The Rangers headed into the draft looking to take either Dan Blackburn or Pascal Leclaire, two goaltenders labeled as future franchise players, with the 10th overall selection. A lot of people thought that if they did happen to get one of them, it would be Pascal Leclaire. Minnesota was rumored to like Blackburn at 6th overall, and if they didn’t take him, he would be scooped up 9th overall by the Blackhawks. But the Blackhawks opted for Tuomo Ruutu, and it didn’t take long for General Manager Glen Sather and Assistant General Manager Don Maloney to walk up to the podium and select the 6’0 180 pound Dan Blackburn from the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
Dan Blackburn at 10th overall is a great selection. He will be a great player down the road. The Rangers filled a desperate need by drafting a goaltender in Blackburn, and they also took the best player available. The Rangers have already said they will not re-sign goaltender Kirk McLean, who is a free agent, and they have told Guy Hebert that he can talk to other teams to try and find a new home. Add in Mike Richter still recovering from a torn ACL in both knees, the goaltending for the Rangers looks shaky. Johan Holmqvist is still developing in Hartford and he could turn out to be a starter some day, and the Rangers have other goaltending prospects in Vitali Yeremeyev, Jason Labarbera, Johan Asplund and Henrik Lundqvist, but the Rangers felt Blackburn was the real deal and they proceded with the selection. Many scouts felt Blackburn was the best goaltender in the draft and would be the first Read more »
The Rangers dealt their 3rd round pick (74th overall) to the Minnesota Wild for their 3rd rounder (79th) and their 5th rounder (139th). The Rangers proceeded to take Regina Pats C/LW Garth Murray with the 79th pick. The 5th rounder is a bonus for the Rangers, who dealt their 5th rounder to Colorado earlier in the season for Alexei Gusarov, who was then traded for Peter Smrek.
The second trade saw the Rangers ship away young defenseman Burke Henry to the Calgary Flames in return for young defenseman Chris St. Croix. St. Croix was drafted in the 4th round by the Flames in 1997. He is labeled as a two-way defenseman who plays physical in his own zone. He is a good skater and makes some good decisions on the ice. Whether he will be able to make the NHL is not known at this time, but he should see a few more years in the minors.
The ESPN2 announcers during the draft announced that it was likely the Rangers would deal Adam Graves to the San Jose Sharks for one or two prospects/minor leaguers. In this proposed deal, the Rangers would be eating about half of Adam Graves’ salary for this upcoming season. Personally, If Graves was to leave this team, I would rather see him traded and get something in return, instead of seeing him bought out and us losing nothing but money. However, either way I don’t want to see Graves traded, as he is an asset to this club in the locker room and he comes up big during the playoffs. Although, dealing him away for marginal prospects with little hope of making the NHL does not help us in any way, shape or form, in my opinion. I believe he c Read more »
On Day One of the 2001 Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins managed to stear clear of Europe and selected three Canadians and one American youngster.
The Pens selected Colby Armstrong in round 1, 21 overall. (Many speculated that they would target Czech’s Hemsky or Krajicek, who went 13 and 24 respectively in round one) Armstrong, a native of Lloydminster, Saskatoon played for Red Deer of the WHL in 2000/01. He is 6’1″ 180lbs. and plays the right wing.
Round 2 saw the focus shift to defense. Noah Welch was picked 54 overall. The 6’3″ 212lbs. defender hails from Brighton, Mass. and played for St. Sebastians high school last season.
Round three selections included defenseman Drew Fata, the 86 pick, from Sault St. Marie, Ontario. Fata, at 6’1″ 211lbs. skated for Tor.St. Michaels in the OHL. Picked 96 overall in round three was blue-liner Alexander Rouleau from Mont-Laurier, Quebec. Roleau, at 6’0 180lbs. suited up for Val D’or of the QMJHL this past campaign.
The Penguins confined their first four selections (of nine this year) to North Americans. They made no moves to secure a higher first round slot with a trade and in fact, Jaromir Jagr was allowed to begin his vacation in the Czech Republic. This leads many to believe that the Jagr trade will not materialize this weekend.
The Pens put an early emphasis on restocking their stable of defenseman, leading to speculation that several current prospects may see big league action sooner than later. RW Armstrong is expected to bring a little grit to the forward position.
Heading into the morning right before the draft, the NCRC was abuzz with many rumors of trades and declarations among pontificating beat writers as to whom their team will be selecting with their picks.
Shane and myself arrived very early in the morning to scope out and claim our spot on the press table, right in the front row! Elation turned to displeasure when we found out our neighbors at the table were all really big men, reducing the space available for us to work. Sitting amongst radio media, Television media, and beat writers for every team, the early morning quickly turned into the rumor pit.
Amongst the rumors that started our day out and quickly got us out of early morning stupor, was the unconfirmed news of Alexie Yashin going to the Islanders, Michael Peca going to Florida for the #4, Doug Weight going to Chicago for Daze, McCarthy, and Mark Bell. Dominik Hasek was rumored to be going to 7 different teams, Valerie Bure going to Chicago and Florida, and finally, Eric Lindros for Federov and Aaron Ward. Of course, most of these never happened, which brings us to……
Official trades of Day 1 of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft
– Ottawa trades C Alexei Yashin to the NY Islanders for the Islanders 1st round pick (2nd overall: Jason Spezza), D Zdeno Chara, and RW Bill Muckalt.
– Toronto trades C Igor Korelev to Chicago for Philadelphia’s 3rd round pick (88th overall: C Nicolas Corbeil)
– Montreal trades it 4th round pick (104th overall) to Chicago for D Stephane Quintal.
– Calgary trades its 1st round pick (11th Read more »
On the first day of the 2001 NHL entry draft, the Philadelphia Flyers made a pair of trades, affecting both their first and second round selections.
The Flyers traded their first round pick (#23 overall) to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for three draft picks (#27 overall, #225 overall, and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2nd round pick in 2002). The move caused some raised eyebrows, as the Flyers had at their disposal several of the most prominent defensemen in the draft. By moving down to #27, the Flyers were hoping that one of three defensemen they were eyeing (probably Tim Gleason , Lukas Krajicek and Jeff Woywitka ) would still be there when the 27th pick came up. Gleason and Krajicek were taken with the next two picks, but Woywitka was still there at #27.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Flyers dealt their second round pick (#56 overall) to Florida, in exhange for the rights to unsigned veteran Czech center Jiri Dopita. Dopita, who will turn 33 in December, has long been considered one of the biggest stars in European hockey and is a long-time fixture on the Czech national team.
Over the last nine years, Dopita has rebuffed numerous offers to come to the NHL. His rights were previously been held by Boston and the New York Islanders before they were dealt to Florida, and numerous other teams have inquired about his availability over the years. Until now, the answer was always no.
Why the change now? For one, he is close friends with his former Vsetin teammate Roman Cechmanek, another veteran Czech star who fin Read more »
With several players on their list already taken the Oilers scouting staff felt the long term needs of the organization was to acquire a pure goal scorer or a reliable defenseman. Interestingly enough the first three rounds turned out almost exactly as planned. They did not get the goalie they coveted but all in all I felt it was a productive first day in adding dimensions to the farm system. The first three rounds went quickly for the Edmonton Oilers and the players selected are as follows.
1st Round 13th Overall
Ales Hemsky RW Sh: Right 6-0/170 Born: August13/1983
Not all the scouts agree with each other on the assessment of this Czech winger who played in the offensive minded QMJHL but no one deny his skills. At this pick it is exactly one the main needs the Oilers were trying to address, a scoring winger in the Miro Satan mold who can break open games on occasion.
He arguably one of this draft’s most electrifying players with the puck and one of the only reason he was not taken higher is his unwillingness to play in traffic so to speak. Not particularly muscular by any means but that seemed to be of little concern to the Oilers brass since they were looking for pure skill over brawn. Because of the teams current depth of young gritty forwards in the system it was apparently felt that this selection was necessary.
For the most part Ales will provide that elusive swift skating goal scorer whom can make opposing defenseman look foolish. Also noting are his amazing puck skills in the handling and passing departme Read more »
New Page 1
By: Alexander Shapiro
By: Eugene Belashchenko ( http://www.russianprospects.com)
Chistov: Russian Karya? That title does not intrigue me
the last month Avangard forward Stanislav Chistov moved into second place
amongst the most promising juniors of the world and now gives way to only Ilja
Kovalchuk. Yesterday Chistov was
phoned in Florida by SE correspondent.Read more »
Well, it’s that time of year again. The most important time of the year for
an NHL franchise. No, not golf season (unless your Alexei Yashin). I mean
the draft. While the playoffs are the most high profile of all the events
that take place through out the season, the NHL Entry Draft is the place
where the future cornerstones of every NHL team -and even of the NHL itself-
are put into place. The following is the second annual mock draft done by
myself. Last year’s mock draft had a good/bad outcome. While most of the
players I selected to go in the first round did actually go in the first
round, I wasn’t as accurate in picking their final destination. This year, I
have decided to go to a two round mock draft, which will prove to be an even
bigger challenge, but one I feel up to. This should provide even more reason
for criticism, which I look forward too. Here is a list of the draft
selection order for the first two rounds including compensatory draft picks.
This has been updated as recently as June 20th and is supplied by the
2. NY Islanders
3. Tampa Bay
10. NY Rangers
13. Boston *
18. Los Angeles
19. Edmonton *
20. San Jose
24. New Jersey (from STL)
25. Montreal (from WSH)
28. New Jersey
29. Chicago (from DET)
30. Los Angeles (f Read more »
NCAA Players to make impact on drafts first day
By Carl Tilleson
As this weekend’s NHL draft approaches, teams are busy finalizing who they will go after when they’re on the clock. More than ever before, these prospective draftees are coming from the college ranks. It wasn’t long ago that even the top college players were little more than an afterthought, not likely to be picked early on. These days however ,teams are looking more and more to the NCAAs for an impact player. Players such as Paul Kariya (Maine) and Chris Drury (Boston U) have starred as soon as they made the NHL. Other college players have provided teams the role players they needed to make a title run. New Jersey may never have won the Stanley Cup in 99-00 without the abilities of guys such as John Madden (Michigan), Jay Pandolfo (Boston U), and Brian Rafalski (Wisconsin). College hockey as a whole has provided the NHL with more talent than ever before. This year should be no different, as there are several players who could provide help to the teams drafting early on Saturday. The following is a quick look at the top 5 college players heading into this weekend’s draft. The numbers in the parantheses indicate the player’s CSS ranking.
Mike Komisarek Read more »
Expect to hear the names of OHL defencemen called early and often at this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft. This is a bumper crop of fleet-footed, skilled players, no lumbering oafs here. NHL central scouting has seven OHL defencemen rated among their top 30 North American prospects. Compare this total with three from the Western league and one each for the Q and the NCAA. Here’s a quick look at this bumper crop (in alpha order):
A classic European-trained player, skating and puck skills are his best assets. Straight-away speed keeps opposing fore-checkers honest and lets him cheat a little in the offensive zone much like Brian Leetch. Outstanding lateral mobility makes him tough to beat wide and tough to defend when quarterbacking the PP. He makes crisp tape-to-tape breakout passes and handles the puck with confidence whether on the rush or the PP. Not a heavyweight, he doesn’t intimidate the opposition physically but does finish his checks and battles hard in the trenches. This Czech could use more Petr Svoboda-style grit in his game.
Read more »