That would be a nice headline for Blues fans to read on Sunday morning in St. Louis. So what if the “Note” doesn’t
have a high pick in the first round, does it really matter? The Blues have notoriously had bad luck when it comes to
their first selection, whether it is in first round or not. In the past thirteen years there have been forgettable names
such as Stephane Roy, Maxim Bets, Steve Staios, Craig Johnson, defenseman Jason Marshall with the 9th pick in
’89, and Keith Osborne. Not exactly a great track record. However, history has shown that the Blues have a knack
for finding that elusive needle in the haystack when it comes to late round picks. Rookie playoff sensation Jochen
Hecht was taken 49th overall in ’95. Michael Grier, now in Edmonton, was the 219th pick in 1993. Bret Hedican was
chosen 198th in ’88, and Guy Hebert was taken with the 159th pick in ’87. And let’s not forget top prospect Ladislav
Nagy was chosen 177th in the 1997 Draft. So Ted Hampson, Director of Amateur Scouting, has pulled a few rabbits
out of his hat. If only Hampson could pull off some of his magic in the first round, now that would be a trick.
Let’s first take a look at the top 10 players that may be available when the Blues are ready to select. Left winger
Tomas Kurka has great speed and scoring potential, which puts him at the top of the list. Having seen the Blues draft Read more »
This time Keith Ballard is the featured prospect. Ballard is a silky smooth defenseman out of Baudette, Minnesota. Ballard had an impressive year leading all defenseman on the Under 18 team in scoring with 33 points in USHL action. He had a 12-21-33 line with 119 penalty minutes.
IHL ROOKIE PROFILE
Born: 4/18/79 in Vikhorevka, Russia
Drafted: Ottawa's 5th choice, 101st overall, in 1998 NHL Entry Draft
Acquired: Assigned by Ottawa Senators, 9/27/99
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1997-98 Yaroslavl * Russia * 47 15 9 24 34
1997-98 Yaroslavl Russia 4 0 0 0 0
1998-99 Torpedo Yaroslavl Russia 40 6 1 7 28
1999-00 Grand-Rapids Griffins IHL 46 16 12 28 10
1999-00 Ottawa Senators NHL 13 2 5 7 2
*-Denotes 2nd Division in Russian Hockey League
Petr finished as the Top rookie scorer in the 1999-2000 IHL playoffs where
he recorded 15 points on 8 goals and 7 assists in 17 games. Finished 5th in
Rookie scoring during the regular season with 28 points on 16 goals and 12
assists in 46 games. During the 1999 World Junior Championships Petr helped
the Russian team to a gold medal.
Petr can play both left and right wing. Petr is a very tenacious player on
the ice. Petr likes to create plays in the neutral zone. Utilizes his speed
to create the plays. Petr is the type of player who knows where his
teammates are at all times. Reads the ice, and plays both ends of the ice
very well. Excellent forechecker/backchecker. Comes to play each and every Read more »
When it comes to Peter DeBoer you might excuse some of the other coaches in the OHL for being a bit jealous. A babe in the woods by most counts at 31 years old, the coach of the Plymouth Whalers has, in his four years at the helm, finished first in his division twice, played for the OHL championship, won the OHL’s Coach of the Year twice, and just recently copped the CHL Coach of the Year honours. All that and a team brimming with NHL prospects to boot. Last week Coach DeBoer and Hockey’s Future had the opportunity to sit down and talk about his time in Plymouth and what might come next.
Hockey’s Future: You’ve just finished up what can be termed both a very successful season (finishing first overall) and a disappointing one (losing to Barrie in the playoffs). What are your thoughts on the year just passed?
Peter DeBoer: It was a special season. We were predicted to be in a fight just for a playoff position and ended up a game away from a championship.
HF: What kind of feeling did you have going into the Barrie series, putting your comparably inexperienced club up against a veteran club with as many offensive weapons as they had this year?
PD: We knew it would be a test. We were going to have to rely on our team play and discipline to overcome our obvious talent and experience deficiencies.
HF: What were some of the things you set out to do against the Colts and how did your strategies pan out?
Read more »
The Senators released their expansion draft protection list this past week. The two goalies Lalime and Hurme were protected and therefore, three defensemen and seven forwards where also hidden. Notables that will be available for the Wild and the Blue Jackets to select include Igor Kravchuk, Joe Juneau and Rob Zamuner.
Joe Juneau was brought in as a rent a player when Alexei Yashin went missing this fall. Juneau potted some rubber but forgot about back checking. Although not a grave disappointment Juneau for the most part floated around the Corel Centre ice with his pairs figure skating partner Rob Zamuner. For his part Zamuner’s game has fallen apart since the Nagano Olympics. This is true when referring to talent and physical aspects. More of a concern then the drop in production and play are the injuries that have been a big problem for the affable Zamuner. Johnstone has implicitly admitted mistakes by these moves. Zamuner was the return postage from Tampa after Rick Dudley fled. Juneau was a player Johnstone was very high on and the indication is that he still is; or so he seems by saying the team would use the option on the contract to retain Juneau next year.
Read more »
IHL ROOKIE PROFILE
Dmitri Leonov # 14
Born: Feb. 5, 1975; Chelyabinsk, Russia
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1993-94 Spokane Chiefs WHL 55 8 6 14 31
1994-95 Spokane Chiefs WHL 43 9 17 26 62
1995-96 Spokane Chiefs WHL 72 38 57 95 112
1996-97 Baton-Rouge Kingfish ECHL 55 14 24 38 66
1996-97 Worcester IceCats AHL 9 0 1 1 6
1997-98 Idaho Steelheads WCHL 63 21 43 64 152
1998-99 Idaho Steelheads WCHL 42 7 21 28 89
1998-99 Long-Beach Ice Dogs IHL 34 6 4 10 59
1999-00 Long-Beach Ice Dogs IHL 82 17 21 38 165
Dmitri started his junior career with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey
League in 1993-94. Although there was some difficulties in adjusting to the
smaller ice surface and the physical play of the North American game, Dmitri
managed to score 8 goals and assist on 6 others for 14 points in 55 games.
In the 94-95 season despite missing 29 games with a broken ankle, Dmitri had
9 goals, 17 assists for 26 points in 43 games, and 6 goals, 5 assists for 11
points in 11 playoff games.
The 1995-96 season saw Dmitri lead the Spokane Chiefs in scoring with 38 Read more »
I’m back again with another installment of Future Watch, featuring the top prospects in the USA. Today Travis Weber is the featured prospect. Weber is a native of Hibbing, Minnesota who spent last season playing for the Under 17 and 18 teams in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Weber is a hybrid goalie, who basically does anything to stop the puck which is the goaltenders job. He also likes to play the puck and control the play as much as possible. Having started out the year for the Under 17 team, Weber was playing solid between the pipes and was moved up to the Under 18 squad. Weber also made the trip to Switzerland for the Under 18 World Championships and he played extremely well in 2 and a half games and had the best goals against average in the tournament as well as finishing second in save percentage. With the coaching change in Ann Arbor, he feels as most of the players do, they liked the old coaches but will be happy to start out with a clean slate. The top colleges on his list include Minnesota, Harvard, North Dakota, and Notre Dame. He will be making an unofficial visit to the Minnesota Campus soon. Over the summer Weber plans on working out on his strength training program and probably won’t play too much hockey.
The Calgary Flames have answered a few questions in regards to which of their second-ranked prospect group will be getting a good shot to make the team with the release of their expansion draft protected list on Tuesday. However they may have raised more questions at the same time.
As little as five days ago the general assumption was that the Flames would protect two goaltenders, Fred Brathwaite and Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The surprise trade of Giguere to Anaheim was the first in new GM Craig Button’s administration and has many people scratching their heads. Very few people are outraged at the move but it has left many wondering what the team is up to. Giguere, ranked Calgary’s top prospect for much of the last two years, has neither been a disappointment nor good enough to change the “goalie of the future” designation to the “goalie of the present”. Despite that, the situation seemed perfect this year, Freddie was the number one and Giguere would be the season-long understudy. Button said that he made the trade because he did not want to lose a good fourth defenseman and eighth forward.
Read more »
IHL ROOKIE PROFILE
Player: Vlad Serov
Birthdate: June 14, 1978
Hometown: Kiev , Ukraine
Weight: 5' 10"
Height: 175 lbs
Position: Right Wing
YEAR TEAM LGE GP G A PTS PIM
1996-97 Yaroslav Russia 20 10 9 19 4
1996-97 Ukraine JR INT 7 6 2 8 2
1997-98 Novgorad Russia 40 28 14 42 8
1998-99 Ft. McMurray AJHL 36 25 17 42 20
1999-00 Flint Generals UHL 17 15 11 26 23
1999-00 Manitoba Moose IHL 51 11 9 20 16
Vlad signed as a free agent with the Manitoba Moose on September 30, 1999.
Vlad is a very exciting hockey to watch. An excellent skater who uses his
speed to create things in the neutral zone. Vlad has dynamic talent. Sees
all the ice well and uses it to his advantage to create plays. Excellent
puck handler and is good on the one on one. Has a lot of shifty moves which
keeps the opposition guessing on what he will do with the puck. Uses
teammates well to create happenings. Has a lot of natural talent. A very
smart player who comes to play every night and gives 100% every shift. Late
in the 99-00 season Vlad was sent to the Flint Generals of the UHL where he
collected 15 goals, 11 assists for 26 points in 17 games, but later was Read more »
On Monday the Wild started to get a little more active in hockey by making a couple of trades.
Andy Sutton, a third round selection in 2001, and a seventh round pick in this year’s draft from the San Jose Sharks for an eighth round selection in 2001 and
future considerations. Andy Sutton is a 1998 Graduate of Michigan Tech University. He was also named WCHA Co-Defenceman of the Year in 1997-98 and All-WCHA Second Team. The last two years Sutton split time between San Jose and and the Kentucky Thoroughblades
of the AHL. We will have to see in October if Sutton stays in the big show.
Andy Sutton's Career Stats:
Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM
94-95 Michigan Tech WCHA 19 2 1 3 42
95-96 Michigan Tech WCHA 33 2 2 4 58
96-97 Michigan Tech WCHA 32 2 7 9 73
97-98 Michigan Tech WCHA 38 16 24 40 97
Kentucky AHL 7 0 0 0 33
98-99 Kentucky AHL 21 5 10 15 53
San Jose NHL 31 0 3 3 65
99-00 Kentucky AHL 3 0 1 1 0
San Jose NHL 40 1 1 2 80
NHL TOTALS 71 1 4 5 145
Trade number two:
The Wild acquired goalie Manny Fernandez and defenseman
Brad Lukowich from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a
third round selection in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and Read more »