A popular debate amongst followers of the Leafs these days is which of Luca Cereda and Brad Boyes will be the better player down the road. Drafted in the first round by Toronto in the 1999 and 2000 drafts respectively, they were the second and third pivots selected first by the Buds in a row (with Nik Antropov going in 1998). So who is better? It’s still too early to tell, but a closer examination of both skaters is in order as the NHL gets ready for it’s various training camps.
Cereda since his draft year has had a myriad of problems, some personal, but the main one medical. With his heart murmur and surgery behind him now, this coming season looks to be the one in which he will leave his mark on the Leafs farm system. A slick distributor with the puck, the Swiss product is a rock on his skates who sees the game very well, both offensively and defensively. While there has been a knock on him that he is not a physical player, this columnist having seen him play doesn’t buy it. He will never be a Darcy Tucker type flying into the boards at high speed regardless of risk. That said, he uses his lower body strength very much to his advantage. Other players might have to get an elbow up here or there to gain leverage in the corners, but Cereda just plants himself and pivots where they aren’t. His skating doesn’t come into question as he is above average across the board. If there is something he could work on, it’s his finishing ability. Cereda will never been a 40 goal man, but he will no doubt be the setup man for one down the line. The best comparison when it comes to Read more »
Everybody in the fantasy hockey world knows whom to draft in the early rounds: your Jaromir Jagrs, Pavel Bures and Paul Kariyas are guaranteed to go quickly. But what makes any fantasy team successful is scoring balance, and that means scoring some gems in the later rounds of your draft. So here are some players who are poised to take the next step, and round out your roster. Chances are they were on your team last year, but can be expected to increase their scoring totals this year and could prove to be keepers for years to come, making you look awfully good for nabbing them.
15. Patrick Stefan, LW, Atlanta
Has suffered under the burden of being the #1 pick on an expansion franchise, and has been plagued by concussions. But has slowly improved as he adjusts to the NHL game, and a late-season shift to wing saw him produce 11 points in the Thrashers last 15 games. Huge leap in scoring may be a year away, but could sneak up on a lot of people this year, and could prove to be a keeper. And just think what he could do once Dany Heatly and Ilya Kovalchuk develop.
2000/01 stats: 66GP, 10G21A=31PTS Projected 2001/02 stats: (23G29A=52PTS)
14. John Madden, LW, New Jersey
You’ve got to love the Devils’ depth. This guy scored 23 goals while playing mostly on their fourth line. Now that takes talent. One of the league’s most dangerous shorthanded threats, Madden will be called upon to help replace Mogilny’s 43 goals. A high scorer at Albany of the AHL, Madden is proving he can do it at the NHL level.
2000/01 stats: 80GP, 2 Read more »
At a press conference this morning, Kelowna Rockets President and General Manager, Bruce Hamilton, announced that list player Chuck Kobasew has elected to leave Boston College and become a member of the Western Hockey League.
The 14th overall selection in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames, Kobasew spent the entire 2000-01 hockey season with the BC Eagles, garnering honors as the Hockey East Rookie of the Year, as well as the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Prior to his collegiate experience he played for the BCHL’s Pentiction Panthers, amassing 54 goals and 106 points in his only full season in the league. Kobasew was named MVP of the BCHL’s Interior Division as well.
Position: Right wing
Weight: 195 lbs.
Hometown: Osoyoos, BC
Year Team League GP G A Pts PIM
1998-99 Penticton BCHL 30 14 14 28 n/a
1999-00 Penticton BCHL 58 54 52 106 n/a
2000-01 Boston Coll. H-East 43 27 22 49 38
Kamloops Blazer forward Jarret Lukin scored two goals for Team Canada, including the game winner, en route to the squad’s 5-0 shutout over Slovakia in the first official game of the 2001 Six Nations Tournament in Kolin, Czech Republic. Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Chicoutimi, QMJHL), Maxime Talbot (Hull, QMJHL), and Ben Eager (Oshawa, OHL) also tallied for Canada on Monday.
Lukin, a 5-foot-9 and 170 pound native of Fort McMurray, Alberta, played his first full season in the Western Hockey League last year as a 16-year-old, posting 11 goals and 18 points in 61 games for Kamloops, along with 43 penalty minutes. He also appeared in all four Blazer playoff games.
Brandon Wheat Kings winger Lance Monych also added an assist on Lukin’s second goal, at 12:04 of the third period.
In addition to Lukin and Monych, four WHL players, all defensemen, are a part of the Canadian National Under-18 team. They include Tyler Boldt (Kamloops), Derek Meech (Red Deer), Andy Thompson (Kootenay), and Ian White (Swift Current).
The next action for the team is Tuesday against the host Czech Republic squad.
Player vitals: Jarret Lukin
Weight: 170 lbs.
Hometown: Fort McMurray, AB
Read more »
Conducting a Top 20 list of prospects is not an easy thing to do. Everyone has their own opinion on a certain player’s talent and potential, and if you ask 5 people to give you a Top 20 list, I’m willing to bet all 5 would be different. I know not everyone is going to agree with this list, and I respect that. I respect your opinion, and if you feel like expressing it in an e-mail or a comment at the bottom of this article, please feel to do so. I will try to reply to all comments. Well, enough of the gibberish, let’s get right to it: The List.
Read more »
Manitoba Moose have announced that they have purchased the contract of LW/C Jason Cipolla from the Rochester Americans. Cipolla spent the past two seasons with the Amerks but Moose fans may remember him from his two years as a member of the Milwaukee Admirals, where he recorded 111 points in 129 games between 1997 and 1999. Cipolla is the fourth player acquired by the Moose this season, joining defensemen Brian Chapman and Justin Kurtz, along with forward Jimmy Roy.
The Toronto product posted totals of 12 goals and 25 assists for 37 points in 72 games with the Americans last season. He signed with Rochester prior to the 1999-2000 season and was part of the Amerks’ run to the Calder Cup final. Cipolla is known as an individual with good character. On the ice he is feisty and agressive. Off the ice, he was awarded the Americans’ McCulloch Trophy for his work in the community last season.
“Jason Cipolla is a hardworking player that will show up every night,” said Carlyle. “When Vancouver goes through a string of recalls over the course of the season he will be one of the players that we will depend on as a constant variable along with players like Brian Chapman, Justin Kurtz and Jimmy Roy. We expect that he will be able to contribute offensively and will be a positive influence in the dressing room.”
Cipolla will join all the Canucks hopefuls in Burnaby, B.C. when Vancouver opens their training camp on September 11th.
In 1996-97 Hamilton Bulldogs Dennis Bonvie set an AHL record when he recorded 522 penalty Read more »
We’ll probably not exactly find out which reason forced Jiri Dopita, arguably the best forward
outside the NHL, to try his luck on the other side of the pond. But one thing is for sure.
After refusing offers from the Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and lastly the Florida
Panthers, Jiri joins former Vsetin teammate Roman Cechmanek in Philadelphia. Jiri Dopita,
nicknamed Dopi (read Dopey) will celebrate his 33rd birthday in December and this native
from Sumperk, Czech Republic can’t be labelled as one who is entering his prime. But he can
provide immediate help and boost the Flyers offense for the next 4-5 years.
Jiri started to play hockey and handball in his native Sumperk in mid-70’s. It was soon clear
that this guy has a very good hockey sense and talent and Jiri stayed in Sumperk only till
he was ready to play in the elite junior league. HC Olomouc has brought him into the system, but
he didn’t make his Czechoslovakian 1. liga (elite league at that time) debut in Olomouc jersey. He
had to enter the army for two years and he played in his debut among the seniors for the army
team HC Dukla Jihlava. That was in the 1989-90 season. Jiri split the two army years between
HC Dukla Jihlava and VTJ Tabor and returned to Olomouc as the 1992-93 seeason passed the
Jiri Dopita was originally a Boston Bruins’ draft choice back in 1992, 132nd overall. At one time
it seemed that Jiri will accept their offer and fight for a roster spot with the Bruins, but
finally Jiri refused the Bruins offer and chose to play for Eisbaren Berlin (Berlin Ic Read more »
The Canucks have been a team in the past who have gotten quite a bit of high-quality talent from the NHL Draft. The past few seasons have been no exception. Since Brian Burke and his band of merry men took over in 1998, the Canucks have seen players such as Artem Chubarov and the Sedins take roles in the future of this franchise. With players such as Bryan Allen, Rene Vydareny and Brandon Reid set to undertake spots in the hopefully not-too-distant future.
Here are prospects #3-6, a preview and forecast of the upcoming seasons for Rene Vydareny, Alexander Auld, R.J. Umberger, and speedster Brandon Reid.
Rene Vydareny was drafted in 1999, in the third round, from Bratislava, in the Slovakian Junior league. He was the #12 European skater for the ’99 draft, ahead of such players as Luca Cereda, Kristian Kudroc, Andrei Shefer, and Mattias Weinhandl. He came over to North America for the 1999-2000 season, picking up thirty points (7g, 23a) in 51 games with the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL.
He missed a good chunk of this season due to a contract dispute with his Slovakian Club team, which blew up into him not being able to play in Kansas City, or with the Canucks, as stipulated in his contract. The Canucks spent the better part of a few weeks trying to wrestle the rights to Rene away from Bratislava, and eventually succeeded, although they paid an undisclosed sum to the Slovakian team for Rene’s services. He finally arrived in Kansas City, around the midpoint of the final season for the IHL. He didn’t score at all; (0g,1a in 39 games) but he showed flas Read more »
When the Vancouver Canucks selected Tim Branham with their 3rd pick (93rd overall) in the 2000 NHL entry draft, the Canucks knew that they were drafting a solid, talented defensemen.
Weight: 185 lbs
Hometown: Eagle River, Wisconsin
The 6’2, 185-pound Branham is known more as an offensive defenseman, rather than the typical defensive defensemen. Tim Branham’s skating is one of his more notable skills, along with his big shot. Branham will have more of a realistic chance to make the Canucks within the next 4 years.
The Canucks are deep on defence, with Bryan Allen, Zenith Komarniski and Rene Vydarney all ready to make the next step to the NHL. It leaves very little room for Tim Branham and other defensemen prospects like Bonni, Hay, and Ytfeld to make the team. There are hardly any open spots on the Vancouver Canucks for the next couple years. So many players are trying out for those few spots, only so many can earn those spots. It is going to be tough for the players, but fun for us writers and fans to watch.
Last year Branham played for the Barrie Colts of the OHL.
Tim Branham’s stats
1999-00 Barrie Colts OHL GP 38 G 3 A 16 P 19 PIM 46
2000-01 Barrie Colts OHL GP 68 G 7 A 25 P 32 PIM 77
Tim Branham posted very respectable numbers last season. A nice stat to see was the 77 penalty minutes in 68 games; this shows that he can throw his tall, skinny frame around and doesn’ Read more »