Like most youthful hockey players growing up in Western Canada, University of Denver sniper Greg Barber has always dreamt of someday playing in the NHL. Emulating his hockey heroes on the streets of Kelowna, British Columbia, Barber has always been a standout wherever he’s played. If sheer determination was worth its weight in Black & Gold, then tip the scales in his favor for a longstanding future with the Bruins organization.
A standout for the Victoria Salsa of the BCHL, Barber’s superb play in 1998-99 earned him a BCHL all-star appearance and the Boston Bruins 207th overall selection at the 1999 NHL entry draft. Playing alongside Martin Kariya, Barber notched 41 goals and 82 points in 60 games for Victoria that year. When reached at his home on draft day, Barber was both shocked and surprised that his life long dream had taken a positive step forward.
“I wasn’t expecting a call or anything like that,” said Barber in an interview with hockeysfuture. “I was hanging with friends at my house and was not paying any attention to the draft. I was pretty happy. It was unexpected, so I was kind of shocked.”
His play struggled somewhat the following year as a freshman for the University of Denver. Known for being a big goal scorer, his adjustment from the BCHL to the WCHA was tougher on him than anyone had expected. He finished second in rookie scoring for Denver netting 7 goals and 15 points in 40 games. As a sophomore, he had a knack for late-minute heroics as he tallied two third-period game-tying markers. He equaled his freshman totals of 7goa Read more»
What does it really take to make it in the NHL? Heart? Determination? Skill? Patience?
Examining the Bruins young core of top prospects at the annual rookie tournament in Kitchener, Ontario last weekend, one gets an early impression of just how
hard these young guns are willing to work to fulfill their dreams of playing in the NHL.
The problem however, is that most of the Bruins young guns are shooting blanks!
“Nobody is really impressing me,” said Brad Davis a scout for the Edmonton Oilers. “Zdenek Kutlak is by far the best player on the ice for Boston, and he played a handful of games with the big club last year. That has to tell you of the caliber of players that are on the ice.”
Not all of Boston’s top prospects and invites were disappointing to watch all weekend. Carl Corazzini, a recent signing out of Boston University, impressed with his intense level of play.
a guy who plays with heart,” said a Bruins scout who wished to remain anonymous.
“He shows up to play every night, and doesn’t take any shifts off. He’s a
great two-way forward who could be a big surprise at our main camp this fall.”
Ed Hill and Colton Orr both impressed with their high energy level of play.
come any more physical than Colton Orr,” said Davis. “Here’s a guy that transitioned
his game from defense to forward and did it successfully. Orr is the kind
of player that every team would love to have, but unfortunately because of
his skating, he may not get an opportunity to display what he Read more»
For Seamus Kotyk, who backstopped the Ottawa 67’s to the Memorial Cup Championship in 1999, working hard may not always payoff. The Wayne Gretzky award winner as the most valuable player of the 2001 OHL Playoffs has yet to agree to terms with the Boston Bruins on a contract for next season. The 5th choice, 147th overall by the Boston Bruins in 1999 has 24 hours left to agree on a contract, or be fed to the Wolves on the free agent market. Because of his 1980 birth year, Kotyk does not qualify to re-enter the NHL draft this June.
“I would love to pull the Black & Gold jersey over my head,” said Kotyk in an exclusive interview with hockeysfuture.com. “If things work out for me, I’ll be the 4th goalie on the depth chart. That’s where I’d like to be right now. It would be great to get some experience in the AHL next year and perhaps get an opportunity to play a few games with the big club. The goalies in Providence were all given a chance to play last year and that’s something that I’m still thinking about. Andrew Raycroft stepped right into the NHL from Kingston of the OHL and I thought he did a great job. It’s really good to know that the opportunities are there.”
For those who remember, it was just over a year ago that Kotyk was facing the possibility of never playing hockey again. After struggling with mysterious respiratory problems during training camp, Kotyk was eventually diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia and had surgery to correct the problem.
That first surgery was just the start of the merry go round year he had.