If re-building is what the Thunder Bay Flyers did this season by making the play-offs with a 19-30-7 record. Then the 1999-2000 season the Flyers must be re-tooling for better things to come. The biggest change has already taken place. As Gary Wenzel was fired as head coach and general manager after only one season behind the bench. His replacement is Thunder Bay native Todd Jones who spent the last three years as assistant coach and assistant general manager of the Sioux City Musketeers. Both the Flyers and Musketeers are owned by Superland Sports business tycoon Ted Carlson.
The Flyers have 11 players returning to the Lakehead. The veterans will be led by Pat Sharp with 19 goals, 24 assits for 43 points in his rookie season. Other returning forwards are Derrick McIver 43 points last year, Chris Sharp 32 points, Murray MaGill, Clayton Carson, Aaron Grynol, Jeff Miles, Chris Shaffer 40 points. The defence looks to be a question mark with only two d-man suiting up from Wenzel’s squad. Rookie defenceman Jesse Baraniuck had a strong play-offs and Tyler Williamson returns for his third season on the blueline.
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Spring is in the air, so that means that the 98-99 regular season has ended for most of the Buffalo Sabres prospects. This has been a great season to be covering the Sabre prospects, as there have been several outstanding performances by a number of the Sabre hopefuls. Indeed, the Sabres may well have more quality prospects than those of the other 26 (soon to be 27) NHL teams.
One prospect has moved on since my last update, as Alexei Tezikov was traded to Washington at the NHL trading deadline. While the Capitals will be receiving a quality prospect, this was a move the Sabres could afford to make. Buffalo has great depth amongst their prospects at the defensive position, so it made sense for the Sabres hockey department to deal from strength to try to shore up the teams’ offensive weakness (albeit on a temporary basis). In addition to receiving Joe Juneau from the Capitals, the Sabres also received the Caps ’99 3rd Round pick, which adds to their growing collection of ’99 draft picks (currently at 11 picks, with a possible 12th pick on the way from San Jose).
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POS HT WT AGE DRAFTED
Mike Ribeiro C 5-10 167 20 D-Mtl98 (2/45)
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SH
98-99 Stats 69 67 100 167 +52 137 24 8
98-99 Playoff 11 5 11 16 -3 12 3 0
#1 Strength- Vision and creativity.
#1 Weakness- Size.
Ribeiro is a creative playmaker with impressive vision. He can spot teammates in the offensive zone as well as any player in the Quebec League. He is a natural scorer who must improve his skating. Size remains the big question mark.
Ribeiro’s performance during the regular season was outstanding. He led the entire CHL in scoring, while averaging 2.42 PPG. He won the QMJHL’s offensive player of the week award 3 times and turned some heads among the Habs’ brain trust.
Unfortunately, Ribeiro’s playoff performance left something to be desired. His average of 1.45 PPG was a full point below his season average. He also finished the playoffs an uncharacteristically low -3.
Immediately following Rouyn-Noranda’s loss in four straight games to Hull, Ribeiro was called up to the Canadiens AHL affiliate in Fredericton. It is still unknown whether Ribeiro will dress for any of the Baby Habs’ playoff games.(end of regular season)
Projection at NHL level- Second line center.
Current Stock Status- On the rise.
POS HT WT AGE DRAFTED
Eric Chouinard C 6-4 192 18 D-Mtl98 (1/16)
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In this article, we cover the progress of some of the rookies and freshmen on the Sharks roster as we enter the playoffs. Last year, the Sharks had perhaps the best trio of rookies, in Patrick Marleau, Marco Sturm, and Andrei Zyuzin. This year, the Sharks have had another group of rookies, who may not have been as touted as the above mentioned three, but have done fine jobs as well. Alex Korolyuk and Andy Sutton are the two main factors. Scott Hannan and Shawn Heins each played in five games for the Sharks, but due to limited games played, will not be included.
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The team is well on its way toward rebuilding itself to the top shelf at the NHL level, and although maybe not quite there yet, management is committed to a youth-oriented built largely through the draft. The Leafs’ prospects are certainly not near the top, but a steady rise has already begun.
1) Nikolai Antropov: C 6-5, 191 Moscow Dynamo: Has slowly, but surely raised his skill-level and has taken some good steps toward the NHL. Montreal writer, Jack Todd , saw Nikolai play 4 games this season and came away impressed with his readiness. He uses his size, strength and hockey instincts to his benefit and has progressed with his skating as well. He scored 4 goals, 3 assists in that 4 game stint. The Moscow Dynamo program is perfect for him at this point as their system teaches and emphasizes skating, passing and skillwork. Todd feels that Antropov is closer to being ready than fellow Moscow Dynamo prospect, Maxim Afinogenov, who has been drafted by the Buffalo Sabres. He is still growing into his body, as many 19 year olds will need to do. He represented Kazakhstan in the World Juniors championship and led his team in scoring with 3 goals, 5 assists for 8 pts. in 6 games. Nikolai has stated that he needs another year in Russia to develop his game. Estimated time of arrival in Toronto: Late in the 2000-2001 season.
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Another season is in the books for the Islanders, and despite having the worst record in team history since their expansion year there is hope for the Islanders. The Islanders have alot of young talented players (also adding Lindgren, Isbister, and Krog to the lineup) as well as a top five pick in the upcoming draft. Several Islander prospects had good rookie seasons and have graduated from the ranks of prospects.
During the last few months of the season Zdeno Chara emerged as one of the team’s best players. He was logging well over 20 minutes a game, saw time on special teams, and was a dominant physical force. Zdeno has made tremendous progress this year and has established that he will be a top 4 defenseman for many years.
Fellow rookie rearguard Eric Brewer also had a solid first season. He experienced some growing pains, typical of young defenseman, but was able to learn from and make up for his mistakes. His high talent level is very apparent in his play and he has shown great character and work ethic. Eric should continue to blossom in the next few seasons the same way in which Kenny Jonsson did. Brewer seems destined to be one of the top defenseman in the league.
Mike Watt also completed a solid rookie season. He played every postion and was placd in many different roles throuhgout the year. He has good size, is a shifty passer and has a surprisingly quick shot. Watt too, should continue to progress and become a reliable forward for the Islanders.
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PART 1 PROFILE OF MARC LAMOTHE
Player: Marc Lamothe
Birthdate: Febuary 27, 1974
Hometown: Orleans, Ontario
Born in New Liskeard, Ontario
Weight: 210 lbs
SEASON TEAM LGE GP W L T SO AVG SV%
1994-95 Fredricton AHL 9 2 5 0 0 4.48 .873
1994-95 Wheeling ECHL 13 9 2 1 0 3.10 .892
1995-96 Fredricton AHL 23 5 9 3 1 3.76 .894
1996-97 Indianapolis IHL 38 20 14 4 1 2.64 .918
1997-98 Indianapolis IHL 31 18 10 2 3 2.44 .920
1998-99 Indianapolis IHL 32 9 16 9 1 3.78 .881
Marc was Montreals 6th choice (92nd overall) in the 1992 NHL entry draft. Marc is entering his 5th season as a professional and was signed by the Chicago Black Hawks as a free agent on August 1996. He is entering his 3rd season with the Indianapolis Ice. Spent most of the 1997-98 season with a groin injury. Likes to challenge the shooters. Lets the shooters see very little net. Very quick glove hand, and reflexes. Very few rebounds given, quick to get back in position when down. Handles puck well. Though he has a few groin injuries that caused him to miss a few games. Has not let the injuries hamper his style of play, always comes out and gives 100% everynite. With the way Marc plays it won’t be long before he is in a Chicago uniform. Read more »
THOUGHTS ON SWEDISH FINALS
After having contributed nothing to Hockey’s Future during the last two months because of a huge amount of work thrown my direction, I now have a couple of hours free to write a column.
The finals in the Swedish Elitserien ended earlier tonight after an exciting best-of-five series where the fifth and deciding game crowned the champions – and it was the underdog team Brynäs that won 4-2 in the end after stellar play by big New York Rangers goalie prospect Johan Holmqvist. Holmqvist proved at the age of 20 that he could handle the pressure extremely well, and that he is capable of coming up with the key save at the key-moment. Hype is now running high on Holmqvist, but I think it’s deserved. Not that it’s saying that much, but Holmqvist will surely become a better goaltender than Tommy Salo. He is in my opinion the best Swedish NHL-prospect currently drafted by an NHL-club.
Through the series it became quite clear that MoDo had superior talent on their team, but Brynäs beat them with a big heart and an excellent goaltender. Brynäs are worthy champions.
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Player: Xavier Delisle
Birthdate: May 24, 1977
Hometown: Sillery, Quebec
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 184 lbs
SEASON TEAM LGE GP G A PTS PIM
1993-94 Granby QMJHL 46 11 22 33 25
1994-95 Granby QMJHL 72 18 36 54 48
1995-96 Granby QMJHL 67 45 75 120 45
1996-97 Granby QMJHL 59 36 56 92 20
1997-98 Adirondack AHL 76 10 19 29 47
1998-99 Cleveland IHL 73 13 28 41 32
Xavier was Tampa Bay’s 6th round choice (157th overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. Xavier played for the Adirondack Red Wings in his rookie season and had 10 goals 19 assists for 29 points in 76 games. In Xavier junior career he played for Granby of the QMJHL and helped Granby to the memorial cup championship in 1996, and had 13 goals 27 assists for 40 points in 20 games and was named the QMJHL’s Second Team All-Star and the Memorial Cups All-Star Team in 1996. Xaviers best season in junior hockey came in the 1995-96 season when he scored 45 goals added 75 assists for 120 points.
UPCOMING IN THE IHL NOTEBOOK Read more »
I am the newest addition to the staff here at Hockey’s Future. I hope you enjoy my stories as they will all be related to Swiss ice hockey.
I will bring you player profiles of all the players in the Swiss leagues. I’m also keeping my eye on the German DEL, as there are a lot of ex-NHLers.
In my first article you will find 4 player profiles.
Laurent Müller, C, ZSC Lions
CBS-Rank: not ranked
Born: 28th May 1978; 6’2”, 194lbs.
14G-17A-31P in 30 games; 20 PM; Plus-44, Minus-19, Total Plus-25;
Finally this season Laurent has let his talent shine. After a few disappointing seasons in Bern (only 12 points in three seasons), he is now playing in Zurich. He has now found the self-confidence he needs to be successful, and he is considered one of the best scorers on his team. In the last two weeks he scored two over-time goals, both in the last minute.
He wins a lot of face-offs and is not afraid to hit. Sometimes he is too involved in the play to skate back into his own zone, which the opponents use to create some goal scoring opportunities on occasion. Another note is that he is the team leader in the plus/minus stat on his team. Laurent is playing on Zurich’s better penalty killing unit, which indicates that his defensive skills aren’t that bad.
He works good in the offensive crease, and allows his teammates to get easy scoring opportunities. He can pass the puck in all ways, and is very creative (no look passes, long passes, etc…)
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