In the early days of June the eyes of every true hockey fan are directed at
draft weekend. This year’s draft will take place in Calgary on June 23rd;
the day previous the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets will pick
current NHL players from the expansion draft list.
The intention of the host franchise is to have a GM and a coach by
such time. It remains to be seen if this will be completed, but the latest
word out of Cowtown is an announcement is forthcoming. Lanny Macdonald as
V.P. of hockey operations, Mike Murphy as GM and an exiled Roger Nielsen as
In the meantime other teams will be reviewing scouting reports and
interviewing prospects. An oddity, which will make this year’s draft
interesting is the large amount the prospects unable to sign contracts with
teams that drafted them in ’98. These prospects will re-enter draft as a
result. Those who weren’t ranked by CSB all season will suddenly make a
relatively shallow draft pool deeper.
Does a team take a player two years older and more experienced, or a
younger player whose potential is yet be known?
Ramzi Abid a forward from Montreal failed to come to terms
with the Colorado Avalanche. By far Abid’s best year was his draft year,
otherwise Abid has been unpredictable and unable to separate himself from
the pack. Probably an early second rounder this time out. Abid had 67 goals Read more »
With the entry draft on the horizon, and the Capitals coming off what might be their best draft ever, I thought I would take a look back at what is considered the Caps’ worst draft of the 1990s. In 1996, Washington had twelve picks – including seven of the top 100. Not only that, but there was an NHL-calibre player on the board every time their turn came up. Now, just four years later, they have only one player to show for it.
This season the Capitals dealt former first round picks Alexandre Volchkov to Edmonton and Jaroslav Svejkovsky to Tampa Bay. That left the Capitals with young centre Jan Bulis as the only player under contract from their entire 1996 draft.
Washington held all of their picks 1 through 9 except the 4th rounder (98th) that they traded to Colorado for Anson Carter. They had acquired four extra selections through trades: L.A.’s 1st (4th overall ) and Dallas’ 4th (85th) from the Kings in exchange for Byron Dafoe and Dimitri Khristich; Dallas’ 3rd (58th) from Colorado for John Slaney; and Chicago’s 4th (74th) for Igor Ulanov.
Let’s take a look at the selections that David Poile and the Washington Capitals made in 1996, and try to determine what they were thinking on draft day and where they went wrong.
RW Alexandre Volchkov 6’1″ 194 – Barrie Colts (OHL)
(1st round, 4th overall – originally Los Angeles’ pick)
C.S.B. Ranking: 2nd, North American skaters
Actually drafted: 3rd N.A. skater taken
Read more »
As the date of the NHL draft comes closer, people look forward to this big day in the life of these 18-20 year old prospects. Slovak fans are no exception to this rule.
Many scouts and GM’s could take a lesson from past drafts in order to avoid missing out on some good Slovak prospects. I can draw your attention to the fact that many scouts think Slovakia is just Bratislava (Slovak capital located in western part of the country) and maybe 50 miles from there. They have omitted and still omit the kids from central and eastern Slovakia where some teams e.g. Martin, Poprad, Banska Bystrica, Kosice, Zvolen, are grooming very talented prospects – Svehla, Bondra, Suchy, Bartecko, Handzus, Zednik, Orszagh, Petrovicky, Nagy, Vaic etc. All these players grew up neither in Bratislava nor in western Slovakia. Dear scouts, do not forget to travel across Slovakia to see other rinks, not just Bratislava, Nitra and Trencin.
However, I do not want to write about new prospects (it will be in my next article). My target is to review the players who have already been drafted.
I will start in 1988 because the other players drafted before this year retired except for two 40-year-old veterans – Igor Liba (37 games on L.A. and N.Y.R.) and Miroslav Ihnacak (56 games on Toronto).
Name, year of birth, NHL team and No. of pick, position, team in draft year, mother team, last season team
Read more »
More than six Elitserien veterans could be drafted this year, and there are two major factors that have created this demand. First, the expansion of the NHL obviously creates a need for more players. Second, some players are simply late bloomers, and there are diamonds in the rough in every league.
From the Elitserien, defensive defensemen seem to be the most attractive players. Brynäs´ Niclas Wallin and Malmö´s Andreas Lilja are solid stay-at-home types who can get involved physically. Lilja has expressed a desire to play in North America, but the wishes of Niclas Wallin still remain a secret.
Swedish champions Djurgården have been losing key players right and left it seems, and the situation could get worse. Espen Knutsen has already signed on to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and two more players could be on the verge of crossing the Atlantic to play. Unsung hero defenseman Mikael Magnusson had a very solid showing at the World Championships and in the Elitserien this season, and there is some buzz that he might be drafted this year. The 27-year-old defender scored 5 goals and 6 assists in 49 games and also racked up a solid 73 penalty minute total. The other player rumoured to be heading for the NHL is a bigger surprise, not so much around the name as the timing. Defensive center Niclas Falk, who had a poor season by his standards, has not been drafted after good seasons in the past when he was a key player in both Djurgården and for Team Sweden at the World Championships.
Read more »
The Hawks have confirmed that they have elected not to sign three 1998
draftees who are on my Hawk depth chart. Unlike other teams whose signees
and re-enters were reported on Thursday, the news trickled slowly out of
1901 West Madison.
They are Jonathan Pelletier (26 ), Sean Griffin(31),and Alexandre Couture (3
4 ). The numbers in parenthesis after their names indicate where I had them
slotted on the Hawk depth chart, all in the long shot area.
They will be reentering the draft since their agents wanted salaries and
signing bonuses quite higher than the organization wanted to pay.
More and more teams will be rejecting ridiculous negotiations when the player
seems a long way from being an NHL level talent.
I don’t think it is as much a negotiation tactic as it is fiscal
responsibility by the owners. The Mike Van Ryn ruling will determine once and
for all if drafting college players(along with drafting Europeans) will give
NHL teams an added time span in which the team holds the players rights, even
if they eventually play Major Junior for a year. Presently taking a European
player or college player gives you more time for them to develop and secures
them as team property as opposed to a junior player who you must sign with
the big league club after their final year of play in Canadien junior.
Van Ryn started out as a collegian and then dropped back into the OHL with Read more »
Past failures, and recent pressure indicate that the Canadiens will be looking to Europe for their early draft picks this year. The Montreal media have been quite vocal concerning the Habs’ past failures at the draft table. Serge Savard’s legacy still lives on in this regard. The past 10 years have seen too many players drafted for size rather than talent. Look for the Habs’ to be calling names like Nordqvist, Krykov, and Jonsson rather than names like Boyes, Taffe, and Dipietro.
Dave King’s presence in Europe during the past season is a huge indication of the team’s latest direction change. King has spent most of his time scouting players and working his contacts. Leading up to a draft there is usually 1 or 2 opinions that carry more weight than all the others. GM’s and scouting directors listen more attentively to these voices than to all the others combined. Look for Houle and Dorion to be paying especially close attention to the voice of one Dave King.
Another indication of the Canadiens’ draft plans is the recent agreement reached between the Habs and the Djurgarden Ice Hockey Club in Sweden. This agreement will allow both hockey clubs to send some of their top prospects to participate annually in the other teams’ rookie camp. The teams will also share information on player evaluation methods. Thereby allowing the Habs access to Djurgarden’s personal scouting reports.
Read more »
The Sarnia Sting had modestly high hopes for the 1999-2000 OHL season. They had lost quite a bit after the 1998-99 season as they lost 2-time league scoring champion Peter Sarno as well as 40-goal scorer Ivan Novoseltsev.
Things were looking good for the Sting early in the year as they sat 3rd in the 5-team West Division behind the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds and the Windsor Spitfires. The Sting remained consistent throughout the season and finished the season 3rd in the West Division and 4th in the Western Conference.
Going into the playoffs the Sting felt that they had a shot at going a fairly long way in the playoffs. Sting overager Mike Van Ryn told me before the playoffs, “I think we have the makings of going a fairly long way in the playoffs.” With the team that they had I can’t say that I disagree with him considering what they had lost coming into the season.
In goal the Sting boasted two strong goaltenders in overager Greg Hewitt and rookie Andrew Sim. Both were consistently good throughout the season. Sim posted the best Goals against average of any rookie goaltender with a 2.93 GAA.
On defense the Sting boasted the likes of overagers Dan Watson, a former league All-Star, former Canadian World Junior Team captain Mike Van Ryn and veteran Ryan VanBuskirk. All three of them provided the Sting with veteran experience on a fairly young team.
Read more »
IHL TURNER CUP FINALS RECAP FROM SATURDAY JUNE 3, 2000
Grand Rapids Griffins 6
Chicago Wolves 4
Chicago Wolves lead Turner Cup Finals 3 games to 2 games.
Jani Hurme turned away all 23 shots he faced as the Grand Rapids Griffins
defeated the Chicago Wolves, 6-4, to stave off elimination in their
best-of-seven playoff series. Hurme, who replaced Mike Fountain at the start
of the second period with Grand Rapids losing 4-3, stopped 14 shots in the
second and all nine in the third for the win. Phillippe Plante’s marker with
6:55 left in the second period tied the score at 4-4 for the Griffins. Ed
Patterson snapped the tie 11:10 later with his second goal of the contest, a
power-play tally for Grand Rapids. Kevin Miller chipped in a pair of
first-period goals and assisted on a score in the third for the Griffins,
who will host Game Six on Monday. Niklas Anderson’s power-play goal 9:53
into the first capped a four-goal period for Chicago, which still has a 3-2
lead in the series. Wendell Young surrendered all six goals on 35 shots for
Chicago now leads the series 3-2 after the Griffins pulled out a 6-4 win in
tonight’s game. Tuesday night, Chicago’s Chris Marinucci and Grand Rapids’
Ed Patterson each scored a pair of goals. Wolves Steve Maltais added his
second game-winning goal of the series and is tied for the playoffs scoring Read more »
Mike Van Ryn wants to be a free agent. The New Jersey Devils want Van Ryn to remain Devils’ property. Others want Van Ryn to go back into the draft.
It remains to be seen whether Van Ryn hits the jackpot. With the NHL draft right around the corner, the former University of Michigan and Sarnia Sting defenseman’s status remains in question. After playing two seasons at Michigan, Van Ryn, a 1998 first round draft choice of New Jersey, decided to play a year in the Ontario Hockey League. The young defenseman and his agent claim this path should lead to free agency.
An arbitrator still has not decided Van Ryn’s case and an answer may not be forthcoming until mid-July. However Van Ryn and his agent, Don Meehan, remain patient and hopeful.
“We have a hearing scheduled for June 13,” according to Meehan. “The arbitrator then has thirty days to hand down his decision.”
Both New Jersey and the National Hockey League are quite anxious about the final decision in this case. The Devils are concerned they could lose the rights to one of their top prospects. The NHL is worried about the precedent that could be set by this case. If Van Ryn wins, a U.S. college hockey player who is drafted in the future could attain free agent status by playing a year for a Canadian junior team.
According to Meehan, “We remain very optimistic about the results of the arbitration hearing.” The Devils, along with the NHL, can only hope the optimism of Meehan and Van Ryn is misguided.
On June 1st, the Capitals announced the signings of 1998 draft picks Krys Barch (4th round, 106th overall), Nathan Forster (7th round, 179th overall) and Rastislav Stana (7th round, 193rd overall). These signings prevented them from re-entering the 2000 entry draft. With the signings of Michael Farrell (8th round, 220th overall) after the season and Mike Siklenka (5th round, 118th overall) last off-season, the Capitals only lost three players to re-entry.
Goaltender Jomar Cruz (2nd round, 49th overall), as well as forwards Todd Hornung (3rd round, 59th overall) and Blake Evans (9th round, 251st overall) have all re-entered the 2000 draft. However, none of them are expected to be re-drafted and will try to work out free agent deals after the draft.
The Capitals also announced that they have acquired defenseman Stephen Peat from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in exchange for a 2000 fourth-round pick. Peat was unable to come to terms with the Ducks and was going to re-enter the draft. The Capitals were able to sign him before the deadline and he will attend training camp in the fall. Peat was the Ducks’ 2nd round pick in 1998 (32nd overall) and is one of the WHL’s most feared enforcers.