Every team has to build somehow. General Manager Brian Burke and Assistant GM David Nonis have done an excellent job in taking the Canucks from doormats to a success story in the money-driven NHL of today is remarkable. Burke and Co have been able to build through the draft, acquiring players such as Bryan Allen, Artem Chubarov, the Sedins, Brandon Reid, and now, R.J. Umberger, and that’s only in three seasons since taking over.
The Canucks have never been a model of draft excellence. Blunders such as Shawn Antoski, Alek Stojanov, Libor Polasek, and others, have been more or less forgotten since Nonis and Burke took over a couple of years back. They have instilled a mode of confidence in the players, management, and most importantly, the fans.
Even though Bryan Allen hasn’t arrived full time, (Which can be excused because of his various injuries) Burke has had a multitude of success in developing players, and drafting the best player available, rather than picking for a need, and that strategy has served him very well, as there is nothing to suggest that the good luck won’t continue.
Burke and Company strolled up on to the Draft podium and announced that their first pick in 2001 was R.J. Umberger. Umberger, who is is power-forward type of player. He slipped to the Canucks which was probably due, in small part, to the Oilers making a reach for Ales Hemsky at number thirteen.
The one problem with Umberger, however, is that he always leaves scouts wanting more. For someone with his size, he should be invo Read more»
A summary of activity in the Maple Leafs’ Camp on the second day of the NHL Entry Draft in Sunrise, Florida.
The names, generally, are not as well known as the ones called in the earlier rounds. In many ways, however, it is the second day of the draft that really separates the successful franchises from the pretenders. The truest gauge of any organization’s scouting prowess is the ability to unearth hidden gems in rounds 5 through 9 (long after many observers have essentially lost interest in the proceedings).
Here is a thumbnail assessment of the players selected by the Maple Leafs on Day Two.
Kyle Wellwood (C – Belleville, OHL) : The 2000/2001 OHL scoring champion wouldn’t have been there for the Maple Leafs in round five if there weren’t some serious reservations about his long term pro potential. At 5-10 and 190 pounds, Wellwood certainly doesn’t have ideal NHL size and his skating is average at best. Many scouts give much of the credit for Kyle’s scoring title to line mates Randy Rowe and Branko Radivojevic, both of whom also finished in the top five. To be fair, Wellwood has a wide range of offensive skills (especially puckhandling and playmaking) and was superlative for the Bulls this season. Though drafting is largely a matter of judging a player’s potential, there should always be room to recognize outstanding performance as well.
Max Kondratiev (D – Togliatti, Russia) : Kondratiev is a swift rearguard who represented his country at the Under-18 Tournament this year. Maxim is 6-1 but u Read more»
Jason Spezza has been talked about in hockey circles for years. Ever since he was 15 years old this kid was tabbed as a future superstar. He has incredible vision and a touch with the puck. He is smooth, great touch with the puck to go with great vision and great hockey sense. He sees the ice exceptionally well and has great size to go with the package. The “Special One” as he has been tabbed, has had a much maligned hockey career since he came on the scene with the Brampton Battalion. He then moved on to the Missisauga IceDogs and possibly hindered his development with ignorant coaches and managers. Don Cherry loved this kid but didn’t make him a better player. Thus, Spezza asked for a trade, got it and with it, much criticism. He led the Windsor Spitfires to the playoffs with a 2 point a game pace almost winning the scoring title playing less games than the winner, Kyle Wellwood. Spezza played pretty well for Canada in the World Juniors, but he didn’t dominate even though he had already been through one tournament. With such a long career in the spotlight tabbed as Canada’s developmental savior, came much criticism. People started to question his work ethic and desire to succeed, as well as his skating. He is 6’3 and over 200 pounds. He is a big man and can skate. His upside is being a “one” the category consisting of only Gretzky, Lemieux and Lindros. And the downside of being a Jason Allison (90+ points a season).
For GM Marshall Johnston to pull of such a deal, getting rid of the fan’s favorite target Alexei Yashin, and receiving a future superstar in Spezz Read more»
When Florida rookie Joey Tetarenko decided to get noticed, he did it in a big way. On Panther home-ice versus the Columbus Blue Jackets, Tetarenko put the Panthers on the board with his first NHL career goal, an expert two-on-one, top-shelf shot and soon after, former Louisville Panthers teammate, Marcus Nilson, brought the lead to two. Tetarenko not only scored his first NHL goal, he scored his second two periods later, a floater from the right circle to tie the score 5-5 at 6:46 of the third…and then became 3rd Star of the Game. The two goals came on three shots on goal, giving Tetarenko a shooting percentage of 66.7 for the night. Try as he might, he could not stop the Panthers from extending their winless slide to nine.
“It’s especially disappointing for Joey to score the first goal of his career and we can’t win — it’s brutal,” said Panthers right wing Marcus Nilson, who also scored twice in the losing effort for the Panthers.
But, sometimes the taste of scoring that first NHL goal is just what a player needs to get and stay focused on the task at hand. Tetarenko will be very hard at work this summer to obtain his goal of starting and remaining on the Florida Panthers roster for the upcoming season.
In the midst of the Florida Panthers Strength Camp in Miami, Florida last week, right-winger Joey Tetarenko suddenly found himself on his way back home to Louisville, Kentucky to be alongside expectant wife Tina. Don’t worry folks, mom and baby are fine…but the baby has yet to make his debut. Next Wednesday is when mom and da Read more»
All held true to form for the first 18 picks of the 2001 NHL Entry
I mean besides the fact a top center was traded and that some players
up where people didn’t think they would. Then the 19th pick brought the
big surprise. The Boston Bruins selected Kamloops Blazers right wing
Morrison. Most if not all experts had Morrison as a second round
not later. Yet the Bruins made him there pick in the high teens.
Sharks took German center Marcel Goc. Maybe not a reach, yet still
then quite a few people had him ranked.
With pick 26 Dallas really
out of there hat. They selected goalie Jason Bacashihua. They selected
Bascashihua even though goalies like Tomas Duba and Andrei Medvedev were
still available. I’m not sure which is odder, the Stars selecting
with the 26th selection or Bascashihua being taken before those other
At pick 28 the Devils made the biggest surprise of the
round. They took Saskatoon winger Adrian Foster. Foster played just 5
for Saskatoon of the WHL this past season.
Pick 29 brought goaltender
Munro to the Kings. Again, probably a bit high, espically considering
other netminders still left.
Mark Popovic who many considered to be a
late first rounder was taken with pick 35 by the Ducks. Popovic fell
then any other player on draft day.
Re-Entry’s Mike Zigomanis and Kyle
Da Read more»
were also selected in the second round.