The 2001 NHL Entry Draft approaches amidst a swirl of trade rumors, with the potential for a change of address for many of the league’s biggest stars. Names such as Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Yashin, Doug Weight and Eric Lindros are being bandied about as trade fodder in the days leading up to this weekend’s draft, as are the names of a couple of the Buffalo Sabres’ stars, Dominik Hasek and Michael Peca.
Trades of this magnitude could have a direct effect on the draft, as there is talk of possibly one, or both, of the top 2 picks being dealt in return for immediate help. Once again, Buffalo’s name has been mentioned prominently in trades involving the top draft choices held by Atlanta (#1) and the N.Y. Islanders (#2), but so far, at least, Sabres’ GM Darcy Regier has publicly denied any pursuit of these prime draft picks.
The trade rumors have so far caused a diversion from what looks to be a very solid 2001 draft class. At the top of the draft is 4-5 highly touted forwards, led by the mercurial Russian RW Ilya Kovalchuk. There is plenty of solid, if not spectacular, talent to be found beyond the top 5, however, with talent to be had well into the second round. The depth of this draft should be good news for the Sabres, as 4 of their 6 draft choices will be made in the first 2 rounds (barring trades, of course).
Buffalo enters this draft with a diminished prospect pool, as they recently said goodbye to 8 of their 12 1999 draft choices. One of those farewells was particularly painful, as they lost promising C Mike Zigomanis due to a Read more»
Success has its rewards, but in the case of the Columbus Blue Jackets, it also has its drawbacks. Doug MacLean’s vision of a team that would be competitive every night and start building a winning tradition, has blossomed into a 28 win inaugural season. The city of Columbus has embraced the team and the combination of solid veterans and late blooming prospects gives them a strong base for respectability in the future. In achieving these goals, however, Columbus will be drafting 8th in the first round, instead of in the top 2 or 3 that might be expected by an expansion team.
The depth of this years draft has made the lower draft position a little bit easier to endure, but the thought of missing out on outstanding prospects like Jason Spezza and Ilya Kovalchuck must be heavy on MacLean’s mind. The Blue Jackets are thrilled with last years first round choice, defenseman Rostislav Klesa and think he will anchor their defense for years to come. In Mark Denis, they feel that they have an outstanding young goaltender. What they lack is a big time blue chip forward that they can build their offence around. Maclean would love to choose any of the top 5 forwards.
If the draft goes like most people predict, those 5 forwards will be long gone by the 8th choice. Some people in the Blue Jackets organization think the top prospect still available at that spot might well be goaltender Dan Blackburn. That’s tough to predict in a year that might see a lot of wheeling and dealing on draft day.
Doug MacLean is one of the more proactive G.M.’s in the Read more»
The last draft proved that overage players are a much better investment for new teams than 18-year old unknown youngsters. In total 31 overage players were selected last year. Fourteen of them skated on NHL rinks last season. Eight found regular spots on their teams (Cechmanek, Sekeras, Kultanen, Visnovsky, Nummelin, Kharitonov, Simicek and Sushinsky (before his outgoing to Russia)). The others traveled between first and farm teams (Ronnqvist, Wallin, Bartos, Von Arx, Kolarik and Lilja). All of them were 24+ years old. Pure accident? I don’t think so. Such players have a lot of experience from top European leagues, international tournaments, world championships, Olympic games etc. Younger players (I mean 21-24 year old) need time to develop for the NHL level but I believe that some of them could play in NHL right now e.g. Tellqvist, Richter.
The European leagues – Russian, Slovak, Swiss, German and especially Czech, Finnish and Swedish offer a lot of skilled, experienced players. Mark Schwartz presented in his excellent article “Instant help and the NHL draft” overage players. I cannot and don’t want to compete with him however I want to present my view as well. Of course I don’t know all Euro-leagues in detail but I can mention other ones who were not mentioned by him e.g. Czech players Dusan Salficky (G, 1972, Plzen) & Viktor Ujcik (F, 1972, Slavia). However my intention is to write about Slovaks, so let’s see their names:
Peter Pucher (C, 12/08/1974, 6'1" 207, Znojmo - Czech Extraliga)
Regular season 52 GP 22G 34A 56Pts +31 32 Read more»
Le DG du canadiens a clairement qu’il n’était pas question de repêcher Mikko Koivu seulement parce qu’il est le frère de Saku. « Mikko est un bon prospect a considéré, mais il n’est pas privilégié des autres » a indiqué le chef du recrutement Martin Madden.
Les joueurs dans la mire de Savard
Pour le 7ième choix
Le joueur le plus complet du repêchage, il possède de très bonne qualité offensive tout en maintenant une conscience défensive. Il a marquer 40buts dans la OHL avec Plymouth l’an dernier. Malheureusement, il serait surprenant que Weiss soit encore disponible lorsque se sera à Savard de parler.
Il est très attendu a Montréal. Selon les dépisteurs, il a les qualités de son frère avec le physique en plus. Il a le même désire de vaincre que son frère. Un winner comme on dis. Petit hick, lui et Mark Komisarek sont ciblés par le Wild qui possède le choix juste devant celui de Montréal.
Un joueur à la Kasparaitis. Le genre de joueur qui plaît à Savard. Un gars qui se présente a chaque match avec une attitude et un leadership remarquable. Ne se laisse pas marcher sur les pieds et n’a pas peur de jeter les gants pour regler ses comptes. Exactement le genre de joueurs qui nous faut à Montréal. Cependant, Knyazev pourrait être encore disponible lorsque le Canadiens parlera pour la deuxième fois. Mais est-ce que Savard prendra la chance de le perdre?
Pour le 25ième choix
Si le Tchèque est encore disponible, il serait un bon choi Read more»
The Devils have a well earned reputation for being one of the most successful drafting teams in the NHL. And at this weekend’s Entry Draft form Sunrise, Florida, General Manager Lou Lamoriello and Head Scout David Conte will look to carry on the success.
Since 1990’s draft, 47 of New Jersey’s drafted players have gone on to play at least one NHL game, which is best in the league along with Colorado and NYI. Last year alone, the Devils had 9 of their own drafted players on their roster and 6 others who spent some time up with the Devils as well. The 9 players were: Martin Brodeur (‘90,1/20) Ken Daneyko (‘82,1/18) Scott Niedermayer (‘91,1/3) Colin White (‘96,2/49) Scott Gomez (‘98,1/27) Patrik Elias (‘94,2/51) Petr Sykora (‘95,1/18) Sergei Brylin (‘92,2/42) and Jay Pandolfo (‘93,2/32). The other 6 were: Mike Commodore (‘99,2/42) Sascha Goc (’97,/159) Pierre Dagenais (‘98,4/105) Jiri Bicek (‘97,5/131) Stan Gron (‘97,2/38) and Mike Jefferson (‘00,5/135). They have plenty of other notable draftees of theirs around the league like Brendan Shanahan (‘87,1/2) Bill Guerin (‘89,1/5) Steve Sullivan (‘94,9/233) Jason Smith (‘92,1/18) and Brian Rolston (‘91,1/11). That is proof of how well the Devils have been able to use the draft to stock their team. They can find players high or low and can always seem to find the diamond in the rough or sleepers that other teams pass over.
Like last year, New Jersey has a huge chunk of their picks is the first half of the draft including 5 in the third round. They have an overall total of 12. As of right now, the Devils picks are Read more»