Four years after the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, we are able to look at the players who were drafted and determine how good they will be in the NHL. If teams only knew what they know now back in 1997, then the order of selection would have been much different.
Below is an in-depth look of the players selected in the 1st Round four years ago. Included are the team that made the selection, the player drafted, the team he was drafted from, and his career stats thus far in the NHL.
1. Boston – Joe Thornton, C, Sault-Ste.-Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
289 GP, 79 G, 100 A, 179 P, 277 PIM
The Bruins struck gold by selecting Thornton with the 1st overall pick. He has played in each of the last four seasons for Boston since being drafted, and he hasn’t disappointed them thus far. With 79 goals, 100 assists, 179 points and 277 penalty minutes in 289 career games, the emergence of Thornton as a future superstar and a 1st line center has allowed the Bruins to discuss the possibility of dealing away current all-star center Jason Allison, who is currently in a contract dispute with the Bruins. It is clear that Thornton is the future for Boston, and they will look for him to improve on his breakout season this past year in which he had 37 goals, 34 assists, 71 points and 107 penalty minutes in 72 games. Thornton was definitely worth taking with the 1st overall selection.
2. San Jose – Patrick Marleau, C, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Read more»
Speed to Burn: Alexander Kharitonov
The Isles made a ton of noise with trades, during Draft Day weekend this year. The two more noticeable trades brought Alexei Yashin and Mike Peca. As most Islander fans know another trade was completed by Mike Milbury the
day before the draft.
On the 22nd of June the Isles acquired booming point
man Adrian Aucoin and speedster Alexander Kharitonov for Mathieu Biron and the Isles 2002 2nd round pick. Understanding the Aucoin portion of the trade
was easy. The Isles need someone to drive the puck in from the point besides Roman Hamrlik. But who is this kid Kharitonov? Is he just a throw-in? Lets look and see just what the Isles got.
The Lightning staff heavily scouted Alexander before they chose him in the 3rd round (81st overall) in the 2000 Entry Draft. In his final year with Moscow Dynamo, he tallied 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) in 35 games. They were impressed with his speed and poise with the puck. He later played for the Russian national team and posted 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists and 1 SHG) in the 6 games of the 2000 World Championships.
Boy can this guy fly! He has got great wheels. In addition to being exceptionally fast, he is extremely agile. He moves in and out of traffic easily. It’s a good thing he can too, because he’s small. One source had
him listed at 5’9″, 170lbs. Another had him at 5’6″, 170lbs. Whichever one is right does not matter, because he is just plain small. The reason the Lightning included him in the deal was because Bolts GM Rick Dudley stated Read more»
The Dallas Stars signed free agent goalie Chad Alban to a 1 year contract, financial terms were not released.
The 25 year old Alban split time with the Utah Grizzlies, Grand Rapids Griffins and the Idaho Steelheads who were all apart of the IHL last season.
While with the Utah Grizzlies and Grand Rapids Griffins last season, Alban posted a 4-5-4 record with a low 2.09 gaa in 13 games.
With the Idaho Steelheads, Alban posted a 14-5-1 record with a 3.00 gaa in 20 appearances.
With the acquisition of Chad Alban, the Dallas stars have more depth at the goalie position. With Ed Belfour, Marty Turco, Jason Bacashihua and now Chad Alban the Stars should be set in goal for many years to come.
The Kings selected a a player who will pay immediate dividents with their 51st selection in the second round of the 2001 draft, 6-0 198-pound native of Prague, Czech Republic, forward Jaroslav Bednar.
Jaroslav spent the past two seasons playing in the Finnish Elite League, tallying in with 66 goals and registering 122 points in 109 games played. He also led the league in goals this past ’00-’01 season with 32.
In ’99-’00, Bednar finished fifth in scoring and in the Finnish Elite League with 62 points, one point behind former King prospect Tomas Vlasak, and fourth in goals. It is clear that his specialty is putting the biscuit in the basket.
Bednar is listed as playing Center, but the right handed forward displayed some versatility in his game by playing both sides of the wing this season, and that is a positive for the Kings as they seem to be penciling him in as having a role on the leftwing on one of the three top lines. “Jaroslav Bednar is a Czech player who has spent the last two seasons in Finland. He is a very skilled forward who is a good skater and moves the puck well,” said Taylor. “We think Bednar has an excellent chance of playing for our team next season.”
Taylor added these comments when Vlasak and Rosa’s names were brought up in comparison to Bednar…
“Bednar has NHL skills and his offensive ability has improved the
last three years,” general manager Dave Taylor said. “He is an
offensive-minded player. He is a better skater and stronger than the
other two. I think those guys can play at this level, but Bednar has
a little more speed to Read more»