Luck be a lady, a tune that head scout Barry Fraser and General Manager Glen Sather will most likely be singing in the 1999 entry draft. The Oilers organization as a whole seems to treat the draft as a crapshoot, they try to hit the homerun with their picks. A few gems have eeked their way through in the 90′s (Ryan Smyth, Jason Arnott, Martin Rucinsky), but the number of gems pales to the number of players who ‘did not work out’. There’s first round embarrassments such as Tyler Wright, Scott Allison, Joe Hulbig, Nick Stadjuhar, Jason Bonsignore, and Steve Kelly. The recent picks of the Oilers (excluding Boyd Devereaux) were all attempts to hit homeruns (Bonsignore, Riesen and Henrich in particular), statistically Riesen and Henrich look like duds, but they are still young and both possess a great deal of talent. The crap shoot they call the NHL entry draft has not been kind to the Oilers in quite some time, however that trend may be changing. The Oilers have had two strong entry drafts in a row, in 1997 the Oilers chose 7 players who may play in the NHL (Riesen, Yerkovich, Eloffson, Chimera, Sarno, Hinz, and Fomitchev), the 1998 draft looks just as promising with Henrich, Henry, Horcoff, and Spiridonov. So, we move onto the 1999 draft, the Oilers pick 13th overall in the 1st round, 41st overall in the second round (pending compensatory picks) and will receive a mid to late second round pick due to the singing of Curtis Joseph. What will they do with these picks?
Immediate Needs Read more»
Bulldogs Final Player Reports:
Player Stats are GP:G:A:PTS:PIM
Goalie Stats are GP:GAA:W:L:T
Bolibruck, Kevin #22 Age: 22 Defense
Does all the little things well. Was the Bulldogs most consistent defenceman this season. Probably not big or strong enough to get a serious look at the NHL.
Bowen, Jason #28 Age: 25 Defense
He is the most physical of Hamilton’s defencemen. He loves the hip check on rushing forwards trying to beat him on the boards. He is a bit slow afoot, and is beaten on the outside by faster forwards. He will fight, but he hasn’t been too successful in his scraps.
Church, Brad #14 Age:22 Wing
19-1-5-6-22 (with Portland and Hamilton)
Plays a decent 2 way game, and hits well. His scoring touch is suspect, as is his speed. He should find a spot with the Bulldogs next season.
Cleary, Daniel #39 Age: 20 Wing
39-9-18-27-81 (with Portland and Hamilton)
Daniel should probably be back in the AHL next year. He has the speed to play in the NHL but didn’t seem to have much hockey sense here. He never seemed to fit in, and was a healthy scratch for most of the playoffs. He’ll need to have a big year in Hamilton next year to stay on track (especially with Comrie and Riesen expected to improve immensely next year).
Comrie, Paul #8 Age: 22 Center
7-0-1-1-0 Read more»
Born: July 26, 1979
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Weight: 187 lbs
When a junior hockey player wins one scoring championship, it’s pretty impressive, but when a player wins back-to-back championships, it’s almost unheard of. This season Peter Sarno of the Sarnia Sting became the second player in OHL history, and first since 1970-71, to do so. The last player to win back-to-back scoring titles was Marcel Dionne with St. Catharines (1969-70, 1970-71).
Sarno has had a pretty illustrious OHL career. Sarno was drafted by the Windsor Spitfires in the fifth round of the 1996 OHL midget draft. His totals in Tier 2 Junior A with North York were impressive. He scored 39 goals and 96 points in 52 games with North York.
In Sarno’s 3 seasons in the OHL he has looked more like a first round draft pick then a fifth round pick. His playmaking skills make watching him fun. Adding a great scoring touch to his playmaking skills make him a threat every time he comes onto the ice. In his rookie season (1996-97), Sarno won the Emms Family Award as the OHL rookie-of-the-year. His rookie season was very successful as the creative centreman scored 20 goals and 83 points in 66 games. The 63 assists that Sarno picked up were the fifth highest total in the league.
Guide: 1 star – awful
2 stars – dissapointing
3 stars – did what was supposed to do, nothing more nothing less
4 stars- exceeded expectations
5 stars – created new expectations
1- Michel Riesen
After a rocky start with the Hamilton Bulldogs in which Riesen recorded only 13 points in 45 games Riesen has begun to pick up the pace. In his past nine games Riesen has recorded seven points, not much to get excited about however at the start of the year Riesen was playing with fear. His fear has dissipated and he now looks as though he has regained the confidence that he once had. He no longer shies away from contact and the corners are a place he will venture to. It appears as though the fear that he played with may have been brought on by his vast amount of injuries in the past year. He seems to be getting over that and the Oilers organization is very glad. They are looking for him to step up to the team next season as either Pat Falloon, Rem Murray or Alex Selivanov will be claimed by the expansion Atlanta Thrashers. He will be looked upon to make the team and possibly be the second line right winger, and maybe even fill in the first line left wing spot that for the most part of this season has been a revolving door of players.
LEA GP G A PTS PIM PP SH GWG
AHL 54 5 15 20 6 3 0 1
WJC 6 0 4 4 4
Season Rating- 2 out of 5 stars
2- Micheal Henrich
When Steve Passmore, the native of Thunder Bay Ontario, was drafted he was considered a longshot prospect at the time. He was selected in the ninth round by the Quebec Nordiques, 196th overall, in the 1992 entry draft. His size and lack of technique had been his downfall throughut his junior career. Despite his lack of size and technique, however, Passmore played spectacular and was named a first team All-Star in the WHL the next two seasons (1992-93, 1993-94). In the 1993-94 campaign he led his Kamloops Blazers team to the Memorial Cup. Before ever playing in an NHL game Passmore was involved in a trade deadline deal on March 21st, 1994 which saw Brad Werenka go to Quebec from Edmonton. Passmore was now Edmonton Oiler property, but still the consensus was he would need grooming in the AHL.