Today I will cover all the Sabres Defensive prospects.
Star rating read as follows:
5 stars = Superstar potential.
4 stars = A First Rate NHL player. Above average player.
3 stars = Good NHL future. An average NHL player.
2 stars = Good minor league player. A below average NHL player.
1 star = Career minor leaguer. Emergency NHL help.
Brian Campbell 5-11 186 18 Ottawa (OHL) 2 stars
Acquired: 1997 5th Round Pick, 156th overall.
Stats look: as of 1/3/98
39 gm 10 G 24 A 34 pts +21 15 pim
Brian was an unknown to me, before the 97′ draft. I’ve tried hard to uncover
as much information as I could about him (long with many of the other
relatively unknown prospects). This redheaded kid from Strathroy, Ontario has
progressed nicely throughout his career. He has been blessed by playing on a
very good team featuring several other highly touted defensive prospects,
including Sean Blanchard (last year’s OHL defensemen of the Year) and first
round pick, Nick Boynton. Brian benefited greatly from playing along side
these quality players, but it was an injury to Boynton which may have helped
him improve the most.
After nearly four seasons of arguing, pleading and frustration, Oilers GM Glen Sather finally pulled the trigger on the highest draft pick, and biggest bust, in Edmonton history, Jason Bonsignore, trading him to Tampa Bay.
There’s no denying the fact that Bonsignore is one of the most talented young hockey players out there, when he wants to be, and if he ever gets his act together, the Oilers could be kicking themselves for not giving him one more year. The Blackhawks gave up on a young goalie some years ago because it seemed he had an attitude problem and couldn’t hack it in the big leagues, despite tremendous talent. That goalie went on to be last year’s winner of the Hart, Vezina and Pearson trophies and was an integral part of the Northeast Division champion Buffalo Sabres.
It’s tough seeing such potential go to waste. Bonsignore has been compared to Mario Lemieux when he’s playing with heart. As one scout put it, Jason has all the tools but no tool box. Another said he had the makings of a Cadillac but the heart of less pricey model. There are no glaring deficiencies in his play and his finesse game includes brilliant playmaking and vision, terrific hockey sense and boy, can he skate like the wind! He has also silenced criticism that he has no physical game, getting involved in traffic and in the corners and adding a gritty factor to his play while in Hamilton. The one thing, however, that has earned him the most criticism, a demotion to the IHL and, ultimately, his permanent removal from the Oilers’ future plans is his lack of heart and desire to succee Read more»
The 1997 First Round Picks
The 1997 NHL entry draft was supposed to be a gem draft. A draft filled with
franchise players, many of whom are supposed to be ready for the NHL right
away. Well, it has been a tough year for the 1997 first round picks.
1. Joe Thornton
Thornton was the prize of the draft. A no-brain first round pick. A guy
everything. Great size. Good speed. Tough. Aggressive. Good offensive
with a scoring touch. Everyone thought he was ready for the NHL and
the lack of proven talent in the Bruins lineup he was certain to make the
get lots of ice time.
What happened? Was it over confidence? Did Thornton expect everything to
as naturally in the NHL as it has the rest of his career? Who knows the exact
reason but he just hasn’t done it in the NHL so far. He has just 1 goal in 25
games and is struggling along on the 4th line. The thing I am confused about
is why the Bruins keep him around. He should have been sent to the Canadian
junior team to allow him to regain his confidence against the best young
in the world and then bring him back if he does well. It does Thornton no
sitting on the bench or playing on the 4th line. That is no way to treat your
future franchise player if you expect him to develop into a franchise player.
2. Patrick Marleau