If you tuned in to the first round of this year’s entry draft on television, you wouldn’t even think Montreal had a franchise in the NHL. Without a first round pick (traded to the Islanders for Trevor Linden) the Habs were all but invisible during this year’s draft coverage.
The Habs concentrated on drafting skilled forwards and big defenseman, while throwing two goaltenders into the mix. The loss of a first round pick was partially made up for by 2 picks in the second round, 2 picks in the fourth round, 3 picks in the fifth round and one pick in each of the final 4 rounds. The following is a list of the Habs’ draft picks in the order in which they were picked.
POS HT/WT DOB DRAFTED
Alexander Buturlin (rw) 6’0″/182 Lbs. Sep.3/81 D-Mtl99 (2-39)
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SH
98-99 Stats 16 1 0 1 – 6 – –
#1 Strength- Speed and Skill
#1 Weakness- Size.
Buturlin has tremendous skill and can play at any forward position. This versatility is one of his many up-sides. He is aggressive even though his lack of size is a concern. He was ranked 4th among Europeans by the CSB.
POS HT/WT DOB DRAFTED
Matt Carkner (d) 6’4″/215 Lbs. Nov.3/80 D-Mtl99 (2-58)
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SH
98-99 Stats 60 2 16 18 +15 173 – -
In a draft day filled with trades and intrigue, the Boston Bruins stayed out of the dealing fray and waited their turn at the 21st position to select defenseman Nick Boynton, a player everyone in Boston hopes can help the Bruins’ fortunes sooner than anticipated. As the host city of the 1999 Draft, Boston was well-represented by its fans who voiced their pleasure when Boynton’s name was called. When future Hall of Fame defenseman Raymond Bourque, who 20 years ago was the Bruins’ top draft pick, made the announcement, draft day ’99 was that much more special for the legions of Bruins supporters in attendance. By the time the smoke cleared at the Fleetcenter, and the final name was called, Boston had taken 3 key members of the CHL’s top team, the Ottawa 67s. With 3 defensemen, several forwards and 2 goaltenders, Mike O’Connell and Harry Sinden closed the book on what appears to be a successful draft.
This draft, the Sharks took a very interesting approach to the draft. Normally, you’ll see teams going after a mix of players. There are the players from the CHL who are generally closer to the NHL than college players. These players may be ready to join their team in 1-3 years. They may account for 75% or more of teams’ picks. Then the college players who may not play for your team for four or five years. A team will usually only pick one or two of these players in one draft. And of course you have the European influence. These players may play for you the next year, or not until five years.
Of the Sharks’ seven picks, the Sharks chose only one player out of the CHL. The other six picks were from Finland (1), high school (2), and college (3). One fear that some had was that the Sharks were having a repeat of the 1995 draft where they had a European “theme” to nearly all their picks. I admit that I was one of these people who feared that. However, as I looked back on the picks, I noticed another theme, which makes far more sense.
It would seem as though Sharks picks centered around two characteristics.
1) Players who need time to develop their skills, not play 60 or more games a season. Often, players in the CHL are good at lasting during the long NHL season, but need to develop their skills. The college players may have the NHL skills once they graduate, but the course of an 82 game schedule wears them down. Read more»
June 26th, 1999 could go down in the annals of Nuck history as the greatest moment in franchise history with the selection of the Sedin twins.
The Canucks made out all right here…
-goaltending…since have signed Michaud and drafted Swanson…so it is markedly better than before. Don’t confuse that with “good” or even “solid” however.
-offensive defenseman…Darrell Hay isn’t about to fill this hole.
-a top 2 center who doesn’t receive old-age benefits…Henrik Sedin.
-offensive forwards…again the Sedins.
Big players and big unknowns. Must be Colorado at it again. Going into the draft, Colorado had two things on its mind, get big and get Euro. That’s what they did as the majority of their picks where big and European with a few being both. The Avs came in with the ability to take chances and they did. With McCarthy and Jackman both being lost just a few picks before Colorado’s, the Avs were faced with some talented Europeans to choose from or a few middle of the pile Ds. Colorado is not one for being middle of the pile, and so the draft went as follows:
(1/25) Mikhail Kuleshov LW 6-2 200
(2/45) Martin Grenier D 6-5 231
(3/93) Branko Radivojevic RW 6-0 183
(4/112) Sanny Lindstrom D 6-2 194
(4/122) Kristian Kovac RW 6-3 213
(5/142) William Magnuson D 6-5 232
(5/152) Jordan Krestanovich LW 6-0 168
(6/158) Anders Lovdahl C 6-3 189
(6/183) Riku Hahl C 6-0 187
(7/212) Radim Vrbata RW 6-0 175
(8/240) Jeff Finger D 6-1 194
A few names stick out while others remain a blur or unknown and that’s probably how they will remain. Mikhail brings a high skill level to an already talented team. He is still at least two years away from the big club, but of any of the players drafted, he could put on the biggest show at camp. When he comes to play, he will dominate, and if he relies on skill only… he will only flicker and then fade out. He is likely the Avs replacement to Kamensky, they hope.