The first day of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft could have been sub-titled “Darcy’s Lost Weekend”, but by the close of the NHL’s annual Prospectpalooza, there was more evidence provided that Buffalo GM Darcy Regier is one of the top GMs in all of hockey, if not the best.
Heading into the draft, there were high hopes amongst Buffalo fans that the weekend’s activities might yield a plethora of good, young prospects, with those players being acquired either through the draft, or through the departure of stars Dominik Hasek and Michael Peca via trades. As the first day of the draft wound down, however, the Sabres had little to show for all the rumors that had been associated with their prized trade bait, and they instead went about the business of making their first 4 choices.
Sunday was a new day, with Buffalo quickly consummating a trade with the San Jose Sharks, which sent Buffalo’s 5th round choice (formerly Montreal’s) to the Sharks in exchange for San Jose’s 5th (155th), 8th (234th), and 9th (279th) round selections. This trade allowed Buffalo to draft 4 more players over the final 6 rounds, leaving Buffalo with a total of 8 new prospects.
Darcy Regier’s day wasn’t finished, though, as he finally dealt Michael Peca to the New York Islanders for two promising young players, C Tim Connolly and LW Taylor Pyatt. Of the two players acquired, Connolly would seem to have the greater upside potential, as he is being touted by many to be a future offensive sta Read more»
Here are the fowards who played on the team this year, except Pascal Dupuis and Christian Matte.
Matt Johnson 6-5 230 LW, The team gave up to much to get him (a 3rd rounder) but he played much better than expected. On most nights he didn’t hurt the Wild defensively when he was on the ice, he led the team in PIM’s, He was needed because the wild forwards are to small. He is a true heavyweight. He had 1g 1a 2p and 137pim’s in 50 games.
Sylvain Boulin 6-2 207 LW, Another enforcer, was picked up in the waiver draft. Was not expected to do much other then fight, he performed well when given the chance. He even scored in 3 straight games. A poor man’s Shane Churla. He had 3g 2a 5p 117pims in 41games.
Roman Simicek 6-3 210 C, a great trade for the wild, even if he doesn’t produce in the NHL, because he was traded for a big nothing named Steve mMckenna. Simicek is big but looks awful when skating, if he can improve on his first year in the NHL he should be a good 3rd liner, and see time on the power play. He will even fight if he as to. He scored 5g 10a 15p PIMs in 51 games with Pittsburgh and the wild.
Wes Walz 5-10 180 C, As the season went on, he was the Wild’s best forward, he never stopped, every play 100 percent. He scored the most short handed goal for an expansion team. He had 18g 22a 30p 37pims in 82 games.
Darby Hendrickson 6-1 195 C, A Minnesota boy who picked up his game this year with the added ice time, some nights he played like a first line center some other nights he looked like his old 3rd li Read more»
A Change in Strategy
Last year, the Pens took a North American born skater in the first round for the first time since 1996. Thsi year, they went even further. Not only did they take another North American in the first round (Canadian Colby Anderson), but they spent the majority of their picks this year on players from North America.
When the Pens pick came up at 21, they had numerous options available to them. A number of quality players with varing skillsets were ripe for the picking, whether it being a hard hitting defenseman (Jeff Woywitka), a large number of solid 2-way defensemen (Gleason, Popovic), and skilled European or North American forwards (Perezhogin, Polushin, Milroy). The Pens went a different direction, selecting Red Deer forward Colby “Cheese” Armstrong, a gritty 2-way forward who is an excellent skater with a nice scoring touch.
Armstrong is an admitted pest, saying “If you talk to most guys, they probably hate me here. But that’s probably a compliment.” His game is compared to current Maple Leaf Darcy Tucker or former NHL player Brent Sutter (who is also his current coach at Red Deer).
Armstrong scored 36 goals and 42 assists in 72 games with 152 PIM for the Memorial Cup winning Rebels this past season. He also scored 6 goals and 12 points in 21 WHL playoff games and a goal in 4 games in the Memorial Cup playoffs.
Capsules for the 2001 Draftees:
Colby Armstrong, RW
Red Deer (WHL) Read more»
The Detroit Red Wings had a very tough time to pick an impact player since thay didn`t have a first round pick, and only having 7 picks in the whole draft. That is a big loss since this draft was probably the deepest and the best ever. Let`s take a look at the picks that Detroit had.
1. Igor Grigorenko
Position: Right Wing
Team: CSK VVS Samara (Rus-2)
Drafted: 2nd round (62nd overall)
Rating: 6.5 / 10 Read more»