When each of Rick DiPietro, Raffi Torres and Scott Hartnell were taken by the teams choosing ahead of the Boston Bruins in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, it seemed as if Brooks Orpik would be the logical and popular choice to have his name called next. Instead, Boston GM Mike O’Connell announced the selection of Swedish offensive
defenseman Lars Jonsson, the first of two Bruins first round picks to come from that Scandanvian nation. When the 27th choice rolled around, Boston, by virtue of acquiring it from Colorado in the Ray Bourque trade, stepped up and called left wing Martin Samuelsson’s name, making it the first time Boston had ever drafted a Swedish player so high, let alone the top TWO prospects of that country in Jonsson and Samuelsson.
Lars Jonsson’s selection with the 7th overall pick is a risk, but one the Bruins will gladly take. He put up some great numbers for his Leksand Jr. Team, but did not make Sweden’s World Junior Championship Team. A player of Jonsson’s raw talent and skills package is hard to pass up, however. He is a tremendous skater who loves to attack. Scouts questioned his defensive zone play and grit, but not much else, as there is no denying the young man has talent. It will be interesting to see how young Jonsson does next season as he makes the jump to the Swedish Elitserien, where he will compete against the best players his country has to offer.
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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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After trade speculation all week long the Ottawa Senators took a conservative stance and decided to wait for their first round pick; 21st overall. Anton Volchenkov, the 6′ 210lbs defenseman from the Central Red Army farm is an imposing physical specimen and was ranked as the second best defenseman available in Europe by CSB and was 6th our own hockeysfuture.com list. There are major weaknesses on the Senators blueline that Volchenkov will help to alleviate a year or two from now. At first 6′ appears too small for a NHL defenseman but rest assured that Volchenkov makes up for this with a thick 210 frame; think Kasparaitis of Pittsburgh. A note of interest is that hockey runs in Anton’s blood, as his father was a regular with Red Army in the seventies. Senators GM Marshal Johnstone said he was very pleased Volchenkov was still available so late in the first round, and so it appears the Senators’ draft luck continues.
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After Jeff Jackson was fired, Mike Eaves was the prime candidate to take his job and he is now the USA NTDP’s Under 18 Coach. Eaves approach to his new job is this, my assistants and I will set goals, work towards the goals, and make sure we are having fun. Mike’s son Patrick, who is one of the top 84’s in the country is following his dad out there and will be playing for the Under 17 team. Some of the players Eaves has high expectations of include Eric Nystrom, Dwight Helminen, Justin Maiser, Brian McConnell, Barry Tallackson, and newcomers Jesse Lane and Ryan Whitney. “I haven’t seen much of the team yet, only on a few tapes and from talking to scouts,” Eaves said. Expect the Under 18 team to have a strong year in the USHL and turn some heads during international competition.
Also of note Keith Allain has been rumored to be the new USA National Junior Coach but no official announcement has come from USA Hockey. USA Hockey must come up with a coach soon because of the National Junior Camp set for August as they need to invite the top players to Lake Placid for the camp.
The Minnesoata Wild Selected both goaltender Jamie McLellan and winger ScottPellerin. Both players should be solid contributors with the Wild this upcoming season. McLellan has proven himself as a solid NHL backup and Pellerin is a great checking forward. With a drop in production from last season when Pelly scored 20 goals, the blues elected to expose him and as expected the Wild jumped at the opportunity.
Many side deals have taken place throughout the day and many may still be in the making. For the blues, they must now focus on signing the two significant UFA’s, Tyson Nash and Mike Eastwood. The two are likely to recieve significant raises due their importance with the Blues organization and even more importance now since Pellerin has been lost.
In terms of Blues prospects, it looks like Brent Johnson will get a crack at the back-up job with the big club. There are rumors floating around stating that the blues may sign a veteran goalie in terms of insurance in the event of a call up due to injuries to Turek or Johnson. Cody Rudkowsky would be the third string and is certainly not ready for the jump to the big club as he had a so-so season as a backup to Johnson in Worcester.
The blues oragnization have stated on many occasions that they will be active in the free agent market come July 1st but for now, Draft day lies ahead of us. Read more »
In a decision which could affect numerous NCAA players and NHL teams, an arbitrator declared 1998 New Jersey first round draft choice Mike Van Ryn to be an unrestricted free agent.
Van Ryn, drafted after his freshman year at the University of Michigan, left college after his sophomore season to play for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. He and his agents argued that a loophole in the NHL collective bargaining agreement made the young defenseman a free agent.
Arbitrator Lawrence Holden agreed with Van Ryn, a bitter pill to swallow for both the Devils and the NHL. It was hoped New Jersey would avoid an arbitrator’s decision and settle with Van Ryn.
The Boston Bruins had a similar situation in 1999 with former draft choice Ben Clymer who left the University of Minnesota in order to play in the Western Hockey League. However the Bruins relented after receiving pressure from the league, allowing Clymer to become a free agent and sign with Tampa Bay. This avoided the inevitable arbitrator’s decision setting a precedent for the future.
Van Ryn, a solid two-way defensman, should generate considerable interest from other NHL teams. He is certain to receive more lucrative offers than he had received from New Jersey.
Bolts lose Bierk, may replace him in Weekes
Just hours after the Lightning lost goalie of the future Zac Bierk, the
Bolts have reportedly replaced him and added a defenseman in the process.
The Tampa Tribune is reporting that a deal has been completed between the Lightning and Islanders. The Lightning would give the Islanders the number 5
selection in today’s draft, while the Islanders would send goaltender Kevin
Weekes and a prospect (reportedly monster 6’9” 255lbs. defenseman Zdeno
Weekes played outstanding following his trade to the Islanders from
the Canucks a season ago, posting a .902 save percentage on the island.
Coach Steve Ludzik is very familiar with Weekes after coaching him with the
Detroit Vipers in the 1998-99 season where he posted 19 victories. Chara
brings the Lightning what they severely lack on defense, size. However it
also just creates a larger logjam on the Bolts blueline. This will lead to
trade speculation involving some of the younger defensemen in the Lightning
cupboard, especially if they add a veteran D-man.
The deal will also leave the Bolts with the number 8 selection,
which they should use, on a scoring forward. Alexei Smirnov, Martin
Samuelsson, and Nikita Alexeev are just a few of the prospects that should be
available. But GM Rick Dudley’s wheeling and dealing may not be over. There Read more »
Need for a Goalie
There is not a lot of hype to look forward to for Draft Day 2000 as there was last year. We all knew Pavel Brendl, Patrik Stefan, and Daniel and Henrik Sedin would go tops in the draft. We had no idea that it would be the Canucks drafting them 2nd and 3rd overall.
Draft Day 2000 could be interesting as well, the Canucks have a young talent pool, and management wants a young goalie. Could it be us that lands DiPietro? Or Brent Krahn? Maybe even a young sniper such as Gaborik or Hartnell.
Vancouver’s needs are pretty simple, goalies. It takes many years to become a solid backup. Dipietro has credentials, but likely not even Vancouver would have plans of him starting next year. Krahn has great potential.
Here is a look at the Top 4 Goalies
1.Rick Dipietro Boston University, USA WJC, great puck handler, no. 1 goalie
2.Brent Krahn Calgary Hitmen WHL. 6 foot 4 no. 1 goalie.
3.J-F Racine Drummondville QMJHL, 6 Foot 3 no.1 goalie.
4.Peter Hamerlik Skalica Slovakia, Slovakia WU18, Struggling Prospect.
Only Racine, Krahn, and Hamerlik shall be available after the 23rd pick.
When Vancouver drafts
23, 42, 70, 92, 143, 207, 240, 271.
The Detroit Red Wings enter this weekend’s 2000 Entry Draft not having drafted an NHL scorer since 1990, when they took Keith Primeau and Slava Kozlov with their 1st and 2nd Round selections. Yuri Butsayev, Detroit’s 2nd Round pick in 1997, has emerged as more of a Tomas Holmstrom type grinder than a scorer, and with a decent core of defensemen, led by Jiri Fischer, the Wings will definitely look to draft a goal scorer in 2000.
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