Name: Michal Rozsival
Birthdate: Sept. 3, 1978
Birthplace: Vlasim, Czech Rep.
Acquired: 1996 NHL Draft, fourth round (105th overall)
HF Comments: Michal started off the 99-00 season on a positive note, impressing Penguins management enough to earn himself a spot on the full-time roster. Since then he has continued to climb the latter of success. His valiant efforts have not gone unnoticed and have moved him up to the number one spot on the prospect list. As a rookie, Michal still has much to learn, but he does appear to be doing so quickly. Mid-way through the season, and one coach later, he’s not only earned the respect of his teammates, but more importantly, he has also earned the respect of his coach. Herb Brooks has admitted to being very impressed by Michal’s work ethics. He says even though Rozsival is a young defenseman, he feels as though he can trust him on a nightly basis.
Year Team League GP G A Pts PIM
1999-00 Pittsburgh NHL 45 3 11 14 22
1998-99 Syracuse AHL 49 3 22 25 72
1997-98 Swift Current WHL 71 14 55 69 122
Name: Andrew Ference
Ht: 5’10″ Wt: 190
Born: March 17, 1979
Acquired: 1997 NHL Draft, eighth round selection (208th overall)
With a mere 32 games left in the season, the Pittsburgh Penguins (21-25-4) find themselves struggling to hang on to a playoff spot. The bright side rests with the Penguins of tomorrow.
The “Jr. Pens” left winger Robert Dome has found his scoring touch again. He had 4 goals in three games, then 2 assists in a 5-3 loss against Hartford. Another bright spot on the “Jr. Pens” roster is Alexei Kolkunov, who has four goals in his last five games after a 14-game drought. Then there is rookie defenseman Andrew Ference who has 2 goals and 6 assists in a span of 9 games.
The brightest spot in the organization however, is not a “Jr. Pen,” he is a “Raider.” Besides putting on a brilliant show on the world stage in Sweden, Milan Kraft has 44 points (18-26) in 34 games with the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL).
Perhaps the best thing the Penguins can do right now is hold on to the hope of the future. If they cannot find heroes, and cannot find defenseman who truly can play a European style game, making necessary passes to those in motion, then stick to tomorrow. Try to imagine the havoc Kraft and Jagr will create playing side by side. It may take another year for this to happen, but it is a realistic goal and one to keep the Penguins optimistic.
Top 10 – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
GP G A PTS
Jaromir Jagr 42 34 40 74
Alexei Kovalev 43 15 21 36
Robert Lang 41 13 21 34
German Titov 43 12 20 32
Martin Straka 33 6 23 29
Jan Hrdina 31 8 13 21
Jiri Slegr 35 5 14 19
Kip Miller 39 4 15 19
Alexei Morozov 35 6 11 17
Michal Rozsival 43 3 11 14
Top 15 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
GP G A PTS
John Slaney 30 15 17 32
Greg Crozier 36 13 13 26
Valentin Morozov 35 10 15 25
Tom Kostopoulos 37 13 11 24
Martin Sonnenberg 30 9 13 22
Dennis Bonvie 29 2 20 22
Sven Butenschon 38 9 11 20
Tyler Wright 25 5 15 20
Boris Protsenko 32 7 10 17
Pavel Skrbek 35 6 10 16
Alexei Kolkunov 38 5 11 16
Robert Dome 19 2 12 14
Casey Harris 40 5 2 7
Andrew Ference 5 2 4 6
Josef Melichar 41 2 4 6
Top 10 – Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)
GP G A PTS
Curtis Wilgosh 37 16 15 31
Derek Smith 36 11 16 27
Vladimir Gratchev 27 9 13 22
Rob Millar 26 5 14 19
Shannon Basaraba 24 7 10 17
Jon Sorg 37 5 13 18
Kevin Paden 32 8 9 17
Rob Sinclair 17 3 8 11
Jeff Burgoyne 28 6 8 14
Dimitri Sergeev 26 4 11 15
GP W L T PTS
Pittsburgh Penguins 43 18 22 3 44
Wilkes-Br/Scranton 41 9 27 5 24 Read more»
One came up and one went down. It’s amazing what can happen through the course of one day. For a couple of young defenseman in the Penguins organization one day brought both reward and disappointment. One player was given a chance in the ‘big leagues,’ while the another was reminded what exactly it takes to be present on NHL ice.
Sven Butenschon had 9 goals and 10 assists in 34 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, earning the respect of both his peers and the Penguins organization. It is for this reason that General Manager Craig Patrick decided to pull him up for a game. In order to do so however, Pittsburgh had to first ship Andrew Ference down to the American Hockey League to clear a spot on the NHL roster. As odd as that may seem, Ference’s relocation to the minors was anticipated anyway. Why not give another prospect the chance to shine, even if it was for just one night?
Sven welcomed the opportunity, logging 18 minutes of ice time and finishing with a plus minus rating of plus – 1 against the Flyers, despite a 6-2 Penguin’s loss that evening (Jan. 8th). Both the coaching staff and management alike admitted to being impressed by his performance.
D -Sven Butenschon
Born: March 22, 1976; Itzehoe, West Germany
Acquired: Pittsburgh’s third choice (57th overall) in 1994 Entry Draft.
Boy oh boy is Milan Kraft looking like a draft jewel! He shows up at the World Junior Championship and dominates. Kraft ended the tourney with 5 goals 7 assists in 6 games. He helped the Czech Republic win gold, and he is a major piece in the building of the future for the Pittsburgh Penguins who seem to be rejuvenated with new coach Herb Brooks. Jaromir Jagr loves the offensive freedom. Kraft can be the total package when he adds weight to his frame, and a little knowledge defensively. Other than that, he is one year away from playing with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL for a few games before a call up to play with the best there is, Jagr. Alexander Zevakhin has been playing superb hockey also, collecting 5 points in 5 games, with fairly limited ice time. Alexander needs to mature up and play harder, he seems out of shape at times gasping for air after a bad shift. He plays like Pavel Bure at times, and Andrei Kovalenko at others.
It seems as though Craig Hillier is never going to get his chance like J-S Aubin. He needs more confidence and ice time in the parent league. Hillier plays like Martin Brodeur when he is confident, but most of the time no one has confidence in him, thus leaving him no confidence in himself. He can be a regular goalie when and if he is called on. Hillier should just wear number 13, because that is how his career has turned out to be. Lucky at times and unlucky at times sums it up nicely.