There are less than 48 hours until Ilja Kovalchuck will be selected 1st overall in the 2001 entry draft; the first ever Russian to be the top pick. It is clear by now that Kovalchuck is what interests the Thrashers most. “We’re certainly very high on the Russian player. We’re going to follow up this week, meet again with the top three or four players in the draft. Yeah, as I sit here today, you know, the Russian is very high on our list. We think he’s a dominant player. Could be a potential superstar.” Waddell says.
“This is probably the most important thing that’s happened to the franchise in its short three years.” (the 1st overall pick) ” How we deal with this pick could definitely be the biggest thing for the next five or six years that this franchise has to deal with.”
Most NHL Gm’s are currently in Florida at this moment. There has been many rumours on trading the pick to the Buffalo Sabres or the Montreal Canadiens. Waddell says he has spoken to Montreal GM, Andre Savard on his goaltenders and his draft picks. But says there “isn’t anything on the table” at the moment. Montreal GM Andre Savard says he is very interested in gaining the 1st overall pick to select Kovalchuck, but is not willing to let go of Theodore. Maybe Garon and the 7th overall pick.
Why are most trade rumours about goalies heading to Atlanta? It’s simple. The Thrashers need a good young goalie. They have veteran, Damian Rhodes who was injured for most of the last season. They also have Norm Maracle who was goaltender of the IHL this year. But they need a young goalie who c Read more »
Today’s events started with the obligitary “Meet the Prospects” event in Downtown Ft Lauderdale. At Riverfront, a local tourist shopping and dining complex, a small but eager crowd waited in the on again, off again rain for their opportunity to see the players they probably have only read about in the papers.
As Denis Potvin warmed the crowd up with stories of past drafts, a water-taxi quietly sailed up the adjecant New River bearing Stanley, the Panther mascot, and 12 of the top prospects.
Jason Spezza, Mikko Koivu, R.J. Umberger, Dan Hamhuis, Mike Komisarek, Lukas Krajicek, Pascal LeClaire, Dan Blackburn, Stanislav Chistov, Alexander Svitov, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Stephen Weiss no doubt enjoyed the solitude of the open water before being thrown into the media luncheon.
After being introduced to the crowd and signing some autographs, the players all headed into a local che-che bistro to meet the media. LeClaire and Blackburn met with some large crowds, while Spezza and Kovalchuk undoubtably had their share. Watching Spezza work the room was a pleasure, and it quickly reminded me that this kid has been doing this thing for the last 3 years. Whatever team selects him will definitely have a media and fanfriendly marquee-type player.
Chistov and Svitov seemed to be slightly uncomfortable among the media crush, and were basically left alone almost the whole time by the heavily slanted North American media. Svitov doesn’t speak English, and Chistov might not be so confident with his English. It made for a difficult interview.
One of the more a Read more »
New Page 1
By: Alexander Shapiro
By: Eugene Belashchenko ( http://www.russianprospects.com)
Chistov: Russian Karya? That title does not intrigue me
the last month Avangard forward Stanislav Chistov moved into second place
amongst the most promising juniors of the world and now gives way to only Ilja
Kovalchuk. Yesterday Chistov was
phoned in Florida by SE correspondent.Read more »
Well, it’s that time of year again. The most important time of the year for
an NHL franchise. No, not golf season (unless your Alexei Yashin). I mean
the draft. While the playoffs are the most high profile of all the events
that take place through out the season, the NHL Entry Draft is the place
where the future cornerstones of every NHL team -and even of the NHL itself-
are put into place. The following is the second annual mock draft done by
myself. Last year’s mock draft had a good/bad outcome. While most of the
players I selected to go in the first round did actually go in the first
round, I wasn’t as accurate in picking their final destination. This year, I
have decided to go to a two round mock draft, which will prove to be an even
bigger challenge, but one I feel up to. This should provide even more reason
for criticism, which I look forward too. Here is a list of the draft
selection order for the first two rounds including compensatory draft picks.
This has been updated as recently as June 20th and is supplied by the
2. NY Islanders
3. Tampa Bay
10. NY Rangers
13. Boston *
18. Los Angeles
19. Edmonton *
20. San Jose
24. New Jersey (from STL)
25. Montreal (from WSH)
28. New Jersey
29. Chicago (from DET)
30. Los Angeles (f Read more »
NCAA Players to make impact on drafts first day
By Carl Tilleson
As this weekend’s NHL draft approaches, teams are busy finalizing who they will go after when they’re on the clock. More than ever before, these prospective draftees are coming from the college ranks. It wasn’t long ago that even the top college players were little more than an afterthought, not likely to be picked early on. These days however ,teams are looking more and more to the NCAAs for an impact player. Players such as Paul Kariya (Maine) and Chris Drury (Boston U) have starred as soon as they made the NHL. Other college players have provided teams the role players they needed to make a title run. New Jersey may never have won the Stanley Cup in 99-00 without the abilities of guys such as John Madden (Michigan), Jay Pandolfo (Boston U), and Brian Rafalski (Wisconsin). College hockey as a whole has provided the NHL with more talent than ever before. This year should be no different, as there are several players who could provide help to the teams drafting early on Saturday. The following is a quick look at the top 5 college players heading into this weekend’s draft. The numbers in the parantheses indicate the player’s CSS ranking.
Mike Komisarek Read more »
Expect to hear the names of OHL defencemen called early and often at this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft. This is a bumper crop of fleet-footed, skilled players, no lumbering oafs here. NHL central scouting has seven OHL defencemen rated among their top 30 North American prospects. Compare this total with three from the Western league and one each for the Q and the NCAA. Here’s a quick look at this bumper crop (in alpha order):
A classic European-trained player, skating and puck skills are his best assets. Straight-away speed keeps opposing fore-checkers honest and lets him cheat a little in the offensive zone much like Brian Leetch. Outstanding lateral mobility makes him tough to beat wide and tough to defend when quarterbacking the PP. He makes crisp tape-to-tape breakout passes and handles the puck with confidence whether on the rush or the PP. Not a heavyweight, he doesn’t intimidate the opposition physically but does finish his checks and battles hard in the trenches. This Czech could use more Petr Svoboda-style grit in his game.
Read more »
A look back at last year’s draft and then take a look at this year’s draft.
Last year’s draft was a good draft and could turn into a great draft if some of the players that didn’t make the NHL this year make the team in a few years.
In drafting Marian Gaborik and L. Sekeras it was a good draft already. Maxim Sushinsky was exciting as they come, but he couldn’t handle America and went back to Russia. Peter Bartos played well at times and should make the team next year. There 2nd round pick Nick Schultz is exciting and could turn out to be a top 4 defenesman. Mark Cavosie made the world juniors team, and has all the speed in the world. Eric Johansson scored 44 goals but is known more for his defense.
Doug Risebrough drafted 3 players that could play in the NHLin his first of drafting, how many will he draft this year? And that’s what I will look at now.
Doug Risebrough has many options that he can choose from:
Option 1- Taking a center with the number 6 pick in the draft, The draft is deep with centers and that’s the wild’s main need. The wild could take any of these players, Stephen Weiss, R.J. Umberger, Alexander Svitov, Mikko Koivu, and Tuomo Ruttu. My guess is Stitov, and Koivu will be gone, so Wiess would be the center of choice.
Option 2- A LW or RW, Stanislav Christov is the only worthy forward taking at this pick. and he should be taken by then.
Option 3- A goaltender, if they take a goaltender the man is Dan Blackburn, Doug Risebrough is in love with this guy, if he’s there he’s the Wild’s number one pick.
Opt Read more »
Detroit and the Free Agency market
This years free agency market is probably the most talanted ever, and the most expensive. There are players that will get new contracts worth up to $10 million, like Joe Sakic, Rob Blake, Jeremy Roenick, Alexander Mogilny, Pierre Turgeon. But there are also solid players that are less expensive like Jason York, Mike Sillinger, Donald Audette, Martin Lapointe.
So what should Detroit do?
In my opinion they should sign a top line center (Jeremy Roenick), and a top 4 defenceman (Jason York), and try to trade some of their own guys like Aaron Ward, Steve Duchesne, and Slava Kozlov.
Jeremy Roenick is the most important signing, he wouldn`t cost any draft picks or players but the biggest reason is that Steve Yzerman will probably quit in 2003, and the contract of Sergei Fedorov will expire, and even if thay sign Fedorov to a new contract thay will only have one impact center and that is where Roenick comes into the picture. Roenick is very good both offensively and defensively, he plays a gritty and agressive game and is a huge leader that would fit great in the Red Wings organization. Roenick will probably get a contract worth $7.5, 8 millon and if Detroit makes the right moves they can afford that.
Next signing is the former Detroit Red Wings player Jason York, who`ll not be to expensive to sign, he`ll probably get a contract worth around $2 million. Jason is a good stay home defenceman who could be top 4 in Detroit. And last but not least thay should try to keep Martin Lapointe because he is a very Read more »
As the sky opened up and dropped buckets of rain on humid South Florida, the most immediate effect was the extinguishing of brush fires near the NCRC. While the draft was never truly in danger of being cancelled, it would have made a nice story for all the visiting journalists, as they drove the beautiful arena with its backdrop of think dense black smoke blocking out the sun.
On the agenda today for the NHL and the media-crazed atmosphere, was shuttling a few top prospects to the twin-ice facility known as Incredible Ice, 7 miles north of Sunrise in Coral Springs…..TOP PROSPECTS HOCKEY CLINIC
No.1 Ranked prospect Jason Spezza, No. 4 ranked Mike Komisarek, and No. 5 ranked R.J. Umberger took part in an ice hockey clinic for members of the Coconut Grove Kings Hockey Program.
This program was presented by the NHL Diversity Task Force and was led by none other than Willie O’Ree, with help from Florida Panther Peter Worrell. About 35 local youths, some quite talented and some working on their skills, got the opportunity to skate around with and work on drills with the fore-mentioned prospects.
All 3 prospects seemed to have a great time just enjoying the ice, without having to worry about what will become probably the biggest day in their lives to this point, which is only 2 days away. Getting away from the media crush, they thought they might have been safe on the ice, but with all the kids skating around….it might not have been the safest place.
Tomorrow Denis Potvin will be hosting the Top Prospects Preview in Read more »
The Manitoba Moose are please to be part of the AHL’s Canadian Division. “No. 1, it’s a big plus for us to be able to play against the Baby Leafs, or the Baby Flames or the Jr. Edmonton Oilers,” said Manitoba president and general manager Randy Carlyle. “It brings back that NHL content. It makes a lot of sense for us as a Canadian team. And that makes a lot of sense for our fans. We think it’s a change we have to capitalize on.”
Since the Moose will play half of their regular-season schedule against Canadian opponents, the club’s travel costs will instantly become more economical. The Moose were the only Canadian-based team in the IHL last season.
The St. John’s Maple Leafs play the Quebec Citadelles four times this year, Saint John Flames six times, Hamilton Bulldogs six times and Manitoba Moose four times.
The Citadelles meet the Flames five times and the Bulldogs and Moose four times each, while the Flames play the Bulldogs twice and the Moose four times. Hamilton meets the Moose six times.
John Paddock is the only coach in AHL history to win the Calder Cup with 3 different teams.
TODAY IN HOCKEY
June 21, 1986 the Detroit Red Wings use the first overall pick to select Joe Murphy from Michigan State University in the NHL Entry Draft.