Here’s a capsule look at the current status of Toronto’s top 10 prospects based upon their respective performances during the 2000/2001 season:
Mikael Tellqvist (G) – Tellqvist’s outstanding season in the SEL has been well documented here at Hockey’s Future. While leading his club team to a second consecutive Swedish championship and also showing well in several international competitions, Mikael has firmly cemented his place at the top of Toronto’s prospect list. What’s Next: Having already accomplished just about everything that he possibly can at home, Tellqvist is poised to try the North American scene next season. Although there is a outside chance that he might win the back-up job in Toronto, his long term development would probably be better served by starting 40-50 games in St. John’s.SEASON GRADE: A
Brad Boyes (C) – Boyes, Toronto’s first round selection at last June’s draft, was another prospect who saw his rating soar during the course of 2000/2001. Brad led the Erie Otters with 45 goals and 45 assists for 90 points in only 59 games. He was awarded the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s most outstanding player in recognition of a truly dominant season. What’s Next: Brad has one year of eligibility remaining in junior hockey and will almost certainly return to Erie next fall. He will be asked to improve his defensive positioning, skating and upper body strength in order to better prepare for a pro debut in 2002/2003.SEASON GRADE: A
At the draft of 2001, Craig Button finally put his stamp on the team. He had been ridiculed for not making moves, and now that he did at this year’s draft, there is a lot more talk going on about player moves rather than the draft picks themselves.
Going into the weekend, the team had a gaping hole at center, nearly adequate goaltending, decent scoring on the wings, and an up-and-coming defensive corps. They had the eleventh overall pick, and then nothing until the 101st pick in the fourth round. All of this changed thanks to Button…for better or for worse. Analysis of all the moves is required to create an informed opinion.
The first trade Calgary made was sending their eleventh overall pick to Phoenix in exchange for the 17th overall pick, and a second rounder. This was wise as the Flames needed picks in the second and third rounds where they were completely devoid of picks.
The Calgary Flames sent RW Val Bure, and F Jason Weimer to Florida for C Rob Neidermayer and a second round draft choice this year. Doubters claimed that although Bure caused problems in the dressing room and alienated himself from Flames fans, his goal scoring, albeit inconsistent, will be missed and wasn’t replaced on draft day. They also claim that Weimer was Calgary’s only true rugged forward, and he earned many points with Flames fans by sticking up for his smaller teammates when taking on some of the better enforcers in the league, like Georges Laraque of Edmonton, and Donald Br Read more »
The Boston Bruins spent the entire NHL Entry Draft adding skill, size, and toughness to their system, all 3 of which were absolutely necessary. They also added two little-known goaltenders who both appear to have some potential for the future.
The Draft Preview Article stated the Bruins needed to increase depth in goal, improve defensive prospects, and add wings to the organization. The Bruins met all those goals despite not meeting the goals with the best players available.
The Bruins used their 19th overall pick on defenseman Shaone Morrisonn. Many consider Morrisonn’s selection the first surprise pick of the draft. The CSB had Morrisonn ranked 41st among North American Skaters. Even Shaone thought he was a second round pick, “I was rated, 41st, I think, and I expected to go in the second round.”
The Bruins felt otherwise about the 6’ 3” 185 lbs. defenseman from Vancouver, BC and made him their top choice.
“He was high on our list, and made our top ten. We were waiting to see if he was still there, and fortunately he was,” said Bruins Director of Scouting, Scott Bradley.
The 18-year old reportedly made huge improvements as the Western Hockey League season reached its mid-point and Morrisonn, the Kamloops Blazers, and even the Bruins hope he can build on those improvements to become even better. Shaone climbed 17 spots from his mid-season ranking of 58 to his final ranking of 41 on the CSB list.
“It was a surprise that Morrisonn was taken so early in the draft, but I can see where Boston was coming fr Read more »
Going into the 2001 Draft the needs were on the table plain and simple, toughness and size up front. The Rangers picked a goaltender in the by the name of Don Blackburn out of Kootenay of the WHL. Although Blackburn is and was rated as one of the top overall players in the draft the nets in NY have greater “short” term problems and than long term. With Johan Holmqvist, Jason Labarbera, Henrik Lundqvist, Johan Asplund and Vitali Yeremeyev in the pipeline one has to wonder why add another? Regardless of whether he is better than those, the Rangers needs in the nets are immediate. Mike Richter will be unavailable for sometime and Kirk McLean is not the answer. Guy Hebert has been given his walking papers so who is available in the short term?
The Rangers next pick was 6-3 200 pound defender out of St. Petersburg in the Russian Elite League. While the second round pick, he could turn out to be a nice addition to this club in 3 years or so. While the likes of Mottau & Aufiero and now a slew of free agent / traded defenders St.Croix, Kinch join up… there are question marks about what to do with the excess baggage on defense.
The Rangers did not find a “need player” until the 3rd round when they selected Garth Murray. The 6-1 205 pounder tallied 44 points on 28 goals in 2000-01 and amassed 183 penalty minutes for his hard work.
The Los Angeles Kings were poised to add some quality players to their system last weekend, and that is exactly what they did. The Kings pulled some suprises, but left Florida with exactly what they wanted- a combination of size, speed, skill and goaltending- some that can contribute right away.
The Kings used the 18th selection on 18 year-old Swedish right winger Jens Karlsson. Karlsson had slipped down the draftboard on many teams’ lists because of a somewhat “off” season last year. Two years ago, Jens was listed among the top potential Euro’s in the 2001 draft and this potential is what lead the Kings to nab him in the first round. Many feel Karlsson has the protoypical NHL game and can give the Kings the power forward they have coveted for so long, Karlsson has a nasty streak as evidenced by his 185 penalty minutes in the Swedish Junior league last season.
The 30th selection was used to draft Ohio State freshman David Steckel. The hulking center from West Bend, Wisconsin had 35 points in 32 games for OSU in his freshman season. Steckel is a worker and a potentially powerful player. At 6-5, 200 pounds, Steckel is another piece of the puzzle that the Kings have yearned for- a big, playmaking, nasty center.
After seeing what Adam Deadmarsh’s style did for the team this season, the King’s mission seems clear. They want gritty forwards, preferably with size. If you look at the last two drafts, you could potentially see a line of 6-3 Frolov, 6-3 Karlsson and 6-5 Steckel. While you never know when these players will arrive, the potential of somet Read more »
Many teams were busy making moves on day one, but the Caps remained fairly complacent. They choose Nathan Paetsch with their fifty first pick overall, traded the sixty first overall pick to Tampa bay for the New York Islanders’ second pick in the 2002 draft, and picked up Owen Fussey with the ninetieth pick overall.
The trade the Caps made was a fairly minor one, basically swapping a low second pick this year for what should be a high one next year. They could pick as high as thirty-five or forty next year with the Islanders’ second rounder. The trade is a relatively minor one, and most likely does not do anything significant to help or hinder the Caps in the immediate future.
58 overall – Nathan Paetsch – D – Moose Jaw (WHL) Size: 6’0, 195 Last Year’s Stats: 70 games, 8 goals, 54 assists, 62 points, 118 PIM Washington’s highest draftee of 2001 was ranked fifty first overall by the Hockey News, and is a player who probably could have gone a lot earlier. He is known as an offensive defenseman whose primary asset is his outstanding passing and decision making ability. He should be a solid NHL defenseman someday, probably a 3, 4, or 5 type guy on a good team. His offensive abilities will make him a power play quarterback. Because of the Capitals’ depth at defense, Nathan will likely finish his junior career before getting a real chance to make the Caps.
By Panthers Editor Mark Fischel with commentary from Jes Golbez
Going into the draft, the Panthers had 4 of the top 50 picks, and it wasn’t an issue of if they were going to make a deal, but rather what kind of deal will they pull off? Needless to say, the Panthers didn’t disappoint the 8000 fans in attendance. Pulling one major deal to acquire Valeri Bure, and another in which they traded up to the first round, the Panthers ended up the draft with making 2 first-round selections and ensuring next season will be an easy one for the marketing department.
Going into this draft, areas of attention were as follows: Defense, Defense, and more Defense; Center of Attention,; Tending the Nets; and Speedy Defensive Forwards with Heart. It is a comforting that the Panthers scouting department on draft day fulfilled 75% of those needs, with some smart picks heavy on skilled players, tough players, a overage Euro-veteran, and a Elite level prospect.
Before the draft, all differing opinions had the Panthers trading up, trading down, trading the pick for defensive help, or having a fire sale of players to rid themselves of high priced players like Pavel Bure and Trevor Kidd. But the Panthers mainly stayed the course and got what they wanted. Tim Murray, the Panthers Director of Amateur Scouting, felt the day was a successful one “We actually got guys a full round later, 2 rounds later than we thought we were going to get them”
Last year, the Pens took a North American born skater in the first round for the first time since 1996. Thsi year, they went even further. Not only did they take another North American in the first round (Canadian Colby Anderson), but they spent the majority of their picks this year on players from North America.
When the Pens pick came up at 21, they had numerous options available to them. A number of quality players with varing skillsets were ripe for the picking, whether it being a hard hitting defenseman (Jeff Woywitka), a large number of solid 2-way defensemen (Gleason, Popovic), and skilled European or North American forwards (Perezhogin, Polushin, Milroy). The Pens went a different direction, selecting Red Deer forward Colby “Cheese” Armstrong, a gritty 2-way forward who is an excellent skater with a nice scoring touch.
Armstrong is an admitted pest, saying “If you talk to most guys, they probably hate me here. But that’s probably a compliment.” His game is compared to current Maple Leaf Darcy Tucker or former NHL player Brent Sutter (who is also his current coach at Red Deer).
Armstrong scored 36 goals and 42 assists in 72 games with 152 PIM for the Memorial Cup winning Rebels this past season. He also scored 6 goals and 12 points in 21 WHL playoff games and a goal in 4 games in the Memorial Cup playoffs.
Here are the fowards who played on the team this year, except Pascal Dupuis and Christian Matte.
Matt Johnson 6-5 230 LW, The team gave up to much to get him (a 3rd rounder) but he played much better than expected. On most nights he didn’t hurt the Wild defensively when he was on the ice, he led the team in PIM’s, He was needed because the wild forwards are to small. He is a true heavyweight. He had 1g 1a 2p and 137pim’s in 50 games.
Sylvain Boulin 6-2 207 LW, Another enforcer, was picked up in the waiver draft. Was not expected to do much other then fight, he performed well when given the chance. He even scored in 3 straight games. A poor man’s Shane Churla. He had 3g 2a 5p 117pims in 41games.
Roman Simicek 6-3 210 C, a great trade for the wild, even if he doesn’t produce in the NHL, because he was traded for a big nothing named Steve mMckenna. Simicek is big but looks awful when skating, if he can improve on his first year in the NHL he should be a good 3rd liner, and see time on the power play. He will even fight if he as to. He scored 5g 10a 15p PIMs in 51 games with Pittsburgh and the wild.
Wes Walz 5-10 180 C, As the season went on, he was the Wild’s best forward, he never stopped, every play 100 percent. He scored the most short handed goal for an expansion team. He had 18g 22a 30p 37pims in 82 games.
Darby Hendrickson 6-1 195 C, A Minnesota boy who picked up his game this year with the added ice time, some nights he played like a first line center some other nights he looked like his old 3rd li Read more »