The Lindros family is whining about Eric’s contract, while Dominik Hasek wrapped his sports car around an elm tree, so that can mean only one thing: NHL training camps will soon be opening!
The Buffalo Sabres will begin their formal training camp in Austria on 9/13, with select rookies and prospects travelling to Kitchener, ON for a rookie camp prior to the trip to Austria. With the opening of camp only days away, I thought it would be a good time to offer up my thoughts on the players I consider to be the top 10 prospects in the Sabre organization.
Before listing these 10 players, these are the criteria I used to decide what qualifies a player for prospect status (as opposed to veteran or has-been): · the player must have played in less than 82 NHL games, i.e. a full seasons’ worth of games · the player must be 23 or younger With regard to the game requirement, I came to the conclusion that the vast majority of drafted players that make it to the NHL complete 82 NHL games somewhere between 2-4 years after being drafted. This would put most prospects in the 22-23-age range, which is where my age criteria come into play. Basically, if a player hasn’t had much NHL experience by the time he reaches the age of 23, his chances of making it in the NHL are not very good. There are exceptions, of course, but generally speaking the rule of 23 holds true in most cases.
With Cam Neely possibly making a comeback, this could leave some Bruin prospects out in the cold.
Neely is not likely to make a comeback this season, but if he does it probably would be next season. This would leave a lot of prospects wondering about their futures. Names like Cameron Mann, Randy Robitaille, and Shawn Bates would have to make a huge impact this season if they hope to get a spot on the Boston roster. To fill Neely’s shoes, it would probably take all three of those players; but if he makes a return, likely only one will make the big club and the rest will either sign with other teams or play in Providence.
Cameron Mann looks to be the brightest light of those 3, but don’t leave out Bates, Robitaille, and Joel Prpic. Many scouts are wondering whether Prpic has NHL potential but others claim he has a lot. Bates, who starred at Boston University definitely has NHL potential and Robitaille appears to be close as well. Robitaille was injured in his first game with Boston back in March 1997; he was out for the remainder of the season. He played the 1997-98 campaign in Providence where he was one of the bright spots in what was a dim season.
The Plymouth Whalers’ opening preseason game September 6th in Windsor
prompted a couple of related questions:
Are the Plymouth Whalers really that good? Are the Windsor Spitfires
really that bad?
The Whalers dominated from start to finish in hammering Windsor, 8-4.
Plymouth – playing without regulars Harold Druken, Dave Legwand, Scott
Holsinger, Eric Gooldy, Paul Mara and Adam Colagiacomo – led 3-0 after twenty
minutes, 6-1 after two periods. Plymouth received two goals apiece from
Randy Fitzgerald and Rick Smith, singles from Shaun Fisher, Kris Purdy and
rookies Justin Williams and Damian Surma.
Windsor – playing with most of their regulars in the lineup – looked
dazed and confused much of the steamy afternoon.
Yes, the Spits are that bad. So much so that rumors are already flying
that Windsor general manager/head coach Tony Curtale is in trouble.
And – despite the reality that Plymouth could skate this season without
Legwand and Mara – the Whalers scouting staff has come up with some rookies
who look like they can step in and contribute right away. This means the
Whalers will battle Sarnia and London in the top of the OHL West Division.
Plymouth general manager/head coach Pete DeBoer was asked if he
instructed his scouts to come up with players that met specific needs:
“Our scouts have done a fantastic job with this year’s draft class,” Read more»
Waterloo Blackhawks–PLAYERS LOST (8) Division I Scholarships- Matt
Chandler Miami of Ohio University, Mike LaRocca Quinnipiac College, Matt
Murray U of Wisconsin, Phil Osaer Ferris State University, Ben Plester U
of Wisconsin-River Falls,Mike Ritter Mankato State University, Steve
Savre U of Wisconsin-Stout, Kris SwinneyIona College
PLAYERS RETURNING(9) (goals,assits,points PIM) Keith Stanich D 2-6-8
47, Jake Tesar D 0-1-1 123, BJ Stephens F 16-15-31 36, Nick Stipech F
3-7-10 10, Chris Welch F 3-1-4 0, Travis Wood F, Nick Boileau F 10-16-26
10, Ryan Hale F 16-25-41 52, Tom Ogee F 13-18-31 50
NEW PLAYERS(20) (last years team, stats were available) Mike Bujdos D
Great Falls Americans 11-39-50 89, Cullen Flaherty D North Iowa Huskies,
Craig Florkowski D Niagra Scenic 5-7-12 35, Tom Glavin D Canterbury Prep
School 6-12-18, Nate Wright D Alexandria HS, Jeff Rose F Rhode Island
Sharks 7-15-22 78, Derek Seal F Great Northern Sno Devils, Ian
Sgambelluri F Thunder Bay Flyers 11-13024 137, Anthony
Switek F National Academy 90 goals in 70 games over two years, Joe Exter
G Erie Otters 0-4-0, Nate Nomeland G Fargo North HS, Mike Walsh G
Kimball Union Academy 26 games 2.94 gaa, Jeff Adduono F Smith Falls
Jr.A, Brain Canady F Vail AAA 65-44-109,Aaron Davis F Chicago Freeze
25-40-65 91, Rick Kisskeys F Centennial HS, Brain Knaeble F Eden Prairie
HS, Jim Murphy F St.Paul Johnson HS, Rob Plester F Osoyoos
Heat Read more»
You can imagine hearing the call now, probably in the year 2001, and no, it won’t necessarily be a space oddity: “The Leafs are on the power play against the Canadians here in the first period at the Air Canada Centre…. They are down in this contest one to nothing….. Markov carries the puck up across the redline and fires it into the Canadians zone…… Antropov digs the puck free in the corner and feeds it behind the net for Sundin………. Sundin flips the puck out front for Johnson who fires from the crease!!….. Big Save for Theodore!!!!!!! Antropov fights free in front for the rebound………. He controls the puck……He shoots and scores!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Leafs tie it up on the powerplay on the goal from Antropov, assisted by Johnson and Sundin.” Is this wishful thinking or reality in waiting?
The Toronto Maple Leafs, that organization with a bit of a sordid, recent draft history pulled off a major shocker by making the forward from Kazakhstan their first round selection, 10th overall, after a trade down with Chicago from the 8th spot in the 1998 NHL entry draft. At first glance, the Leafs’ choice may appear to be a major reach, but further examination may eventually reveal it to be a major find. A consensus of opinions hold Antropov as the “sleeper of the 1998 NHL draft”.