POS HT WT AGE
Eric Nickulas C 5-11 190 24
GP G A PTS PIM
98-99 Prov 67 27 25 52 79 (AHL)
98-99 BOS 2 0 0 0 0 (NHL)
Strengths- Hands, Hockey Sense
Weaknesses- Inexperience, 2-way Play.
Eric Nickulas has been an important contributor to the success of the AHL’s number one team. Nickulas has always been a gifted goal scorer at every level he has played, and the AHL has been no exception. He has made his mark on the power play, where he has 14 tallies with the man-advantage. Nickulas doesn’t seem to possess much speed, but he is a deceptive skater who has the ability to get open in close, where he does the most damage. Not the most diligent of back-checkers, he will need to sharpen his skills if he wants a regular shift in Boston.
Nickulas has the tools to make it to the NHL, but Boston has quite a few players with similar attributes. Between Randy Robitaille, Shawn Bates and Andre Savage, Nickulas will need to continue to put the puck in the net if he is to get another shot in the NHL after a limited audition for 2 games in December.
Projection at NHL level- 3rd-line Winger.
Current Stock Status- On the Rise
POS HT WT AGE
John Grahame G 6-2 210 23
GP W L T AVG Sav%
98-99 Prov 41 32 7 1 2.79 .900 (AHL)
Strengths- Mobility, Athleticism, Mental Game. Read more»
With Cam Neely possibly making a comeback, this could leave some Bruin prospects out in the cold.
Neely is not likely to make a comeback this season, but if he does it probably would be next season. This would leave a lot of prospects wondering about their futures. Names like Cameron Mann, Randy Robitaille, and Shawn Bates would have to make a huge impact this season if they hope to get a spot on the Boston roster. To fill Neely’s shoes, it would probably take all three of those players; but if he makes a return, likely only one will make the big club and the rest will either sign with other teams or play in Providence.
Cameron Mann looks to be the brightest light of those 3, but don’t leave out Bates, Robitaille, and Joel Prpic. Many scouts are wondering whether Prpic has NHL potential but others claim he has a lot. Bates, who starred at Boston University definitely has NHL potential and Robitaille appears to be close as well. Robitaille was injured in his first game with Boston back in March 1997; he was out for the remainder of the season. He played the 1997-98 campaign in Providence where he was one of the bright spots in what was a dim season.
It’s several weeks into the regular season, and last year’s worst team
has been a pleasant surprise. Yep, with their 12 new faces/rookies, they’re
among the best teams in the NHL, record-wise! With their current 8 game
road trip, they are now 5-2 after winning 4 straight. Not to mention, they
already have 3 shutouts — 2 by last season’s sieve Jim Carey, and 1 by
Lord Byron Dafoe. Let’s give a round of applause to coach Pat Burns,
Now, how about those rookies… Per-Johan Axelsson. That’s all I have to
say. Forget Samsonov, Thornton, Mann, and all those other over-hyped Calder
candidates. It’s the PJ Axelsson show! He’s got excellent speed, agility,
moves, plays with intensity, and is good defensively. Who is PJ Axelsson,
you ask? Well, he’s not that much of a surprise, but he just didn’t receive
all that hype I mentioned. Truth is, he had a great season with his Swedish
Elite team, Frolunda, where he scored 19G, 15A, 34P, 34PIM in 50 games. As
is usually the case with Swedish players, their numbers often don’t look as
good as they should because of the Florida Panthers/NJ Devils like trap
system that’s so popular in the Elitserien.
Currently, Axelsson is playing LW on Boston’s “top” line (as if you can
really call a line with C Tim Taylor and RW Rob Dimaio a top line). At
least Pat Burns calls Tim Taylor his top center — he still can’t believe Read more»
Joe Thornton is out for 6-8 weeks after getting slashed by Pittsburgh
forward Stu Barnes last night. At least Boston won the game.
After having seen Thornton and Samsonov in person on Sunday, I can now
assure everybody that Thornton looks like he could cut it after all. Before
the game against Montreal, however, Thornton was said to be disappointing
and lost on the ice — not NHL material. At least we now know he can cut
it. He made several “almost nice” passes — he was making the right passes,
he just couldn’t put it on the tape all the time. In fairness to Joe, the
Bruin forwards he was working with have hands of stone, but if you want to
compare him to Gretzky (who is his idol), Wayne feathers it right onto your
blade so all you have to do is hold your stick out. In the warmups, Joe
looked kinda out of place, being tentative while everyone else was firing
away on the goalie. It seemed like he never got the puck (when the Bruins
were taking turns firing shots on the goalie), and when he finally did, the
whole team would start skating around doing warmup laps, and the goalie
left the net. While skating in the 2 on 1 and 3 on 1 drills, Samsonov
showed lightining quick hands, stickhandling beautifully. In the game,
however, he had trouble handling a nice pass from Thornton. Sergei made up
for it on a 2 on 1 play later. He held the puck while the other Bruin Read more»