The Second Season Begins – Playoff Time

by Jeff Bromley
on
1296 games, 3888 periods, 233,280 minutes of play (not counting overtime), over two million fans and now the fun begins. With the second season upon us, it just wouldn’t be the playoffs if we didn’t have predictions. So without further adieu, I submit for your perusal a glimpse of the first round match-ups of the 2001 edition of the WHL Playoffs. Of course as always, these predictions are solely for the purpose of entertainment and in no way are they to be taken seriously. Unless, of course, I get them right.


Western Conference -
In the wacky West, where the difference from first to worst was only a handful of points all season long, the clubs’ position in the standings was as volatile as the stock market. You never knew which one was going to go up or go down. Take into consideration that at Press time, the match-ups for the Western Division clubs could still change. With two or three games left to played for most of the clubs in the West, it accentuates how close the teams really are.


Kelowna/Prince George -
It would be easy to pick the top-seeded Rockets in this clash if only because of the Cougars being something of an enigma this season. Starting out the season with four wins in their first twenty games and then picking it up to go on a seventeen-game undefeated streak only to slump in the last quarter of the season. The Rockets have been steady all season long and even if the Cougars get hot. the only thing they’ll do is prolong the series. Rockets get their first-ever franchise playoff series win in six games.


Portland/Seattle – Read more»

Diamonds In The Rough: The art of Colorado Avalanche draft picks

by Jonathan Litterine
on
Drafting well is a major part of any hockey league. 1st round draft picks
are supposed to be the players that turn into the stars. Some do, many don’t.

Picking players very late in the draft is like a lottery many
times. Pick a few players and hope they turn into decent players. Yet the
Colorado Avalanche are gifted. Not only do they have stars like Joe Sakic,
Peter Forsberg and Rob Blake, but they have many young stars. Young stars who were taken late in their respective draft years. The Avs
dynasty seemed to start in 1994. That year with the 72nd overall pick they
drafted Chris Drury out of Boston University. Then just 15 picks later they
dug up some guy playing for Pardubice in the Czech Republic. His name Milan
Hejduk. Obviously no one thought he was worth the time with the 86 picks
before that. Pretty embarrassing 1997 rolls around and the Avs notice they
have the 78th overall pick. With that pick they draft Ville Nieminen. Don’t
be shocked if you see Nieminen turn in Hejduk or Drury type of play in the
next few years. He is already putting in goals left and right off Forsberg
passes. Now for the two guys you may not have heard of. Not yet at least.

Jordan Krestanovich was given the honor of being selected 152nd overall in
the 1999 draft. Krestanovich who is now with the Calgary Hitmen of the
Western Hockey League, leads that team in scoring. By the way that team
features players like Kris Beech and Pavel Brendl. Krestanovich averages more
points a game then Brendl and is just slightly behind Beech. Expect hi Read more»

Slovak Extra League – Junior Players In Regular Season 2000-01

by Daniel Kysel
on

Name                 Team          GP    G    A   Pts   +/-   PIM
Tomas Surovy         Poprad        53   22   28    50   +3     30
Michal Ruzicka       Skalica       55   12   10    22   -16    16
Martin Drotar        Kosice        44   10    8    18   -13    16
Michal Macho         Martin        37    5   10    15   -5     12
Lukas Hvila          Poprad        51    7    8    15   -8     89
Stefan Fabian        Kosice        45    4   10    14   -8     41
Tomas Slovak         Kosice        43    5    5    10   -9     28
Tomas Starosta       Trencin	   53    4    3     7   -3     16
Peter Gajdos         Kosice        24    4    3     7   -8      8
Alexander Valentin   Kosice        32    3    3     6   -9     20
Ladislav Gabris      Trencin       49    2    3     5   -10    32
Peter Sivak          L.Mikulas     36    1    3     4   -5     14
Martin Zajac         Trencin       49    0    3     3   +7     20
Ondrej Kavulic       Zvolen        13    0    3     3   -2      6
Pavol Hruby          L.Mikulas     30    1    1     2   -7      8
Richard Stehlik      Skalica       45    1    1     2   -7     14
Lukas Srnka          Trencin       14    0    1     1   +2      4
Jozef Lukac          Kosice        12    0    2     2   -6      8
Tomas Jurco          Poprad        37    0    0     0   -7     14
Karol Sloboda        Trencin       22    0    0     0    0      0
Martin Labaj         L.Mikulas     27    0    0     0   -12     4
Ivan Kolozvary       Trencin       14    0    0     0    0      2
Marek Grill          Skalica       Read more»

Prospect Ilja Gorokhov

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

See Prospect Ranking for more information on this future Ranger. Thank you Eugene Belashenko for the information and please visit his site for more information on Russian prospects www.russianprospects.com

Sabres Report: Left of Center

by Ken McKenna
on

The left wing position has always been a difficult one to fill for the Buffalo Sabres, at least via the draft. Buffalo has had a handful of successes at the draft table when drafting for the left side, with the most notable choices being Rick Martin, Craig Ramsay and Tony McKegney, but those picks were made many years ago. Most of the Sabres’ LW choices have instead been of the journeyman variety, at best, or the picks have simply never made it past the minors.

Buffalo currently has some quantity when it comes to LW prospects, but few are blessed with great skill, and at least one will likely not become a part of the organization. That one black sheep, Barrett Heisten, also happens to be Buffalo’s best prospect at this position. Barrett has yet to sign a contract with the Sabres, so, due to the Mike Van Ryn loophole in the CBA, should Barrett not sign by 6/1/01, he will become a free agent available to the highest bidder. Buffalo would receive compensation should Barrett sign with another team (probably a 2nd Round compensation pick), so the blow of losing Heisten would be somewhat softened.

Given that Barrett is technically still a Buffalo prospect (and he could certainly still sign with the Sabres), it should be noted that Heisten is having a productive, though not spectacular, 1st junior season. Heisten is playing for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL, where he is currently 3rd in scoring for that team. Barrett got off to a hot start Read more»

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