The selection of Krys Kolanos raised a few eyebrows at first glance, especially when other highly touted players were still waiting to be selected. Kolanos is a tremendous offensive talent whose strong finish with Boston College of the NCAA drew the attention from Coyotes scouts. Kolanos is a big centerman who has yet to learn how to consistently use his size to his advantage. The upside to this pick? A first or second line center in the mold of Adam Oates. My analysis: I originally was disappointed with this selection. Nothing against Kolanos but I wanted the Coyotes to select one of Frolov, Nikulin, or Samuelsson, all of which were still available. However, upon reflecting upon the offensive upside of the pick I find myself satisfied with the selection. Kolanos has the tools. If he develops the toolbox, he may have a very bright future with the Coyotes.
Name Round Pick
1. Krys Kolanos 1 19
2. Alexander Tatarinov 2 53
3. Ramzi Abid 3 85
Coyotes first selection (19th overall) (Hockey News Ranking - 27)
Kris Kolanos 6'2" 196 lbs
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Mike Milbury was right on the mark in at least one remark following a daring series of events, his reputation is definitely on the line. Knowledgeable Islander fans collectively swallowed their tongues in shock or at least banged their heads on the nearest solid object after hearing of Milbury’s high stake trades. What at the end of last season was the most promising young goaltending tandem in league was decimated. Weekes was moved to Tampa Bay along with last year’s first round pick Kristian Kudroc to obtain the 5th overall pick. Not a bad maneuver considering that franchise caliber goaltender Roberto Luongo seemed ready to shoulder the load. However, that scenario was quickly shattered when Milbury’s next maneuver was announced. Roberto Luongo, the best prospect in hockey, and Olli Jokinen, the 3rd overall pick in ’97, were sent packing to the Panther for forwards Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish.
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After a perplexing first three rounds the Sens plotted their way through the last six. The Senators selected 6 players and traded a pick for another. The two day total is seven defenseman, three centers and one goaltender. Many weaknesses were addressed.
In the fourth round the Senators took defenseman Derrick Byfurglien of the Fargo-Moorhead IceSharks with the 122nd pick. Byfurglien is 6’1″ 185lbs and has received a scholarship with the University of Nebraska-Omaha. By all accounts he is a player with the ability to head-man the puck out of the zone and at the same time posses a great shot. In 50 USHL games last season, Derrick collected 16 points (5G,11A) and 106 PIM. This was a compensatory pick for the loss of group III free agent Lance Pitlick.
The Sens’ anticipation for the fifth round must have been great as they held three picks in succession (156,157 and 158). With the 156th slot the Sens selected blueliner Greg Zanon of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. At 5’11″ 200lbs Zanon might be hurt by conditionin, though it’s still too early to tell. Last year 50 PIM, 3 goals and 22 assists were accumulated in 35 games.
The 157th pick was used to take Grant Potulney of the USHL’s Lincoln Stars. Grant has received a scholarship from the University of Minnesota. At 6’2″ 190lbs this pivot appears to have great upside as he was voted the Stars most improved player in ’98. With 56 games played Potulney potted 25 and aided 30 others.
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