Well it’s hockey pool time — the favourite time of year for some of us — and with that we find at our local newsstands a
myriad of publications. So to help you with your picks in your hockey pool, here is a guide to some of the best, and worst, magazines to choose from. I’m not going to go into things such as who gives the best stats, generally they all give good stats, goals scored, assists, minutes played. Just the beef here, not soy allowed.
Now, there are different publications for different tastes and needs, but you can decide what you want, and where your money is best spent. But here is the order that I find the best.
For my money Slam’s Hockey Forecaster is far and away the best out there. While others give you glitz and sizzle, the Forecaster gives you most of everything. For the average office poolster they give a breakdown of the best to pick and the best to avoid. Their write-ups are concise and give you their opinion on why or why not a player will produce. But where this publication shines is in their coverage of secondary players and the prospects. While the average poolie wouldn’t touch a Tom Poti last year (and for good reason) the perpetual, or rotisserie, poolies love these little things and the Forecaster gives you plenty of this. If year in year out you Read more »
Wow, what a difference 24 hours make. Either the Panther prospects are really bad, or this group of Montreal prospects really turned things around after Wednesday’s debacle versus Tampa. No significant roster changes except for the addition of Aaron Asham. The other changes were Konstantin Sidulov, Jason Lehoux, and Sebastien Thinel who did not play. Benoit Cotnoir, Jerome Marois were inserted in the lineup. Mathieu Garon also replaced Evan Lindsay in goal.
For those of you keeping track, Montreal lost the opener on Wednesday to Tampa Bay by a score of 4-3 but were totally outplayed and outshot. In the night cap game, Florida beat the Ottawa prospects by a score of 4-3 as well.
In yesterday’s early game, Ottawa beat Tampa 3-2 in a shootout. After a 5 min overtime period didn’t settle matters, Petr Schastlivy beat Robert Holsinger with the only shootout goal for the win. Mathieu Chouinard was outstanding as he stopped all five Tampa shooters. Simon Lajeunesse let in two Tampa goals by Chris Gignac and Sergei Kuznetsov earlier in the game. The other goal scorers for Ottawa were British import Jonathan Weaver and Chris Neil.
So with Montreal’s decisive 5-2 victory over Florida each team has won and lost a game which should make Friday’s matches very interesting.
Here’s a quick rundown of what I thought of each of the Montreal Prospect’s performance in this game:
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39 Ivan Novoseltsev
41 Ian Jacobs
45 Brad Ference
46 Paul Harvey
52 Joe Dipenta
53 Travis Eagles
54 Ryan Jardine
56 Morgan McCormick
57 Chris Ovington
58 Kyle Rossiter
59 Rid Sarich
60 Denis Shvidki
61 Brad Woods
62 B.J. Ketcheson
64 Nick Smith
65 AJ Baines
67 Luke Murphy
68 Serge Payer
71 Brett Gibson
72 Curtis Huppe
73 Brad Goulet
74 Keith Delaney
75 Eric Godard
76 Paul Spadafora
34 Alex Auld
35 Jonathan Charron
70 Jean-Francois Laniel
Tampa Bay Ligtning
23 Paul Mara
24 Glen Crawford
33 Curtis Tipler
34 Van Rachunekl
36 Sergei Kuznetsov
37 Chris Gagne
38 Brad Richards
40 Dimitri Afenssonkov
41 Eric Beaudoin
42 Matt Elich
43 Kyle Freaderich
45 Mark Thompson
46 Chad Cavanaugh
47 Brett Allen
48 Oak Hewer
50 Fedor Fedorov
51 Dale Rominiski
53 Justin Clark
53 Jan Sulo
54 Sheldon Keefe
56 Kyle Koss
57 Brett Schaffeimaier
58 Curtis Rich
59 Chris Lyness
60 Daniel Hulak
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The Prospects Tournament was held in Hull last night. It was also a good opportunity to check out the up and coming stars for Florida, Tampa and Ottawa. Ottawa seemed to have the best prospects, followed by Tampa, then Florida. Montreal gets 4th by default.
There’s no knight in shiny armor in the crew of Montreal prospects. Below is how each player did. Keep in mind this is only one game and they’ve probably never played together before so they did look out of place.
Gordie Dwyer-Excellent fore checker, solid body checks, 1 assist, 2 fights (one win, one draw) will play in Quebec (AHL) but zero chance of any NHL time in my opinion.
Konstantin Sidulov-Didn’t impress, didn’t disappoint, was pretty much invisible. He was a little on the small side.
Francois Beauchemin-Brisebois, Robidas…you get the picture. May make it to NHL just because the Habs always give these guys a shot. Kind of reminds me of Brian Campbell, smallish and non-physical but a strong skater and nice passer.
Matt Carkner-Raw, good size, no offensive skills, weak skater but could be the next Brad Brown which isn’t too bad really. He could play for another team down the road.
Jason Lehoux- 2 fighting majors, lost one badly to Kyle Freadrich of Tampa, drew on the second. Didn’t look terribly out of place on a terrible looking team.
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(The picture is courtesy of http://www.hockeyfans.ch)
Name: Sven Helfenstein
Club team: EHC Kloten, Swiss NLA
Position: Left Wing
Height: 5-10 (179cm)
Weight: 167 lbs. (76 kg)
Date of birth: July 30, 1982
Season Team Gms G Asts Pts PIM
97/98 Kloten Jr. B 31 6 8 14 14
98/99 Kloten Jr. A 33 25 18 43 14
98/99 Kloten Jr. A 7 5 3 8 2
98/99 Regular Kloten Sr. 2 0 0 0 0
98/99 Playoffs Kloten Sr. 0 0 0 0 0
+ Anticipates opposition movement well.
+ Creates space for his teammates with intelligent short passes in the offensive zone.
+ Sees his teammates very well and gives great passes.
+ With his passes he increases the linemates options.
- Puck jumps off the stick when he receives sharp passes.
- Puckhandling is reactive, but got better
- Cause of he’s bad puckhandling he has to pass the puck a bit too often.
Playing away from the puck:
+ Breaks into positions to make himself available as pass receiver.
+ He interferes passes well.
+ Can not be made panic.
+ Has no problem to change from defense to offense.
- Too often he seems to be a bit reactive. Tendence: getting better. Read more »
With the 211th selection in the 1999 NHL entry draft, the Toronto Maple
Leafs choose, Vladimir Kulikov.
Those fans who were paying attention at that time said, who? Even some of
the web’s most popular internet sports services listed this choice as
Vladimir Kulkov, a forward playing for CKSA in Russia.
Those fans who read these reports felt that the Maple Leafs had passed on
taking a goaltending prospect for the future, which is a team need as one
looks beyond the Cujo years. Not so, as the amateur scouting department,
then headed by assistant GM, Anders Hedberg, pick up a potentially good one
in young Kulikov.
Kulikov has played for CKSA in Russia, which is the former Red Army
organization. Through the foreign exchange program, he came to North
America and played for the Meadville High School Bulldogs during the 97-98 Read more »
The St. Louis “baby blues”, after beating the Red Wings 5-3, will now face Nashville in the rookie tournament championship game. This is a chance to avenge last years surprising loss to the Pred’s in the final. However, this group of Blues propects seems to be a more talented group from top to bottom. Everyone has contributed to the success of this years team. In game three the Blues used timely scoring to do in Detroit. Down 1-0 early, St. Louis scored the next three goals. Jame Pollock had a goal and an assist and Marc Brown had two goals, including the game winner, to lead the way. Jeremy Reich chipped in with two assists. Trevor Wasyluk scored his second goal of the tournament to seal the victory. Overall it was a strong team effort and the youngsters have confidence going in to the final against Nashville. Stay tuned for the dramatic finish to this tournament and a summary of who did well and who disappointed in Traverse City, Michigan.
After discontinuing their top minor league affiliate in Adirondack, the Detroit Red Wings recently announced a deal that will see approximately eight of their prospects placed in Cincinnati for the 1999-2000 season. The AHL’s Cincinnati Mighty Ducks are Anaheim’s top minor league affiliate. With Detroit’s new farm club not beginning play in Toledo until 2000-2001, the organization needed to find a home for their top prospects. How will the Cincinnati roster take shape this season?
Beginning in the crease, there is little room for Detroit’s top young net minders, Jason Elliott and Aren Miller. Last season’s starter, Tom Askey, is expected to return after a sparkling 1998-1999 season. Askey posted a 2.72 goals against average along with a .918 save percentage, and also saw NHL post-season minutes against Detroit when Guy Hebert was lost to injury. The backup position also appears to be set, with Gregg Naumenko recently signing a two-year pact with Anaheim. Naumenko, an undrafted free agent, was named to the WCHA first all star team and received the WCHA rookie of the year award. Detroit’s top prospect in the crease, Jason Elliott, will likely be loaned to an IHL franchise to earn a starting position. Elliott was the starter in Adirondack for much of last season, but after a spectacular first half he struggled down the stretch. Aren Miller could find himself anywhere this year – likely as a backup in the AHL or IHL, but without a strong training camp possibly the ECHL.
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Training Camp is about to start for the newly revamped New York Rangers.
News and Notes:
The Rangers finally cut ties with Scott Fraser. The organization had hoped
for another Adam Graves type player but he did not develop in New York or
Hartford as they hoped. His contract was bought out, but not before Neil
Smith offered him to Chicago for Doug Gilmour or anything. Fraser may try
out with Chicago but is also being sought out by many European teams. Fraser
had 28gp-2-4-6p totals in New York last season.
Now a look at Questions and Youth up front.
The No. 2 center slot as of now has been handed to Manny Malhotra by the
media. However John Muckler is a stickler for factoring in youth to such
high stress positions. Malhotra last year averaged 6 minutes per game
and mostly at the no. 4 spot. Although Malhotra showed many that he can play
at this level, he was instructed to add some
size to his already hulking 6-3 215 frame during the offseason. However Read more »
With twenty four days to go before the puck drops on the 1999/2000 Western Hockey League Season all teams in the West Division are well into training camp. Seattle seems like a sure fire pick to lead the division with all their offensive fire power but you can never count out a Don Hay coached team like the Tri-City Americans or perrenial powerhouse Kamloops Blazers. Kelowna returns a solid nucleus and finally have a solid netminder in Kevin Swanson and they could make some noise before all is said and done. Portland and Spokane appear to be two teams searching for a new identity after big runs for the Memorial Cup two years ago and appear headed for very long seasons near the basementof the division. Following are my pre-season picks from top to bottom and a brief synopsis of each team.
Read more »