Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.
Khristich finally gone: Toronto’s favorite whipping boy Dimo Khristich was dispatched to Washington on December 11th … the Leafs will receive Tampa’s 2001 3rd round draft choice in return … Toronto will now have 5 selections in the first 3 rounds at the draft next June (the Tampa pick plus Chicago’s 2nd pick in addition to their own selections) … reports indicate that the Caps will be responsible for Khristich’s entire salary (with the exception of a 1 million dollar deferment) … Dimitri previously enjoyed 5 highly successful years playing in the American capital and his new team obviously feels that he can improve upon the highly mediocre results produced in Toronto … they may be right in that Khristich delivered 1 goal and 1 assist in his first start with the Capitals on December 12th …
Thomas sidelined: Classy veteran winger Steve Thomas underwent a successful knee scope on December 11th and will now be out of the line-up for up to 6 weeks … Thomas’ rather difficult season (with only 2 goals thus far) continues … now in the final year of his current deal with the Leafs, Steve may have only 30 or so games remaining in which to re-establish his market value for next season …
Rumours: Word is that ex-Leafs’ Assistant Alpo Suhonen is already on the outs in the Windy City – apparently Hawks’ owner B Read more »
List of Players on the 2001 USA National Junior Team.
Rick DiPietro 6-0 (184) 185 (84) 9/19/81 R Winthrop, Mass. Chicago Wolves (IHL) New York Islanders
1 Craig Kowlaski 5-8 (174) 185 (84) 1/15-81 L Warren, Mich. Northern Michigan Univ. (CCHA) Carolina Hurricanes
No. DEFENSEMEN Ht. (cm) Wt. (kg) Birthdate S/C Hometown 2000-01 Team NHL Rights
5 Justin Forrest 5-9 (177) 175 (80) 4/15/81 L Auburn, N.Y. Boston College (HE) Carolina Hurricanes
4 Tim Gleason 6-1 (187) 205 (93) 1/29/83 L Clawson, Mich. Windsor Spitfires (OHL) Not yet drafted.
2 Ron Hainsey 6-2 (189) 200 (91) 3/24/81 L Bolton, Conn. Univ. of Mass-Lowell Montreal Canadiens
7 David Hale 6-1 (187) 212 (97) 6/18/81 L Colorado Springs, Colo. Univ. of North Dakota New Jersey Devils
6 Mike Komisarek 6-4 (194) 230 (104) 1/19/82 R Islip Terrace, N.Y. Univ. of Michigan (CCHA) Not yet drafted.
27 Paul Martin 6-1 (187) 170 (77) 3/5/81 L Elk River, Minn. Univ. of Minnesota (WCHA) New Jersey Devils
28 Freddy Meyer 5-10 (179) 185 (84) 1/4/81 L Sandbornville, N.H. Boston Univ. (HE) Not yet drafted.
No. FORWARDS Ht. (cm) Wt. (kg) Birthdate S/C Hometown 2000-01 Team NHL Rights
10 Marc Cavosie 6-0 (184) 170 (77) 8/6/81 L Cohoes, N.Y. Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. (ECAC) Minnesota Wild
24 John Di Salvatore 6-1 (187) 185 (84) 3/30/81 R Windsor, Conn. Providence College (HE) San Jose Sharks
9 Connor Dunlop 5-10 (179) 180 (82) 1/15/81 L St. Louis, Mo. Univ. of Notre Dame (CCHA) Not yet drafted.
18 Rob Globke 6-3 (192) 200 (91) 10/24/82 R W. Bloomfield, Mich. Univ. of Notre Dame (CCHA) Not yet dr Read more »
There will be some very exciting Bruins hockey to watch for a change after Christmas. This brand of excitement, however, will not be coming from the Fleet Center. For the first time since 1996-97, the Bruins will have decent prospect representation at the 2000-2001 World Junior Hockey Championships in Russia. Representing the Bruins will be 2000 draftees: Andy Hilbert, Brett Nowak, Lars Jonsson, and Martin Samuelsson.
Andy Hilbert was the first North American player selected by the Boston Bruins in the 2000 NHL Draft last June when they selected him in the second round. Hilbert is a two-way center that agitates opponents with his feisty style of play. He is a strong, well-balanced skater with a low center of gravity and is often compared with Chris Drury of the Colorado Avalanche. With former teammate Mike Comrie defecting to the WHL, Hilbert has stepped up to lead the Michigan Wolverine’s this season.
“With Mikey gone, we’ve really had to pick up the slack,” said Hilbert in an exclusive interview. “I’m starting to feel comfortable now and the guys have done a good job coming together. It’s really tough when you lose a guy like Mikey, but these things happen. The experience has really brought the team closer together. We’re maximizing our chances and we’ll get the opportunity to do something special if we continue to play the way we have.”
Hilbert played a checking role for the US at last year’s World Junior Hockey Championship. With his impressive early numbers with Michigan this season, he would love the opportunity to Read more »
Here is a quick update on the Minnesota High School scene. Eden Prairie, an early season favorite must find a way to replace Gopher recruit Garrett Smaagaard, who tore his ACL during football season. Greenway of Coleraine is looking like the top team in the state during the early going. Gino Guyer-Andy Sertich-Mike Forconi form the state’s most dangerous scoring line. No one has been able to stop them yet. As one would say they are like poetry in motion. Duluth East has another solid team led by all stater Nick Licari. Other teams looking to contend include White Bear Lake, Bloomington Jefferson, and Elk River. Players to watch from those schools include Tim Hambly, Trevor Stuart, Brandon Longley, Matt Duncan, Mike Bernhagen, and Tom Gilbert.
Brian Sutherby had abdominal surgery and will be out of action until after
the WHL’s winter break. He will also miss this month’s World junior
tournament in Russia. Brian was expected to be a key role player for team
Nolan Yonkman was given a boarding major and game misconduct for his hit from
behind on fellow Caps prospect Kris Beech. There was no suspension as the
league felt Beech turned his back at the last second. This is the second
time since being drafted that Yonkman has had a run-in with a fellow
prospect. Last season he fought Ross Lupaschuk after Lupaschuk came in to
defend a teammate that had been boarded by Yonkman. Both players claim they
are friends now and they joke about that fight.
One of the Caps weaknesses last season was toughness. Richard Zednik and
Sergei Gonchar were injured late in the season from cheapshots. In the
offseason, the Caps acquired Craig Berube, Remi Royer, and Stephen Peat in
seperate deals. Royer has played well lately, earning alot of ice time and
doing very well in his fights. Peat has won both of his fights last week,
before reinjuring his groin. He may play this weekend. In the games I’ve
seen he’s made the transition to forward much faster than I expected. He and
Royer could be called up this season if they can stay healthy and continue to
Trading Tampa’s third round pick to Toronto for Dmitri Khristich suprised me.
I expected the Caps to try to stockpile picks in the coming draft. In
essence, the Caps traded Yogi Svejkovsky for Khristich. I Read more »
Once again the Canadian Hockey League will play a big part in the
success/failure of the Canadian entry in the World Junior Hockey
Championships. The selection camp is set for Dec. 13-18 at the Beatrice
Ice Gardens in North York, Ontario.
31 of the 34 players that were originally selected were from CHL teams.
Out of the 34 players, 22 will be selected to represent Canada at the
2001 World Junior Tournament in Russia.
Seven of the CHL players selected were members of Canada’s bronze medal
winning team from the 2000 tournament. One player, Brian Finley of the
Barrie Colts, was a member of the silver medal winning team from the
1999 tournament in Winnipeg. Finley will be unable to play in the
tournament though due to the fact that he re-aggravated a groin injury.
At this years tournament the Canadian team will be looking for some
form of redemption after falling short of the gold medal the last 2
years. The Canadian entry has not won a gold medal at the World Junior
Tournament since 1997.
In goal, with Finley out of the fold, the starting job is Maxime
Oullet’s to lose. Oullet will likely be the starter throughout the
tournament. Rob Zepp, Pascal Leclaire and Alex Auld would all make
capable backups for Oullet. The Canadian goaltending will be a strong
point as it almost always is.
With 3 players returning the defence is shaping up to be solid. Steve
McCarthy, Jay Bouwmeester and Barret Jackman will anchor this years
defensive corps. There will be a great deal of size on the Team Canada
blueline no Read more »
The Norwegian Team had the better of the play to start with Norway tallying the first goal,(Chr.Thyggesen) just one minute in vs Austria. Austria rallied later and tied the match at 1. Norway`s Anders Frediksen was sandwiched in between two goals by Thyggesen as Norway held on for a 3-3 tie. Norway will play Ukrainia in their most crucial match as of yet.
American Kyle McDonough leads the way in the scoring race as the ex. UVM player has registered 9 goals and 31 assists in 20 games. Dan O`connell of Salisbury, Massachusetts is second in the league (TIK) with 74 penalty minutes in 20 games.
Anders Myrvold the Lørenskog player has been re-assigned by the Islanders to Springfield of the AHL. Myrvold registered one assist and averaged about 6 minutes of ice time in his two week stay on the Island.
Recently Released News:
When you see the Toronto Maple Leafs hit the ice, some players can’t be overseen due to their size. One of them is Petr Svoboda, the 20-year old rookie hailing from the Czech Republic. How difficult was his way into the world’s best league?
It was almost sure that Petr will be hockey player someday. He was born 06-20-1980 as a son of one of the top deensemen in Czechoslovakia, Radoslav Svoboda. In the early 80’s was Radoslav Svoboda a regular with the National team and played a solid defensive game. On that day Petr couldn’t know, but as time passed by, he realized this fact and began to watch his father playing games. Petr loved hockey since he was born. He loved it even more in the spring of 1985, when the Czechoslovakian squad won the World Championship in front of the excited Czechoslovakian people in Prague. There he could see his father with a gold medal around his neck. He could be proud, but it was time to start a hockey career of his own. The little Petr was brought to the team of HC Dukla Jihlava, where he took his first strides. The coaches decided that the tall Petr will be playing defense and Petr wanted to be just like his dad, so everything was OK. Dad taught Petr all the basic skills and gave him all the tips how to improve his game. Quite good to get tips from a world champion, eh? This payed immediate dividends as Petr developed into one of the most feared defensemen among the Czech kids. The now retired dad followed his practices and Petr was willing to listen to the advices. Besides, he always worked on to be in a good physical shape and ha Read more »
The Czech WJC camp opened yesterday, on Sunday, Dec. 10th, in Havlickuv Brod and this time coaches Jaroslav Holik and Pavel Hynek invited 8 CHL players. In the past years there were trouble with the Czech Ice Hockey Federation, which wanted to select only players playing in Europe. This should force the prospects to stay at home and not to leave for North America. But those teams struggled and so Jaroslav Holik had a chance to invite 5 CHL players last year. And those guys led the Czech team to a victory! So the limit of maximum 5 CHL players looked a bit out of place. It was dismissed and this year are 8 CHL players supposed to take part in the WJC. They could be nine, but Regina Pats’ defenseman and New York Rangers draft choice Filip Novak wasn’t allowed to start at the WJC by his parent Czech team HC Ceske Budejovice by this time and it looks like he won’t participate. That’s because he left for the Pats even if his team didn’t give him pemission to do so. But this year’s team includes for the first time two players, who had a taste of the NHL before they started at the WJC. These two are Jakub Cutta who spent 3 games with the Washington Capitals and Rostislav Klesla, a Columbus Blue Jacket, who even scored a goal in the NHL. So who are the CHL invitees?
Rostislav Klesla (Brampton Battalion, OHL
NHL draft: Columbus Blue Jackets)
No doubt about this guy. The first ever draft choice of the Blue Jackets will be the anchor of the defense. A rugged offensive defenseman likes to punish the players in front of h Read more »
Novak Not Going to WJC: Rangers defensive prospect Filip Novak will not be playing for the Czech Republic at this years World Junior Championships, as he is having problems with his former Czech team. According to what is being said, when Novak first left the Czech Republic for the Regina Pats last year, he left without permission and that has caused a problem with his former Czech team, which in some way they are not letting him play in the WJC. I suppose Rangers’ assistant GM Don Maloney didn’t know of the situation as he said on TV earlier in the year that Novak will be playing . However, Pavel Brendl will be on the Czech team and will look to make a name for himself, if he hasn’t done so already.
The Sophomores: How good have Mike York, Jan Hlavac and Kim Johnsson been for the Rangers this season? They have all been playing key roles on the team this year. Johnsson is the 3rd/4th defenseman, York the 3rd line center, but has been playing on the 1st PP and PK units, and Jan Hlavac has been playing 2nd line LW with Petr Nedved and Radek Dvorak. York has been a superb player for the Rangers, as his name has always come up in the press. Mark Messier, Theo Fleury, Ron Low and everyone else on the Rangers have said nothing but great things about York. He should continue to be a great two way center. Hlavac is on pace to score about 25 goals this year, and he will be a consistent 30 goal scorer in the NHL. While many Rangers fans have proposed trade offers with his name included, I don’t see any way Sather can trade Hlavac. He is not only g Read more »