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Luongo Debuts

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The highly anticipated NHL debut of Roberto Luongo came on Sunday night and the highest drafted goaltender ever did not disappoint. Luongo was solid throughout the game and was spectacular down the stretch preserving a 2-1 victory against the Boston Bruins. Luongo recorded 43 saves in his first appearance, a Islanders record. Loungo’s performance ended a three game skid for the Isles. Roberto’s dazzling play throughout training camp caused many rumors that Felix Potvin would be traded to make room for the emerging star. Now that backup Wade Flaherty is out indefinitely, Luongo will get a chance to prove himself without the pressure of being a number one goaltender. This is an ideal situation as Luongo will get to break in slowly and acclimate himself to NHL play. Luongo will most likely return the AHL when Flaherty returns, however Potvin’s trade value continues to climb an account of his strong play this year.
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USHL – Feature Prospect: Joe Krmpotich

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Name: Joe Krmpotich
Pos: F
Height: 5-10
Weight: 188 lbs.
Born: 3/16/80
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN
Last Year’s Team: Rochester Mustangs

1999-2000 Stats (USHL): (as of 10-9-99)

GP G A Pts PIM
1 0 0 0 0

1998-1999 Stats (USHL):
GP G A Pts PIM
51 13 15 28 87
(4 ppg)

JH: How would you describe your style of play? is it comparable to any current NHL player?
- I’m an aggressive forward. I go hard to the corners and work hard. Hopefully get the puck out to the front of the net to score some goals.
JH: Who is your favorite NHL player and why?
- Pavel Bure. He’s a very skilled player.

JH: What are your best skills and what are the skills you feel you need to improve on?
- I’m a hard worker. I need to work on my stick handling and shooting the puck a bit more.

JH: At what age did you first start playing hockey?
- I started when I was three.

JH: What colleges are you looking at, would you like to attend or are looking at you?
- I would like to play in the WCHA and if not there, then out East would be nice.

JH: Who has been the most important influence on you in your hockey career up to this point?
- My father. He’s been very supportive of my choices.

JH: Who were some of your inspirations growing up and who do you try to mold your game after?
- The 1980 Olympic team.
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Canadiens Junior Prospect Update

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Montreal Canadiens’ Junior Prospects Weekly Update Here is the first of our year-long installments of the weekly update. (Week ending 10/10/99)

Stand Outs
-Michael Ryder had a decent week with 4 points in 2 games.
-Jerome Marois had an over-achieving week with 3 points in 4 games.
-Dusty Jamieson had a superb week with 6 points in 3 games.
-Marc-Andre Thinel had an incredible week with 10 points in 3 games.

Awards -Michael Ryder was named the QMJHL’s offensive player of the month for September.

Eric Chouinard
POS HT/WT AGE DRAFTED
(C) 6’4″/192 Lbs. 18 D-Mtl98(1/16)

GP G A PTS +- PIM PPG SHG
1999-00 Quebec 9 10 6 16 +2 12 2 0

#1 Strength- Scoring ability
#1 Weakness- Doesn’t use size
Chouinard played 2 games this past week. He scored 2 goals and added 1 assist in a 4-3 win over Rimouski. and was shut out in a 5-2 Loss to Moncton. He was also -2 in the Moncton game.

NHL Projection – Second line center
Current Stock Status- Stagnant

Francois Beauchemin
POS HT/WT AGE DRAFTED
(D) 6’0″/190 Lbs. 19 D-Mtl98(3/75)

GP G A PTS +- PIM PPG SHG
1999-00 Acadie-Bathurst 13 3 7 10 +8 39 0 0

#1 Strength- Intelligence
#1 Weakness- Injuries Read more »

Jardine Off To A Blazing Start

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Name: Ryan Jardine
Born: March 15, 1980
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Position: Left Wing
Number: 21
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 170 lbs
Shoots: Left

So far this season in the OHL there have been a lot of players that have been tearing up OHL goaltenders. Bryan Kazarian lit up the Soo Greyhounds for 5 assists en route to 9 points in the first week of the season. Rookie defenceman Trevor Daley of the Soo Greyhounds has 9 points in 6 games so far this year.

Third year winger Ryan Jardine of the Soo Greyhounds is another player that has been tearing up the OHL early this season. In his first 6 games this season Jardine has 10 points, including 7 goals. In the first two games of the season Jardine potted 4 goals and, although he has cooled off a bit, he is remaining consistent.

In his rookie season Jardine scored 28 goals which is very good, especially for a rookie. Also in his rookie year he was named to the OHL’s all-rookie team. In his second year he scored 27 goals. This year he is on pace to score 74 goals if he continues his torrid pace. It’s highly unlikely that he will get 74 goals this year but, with the way that he has played so far this season, 50 is definitely not out of the question. If he does get 50 he would be the first Greyhound player to score 50 since Joe Seroski scored 54 in 1996-97. Remember though, Seroski was on a line with former 1st overall NHL draft pick Joe Thornton.
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New Kids on the Rangers Block

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With the NHL regular season already one week old, the New York Rangers have already seen a bit of what their “kids” can do. Mike York and Kim Johnsson have already earned regular shifts on ice. Johnsson perhaps at this juncture, the Best Rangers back liner. His smooth skating style and soft hands have prompted him to the no.2 unit with Stephane Quintal. Quintal, more of a defensive defenseman, will cover for the often up wandering Johnsson, together making a potentially lethal no.2 unit, offensively and defensively. Mike York has nailed down the no.2 center for the time being. The smallish York has been perhaps New York`s top forward, showing excellent hands and a nose for open ice, somewhat remeniscent of Wayne Gretzky, although no one is comparing him to The Great One. York possesses a team attitude and will to work, something that dogged Marc Savard last year in New York, as his commitment was questioned from time to time by Coach John Muckler.

Other young Rangers Jan Hlavac and countryman Milan Hnilicka have yet to earn sufficient ice time to be fairly judged. Hlavac with the injury to Valeri Kamensky may earn additional ice time in the coming days. Hnilicka will assume the role of back up netminder behind Kirk McLean until Mike Richter resumes play. Hnilicka has proven on an international level, that he can play “the game” but can he play in the NHL? My answer is yes.
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Where are they now? – Mark Jackson

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It was a bittersweet moment this summer when St. Albert Saints General Manager Marcel Viveiros got word that Mark Jackson would not be joining the club for the 1999-2000 season.

“I’m really happy for Mark. I’m sad to see him go but I wish him nothing but the best,” said Viveiros. “Mark’s another example of how successful our program has been over the years in terms of players earning hockey scholarships in the United States.”

While it was difficult to lose a budding superstar like Jackson, the role of the Alberta Junior Hockey League is to develop people and players alike for the challenges they may experience.
For Jackson, going to the University of Wisconsin and joining fellow Saints grads Steve Reinprecht (94-96), Dave Hukalo (95-98) and Scott Kabotoff (97-99) will certainly be a challenging endeavour – especially considering that he is entering the college one year earlier than expected.

“I’m very excited. It’s going to be great. I can’t wait. I want to get on with it and go to the next level,” Jackson told the St. Albert Gazette prior to departing for Madison in late August.

There were doubts over whether or not Jackson would be able to play with the Badgers this season as him joining the team hinged upon Carolina Hurricanes draft pick David Tanabe leaving the club to go pro. When Tanabe did leave, Jackson jumped at the opportunity. “It was frustrating just sitting there waiting for the phone to ring,” he said.
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Tallahassee Tiger Sharks Season Preview

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President/GM: Larry Kish

Coach: Terry Christensen

Southern Conference/Southeast Division

Last Season: 27-34-9

Leading Scorer: Brett Punchard 26-38- 64

Key Players: Matt Oates, Alexi Krovopuskov, Jeff McLean, Kimbi Daniels and Wes Swinson

Outlook: Injuries hurt the Tiger Sharks last year. Along with failed trades, an assistant coach leaving the team and the General Manager leaving before the season was over. Larry Kish brought his affiliations with the Montreal Canadiens and the Edmonton Oilers with him. Terry Christensen is back behind the Tiger Sharks bench, after coaching the Miami Matadors last season. If Kish is able to secure quality players from the Habs and Oilers, the Tiger Sharks should make the playoffs.

Up Front: The only player in camp with a contract is Matt Oates (24-74-81 with Columbus 10th in the ECHL), if Jeff McLean shows up (24-26-50 with South Carolina and Tallahassee), Alexi Krovopuskov (6-9-15), Kimbi Daniels (11-28-39 with New Orleans), play together and stay injury free, the numbers they put-up could be staggering.

Defense: With only three non rookies in camp the Tiger Sharks are going to need to rely heavily on Wes Swinson (4-29-33, with Miami and Tallahassee) and Alexandre LaPorte (3-15-18 with Augusta and Tallahassee) to lead the defensive corps, providing they make the team. If Swinson stays healthy, he can direct the power play while LaPorte plays his stay at home defensive game.
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Paul Jowett Player Profile

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Paul Jowett, in less than a year, went from being a depth forward on the St. Albert Saints hockey club to their top defenceman during the 1998-99 season.

Despite the extraordinary achievements made by Jowett during that short time frame, he has even higher expectations for himself as the 1999-2000 season moves into full force.

“I want to be a leader here. I want to make sure the team has a good year,” Jowett stated prior to the start of the year.

Back in 1997-98, Jowett’s outlook as a member of the St. Albert Saints hockey club was much different as his main goal was simply to make the club. Going into the season he had played for a short period in the SJHL and was a product of the St. Albert Minor Hockey system – having played for the St. Albert AAA Midget Elite Raiders.

Jowett played the majority of that season as a forward and did not make it past the January 10th AJHL roster freeze. He played 23 games, had two goals and seven assists for nine points as well as 40 penalty minutes during the Saints’ last championship season.

“It was a tough decision to make,” Saints General Manager Marcel Viveiros said about cutting Jowett.

He was back with the club to start the 1998-99 season, however, and made a huge impact upon arrival. While spotted on defence the year before, Jowett converted to the position full time and it was an remarkably successful transition.
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Young Kings solid

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Coach Andy Murray has the Kings playing a hard-working brand of hockey that seems to allow each individual the chance to excel in a specific area, thus allowing the team to prosper. Many of the young Kings have shown flashes in the first two games. Here is a quick rundown of some early impressions:

Frantisek Kaberle- This young defenseman has been a pleasant surprise. While Jere Karalahti’s Visa problems have kept him in Europe, Kaberle has taken advantage of the situation and provided the Kings with an offensive defenseman without sacrificing the other end of the ice. Kaberle is smooth with the puck and makes good passes. He never seems to be in a hurry to dump the puck, instead he waits the extra second to find the open man. His defense is not stellar, but he has combined with Garry Galley to provide a solid tandem that is talented with the puck.

Aki Berg- Aki Berg has returned as a physical player who is alot smarter with the puck than he used to be. Berg is paired with Sean O’Donnell who is an adventure every time he has the puck, including a direct pass to Pavel Demitra on Monday for a goal. Berg has shown a little more offense, but the teeth of his game is in the corners where he has made it a point to punish opposing players. Aki seems to still be adjusting to the NHL game after the year off, but clearly has potential to be a top defenseman.

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Bruins: Finishing Above The Rest

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With the departure of Tim Taylor, who signed a four-year, $5.8 million deal with the Rangers in July as an unrestricted free agent, Coach Pat Burns had an interesting training camp finding a new combination to match the gritty play of last season’s checking-line. Fighting for Taylor’s checking line position were Sean Pronger, Joel Prpic, Andre Savage, Shawn Bates and Mikko Eloranta. Entering his first professional season…Drafted by the Bruins as their ninth pick, 247th overall, in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft…Eloranta siezed the opportunity and will center Rob DiMaio and Scandinavian counterpart P.J. Axelsson. “Mikko is a solid, two-way player, a forward with skill and grit,” said Bruins Vice President of Hockey Operations and Assistant General Manager Mike O’Connell. “He’s a versatile forward in that he can play left wing or center and he was used in all situations with his club in Finland.”
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