C, 6-3, 235, 18 years old, Burlington, MA
St. Sebastian’s(USHS) n/a
Following in older brother Jay’s footsteps, a standout at Boston
University and now playing for the Devils, Mike Pandolfo has signed a
letter intent with BU after a stellar season in Massachusetts’ top
high school league, the ISL. Because of his growing reputation as one
of the top young power forwards in the country, he’s been heralded as
the next Keith Tkachuk. But there are other reasons for that
comparison; both were considered poor skaters in high school, lacking
the quickness, mobility and speed that it would take to find success
at the next level. But Pandolfo is so skilled in other areas, such as
having terrifically hard wrist and slap shots, nice soft hands and the
ability to be an immovable crease monkey, that make the risk well
worth it. What scouts also love about Pandolfo is that he uses that
big frame to his advantage, making opponents part of the boards or
just a spot in the ice with his booming checks. Pandolfo was the 4th
rated skater on the USHockey Report’s New England-New York area
skaters ranked for NCAA Division 1 potential.
D, 6-3, 190, 18 years old, Amherst, NY
Thayer Academy(USHS) 20-4-1-5
Orpik, one of the top young American defensemen, was trying to decide
where to play this past season, as well as this fall. He attended a Read more »
In the second installment in our series on the world of scouting, we take a look at how National Hockey League clubs organize their scouting departments and utilize their resources in order to find the best available draft prospects.
A typical NHL team will begin its scouting structure by assigning their scouts to specific regions or territories. And these area scouts are responsible for scouting all the prospects in their particular region. Generally, clubs will have different scouts assigned to Ontario, Quebec, Western Canada, U.S. College and High Schools, and Europe. The scouting director meanwhile helps to organize and direct the group while receiving and reviewing all player reports and updates. He too will take to the road, along with the general manager, to see select players/tournaments firsthand.
Crucial to the entire scouting system is the ability to communicate and integrate the information. The computer networking age has certainly helped to facilitate this. As reports and rankings are compiled by region and league, the next step is to consolidate that information into a useable format–one that allows the club to evaluate all prospects evenly.
Read more »
The Buffalo Sabres may be headed in a new direction early in 1998. Some time this week Buffalo long confused ownership question will finally be resolved. Lifetime owners Nortrup Knox and John O. Swados are being forced out by minority owner John Rigas, owner of Adelphia Cable. Rigas is rumored to finally be taken full control.
The ownership change has been rumored for some time but the situation changed rapidly on Friday, after Sabres management struggled to make payrole. The team has reportedly lost some 32 million dollars over the last three years and were is desperate financial shape.
Rigas, a Sabres minority owner since 1994, has slowly been buying up shares of the club and he currently owns around 49% of the team. However no one really knows for sure. Rigas though has been the Sabres primary financial backer over the last three seasons. The trouble has been that Buffalo has always been run by a limited partnership, wherein the five most prominent owners voted on everything. Rigas often lost during the voting and therefore he has no real power, dispite his financial clout.
Rigas was an huge backer of former coach Ted Nolan and he was very upset after he was basically run-out-of-town. Once he gains full control, Rigas will probably make sweeping changes. Many feel he will fire team President Larry Quinn, a vastly unpopular person in the Buffalo community. Also on the possible hit list are current General Manager Darcy Regier, current coaches Lindy Ruff and Mike Rasmey, along with other front office personel. Read more »
The Sharks have had five rookies total in their lineup this year, more than
any team in the NHL in fact. There’s some good regarding that, and some bad.
The bad being that if you need to have that many in the first place, the
chances are your team hasn’t been playing to well in the past. As of course
has been the case with the San Jose Sharks in recent years. The good news, is
that of the five, four are regularly in the lineup for the Sharks, and all
have played well for us. The young guys, not only rookies, but other young
players such as Jeff Friesen who’s 21, Mike Rathje 23, Owen Nolan 25 and
Andrei Nazarov 25, are a big reason to why the Sharks are currently in 7th
place in the Western Division, and at the time of this article, unbeaten in
their last 6. What I’ll be covering here is only the rookies who have played
for the Sharks this year. Those players being Patrick Marleau, Alexander
Korolyuk, Andrei Zyuzin, Richard Brennan (currently in AHL), and Rookie of the
Month for November, Marco Sturm.
Patrick Marleau-The youngest player in the NHL this year earned a spot on the
Sharks’ roster this year, despite fears that rushing him to the NHL would
ruin, or hurt his development as it did former Shark Pat Falloon, and another
now big name player, Petr Nedved. It was a tough decision. You had a rare
case in Marleau, of a player who had outgrown the WHL where he was drafted Read more »
Alex Tanguay – 6’00, 180 Lbs, Shoots – Right
Born – November 21, 1979 in Ste-Justine, Quebec
Acquired – Drafted in 2nd round 20th overall in the 1996 QMJHL Midget Draft.
1996-97 Team – Halifax Mooseheads, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Honors – Named to 1996-97 CHL All-Rookie Team at Left Wing
NHL Status – 1998 Prospect
Year GP G A PTS PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG GTG
1996-97 70 27 41 68 50 +21 5 0 3 0
Playoffs 12 4 8 12 8 0 1 0 0 0
1997-98 29 26 18 44 12 -1 6 1 2 1
After spending only one season in the Quebec Midget AAA League, Alex
Tanguay began the 1996-97 Season with only one goal, to make the Halifax
Mooseheads’ lineup. Well, Tanguay earned a spot in Halifax and sure enough
the next step the NHL may be at hand.
Playing in an average of 5,000 fans a game and sellout crowds of 9,615.
Tanguay’s personality and skill made in a instant fan favorite in Halifax
in 97-98. Leading the team in points with 44 this year. Alex has 4 games
due to a wrist injury early in the season and now has been named to
Canada’s World Junior Team. where he should fair well playing along with
top prospects Vincent Lecavalier and Manny Maholtra.
Tanguay will go into to the 1998 NHL draft looking to become the highest
Halifax Moosehead to be drafted by a NHL team. This Spot is currently held Read more »
Draft day, 1996: The day Edmonton Oiler GM Glen Sather took a young defenseman from the Crushing Academy US high school. The name is Tom Poti and the game is offense. In three seasons at Crushing Academy he racked up 188 points in just 90 games, though he was playing against weak competition.
Ranked 15th overall by the Central Scouting Bureau, the Edmonton Oilers stole the native of Worcester, MA with their 4th choice, 59th overall. Poti took his hockey career to the next step as he played in Hockey East for Boston University, putting up good numbers for a rookie defenseman. Tom scored 4 goals and chipped in 17 assists for 21 points in 38 games, earning him a spot on the All-Rookie team and NCAA Championship AllTournament team. Poti has attended two World Junior Championships for the USA and has impressed with his big point shot and passing abilities.
Drafted at 6’2″ and 178 pounds, Poti has since filled-out his now 6’3″ frame to 210 pounds and is enjoying a break-out season in BU. Averaging over 1.4 points per game, Poti has 4 goals and 16 assists for 20 points in 14 games to date. #5 is currently #2 in BU Terriers team scoring behind center Chris Drury.
Scouts say Poti rises to the occasion when called upon. “The better the competition, the better he plays” said one scout. “He’s going to bring people out of their seats with his offensive skills and passing ability.” Poti is a good skater and not a liability on defense.
Read more »
On February 10, 1998 at Maple Leaf Gardens, 40 of Canada’s top junior draft prospects will take to the ice for one final chance to impress the scouts. The Chrysler Cup Challenge, a.k.a. Top Prospects Game, will be held for only the third time and the importance of the game varies. For consensus number one picks of the past, such as Joe Thornton, who collected only two assists at last year’s game, average showings did nothing to jeopardize their standings. The case should be the same for QMJHL whiz kid Vincent Lacavalier this year as he goes against the top 17-year-olds in the CHL. But that’s not to say that the players, superstars and alike, take this game lightly. “It’s going to be really, really intense because we all want to prove ourselves. The scouts are all there to watch you play and if you play good, it’s going to be good for you,” said Lacavalier while promoting the game in Toronto last month. Another player touted to go high in the first round in Guelph Storm center Manny Malhotra but who isn’t all that concerned about the game. “If you go out and put on a show for the scouts, they may look at you with a brighter eye, whereas if you go out and play not that great, they realize it’s just another game,” said Malhotra. Players not considered high picks, however, will be giving all they have to put on such a show for the scouts, as well as giving phenoms like Lacavalier, Malhotra and David Legwand a run for their money.
Read more »
With all the shuffling that GM Glen Sather has put the rookies through, you’d think it was because of their lack of effort or skill or both. Well, neither is true as Slats tries to mix up the lines and spark the team out of their mediocre performance. The rookies, in fact, are arguably the best ones out there half the time, as the likes of superstars Jason Arnott and Andrei Kovalenko have been caught in funks of goalless streaks extending past 20 games each. The Bulldogs are the ones that have taken advantage of the situation to make a name for themselves as Oilers. One of those rookies is hulking winger Georges Laraque. Despite only playing in 2 games, Laraque showed true grit, desire and character, playing his usual hard nosed game with a broken right foot.
Read more »
The Buffalo Sabres have recently made several moves involving their prospects.
First, Buffalo farm club Rochester re-assigned Mike Zanutto (C 6-0 190) and Daniel Bienvenue (LW 6-1 196) to South Carolina of the ECHL. This move was done so these two young players could see more game action. Also it is expected that Mark Dutiame (LW 6-1 180) will also be assigned to the ECHL, when and if he ever gets healthy. (It should be noted that Mark has played a grand total of only 20 games since he was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1995 draft)
Then Buffalo sent Jay McKee (D 6-3 200) and Erik Rasmussen (C 6-2 207) down to Rochester of the AHL. Both players were in Sabres coach Lindy Ruff’s doghouse and they had been spending more time in the press box than on the ice. The Rasmussen move is not unexpected as Buffalo management want him to see more quality ice time at the center position. The McKee move is very unexpected. McKee’s progress last year was one of the key reason Buffalo made no attempt to re-sign free agent Gary Galley. He has been very inconsistent all year and down right terrible lately. The move will hopefully restore his confindence longterm.
Rochester now is the home of three first round picks in Jay McKee (95′-a), Erik Rasmussen (96′) and Martin Biron (95′-b).
Buffalo recently sent Erik Rasmussen and Jay McKee down to Rochester to get
more playing time. Buffalo also allowed Rochester to re-assign Mike Zanutto
and Daniel Bienvenue to South Carolina of the ECHL for the same reason.
I had a chance to talk with the Sabres Direction of Player Developement and
the Head of the Scouting Department, Don Luce, he told me that as of now
Buffalo has no plans to recall anyone besides Rasmussen, McKee, Mike Hurlbut
(D) or Patrice Tardif (RW) (both a veterans) and maybe Scott Nichol. He felt none of
the other prospects were ready to contribute at the NHL. Luce also stated
that he was surprised by the overall positive play of Jean-Luc Grande-Pierre
and Denis Hamel. Both came into training camp with serious questions marks a
both need to pick up their skating. In each case their poor skating was
considered the key in holding back any NHL career. Grande-Pierre has improved
quite a bit, while Hamel is
improving much slower but he is using his other assets to catch the scouts
Luce also state that he was thrilled to hear how well Alexie Tezikov was
playing but he hadn’t had a chance to see an QMJHL games. He was planning and
making a round in mid January to look at the Russian and Francois Methot.
As of Mid-Decemember 1997, here is my current feeling as to the Sabres top
Rank Player Ht. Wt. Age location (league) +/- from Nov. Read more »