The Rangers headed into the draft looking to take either Dan Blackburn or Pascal Leclaire, two goaltenders labeled as future franchise players, with the 10th overall selection. A lot of people thought that if they did happen to get one of them, it would be Pascal Leclaire. Minnesota was rumored to like Blackburn at 6th overall, and if they didn’t take him, he would be scooped up 9th overall by the Blackhawks. But the Blackhawks opted for Tuomo Ruutu, and it didn’t take long for General Manager Glen Sather and Assistant General Manager Don Maloney to walk up to the podium and select the 6’0 180 pound Dan Blackburn from the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
Dan Blackburn at 10th overall is a great selection. He will be a great player down the road. The Rangers filled a desperate need by drafting a goaltender in Blackburn, and they also took the best player available. The Rangers have already said they will not re-sign goaltender Kirk McLean, who is a free agent, and they have told Guy Hebert that he can talk to other teams to try and find a new home. Add in Mike Richter still recovering from a torn ACL in both knees, the goaltending for the Rangers looks shaky. Johan Holmqvist is still developing in Hartford and he could turn out to be a starter some day, and the Rangers have other goaltending prospects in Vitali Yeremeyev, Jason Labarbera, Johan Asplund and Henrik Lundqvist, but the Rangers felt Blackburn was the real deal and they proceded with the selection. Many scouts felt Blackburn was the best goaltender in the draft and would be the first Read more»
At 6’2 and 196 pounds Fedor Tyutin definitely has the size to compete in the NHL. Tyutin is also a good skater and is a solid puck handler. A critical aspect of Tyutin’s package that makes him very attractive is that he is more of a sure thing than some other players as he has already been battle tested on a very high level. Tyutin’s natural hockey sense has been developed further during the 2000-01 season while he played full time with SKA St. Petersburg in the Super League. While playing for SKA Fedor was an aggressive and physical presence against players years older and more experienced then him. Tytuin’s mental game is also very tough. He is a very determined player with a solid work ethic, never taking shifts off. After winning the gold medal at the Under 18 World Junior Championships, Russia’s captain and Fedor Tyutin’s defensive partner Igor Knyazev said this about Fedor:
“On the pair with me played Fedor Tyutin. I felt very comfortable with him. I knew that my partner would back me up and I could confidently press forward. He is a very responsible guy, which, in any case can be said about each player. All displayed the strength of will, bravery in the deciding moment. But still, when talking about Tyutin I want to especially not his feeling of responsibility.”
Here is what an observer at the 2001 U18 WJC had to say about Fedor:
The Maple Leafs and Coyotes have, at long last, completed perhaps the slowest trade announcement in NHL history. The deal, which began almost two weeks ago, was finally completed yesterday and now looks like this: Markov and Berezin for Reichel, Renberg, Green and Mills. Let’s take a closer look at the back-end of this swap.
It’s Draft Day!
I rolled out of bed at 6:00 AM and quickly grabbed the paper. Turning to the Sports section, I fell back in horror. Suddenly I was once again a disillusioned kid trying hard to justify the sudden departure of my favorite Maple Leafs’ player (Lanny McDonald). What gives here? This deal was said to be deader than Stock Day’s political career yesterday afternoon.
Does a Berezin for Renberg exchange make sense for the Maple Leafs? Age is clearly not a factor here as both players are now 29 years-old. Salary is possibly a small consideration, with the Maple Leafs paring roughly 1 million dollars from next year’s payroll in anticipation of chasing (and hopefully landing) one or two more big ticket items when the free agency auction opens in July. After some additional time to carefully consider this move, I believe that it amounts to an exchange of electrifying skill for improved cohesiveness. A swap of one player with world class talent for another with a world class pedigree.
It’s true that Mikael Renberg played in Sweden last season and that his last 4 NHL campaigns have been fraught with injuries and disappointing results. However, when last on a contending NHL team, relatively healthy a Read more»
Alexander Perezhogin is a speedy winger who possesses size and abilities to earn a spot in the NHL. Alexander skates very well and uses his strong acceleration to create scoring chances. Though Alexander is considered a natural scorer by many experts, he is also a solid playmaker, able to create opportunities not only for himself but also for his teammates. If he can’t get past the defense with his good puck handling abilities, he can make a solid pass to one of his teammates. Another great upside of Alexander is his constant determination and his work ethic. Vladimir Plyuschev, head coach of the gold winning 2001 U18 World Junior Championships Russian Team (and now head coach of the Russian U20 Junior program) describes Alexander Perezhogin’s game as such:
“Usefullness, an amazing determination and a all out effort. It is unfortunate that not always his efforts turn into goals, he is not always lucky in finishing. Though he was amongst our best in his contribution. I am very happy with Sash [Alex –EB], he is a great guy”.