Death by a Thousand Cuts for Killer?
This must be getting frustrating for Ottawa 67’s Coach Brian Kilrea. For the second year in a row, his first line center going into training camp, a draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, looks like he won’t be playing in the OHL this year. Last year, a heart murmur detected in Luca Cereda wiped him out for the entire schedule after heart surgery. Up until that time, he was a serious pre-season candidate to be the OHL’s Player of the Year. Enter Vadim Sozinov. After a slow start to his initial campaign with the 67’s, he became an integral part of Kilrea’s attack and the coach had gone so far as to predict a breakout year from the second year junior. He may well have that breakout year, but it looks like it won’t be in Ottawa, rather in Novokuznetsk of the Russian Elite League. Make no mistake, if the Khazakh forward makes the big squad in Russia, he’ll be playing in a league that is just a step below the NHL and above anything he’d find in the OHL or on ‘The Rock’. But he also might end up playing for their junior team as well. In any case, with this decision, Brian Kilrea has got to be wondering how long he’s going to have Jaroslav Sklenar in the Black, White, and Red, who, you guessed it, was another Leaf pick that he chose in the import draft.
The Door Swings Open for Tellqvist
With the placing of Glenn Healy on waivers and the signing of Swedish goaltender Mikael Tellqvist to a 3 year deal it looks like one of the SEL’s most dominant players in the last two sea Read more»
Nashville Predators 2nd pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft (33rd Overall).
Timofei Shishkanov’s 6’1 and 203lb frame is definitely more then sufficient for the rigors of the NHL. He is a very talented player. Timofei is an excellent skater, able to blow by his opponents with great moves and fast speed. He also possesses a solid shot, though he rarely uses it and does not really have a trademark shot that he is known for. Timofei Shishkanov is also a very good puck handler, able to work it in both zones of the ice.
According to a Finnish observer from the U18 2001 World Junior Championships, Timofei had a comprable skill set to that of Kovalchuk, but “the difference between Kovalchuk and Shishkanov is the hunger, Kovalchuk wants all the time desperately [to] score goals, but Shishkanov sometimes floats around.” The observer added further that Kovalchuk shot the puck a lot more then Shishkanov, while Shishkanov seemed “meaner, more unpredictable and stronger then Kovalchuk”. The main area where Shishkanov loses to players of Kovlachuk’s class is in his hockey sense. He still has not developed that knack for making split second decisions on the ice that players of Kovalchuk’s caliber possess.
The first to go was Peter Lorentzen by the Tri City Americans with the 13th overall pick. Lorentzen played for Norwegian Elite Team Stjernen-Fredrikstad the last season and looks to make a splash in the Canadian Junior System following such Norwegians as Anders Myrvold(Laval) and Bård Sorlie(Plymouth) among others. Lorentzen a left wing is NHL Draft Eligible in 2002.
The other Norwegian taken was center Patrick Thoresen of Storhamar by Moncton with the 30th pick overall. Thoresen is also looking to make a big splash in the CHL and will be NHL Draft Eligible in 2002.
Norway making a big splash in the Canadian Juniors. Keep an eye on these kids as they may prove to be the next generation NHLers.
Here are the Montreal Canadiens’ eight draft picks in the 2001 year entry draft. This is the first draft under Andre Savard.
#7 – Mike Komisarek, 6’4″ 225 lbs.
There seems to be two Mike Komisareks out there, at least offensively. On the top pairing at Michigan with San Jose Sharks draft pick Jeff Jillson, he had 11 points in 26 games against conference rivals, not too bad for a freshman, it was against non-conference rivals that he tended to struggle scoring only 5 points. He has a commitment to finish school, it shows he isn’t just in it for the bucks, but for the game too. He is as good physically, and defensively as all the reports say, and he skates like the wind. The concern is his offence, he needs more presence in the offensive zone, but he has three years to work on his offence, and since the rest of his game is already NHL ready, he will make the team eventually.
#25 – Aleksandr Perezhogin, 5’11” 185 lbs.
Not many people have seen Perezhogin play since he wasn’t at the WJC, and like most people am basing my opinion on him solely on what scouts have had to say. He is an excellent skater, and has good vision and puck handling. But there seems to be a consensus that he needs to capitalize more on his offensive chances and show that he is capable of playing a more NHL-like physical game, since he is only 5-11, 185 lbs this could be a concern. He had a solid if not spectacular season with Avangard Omsk’s 3rd division team in 1999-00 with 23 points in 22 games, but his real attention grabber for scouts was at WJU18’s this ye Read more»