As the final picks were decided for the 2001 draft, it was evident that the event embodied an outstanding depth of skilled prospects, arguably the best since the 1991 draft. Russian prospects lead the way with Ilya Kovalchuk going 1st overall, followed by Alexander Svitov at # 3 and Stanislav Chistov at #5. Kovalchuk became the first Russian prospect ever to go first overall, as he had become the clear-cut #1 choice in the minds of General Managers and the media.
A large variety of Russian youngsters were drafted. In fact, Russia represented the highest percentage of European prospects as expected. However, not since the early nineties was it that Russia showcased not only such skill but undeniably a large amount of youth. The country has visibly recovered from the recession of prospect depth through the mid-nineties.
In 2002, Russia will be represented with a new row of eligible players. Although the choice is not as deep as in 2001, the talent level is visible, no doubt about it. As expected, the variety is based on skill, speed and skating, the factors which ideally epitomized Russian hockey for decades. However, as of now there is a touch of grit, size and intensity, the words which before were not associated with the Russian style of the game. With prospects such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Svitov, Pavel Vorobiev and Alexei Semenov, it is becoming clear that over the years the North American influence has largely impacted the game of hockey not only in Russia, but in Europe as a whole. The 2002 class is represented by several bigg Read more »
People on both sides of the ocean may say what they want about the European players playing
in the CHL, but the fact is, that if the CHL will exist, the young Czech players will be
eager to try their luck in the junior leagues. They want to get used to another lifestyle,
another style of play and play in front of NHL scouts every game. In Europe hockey involved
people rave about young kids leaving for the CHL after their parent clubs invest lots of
money into their development since they start playing at 6 and get nothing in return. In
America people complain about the Euros taking spots which could be filled by home Canadians.
Everyone knows those disputes. The fact is, that from the last year’s CHL crop lots of Czech
players made a name for themselves and got drafted by NHL teams (Hemsky, Krajicek, Podlesak, Mojzis,
Lukes, Jakes, Platil). It is very likely that this situation will be repeated next year,
because CHL teams selected some top-notch prospects from the Czech developmental system.
Now look who is it!
No. 1 Marian Havel – Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Team: HC Dukla Jihlava
Born: January, 26th, 1984
Weight: 180 lbs.
NHL draft: 2002 eligible Read more »
In one of his first interviews after signing a three-year contract with the Boston Bruins, Andy Hilbert told Peter Baptista of Hockey’s Future how excited he was to officially be a Bruin and also his plans to make the Bruins roster next season.
To read the article about Hilbert’s signing, Click Here
PB: How does it feel to officially be a Boston Bruin?
AH : It’s a great feeling. I worked my entire life to be a pro player especially to be a Boston Bruin. I can’t put it into words how excited I am and how hard I’ve worked for this. I am just extremely excited.
PB: Did the Bruins influence your decision at all?
AH: Not really. They told me there was a great opportunity in Boston and it was hard to pass up but the decision was basically mine.
PB: When did you make your final decision to turn pro?
AH: Sunday night
PB: Did you inform Red Berenson or the Bruins first?
AH:I informed the Bruins first and then Red and my teammates at Michigan.
PB: What do you think your odds of making the Bruins out of camp are? Read more »
Former first round selection (1997), Robert Dome has agreed to a one year contract to play for the Penguins. Dome, who was touted as a talented prospect but never materialized, will get one last opportunity.
The 22 year old Slovak has made a habit of reporting to camp out of shape and has yet to produce at the level the Pens hoped he could. After a dispute with management a year ago, Dome chose to play for Kladno of the Czech Elite League. He posted 9 goals and 12 assists with 57 PIM in 29 appearances.
The 6’0″ 210lbs. Dome will have one last chance to make a positive impression on Penguins officials this fall.
If there were an award given out in the USHL for nicest guy, Todd Marr would be a strong candidate. The Waterloo BlackHawks goaltender is without a doubt one of the good guys in the world of hockey. Todd’s modest and kind attitude mixes in well with his maturity that many players in the Junior Hockey circuits do not have.
At 21 years of age he has gone far in the hockey world, starting at a very young age. One of his greatest attributes is that although he loves the game of hockey and plays it as often as he can, he hasn’t let that get in the way of always getting a good education and enjoying life as often as possible. Todd hails from Darien, CT where he grew up enjoying a variety of things on top of hockey. Working out, hitting the golf links, camping and fishing are just a few. He has a musical taste as well listening to everything but country. The Dave Matthews Band is by far his favorite band out there. Todd only has 1 sibling, a sister named Julie who he is very close with.
To start at the beginning, Todd attained his interest in goaltending thanks to one guy, Paul Bishop. Paul got Todd started as a net minder as he himself was a goaltender. It caught Todd’s attention and it’s a move he’s never looked back on. Early in his hockey career Todd played for Avon Old Farms Academy. It’s a step above high school hockey and he played for them for four seasons. Every season Avon Old Farms would make it to the semifinals or quarterfinals of the New England Prep School championships alongside two former USHL stars from Wat Read more »
As the 2001 NHL Entry Draft has now concluded, teams look at their
prospects to determine where they stand in depth, skill, and overall
strength of their prospects.
The requirement for being on this list is simple: 25 games played or
less at the NHL level. I rank the players on two categories: 75% of
their ranking is obviously based on skill and 25% based on how quickly
the player will make an impact on the roster. After the player review
is listed where the player will likely play in 2001, followed by when I
expect them to be a regular on the Sharks.
1st: Remaining atop the list of Sharks prospects is Jeff Jillson,
however, his lead is not as wide as it was last year. While Jillson has
done nothing to reduce his standing, others have improved theirs,
getting within arms reach of the top spot on the Sharks depth chart.
The winner of the CCHA Player of the Week for October 23rd, Jillson led
Michigan’s defense to second place with ten goals and 20 assists in 35
games, finishing the year on an impressive note in his offense. He
recorded a +17 on the season, and spent 74 minutes watching the game
from the penalty box.
While his offense has been down at times, the upside is that Jillson has
been playing a much smarter game than 99/00 and has been more
responsible defensively. He has refrained from committing the types of
penalties resulting of him not reading the play quick enough, then being
forced into a penalty to prevent a goal.
The main reason Jeff Jillson returned to Michigan last season was
toimprove his consistency an Read more »
The Blue and White Report Magazine is back and we have two exciting editions
for you this season!! Due to an overwhelming response which resulted from
last year’s magazine, we have produced a 2nd annual issue which reports
totally on the Maple Leafs’ future.
The 1st issue, due for release on July 15th, is The Blue and White Report:
Prospects Handbook. This magazine has profiles, photos, scouting reports,
interviews, and articles on the top 10 Maple Leafs prospects. We then have
a scouting report, profile and interviews on the next 16 Leafs’ prospects as
We have extensive profiles on the top 26 propsects in the organization!!
We have a report on St. John’s players, and scouting reports and profiles on
ALL of the 2001 Maple Leafs’ draft choices. As always we have included “A
Blast from the Past” and have feature articles on the Maple Leafs drafting
and prospects development philosophy.
This magazine sells for $4.99 US, $7.99 Canadian, which includes shipping
and handling (For orders outside North America, add $3 for shipping to the
US price). This magazine is not available on newsstands.
Our second issue this year, due for release on or about August 15th, is The
Blue and White Report: Preseason Issue. This magazine has extensive
profiles, photos, scouting reports, and statistical projections on all
Toronto Maple Leafs players (including all off-season acquistions up to
press-time) and in addition has feature articles on 1/2 of those players
also!!! There is a section on A Blast from the Past, a repor Read more »
Jeff Farkas-Prospect or Suspect?
The is a school of thought out there that is starting to have doubts about Baby Bud winger Jeff Farkas. Picked out of that NCAA hockey factory Boston College in the 3rd round of the 1997 draft with the first choice the Leafs had in that selection process (thanks Cliff, thanks a lot), the knock on him has always been his size. He is equally adept at finishing and dishing and skates like the wind, but many wonder why he hasn’t become a regular at the ACC as of yet. Those that do point to such players that, drafted in later years, are already mainstays with their teams. Some were picked lower in the draft than Farkas, but by and large most were top ten, top twenty picks. That said, Farkas will be 23 years old when training camp rolls around and therein his critics find their most tangible point. But take a look around the league, specifically at those teams who’s farm system is the envy of all others. Ville Nieminen, the latest in a long line of Colorado blue chippers, got his first taste of NHL action when he was, you guessed it, 23 years old. Chris Drury, another NCAA product and a Hobey Baker Award winner made the jump when he was 22 as did Czech product Milan Hejduk. All were 3rd or 4th round selections. The fly in this ointment, Alex Tanguay, who was playing with the Avs at the age of 20, was picked 12th overall in 1998. Or how about the New Jersey Devils? Pierre Dagenais, widely tipped to take Alexander Mogilny’s spot in the line-up will be 23 when he reports in September. If it isn’t him, then it will sure Read more »
Every NHL team’s main goal is to improve from season to season. This improvement usually comes through the maturing of young players, off-season trades, and a “fiscally responsible” dip into the free-agent waters. André Savard’s recent moves definitely fall into the above categories. The Canadiens have improved since last year. They have added 48 goals to the roster (Perreault-24, Dackell-13, Juneau-10, Quintal-1), without giving up a single player from last season’s squad.
The Habs have increased their depth; bringing in a trio of forwards who could possibly step in as the team’s number two line. In fact, these players would have been the Canadiens’ number one line for most of last season; given the team’s injury problems.
Yanic Perreault joins the team, and instantly becomes the top goal scorer on the roster (using last season’s numbers). He was the league’s top face-off man, with a winning percentage of 63%. This aspect of his game will immediately improve the Habs’ special teams; a part of the game where puck-control is tantamount to success.
His salary of under $3 Million per season allows Savard to keep the team’s salary structure in order. This is particularly important when it is considered that Saku Koivu and Brian Savage are restricted free-agents. If we accept the fact that Koivu should be the highest paid skater on the team, then signing a free-agent to more than $3 Million would send Koivu’s salary through the roof. Player’s salaries are affected as much by the team’s fiscal structure as they are by the league’s.
Per Read more »
Death by a Thousand Cuts for Killer?
This must be getting frustrating for Ottawa 67’s Coach Brian Kilrea. For the second year in a row, his first line center going into training camp, a draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, looks like he won’t be playing in the OHL this year. Last year, a heart murmur detected in Luca Cereda wiped him out for the entire schedule after heart surgery. Up until that time, he was a serious pre-season candidate to be the OHL’s Player of the Year. Enter Vadim Sozinov. After a slow start to his initial campaign with the 67’s, he became an integral part of Kilrea’s attack and the coach had gone so far as to predict a breakout year from the second year junior. He may well have that breakout year, but it looks like it won’t be in Ottawa, rather in Novokuznetsk of the Russian Elite League. Make no mistake, if the Khazakh forward makes the big squad in Russia, he’ll be playing in a league that is just a step below the NHL and above anything he’d find in the OHL or on ‘The Rock’. But he also might end up playing for their junior team as well. In any case, with this decision, Brian Kilrea has got to be wondering how long he’s going to have Jaroslav Sklenar in the Black, White, and Red, who, you guessed it, was another Leaf pick that he chose in the import draft.
The Door Swings Open for Tellqvist
With the placing of Glenn Healy on waivers and the signing of Swedish goaltender Mikael Tellqvist to a 3 year deal it looks like one of the SEL’s most dominant players in the last two sea Read more »