The Tampa Bay Lightning made some significant strides toward rebuilding their team in the 2000 draft. Here are the moves as they are viewed by the organization.
First, the trade for Kevin Weekes. The original plan was to add a veteran goaltender to help Dan Clouthier’s progression. This was probably a good idea at first, but considering the cost of a veteran goalie and the fact that who would really teach someone to take their job, not really feasible. Weekes came on strong at the end of last season and should be on the brink of breaking out. He is an athletic player and just needs a little seasoning. He should push Cloutier for the number spot and if nothing else is a very capable backup. The key to that trade though was actually the defenseman, Kristian Kudroc. The Lightning wanted Kudroc last year and would have selected him in the 2nd round. The Islanders traded up to get him though. Kudroc is big, tough, and has an immense upside. He is just another of the vast stable of blue liners that Tampa Bay has amassed.
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Going into the 2000 draft I wanted the Coyotes to take a gamble on
players with huge upsides. They did not disappoint as several of the
Coyote picks were made for skilled offensive players who are years away
from making any sort of impact in the NHL. They even managed to grab
two overage draft re-entries that provide the Coyote roster with some
much needed depth for the short term.
As for the draft itself, after much reflection, I have to admit I was
fairly pleased with the group of prospects they grabbed with their
selections. It is not an “A” draft by any means, but I would give the
Coyote staff a grade of a “B-“. The grade would have been higher if the
Coyotes had been able to move up in the draft or if more information
were available on second round pick Tatarinov. The Coyote drafting
strategy highlighted the need to bring players with the potential to
play on a top line. I am also biased by the selection of Ramzi Abid who
I feel will make an immediate impact for the Coyotes. It would be
fantastic if Abid could develop into the type of player that Shane Doan
has become. I think Daniel Briere could find some room to work some
magic playing in between these two behemoths. I have a feeling that
Abid will be on the NHL roster next season; especially if the Coyotes
are unable to come to terms with free agent wingers Greg Adams or Benoit
Hogue. So with apologies to Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic, here Read more »
MOOSE AQUIRE 3 ICE DOGS
Doug Ast was one of the three players picked up by the Manitoba Moose
with right-winger Dmitri Leonov and defenceman Dion Darling for future
considerations. The Ice Dogs left the IHL last month to begin play in
West Coast Hockey League so they put up their I-calibre players up for
at the NHL draft in Calgary.
“It was hard for them to survive in the IHL,” said Ast of the Dogs’
attendance of less than 4,000. “Basically it was a business decision. It
Ast knew he could end up almost anywhere on the continent in the IHL or
but figured it would be either independent Houston or Manitoba.
“Manitoba’s my favorite rink to play in. I grew up out here watching the
Jets play and they’ve always got good ice. I’m looking forward to
front of Canadian hockey fans,” said Ast. “The weather is something
going to have to adjust to.”
Ast, 27, scored 22 goals and 48 points in 79 games for the Ice Dogs last
season and has played 211 games for Long Beach over three seasons.
“He can perform a number of roles and has a history of putting up second
line-type numbers,” said Moose GM/head coach Randy Carlyle.
Leonov, 25, notched 17 goals and 38 points while collecting 165 penalty
minutes last season. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound native of Chelyabinsk,
Russia, Read more »
The Capitals have already had a busy off-season, but the biggest moves are yet to come. Many of the changes so far have affected the minor league system, leaving the NHL roster intact. However, with six big-name Restricted Free Agents and the potential for some blockbuster trades very soon – the Caps could have a different look for 2000-01.
As with the rest of the league, the Capitals had to sign their 1998 draft picks by June 1st or lose the rights to them. George McPhee got things started early by signing collegiate defenseman Michael Farrell in March. Then, right at the deadline, the Caps came to terms with Krys Barch, Nathan Forster and Rastislav Stana. They are all expected to play minor pro next season, and the Caps have high hopes for all of them. This meant that the remaining 1998 draft picks: Goaltender Jomar Cruz, Forwards Blake Evans and Todd Hornung re-entered the 2000 draft. None of them were selected, and they will look for Free Agent deals during the summer.
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For all of you fans who frequently check in with HockeysFuture.com This
is a really great time to be a fan. As an offseason special, I got a chance
to conduct an interview with Spokane Chiefs defenseman Kyle Rossiter. Kyle
was drafted 30th overall by the Florida Panthers in the 1998 NHL draft. To
this date, he has currently played 4 season’s for Spokane of the WHL.
Hockey’s Future: How old were you when you started playing hockey?
Kyle Rossiter: I was 5 when I started playing hockey in Edmonton.
HF: What did it feel like to be drafted into the NHL?
KR: It was a big relief because it just seemed like the pressure had been
building all season and everyone speculates as to when and where you’ll be
drafted you really feel like you are under the microscope.
HF: Was there any special team(s) you wanted to be drafted by?
KR: Any team was fine by me, at this point you just want to get your foot in the
HF: Why did you decide to play Major Junior instead of perhaps going to a U.S.
KR: I, like most hockey people, viewed major junior as the faster track to the
NHL. I knew that I could always go back to school if things in Junior
didn’t work out and with the CHL scholarship plan I knew that if things
didn’t go my way that Spokane would foot the bill for four years of
Read more »
The Man they call “Trader Don” may have earned a new nickname in Calgary, You may soon hear
other General managers referring to the Thrasher GM as “Drafting Don”. In the weeks before the
2000 NHL Draft, Waddell told everyone that he felt the Thrashers would trade their pick for some
veteran talent. Looking back, Waddell must now be one of the happiest men in the NHL. Trading
the Thrashers number one pick may have been beneficial for the short term, but acquiring a
player of the caliber of Dany Heatley was a big plus for this club.
Heatley has been a bonafide scorer (with Size) at every level. He successfully made a
smooth transition to US collegiate hockey last year, continuing his development with the
Wisconsin Badgers. He was the man the Waddell wanted all along, after hearing no astounding
offers from any other clubs, and should be a perfect fit on a future Thrasher line centered by
last years #1 pick Patrick Stefan. The Number 1 North American in the Final CSB Rankings, as
well as number one THN draft eligible, Dany lists at 6’1″ but is more like 6’3″. He plays
agressive attacking Hockey which led to 28 Goals in 38 Games last year. His season-long growth
at Wisconsin earned him a big jump from the 20 or so mid-season CSB Rank. Scouts Liked the
scoring pop, as well as his work ethic, and think this guy can’t miss. The Thrashers do not
expect Dany to jump in Right away, but could give him a shot in Training camp. Either way, he Read more »
The Dallas Stars 2000 draft consisted of ten picks, with eight of the ten being European. Dallas selected an overage prospect later in the draft. Below is a detailed look at the Stars’ 2000 draft day.
#25 Steve Ott, C
6-0 168lbs 10-19-82 Windsor (OHL)
Must gain weight to be effective in the NHL, but already has the necessary skills. Has speed, good puck control, and good passing ability, while also maintaining a distinct edge to his game. Proof of his skills lie in the fact that he led his team in scoring as a rookie, and was MVP for Team Cherry in the ’00 CHL Prospect Game.
Solid pick with good upside, and should develop into a nice two-way player
Regular Season gp-66 g-23 a-39 pts-62 pim-131
playoffs gp-12 g-3 a-5 pts-8 pim-21
Dan Ellis, G
6-0 180lbs 6-19-80 Omaha (USHL)
A butterfly goalie that played last season in the weaker USHL, and will attend college next season. Possesses good quickness, rebound control, and focus, but must translate his game to the higher levels of competition.
A reach made because of need, but his progress has been encouraging.
gp-55 w-34 l-16 t-4 so-11 gaa-2.25
Joel Lundqvist, C
6-0 182lbs 4-2-82 Vasta Frolunda Jrs. (Sweden)
He has played well in recent international tournaments, while showing Read more »
WOLVES GOALIE ONLY PLAYER TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 4 LEAGUES
Wendell Young is the only player with championships in the NHL, AHL, IHL
and major junior, the 36-year-old Young added another IHL ring this season
when his Chicago Wolves defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 3-1 in Grand
Rapids, Mich., for the Turner Cup.
Young won his Memorial Cup with Kitchener (1981), his Calder Cup with
Hershey (1988) and his two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh (1991, 1992).
“I’ve always said I’ve been blessed to play on great teams. A lot of great
athletes never get the chance to play for a championship. When I sit back I
realize how fortunate I’ve been.”
Young, healthy all year, shared time throughout the season with ex-NHLer
Andrei Trefilov. Young had a 32-12-4 record in the regular season with a 2.77 goals-against
average. He was 5-3 in the playoffs with a 3.32 average. He said sharing time with Trefilov, his close friend, was a huge plus as the
Wolves kept running into tired goalies in the post-season.
Young played 187 NHL games over 10 NHL seasons with Vancouver, Philadelphia,
Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. He’s played the last six years with the Wolves and his time with the club
dates back to opening night in franchise history.
The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto wanted to take a picture of Young with
his four major trophies after the 1998 victory. Read more »
Every year in the NHL they have their annual awards show after the Stanley Cup Finals are over. And usually the same guys, like the Jagr’s take home trophies every year. Yet one award that is never won by the same guy more than once is the Calder Trophy. Given to the NHL’s annual Rookie of the Year. It seems nowadays though that pretty much all of the candidates for this award are supplied from the CHL or a few like Mike York of the Rangers, are from college’s around the United States. This year’s winner of the award Scott Gomez of the New Jersey Devils had 70 points this year as a rookie. Most in the league by a rookie since 1993. And for the past couple years Gomez harnessed his game with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League. Gomez was a huge producer with Tri-City in the 98-99 finishing with 30 goals and 78 assists for 108 points in 58 games. Yet Gomez was still a late first round pick being selected 27th overall by the Devils in the 98 Entry Draft. Obviously no one expected this kind of offensive outburst from Gomez. Yet perhaps others like Tim Connolly of the Islanders and an Erie Otters native was rushed to the NHL due to a lack of offense on Long Island. Yet guys like Connolly and Halifax Mooseheads product Alex Tanguay continued to put up numbers and show flashes of brilliance in the first campaign. Other guys with big time first season’s were Simon Gagne of the Flyers, who was moved along from the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts. Brendan Morrow who played in Dallas this year and before that was a member of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. And defenseman B Read more »