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The ECHL Prospect Update will be used to spotlight players who have a chance to make an impact at the next level, whether it be the AHL, IHL, or the NHL.
All stats as of 3/2/98

David Van Drunen Team: Baton Rouge Kingfish Pos: Defense
Ht: 6′ Wt: 200 Born: Sherwood Park, Alta 1/31/76
Contract: Ottawa Senators ( signed free agent contract on May 2, 1997 )

David has been described by Kingfish Head Coach Dave Schultz ( yes, “The Hammer” himself ) as “a great young talent that has the potential to become a very good professional”. After being assigned to Baton Rouge on November 7th, Van Drunen has been solid on the blueline. He currently leads the team in the plus/minus catagory with a plus-8. While he has been steady in his own end , he has also chipped in some offense , with 7 goals and 15 assists.

Notes: Played entire junior career with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL….earned a spot on this years ECHL All-Star team….5 games with Hershey of the AHL this season.

Kevin Popp Team: Birmingham Bulls Pos: Defense
Ht: 6′ 2″ Wt: 212 Hometown: Surrey, BC Born: 2/26/76
Drafted By: Buffalo Sabres 119th overall 1995
Read more »

Oilers’ Midseason Rookie Report

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Mass confusion would be one way to describe the current situation of
the Oilers’ prospects.
Hamilton has been a far cry from hockey paradise as of late but with all
the chaos in Edmonton, it’s only natural. The Bulldogs’s talent,
patience and desire has been severely tested as they continued to play
musical rosters. But with all the bad, there is a lot of good. Swiss
phenom Michel Riesen took the world by storm at the World Junior
Championships earlier this month, comeback kid Steve Passmore is
gaining valuable experience and skills playing in the IHL and the strong
core of talented prospects like Mike Watt and Scott Fraser continue to
impress in Hamilton, leading the Bulldogs to challenge for first overall
in league standings. Here’s a quick overview of the future Oilers:

DYNAMIC DUO NOW DYNAMIC UNO

Up until last week, the Bulldogs had probably the best goaltending
tandem in Jean-François Labbe and Steve Passmore. The goalies were
putting up incredible numbers as both fought for the number one spot, as
well as the next chance at being called up. Now normally, having two hot
goalies would please most teams but it seemed to cause problems for the
Oilers. They didn’t want to stunt the growth of the younger Passmore but
Labbe was playing great, going 15-5-6 and posting a .924 SV% and 2.42
GAA in 26 games, and after his MVP performance last year with Hershey,
he deserved to be the top goalie. So before any trouble broke out, Read more »

Sabres Prospects Update

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As of Mid-January 1998, here is my current feeling as to the Sabres top
prospects.


Rank Player Ht. Wt. Age Location (league) +/- from Dec.
1. Erik Rasmussen 6-2 207 21 Rochester (AHL) new
2. Cory Sarich 6-3 182 19 Saskatoon (WHL) -1
3. Mika Norinen 6-1 191 18 Tappara (Finland) new
4. Alexei Tezikov 6-1 198 19 Moncton (QMJHL) -2
5. Maxim Afinogenov 5-11 176 18 Moscow Dynamo (Russia) -2
6. Darren Van Oene 6-3 207 19 Brandon (WHL) ---
7. Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre 6-3 207 20 Rochester (AHL) ---
8. Vaclav Varada 6-0 200 21 Rochester (AHL) -3
9. Luc Theoret 6-2 197 18 Lethbridge (WHL) +3
10. Scott Nichol 5-8 160 22 Rochester (AHL) ---
11. Jeff Martin 6-2 177 18 Windsor (OHL) +5
12. Kamil Piros 6-1 186 18 Litinov (Czech Rep.) new
13. Torrey Diroberto 6-0 186 19 Seattle (WHL) new
14. Jeremy Addouno 5-11 182 18 Sudbury (OHL) -1
15. Henrik Tallinder 6-3 196 18 AIK (Sweden) new
16. Sergei Klimentiev 5-11 200 22 Rochester (AHL) -1
17. Francois Methot 6-0 175 20 Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) -3 Read more »

Sabres center prospects: Mid-season report Card

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Today we will wrap things up by looking at Buffalo’s prospects at the center
position.

Star rating read as follows:

5 stars = Superstar potential

4 stars = A First Rate NHL player. Above average player

3 stars = Good NHL future. An average NHL player.

2 stars = Good minor league player. A below average NHL player.

1 star = Career minor leaguer. Emergency NHL help.

Centers:

:

Torrey DiRoberto   5-11    180     19      Seattle (WHL)  2 ½ stars

Acquire: 1997 5th round Draft pick, 128th overall

Stats look: as of 1/15/98

15gm 7g 6a 13 pts +2 17 pim

Torrey was drafted last year as a 19-year-old. He is like Brian
Holzinger, similar size, skill and speed. Though perhaps a better
natural passer.

The 97-98 season has proven a difficult one for Torrey. First, he was injured
during last season playoff run. The result was shoulder surgery, which the
Sabres medical team recommended. This kept him out of the Sabres training
camp, plus most of the first three months of the WHL season. He only began to
play in late November. Being out for so long more than likely destroyed his Read more »

Hurricanes Look to Bright Future

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With playoff contention looking doubtful, the Carolina Hurricanes, nee Hartford Whalers, are starting to focus on the upcoming draft and the future of the club. The team has a chance at a fresh start in front of fans just catching on to the sport of ice hockey and how they perform in the critical years of the near future will dictate the success of the NHL in North Carolina. Fortunately, the Hurricanes have a talented core of prospects that should make their job a whole lot easier. Despite giving up tremendous talent in Hnat Dominechelli and Jean-Sebastien Giguere to the Flames for proven veterans, Carolina has a strong bunch of prospects that are very close to stepping into the big time.
Read more »

Recent Ranger Picks Earn Mid-Season Accolades

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As the hockey season hits its midpoint, players at all levels get to showcase their abilities in various All-Star games and
international tournaments. But while the NHL has the International Showdown in Vancouver this weekend, and the Winter
Olympics in Nagano in February, junior hockey has the CHL All-Star games , and of course, the World Junior Championships,
which were just completed in Helsinki. The New York Rangers had eight players which were drafted in the past two years that
figured prominently in these events. A brief synopsis:

Cherneski, Henry named to WHL All-Star Team

Stefan Cherneski and Burke Henry, teammates on the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings, and Ranger draft
choices in 1997, have been named to the East team for the Western Hockey League All-Star Classic, which will be held in
Regina on January 21st.

Cherneski, a 6’1″ 195 lb. winger, and the Rangers first choice (19th overall) in the ’97 entry draft, leads the Wheat Kings in
goals, with 34 in just 41 games. He has been hot of late, after being cut from the Canadian national junior team in late
December. Henry, a 6’2″, 200 lb. defenseman, and the Rangers third choice (73rd overall), has blossomed this year, leading all
WHL rearguards in scoring with 56 points in 47 games.

Brown, Pepperall named to OHL All-Star Team

Jeff Brown and Colin Pepperall, Ranger draft choices in 1996, were named to the West team for the Ontario Hockey League Read more »

Buffalo Sabres Left Wing Prospects: Mid Season Report Card

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Today we look at Buffalo’s prospects at Left Wing.

Star rating read as follows:

5 stars = Superstar potential

4 stars = A First Rate NHL player. Above average player

3 stars = Good NHL future. An average NHL player.

2 stars = Good minor league player. A below average NHL player.

1 star = Career minor leaguer. Emergency NHL help.

Left Wings:

Daniel Bienvenue  6-0    196    20     South Carolina (ECHL)  1 stars

Acquried: 1995 5th Round pick, (Overall ??)

Stats Look: as of 1/12/98


Rochester (AHL) 9 0-0 0pts -5 15pim
South Carolina (ECHL) 21 3-3 6pts -4 2 pim

Daniel is a highly skilled player who simply needs to work hard and slowly
allow the Sabres organization to regain confidence in him. Since he was
demoted to the East Coast league, he has played ok but, but he hasn’t played
as well as he capable.

From my perspective, the best thing Daniel can do following this season is to
return to Buffalo, work with the training in the off season, and then work his
butt of in training camp next year. This would allow him to get back into the
minds of the Sabres brass. It would also represent a completely fresh start. Read more »

OHL All-Star Game

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North Bay Memorial Gardens will be jam packed the night of January 13th.
No, the lowly North Bay Centennials haven’t started scoring, but it is the
night of the OHL All-Star game. The game is just what North Bay needs to
get Cents fans back into the game. The rosters for the game:


Team East
(x-chosen by fans)

Goal: x-Bjuar Amidovski, Toronto; Brian Finley, Barrie.

Defence: Bryan Allen, Oshawa; Sean Blanchard, Ottawa;Nicky Boynton, Ottawa;
Brian Campbell, Ottawa; Peter Hogan, Oshawa; Martin Skoula, Barrie.

Forwards: Jeremy Adduono, Sudbury; x-Sean Avery, Owen Sound; x-Scott
Barney, Peterborough; x-Mark Bell, Ottawa; Matt Bradley, Kingston; x-Kevin
Colley, Oshawa; Mike Henrich, Barrie; x-Robert Mailloux, Kingston; x-Norm
Milley, Sudbury; Justin Papineau, Bellville; x-Daniel Tkaczuk, Barrie;
x-Joel Trottier, Belleville.

Team West

Goal: Robert Esche, Plymouth; x-Mike Gorman, Kitchener.

Defence: Jeff Brown, London; Chris Hajt, Guelph; Richard Jackman, Sault
Ste. Marie; Greg Labenski, North Bay; Mark Mcmahon, Kitchener; Marek
Posmyk, Sarnia.

Forwards: x-Pete Cava, Sault Ste. Marie; Matt Cooke, Windsor; x-Jay
Legault, London: x-David Legwand, Plymouth; x-Andrew Long, Guelph; Manny
Malhotra, Guelph; x-Colin Pepperall, Erie; x-Rodney Richard, North Bay;
x-Peter Sarno, Windsor; x-Jonathan Sim, Sarnia; Jason Ward, Windsor; Brian
Willsie, Guelph.

Read more »

Still Number One?

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Vincent Lecavalier, is he will he still be number one? After a dissapointing performance in this year’s World Junior Chamipionships, in which his team finished 8th, one has to ask, is he worthy of the number on spot in this June’s draft? The 6’4″, 180-pound centre who is said to have a great touch when around the net was expected to get the goal’s for Team Canada. But lack of offense was what Canada’s problem was. Other expected scorers didn’t step up and the lack of discipline was what led Team Canada to it’s demise. Lecavalier, who had 42 goals and 103 points in his rooke year last season, produced a few points but not enough. Then again, it is very unlikely for a 17-year-old to make an impact at this tourny.

After the poor performance Lecavalier still remails the top rated North American player for the NHL draft according to the mid season rankings from the Central Scouting Bureau (CSB). The Draft is said to have tremendous depth, espeically in centre with 12 centres expected to go in the first round. The CSB describes Lecavalier as “an intelligent player with great vision and a dangerous scoring touch,” it also says “he handles the pressure and media attention of stardom very well…possess all the qualities to be a franchise player”.
Read more »

Buffalo Sabres Right Wing Prospects: Mid Season Report Card

by pbadmin
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Here are the Buffalo prospects at Right Wing.

Star rating read as follows:

5 stars = Superstar potential

4 stars = A First Rate NHL player. Above average player

3 stars = Good NHL future. An average NHL player.

2 stars = Good minor league player. A below average NHL player.

1 star = Career minor leaguer. Emergency NHL help.

Right Wings

:

Jeremy Addouno          5-11    182     18      Sudbury (OHL)  3 stars

Acquired: 1997 7th Round Draft pick, 184th overall.

Stats Look: as of 1/9/98

43 25 46 71 +20 28 – 2nd league

Jeremy was a late round pick last who just may be turning into a bit of a
surprise. Though I’m sure they felt they were drafting a player who in many
way, remind them of Donald Audette, I’m not quite sure if they expected him to
provide as much offense as he has. Though it is only junior hockey, Jeremy
is proving that he a solid offensive player.
Though he is a fantastic scorer in junior hockey, he hasn’t shown as much
ability as the number suggest. He is primarily a pass first, score second
player. He needs to try to score more often, because he will find out that
NHL defensemen are much tougher to pass on than junior defensemen.

Read more »