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Devils Draft Preview

by Jared Ramsden

The Devils have a well earned reputation for being one of the most successful drafting teams in the NHL. And at this weekend’s Entry Draft form Sunrise, Florida, General Manager Lou Lamoriello and Head Scout David Conte will look to carry on the success.

Since 1990’s draft, 47 of New Jersey’s drafted players have gone on to play at least one NHL game, which is best in the league along with Colorado and NYI. Last year alone, the Devils had 9 of their own drafted players on their roster and 6 others who spent some time up with the Devils as well. The 9 players were: Martin Brodeur (‘90,1/20) Ken Daneyko (‘82,1/18) Scott Niedermayer (‘91,1/3) Colin White (‘96,2/49) Scott Gomez (‘98,1/27) Patrik Elias (‘94,2/51) Petr Sykora (‘95,1/18) Sergei Brylin (‘92,2/42) and Jay Pandolfo (‘93,2/32). The other 6 were: Mike Commodore (‘99,2/42) Sascha Goc (’97,/159) Pierre Dagenais (‘98,4/105) Jiri Bicek (‘97,5/131) Stan Gron (‘97,2/38) and Mike Jefferson (‘00,5/135). They have plenty of other notable draftees of theirs around the league like Brendan Shanahan (‘87,1/2) Bill Guerin (‘89,1/5) Steve Sullivan (‘94,9/233) Jason Smith (‘92,1/18) and Brian Rolston (‘91,1/11). That is proof of how well the Devils have been able to use the draft to stock their team. They can find players high or low and can always seem to find the diamond in the rough or sleepers that other teams pass over.

Like last year, New Jersey has a huge chunk of their picks is the first half of the draft including 5 in the third round. They have an overall total of 12. As of right now, the Devils picks are Read more »

Le draft qui déterminera l’avenir du CH

by Vincent Belisle
Le DG du canadiens a clairement qu’il n’était pas question de repêcher Mikko Koivu seulement parce qu’il est le frère de Saku. « Mikko est un bon prospect a considéré, mais il n’est pas privilégié des autres » a indiqué le chef du recrutement Martin Madden.

Les joueurs dans la mire de Savard

Pour le 7ième choix

Stephen Weiss
Le joueur le plus complet du repêchage, il possède de très bonne qualité offensive tout en maintenant une conscience défensive. Il a marquer 40buts dans la OHL avec Plymouth l’an dernier. Malheureusement, il serait surprenant que Weiss soit encore disponible lorsque se sera à Savard de parler.

Mikko Koivu
Il est très attendu a Montréal. Selon les dépisteurs, il a les qualités de son frère avec le physique en plus. Il a le même désire de vaincre que son frère. Un winner comme on dis. Petit hick, lui et Mark Komisarek sont ciblés par le Wild qui possède le choix juste devant celui de Montréal.

Igor Knyazev
Un joueur à la Kasparaitis. Le genre de joueur qui plaît à Savard. Un gars qui se présente a chaque match avec une attitude et un leadership remarquable. Ne se laisse pas marcher sur les pieds et n’a pas peur de jeter les gants pour regler ses comptes. Exactement le genre de joueurs qui nous faut à Montréal. Cependant, Knyazev pourrait être encore disponible lorsque le Canadiens parlera pour la deuxième fois. Mais est-ce que Savard prendra la chance de le perdre?

Pour le 25ième choix

Ales Hemsky
Si le Tchèque est encore disponible, il serait un bon choi Read more »

NHL Draft Preview – Overage Slovak Players

by Daniel Kysel
The last draft proved that overage players are a much better investment for new teams than 18-year old unknown youngsters. In total 31 overage players were selected last year. Fourteen of them skated on NHL rinks last season. Eight found regular spots on their teams (Cechmanek, Sekeras, Kultanen, Visnovsky, Nummelin, Kharitonov, Simicek and Sushinsky (before his outgoing to Russia)). The others traveled between first and farm teams (Ronnqvist, Wallin, Bartos, Von Arx, Kolarik and Lilja). All of them were 24+ years old. Pure accident? I don’t think so. Such players have a lot of experience from top European leagues, international tournaments, world championships, Olympic games etc. Younger players (I mean 21-24 year old) need time to develop for the NHL level but I believe that some of them could play in NHL right now e.g. Tellqvist, Richter.

The European leagues – Russian, Slovak, Swiss, German and especially Czech, Finnish and Swedish offer a lot of skilled, experienced players. Mark Schwartz presented in his excellent article “Instant help and the NHL draft” overage players. I cannot and don’t want to compete with him however I want to present my view as well. Of course I don’t know all Euro-leagues in detail but I can mention other ones who were not mentioned by him e.g. Czech players Dusan Salficky (G, 1972, Plzen) & Viktor Ujcik (F, 1972, Slavia). However my intention is to write about Slovaks, so let’s see their names:

Peter Pucher (C, 12/08/1974, 6'1" 207, Znojmo - Czech Extraliga)
Regular season 		52 GP	22G 	34A 	56Pts	+31	32 Read more »

Blue Jackets Draft Preview

by Collin Wheeler
Success has its rewards, but in the case of the Columbus Blue Jackets, it also has its drawbacks. Doug MacLean’s vision of a team that would be competitive every night and start building a winning tradition, has blossomed into a 28 win inaugural season. The city of Columbus has embraced the team and the combination of solid veterans and late blooming prospects gives them a strong base for respectability in the future. In achieving these goals, however, Columbus will be drafting 8th in the first round, instead of in the top 2 or 3 that might be expected by an expansion team.

The depth of this years draft has made the lower draft position a little bit easier to endure, but the thought of missing out on outstanding prospects like Jason Spezza and Ilya Kovalchuck must be heavy on MacLean’s mind. The Blue Jackets are thrilled with last years first round choice, defenseman Rostislav Klesa and think he will anchor their defense for years to come. In Mark Denis, they feel that they have an outstanding young goaltender. What they lack is a big time blue chip forward that they can build their offence around. Maclean would love to choose any of the top 5 forwards.

If the draft goes like most people predict, those 5 forwards will be long gone by the 8th choice. Some people in the Blue Jackets organization think the top prospect still available at that spot might well be goaltender Dan Blackburn. That’s tough to predict in a year that might see a lot of wheeling and dealing on draft day.

Doug MacLean is one of the more proactive G.M.’s in the Read more »

Sabres Report: 2001 Draft Preview

by Ken McKenna

The 2001 NHL Entry Draft approaches amidst a swirl of trade rumors, with the potential for a change of address for many of the league’s biggest stars. Names such as Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Yashin, Doug Weight and Eric Lindros are being bandied about as trade fodder in the days leading up to this weekend’s draft, as are the names of a couple of the Buffalo Sabres’ stars, Dominik Hasek and Michael Peca.

Trades of this magnitude could have a direct effect on the draft, as there is talk of possibly one, or both, of the top 2 picks being dealt in return for immediate help. Once again, Buffalo’s name has been mentioned prominently in trades involving the top draft choices held by Atlanta (#1) and the N.Y. Islanders (#2), but so far, at least, Sabres’ GM Darcy Regier has publicly denied any pursuit of these prime draft picks.

The trade rumors have so far caused a diversion from what looks to be a very solid 2001 draft class. At the top of the draft is 4-5 highly touted forwards, led by the mercurial Russian RW Ilya Kovalchuk. There is plenty of solid, if not spectacular, talent to be found beyond the top 5, however, with talent to be had well into the second round. The depth of this draft should be good news for the Sabres, as 4 of their 6 draft choices will be made in the first 2 rounds (barring trades, of course).

Buffalo enters this draft with a diminished prospect pool, as they recently said goodbye to 8 of their 12 1999 draft choices. One of those farewells was particularly painful, as they lost promising C Mike Zigomanis due to a Read more »

Philadelphia Flyers draft preview

by Bill Meltzer

Going into the 2001 NHL entry draft, the Flyers organizational depth chart is lacking in quality prospects at every position except goaltender. There are a handful of forwards and defensemen with NHL potential in the system (such as defenseman Bruno St. Jacques and forward Alexander Drozdetsky) but there is nobody developing into a “can’t-miss” type of prospect.

It has been widely speculated that the Flyers will select a defenseman with the 23rd overall pick this year, because the team’s single biggest positional need is on defense, especially with the core of their sometimes-shaky NHL blueline starting to age. Names such as Tim Gleason, Lukas Krajicek, Mark Popovic, Fedor Tyutin, and Igor Knyazev have been bandied about as potential selections.

The Flyers could only hope that they had anything near the system type of depth and up front that they have in goal. After all, a team only needs two goalies, but they need twelve forwards and six defensemen. Unfortunately, going into the 2001-2002 season, most of the Flyers call-up players will probably continue to be minor league veterans such as Mark Greig. There is a chance that perhaps someone like Tomas Divisek or Vaclav Pletka could take a step forward and challenge for a spot with the big team, but that is far from a certainty.

The Flyers 2000 draft class almost exclusively featured the selection of forwards. This year, positional preference will tip otherwise balanced scales toward defenseman. That presents a wonderful opportunity– and a daunting challenge. Defense may be the single hardest position Read more »

Pittsburgh Penguins Draft Preview

by Erik Johnson

It’s possible that the 2001 draft could be the start of a new era for the Pens (along with the continuation of an “old” era). It’s likely that the Pens will part with 4 time scoring camp and 2 time Cup winner Jaromir Jagr this summer and it’s possible that could come before (or during) the draft. In any event, the Pens will need to find that groups of prospect that will lead them to as successful of a decade as the one that just past. It won’t be easy for GM Craig Patrick, but he’s dealth with adversity well before and there is no reason to believe that he won’t make a successful post-Jagr transition.

Pens Draft Strategy

As with most teams, the Pens will draft the best player on the board in the first round, as their usual philosphy. The Pens draft table is a democracy, with GM Patrick and head scout Greg Malone at the head of that table. European scout Mark Kelly has a lot of influence in the decision making process and the Pens picks usually reflect that.

Recent Draft History

Last year was one of the few times in Patrick’s tenure that the Pens spent their first round pick on a North American born player. 4 of the 5 previous picks were used to select skilled European forwards. After the first round, the Pens generally select players to fill specific needs, all with a general theme. In 1997, the Pens spent 6 of their final 8 picks on defensemen. In 1998, 6 of 9 were forwards. 199 was a bit of a mix of players. They added depth to a number of positions. And finally last year, they spent most of their picks on tough gritt Read more »

Coyotes trade for Markov

by Brandon LeBourveau

The Coyotes have been very busy trading. Starting with the first deal, the Coyotes dealt holdout center Robert Reichel, along with Travis Green and minor leaguer Craig Mills to the Toronto Maple Leafs for young defenseman Danny Markov. Markov is a solid two-way defenseman with good offensive instincts. He should play a big role for the Coyotes this upcoming season and in the future as well.

The second deal saw the Coyotes deal center Juha Ylonen to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Todd Warriner. Not much to talk about here as this was clearly a 3rd liner for 3rd liner type deal. The Coyotes needed wingers badly so making this deal helped them out.

Today the team announced that they have traded veteran defenseman Keith Carney to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in return for the 41st overall pick in the 2001 Entry Draft. With the addition of Markov, plus the solid group of young defenseman such as Paul Mara, Ossi Vaananen, Kiril Safranov and Radoslav Suchy, trading away Keith Carney was a move to reduce the payroll while improving for the future and also giving some playing time to the youngsters on defense. Teppo Numminen will be the backbone of the Coyotes defense this season and he will be looked upon by the youngsters for leadership, unless he is dealt this off-season, which has been rumored.

Today the Coyotes also signed Unrestricted Free Agent Branko Radivojevic. Radivojevic, 20, is a 6’0 186-pound right winger who played three seasons with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL. He was drafted in the 3rd round (93rd overall) of the 1999 Entry Draft by the Colorado Aval Read more »

AHL News

by Andrew Bourgeois


The American Hockey League announced today its Conference and Divisional Alignment for the 2001-2002 season.

The realignment features nine new American Hockey League cities, bringing the League’s membership to 27 teams in six divisions and two conferences.

Western Conference
West          Central        South
Houston       Rochester      Philadelphia
Utah          Syracuse       Hershey
Chicago       Cincinnati     Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Grand Rapids  Cleveland      Norfolk

Eastern Conference
East         North       Canadian
Albany       Lowell      Hamilton
Hartford     Worcester   Saint John
Springfield  Portland    St. John's
Providence   Manchester  Quebec
Bridgeport               Manitoba

Each AHL club will play an unbalanced 80 game schedule featuring traditional and regional rivalries. The schedule format detailing the frequency of games between opponents will be announced Tuesday June 19 at noon est.


The 1999 Providence Bruins set a League record as they tallied a combined regular season and playoff win tally of 71 games, including another League record of 10 playoff home wins, en route to the Calder Cup Championship.


June 18, 1992 the Ottawa Senators make goaltender Peter Sidorkiewicz the first overall pick in the NHL expansion draft.

Canadiens’ Draft Preview

by Chris Boucher
André Savard will experience his greatest challenge on June 23rd. Seen by many fans as the man most responsible for the Ottawa Senators’ draft success, his talent-evaluation skills will be relied upon to return the Montreal Canadiens to their traditional place among the league’s elite teams.

The Habs’ GM has kept his draft intentions close to the vest. He has not spoken publicly on which player he covets, or what type of players he’ll be looking to grab with the team’s two first-round picks. However, he has said what he looks for in young players; he bases his initial opinion on skating, then skill. Hockey sense, and attitude are also important. Size, however, is rarely a deciding factor.

He has also stated that he will not draft any player that he has not seen play. This explains why he spent much of the past six months travelling the world scouting many, if not all, of the major tournaments involving draft-eligible players.

The 2001 Draft is seen by most experts as one of the top drafts in recent memory. Ilya Kovalchuk has undoubtedly emerged as the number one choice. However, with Jason Spezza’s playoff struggles, and Stanislav Chistov’s emergence as arguably the most talented player available, the second overall pick has become difficult to predict. Probable trades, and the possibility of a goalie being chosen with one of the top six picks, only adds to the difficulty in predicting which players will still be available when the seventh pick arrives.

Keeping this in mind, this preview will in Read more »

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