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Still Number One?

by pbadmin
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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”.
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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 »

Oilers’ problem child Bonsignore traded

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After nearly four seasons of arguing, pleading and frustration, Oilers GM Glen Sather finally pulled the trigger on the highest draft pick, and biggest bust, in Edmonton history, Jason Bonsignore, trading him to Tampa Bay.

There’s no denying the fact that Bonsignore is one of the most talented young hockey players out there, when he wants to be, and if he ever gets his act together, the Oilers could be kicking themselves for not giving him one more year. The Blackhawks gave up on a young goalie some years ago because it seemed he had an attitude problem and couldn’t hack it in the big leagues, despite tremendous talent. That goalie went on to be last year’s winner of the Hart, Vezina and Pearson trophies and was an integral part of the Northeast Division champion Buffalo Sabres.

It’s tough seeing such potential go to waste. Bonsignore has been compared to Mario Lemieux when he’s playing with heart. As one scout put it, Jason has all the tools but no tool box. Another said he had the makings of a Cadillac but the heart of less pricey model. There are no glaring deficiencies in his play and his finesse game includes brilliant playmaking and vision, terrific hockey sense and boy, can he skate like the wind! He has also silenced criticism that he has no physical game, getting involved in traffic and in the corners and adding a gritty factor to his play while in Hamilton. The one thing, however, that has earned him the most criticism, a demotion to the IHL and, ultimately, his permanent removal from the Oilers’ future plans is his lack of heart and desire to succee Read more »

Buffalo Sabres Defensive Prospects: Mid Season Report Card

by pbadmin
on

Today I will cover all the Sabres Defensive prospects.

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.

1/7/98

Defensemen:

Brian Campbell        5-11    186     18      Ottawa (OHL)  2 stars

Acquired: 1997 5th Round Pick, 156th overall.

Stats look: as of 1/3/98

39 gm 10 G 24 A 34 pts +21 15 pim

Brian was an unknown to me, before the 97′ draft. I’ve tried hard to uncover
as much information as I could about him (long with many of the other
relatively unknown prospects). This redheaded kid from Strathroy, Ontario has
progressed nicely throughout his career. He has been blessed by playing on a
very good team featuring several other highly touted defensive prospects,
including Sean Blanchard (last year’s OHL defensemen of the Year) and first
round pick, Nick Boynton. Brian benefited greatly from playing along side
these quality players, but it was an injury to Boynton which may have helped
him improve the most.

Read more »

Buffalo Sabres Goalie Prospects: Mid Season Report Card

by pbadmin
on
This report will eventually cover every single Sabres prospect. It will serve
as my mid season report card on every player with Buffalo system. I will also
include detailed reports on several of Buffalo younger player, those who are
with the Sabres but are still in the developmental stage of their careers.
Each report will give as detailed a description as possible of the player, his
style, strengths, and weakness, plus how Buffalo acquired him. I will grade
out each player and access their potential as a future NHL player. I will
also provide, as up to date as possible, the players current seasonal
statistics. Lastly, I will report on player in alphabetical order. This is
in no way a ranking order of the team prospects. I will do at a later date.

When I refer to each players NHL future, you will see “time will tell” quite
often. Please bare in mind, some players are still several years, at best,
away from playing in the league and it is impossible for me, or anyone else
for that matter, to accurately predict what will happen to that player.


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.

Read more »

1997-98 Rookie Watch #5

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The 1997 First Round Picks

The 1997 NHL entry draft was supposed to be a gem draft. A draft filled with
franchise players, many of whom are supposed to be ready for the NHL right
away. Well, it has been a tough year for the 1997 first round picks.

1. Joe Thornton

Thornton was the prize of the draft. A no-brain first round pick. A guy
who had
everything. Great size. Good speed. Tough. Aggressive. Good offensive
skills
with a scoring touch. Everyone thought he was ready for the NHL and
considering
the lack of proven talent in the Bruins lineup he was certain to make the
team and
get lots of ice time.

What happened? Was it over confidence? Did Thornton expect everything to
come
as naturally in the NHL as it has the rest of his career? Who knows the exact
reason but he just hasn’t done it in the NHL so far. He has just 1 goal in 25
games and is struggling along on the 4th line. The thing I am confused about
is why the Bruins keep him around. He should have been sent to the Canadian
junior team to allow him to regain his confidence against the best young
players
in the world and then bring him back if he does well. It does Thornton no
good
sitting on the bench or playing on the 4th line. That is no way to treat your
future franchise player if you expect him to develop into a franchise player.

2. Patrick Marleau

Read more »

Steve Kelly

by pbadmin
on

When the Tampa Bay Lightning traded away defense head-case Roman Hamrlik they acquired center prospect Steve Kelly from the Edmonton Oilers.

Kelly has been up and down between the Oilers and the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL, not quite able to stick with the big club. He has all the tools to become a great third line center or perhaps second line winger. Perhaps with Brian Bradley’s career in jeopardy, Kelly may fit into the second line center roll eventually. What he lacks is confidence.

Steve Kelly’s game is speed. The 6’1″ 195-pound Vancouver native was touted as the fastest prospect available in the ’95 NHL Entry Draft held in Edmonton, fans booed with Oilers GM Glen Sather chose Kelly 6th overall, as they chanted “Doan Doan Doan” – obviously wishing Sather would have drafted Edmonton native Shane Doan who later went to the Winnipeg Jets. But the Oilers were high on Kelly and let him develop by playing another season starring for Prince Albert of the WHL. He was one of only two players that season to score 100 points while also racking up 200 PIM.

What Steve Kelly isn’t is a goal scorer. Barely a 30-goal man in his best season in the WHL, and netting only 9 goals in 48 games for the Bulldogs last season, it’s obvious that scoring goals isn’t in his resume. Kelly is a playmaker and a good one at that. He has a great work ethic and attitude, plays a gritty game and is not a defensive liability even at the ripe young age of 21.

Read more »

1998 Top Prospects

by pbadmin
on
With the mid-point of the junior season rapidly approaching, following is an
updated ranking of the players projected to be drafted in the first three
rounds. Our next update will come in early-January, following the World
Junior Championships. The 1998 NHL Draft is June 27, 1998 at Buffalo’s Marine
Midland Arena.

1. Vincent Lecavalier-C-Rimouski--6-3--177
2. Brad Stuart-D-Regina--6-1--200
3. David Legwand-C-Plymouth--6-2--175
4. Manny Malhotra-C-Guelph--6-2--205
5. Patrick DesRochers-G-Sarnia--6-3--200
6. Mathieu Biron-D-Shawinigan--6-2--215
7. Bryan Allen-D-Oshawa--6-3--200
8. Scott Gomez-C-Tri City--5-11--175
9. Michael Henrich-RW-Barrie--6-3--195
10.Dmitri Kalinin-D-Russia--6-0--180
11.Rico Fata-C-London--5-11--200
12.Mikko Jokela-D-Finland--6-1--205
13.Mike Van Ryn-D-Michigan--6-2--185
14.Norm Milley-RW-Sudbury--6-0--190
15.Mark Bell-LW-Ottawa--6-3--175
16.Alex Tanguay-C-Halifax--6-0--175
17.Brent Gauvreau-C-Oshawa--6-2--210
18.Jonathan Cheechoo-RW-Belleville--6-0--190
19.Robyn Regehr-D-Kamloops--6-3--215
20.Kevin Holdridge-D-Plymouth--6-3--200
21.Michael Rupp-LW-Windsor--6-5--215
22.Justin Papineau-C-Belleville--5-11--170
23.Stephen Peat-D-Red Deer--6-3--195
24.Jonathan Girard-D-Laval--5-11--185
25.Bobby Allen-D-Boston College--6-1--205
26.Mathieu Chouinard-G-Shawinigan--6-3--185
27.Milan Kraft-C-Czech.--6-3--180
28.Jake McCracken-G-SS Marie--5-11--160 Read more »

Top WHL Prospects

by pbadmin
on

A quick look at the Top Players in the WHL.


Skaters
---------
1. Brad Stuart, D, Regina
2. Robyn Regehr, D, Kamloops
3. Stephen Peat, D, Red Deer
4. Blair Betts, C, Prince George
5. Scott Gomez, C, Tri-City
6. Kyle Rossiter, D, Spokane
7. Brett Allen, LW, Swift Current
8. David Cameron, C, Prince Albert
9. Chris Nielsen, C, Calgary
10. Tyler Bouck, C, Prince George
11. Garret Profosky, C, Saskatoon
12. Todd Hornung, C, Portland
13. Justin Hansen, C, Moose Jaw
14. Jason Beckett, D, Seattle
15. Gavin McLeod, D, Kelowna
16. Jarrett Thompson, LW, Tri-Cities
17. Trent Hunter, C, Prince George
18. Curtis Reich, D, Calgary
19. Brad Twordik, LW, Brandon
20. Paul Elliot, D, Lethbridge
21. Jon Barkman, LW, Saskatoon
22. Jeremy Goetzinger, D, Prince Albert
23. Aaron Goldade, C/LW, Brandon
24. Craig Brunel, RW, Prince Albert
25. Dan Hulak, D, Swift Currentj
26. Blake Evans, C, Tri-City
27. Devin Franco, LW, Red Deer

Goaltenders
-------------
1. Jomar Cruz, Brandon
2. Jamie Hodson, Brandon
3. Jason Labarbera, Portland
4. Scott Myers, Prince George
5. Kevin Swanson, Prince George
6. Jordan Watt, Kelowna

Sabres Prospects at World Junior Championships

by pbadmin
on
The World Junior Championships are currently being played in Finland and Don
Luce, director of Scouting and player development for the Buffalo Sabres, must
like what he’s seeing from the six Buffalo Sabres prospects.

Mika Noronen, the Finish goalie and Buffalo first round pick in the 1997 entry
draft, has looked very good so far in wins over Canada and Sweden. He did not
play in Finland’s shutout of Germany.

Cory Sarich, the tough western Canadian defensemen was Canada player of the
game in their 4-0 loss to Sweden. He has looked good but his mistake late in
the third period allowed Finland to score the winning goal on Christmas Day.

Both Sabre Russian players, Maxim Afinogenov and Alexie Tezikov, have played
well, though all their statistical information was gained during Russia 12-1
rout of Kazakhstan.

This has been my first change to see or hear from Kamil Piros. From what I’ve
been told he has been rather impressive. He has shown good overall skills and
some very positive offensive display. Hopefully I can track down more
information on him for the future.

Henrik Tallinder from what I can gather is mere window dressing. He hasn’t
made any impression with AIK, and he isn’t making any here either.

Here’s a look at their numbers so far:


Mika Norinen 6-1 191 18 Tappara (Finland) Read more »