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Philadelphia Flyers Top 10 Prospect Report Summer 1998

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As the memory of last spring’s early playoff exit at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres fades into the recesses of the Philadelphia
Flyer fan’s subconscious, tomorrow’s Flyers are working out today at the team’s practice facilities in Voorhees, N.J. This is the
third straight summer that the organization was lucky enough to secure the services of Cindy Bower, a power skating instructor
who is quickly become known as one of the top skating specialists in North America. Under Bower’s watchful eye, 18 Flyer
prospects along with Canadian Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser, hone their skills during the fast paced eight day clinic. Skating
form and conditioning are the priorities at this camp but as the week wears on, informal scrimmages end each
session.
Read more »

OHL West Division Preview

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An early look at the wild, wild OHL West Division. All data in
parenthesis indicate last year’s totals:

SARNIA (32-21-13; third place, OHL West; eliminated in first round of
playoffs by Plymouth in five games). THEY’VE MOVED ON: RW/C Jon Sim (44-50-
90); D Shane Kenny (11-21-32); D Marek Posmyk (8-16-24); Tim Verbeek (17-17-
34). THEY MIGHT BE BACK: G Greg Hewitt (3.10 in 18 games) and G Patrick
DesRochers (3.35 in 56 games). SUMMER DEALS: Acquired C Peter Sarno (33-88-
121) from Windsor for two draft choices; acquired C Peter Cava (30-60-90) and
two conditional 1999 draft choices from Sault Ste. Marie for C Chad Cavanaugh
(17-23-40) and four draft choices. KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: RW Jeff Heerema
(32-40-72), LW/C Robb Palahnuk (7-12), C Darryl Knight (17-34), RW Ivan
Novoseltsev (26-22), D Greg Willers (13-21), D Abe Herbst (1-24-25), D Ryan
VanBuskirk (8-17-25), D Dan Watson (6-15-21).
POSSIBLE OVERAGES: LW Andrew
Proskurnicki (20-33-53, 229 PIM), Michael Hanson (13-22-35, 231 PIM). TOP
FIVE DRAFTS: 1st (14) LC Ryan Hare, Sarnia Jr.B; 2nd (34) RW Tyler Coleman,
Petrolia Jets Jr.B; 4th (74) LW Travis Albers, Nepean Jr.A; 5th (95) RD
Julius Halkenny, North York Jr.A; 5th (100) LD Cory Brekelmans, Strathroy
Jr.B.

TWO QUESTIONS PER TEAM: Will Hewitt and DesRochers both return? Will
Sarno (who led the OHL last year in phantom assists) learn how to play a Read more »

1998 Draft-The First Round

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With the 1998 draft rapidly upcoming, it’s time for draft previews. I
have just completed my draft preview for “The 7th Man,” the New York
Islanders Newsletter. Here is my first round of the 1998 NHL Draft.

1. Vincent Lecavalier,C Rimouski,QMJHL
2. David Legwand,C Plymouth,OHL
3. Brad Stuart,D Regina,WHL
4. Manny Malhotra,C Guelph,OHL
5. Michael Henrich,RW Barrie,OHL
6. Bryan Allen,D Oshawa,OHL
7. Dmitri Kalinin,D Chelyabinsk,Russia
8. Martin Skoula,D Barrie,OHL
9. Rico Fata,C London,OHL
10. Christian Backman,D Frolunda Jr.,Sweden
11. Mathieu Biron,D Shawinigan,QMJHL
12. Jeff Heerema,RW Sarnia,OHL
13. Mark Bell,C Ottawa,OHL
14. Robin Regher,D Kamloops,WHL
15. Ramzi Abid,LW Chicoutimi,QMJHL
16. Evgeny Lazarev,RW Kitchener,Jr. B
17. Patrick Desrochers,G Sarnia.OHL
18. Eric Chouinard,C Quebec,QMJHL
19. Mike Van Ryn,D Michigan,CCHA
20. Jiri Fischer,D Hull,QMJHL
21. Simon Gagne,C Quebec,QMJHL
22. Mathieu Chouinard,G Shawinigan,QMJHL
23. Vitali Vishnevsky,D Yaroslavl,Russia
24. Milan Kraft,C Plzen,Czech Republic
25. Justin Papineau,C Belleville,OHL
26. Michael Rupp,LW Erie,OHL
27. Jonathan Cheechoo,RW Belleville,OHL

“MoDos great youth”

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MoDos great youth (5/1/98)
The history of MoDos fine youth program started in 1988. Yes MoDo has had youth stars even before this year. Thomas Gradin, Bo Berglund and Anders Hedberg all played in MoDo at an early age, but it was in 1988 that things really started to happen.

THE START
Angermanland has their best roster ever in the TV Puck, and the final against Stockholm was no problem at all. Markus Näslund who played for Ovik at that time, scored a hat trick and was choosen as best forward. The main thing that made it possible to start this youth program was the building of the new arena, the MoDo Hall. This made it possible to train and play more. The Hockey gymnasium woke up again after a few years without any big stars emerging. In the autumn of 89 all the players born in 1973 started playing at the hockey gymnasium. Those players included Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund, Hans Jonsson,Magnus Wernblom,Fredrik Bergqvist, Henrik Gradin and Andreas Salomonsson, all of whom played in the swedish league for MoDo.
Read more »

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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 »