Deadline to Sign Euro Draftees is Approaching

by Brandon LeBourveau
on
The deadline to sign players drafted from Europe is Sunday night, July 15th, at midnight. If you do not come to terms with a European draftee by then, he will remain in Europe for the upcoming 2001/2002 season and play hockey over there.

The Rangers have a couple of players that fit this category, most notably this year’s 6th round pick in defenseman Marek Zidlicky. Zidlicky is a 6’0 180 pound defenseman from the Czech Republic, who put up great numbers this season for HIFK of the Finnish Elite League. Zidlicky is 24 years old, and if he comes over to North America this season he could possibly make the team right out of training camp. His team in Finland, HIFK, is one of the only teams in Europe to play on an NHL sized rink. Having played a few seasons on an NHL sized rink, it shouldn’t take too long for Zidlicky to adapt to the NHL. Compared to his former teammate Brian Rafalski, Zidlicky is a physical force in the defensive end while also able to control a game offensively. He has great offensive abilities and a laser of a shot. A Finnish newspaper has been reporting that Marek is close to signing and the deal should be announced soon, so let’s hope that this is true.

Other European draftees such as Stefan Lundqvist, Sven Helfenstein, Tomi Kallarsson, Arto Laatikainen, Ilja Gorokhov and Henrik Lundqvist are unlikely candidates to be signed. Fedor Tyutin, Leonid Zhvachin and Juris Stals, who were all drafted this year, will come over to North America but they will all play in the OHL. Tyutin, drafted in the Read more»

Kings Goalie Prospect Matthew Yeats Interview

by Tony Calfo
on

Maine goalie Matthew Yeats answered some questions for Kings’ Editor Tony Calfo-

HF- When do you hope or plan to break into the NHL?

MY- I don’t plan on making an arrival into the NHL for a couple of years. I have one year left of college eligibility which I plan on using this coming year and will graduate in May. From there it is up in the air. I would guess that I would play a couple of years with the farm team and work my way up from there.

HF- What do you think of the Kings’ organization?

MY- I think the Kings organization is great. The three previous summers I have attended the rookie camp that they host, two were in Thunder Bay and last year in Los Angeles. Everything was done with class and everyone makes sure that you are happy and doing your best all the time. The Kings would be a great team to play for.

HF- Do you follow the Kings or their system?

MY- I don’t keep too close to what is going on in the Kings system, but I do like to see what they are doing and how their goaltending situation is from time to time. If I see a paper lying around or if someone is reading the hockey news, I will go right to the kings section to see what is new.

HF- Do the Kings keep in touch with you?

MY- The Kings don’t really keep in touch. I usually talk to one of the scouts once or twice a year, checking in to see how I am doing and to tell me what they thought of when they saw me play. Most of the time it is positive.

HF- How do you compare with Alexey Volkov?

MY- It is tough for me to say how I compare Read more»

Jagr traded for prospects

by Richard A. Plisco
on
The Pittsburgh Penguins shocked the media and fans, dealing scoring champ Jagr to frequent playoff matchup Washington Capitals. Many critics speculated that Jagr was headed for New York or Los Angeles this week. Pens GM Craig Patrick surprised all by moving Jagr to the Caps for three prospects and future considerations.

Frantisek Kucera was also included in the package as obvious salary relief. The little used defenseman was a late pickup last season and hardly saw the ice.

The Pens get in exchange three top 35 1999 draft picks from Washington :

1. Kris Beech 20 6’3″ 200lbs. C Calgary Hitmen (WHL) – Scoring centerman.

2. Ross Lupaschuk 20 6’1″ 215lbs. D Red Deer Rebels (WHL) – Physical blueliner.

3. Michal Sivek 20 6’3″ 209lbs. C Sparta Praha (Czech Rep.) – Two-way center.

Future Considerations are expected to include cash.

Young Blueliners May Be a Strength of Flyers System

by Mike Castor
on

Overall view of the Philadelphia Flyers defensive prospects

Although critics may say otherwise, the blueline is now one of the Flyers organizational strengths. The difference was the 2001 draft. I think the current draft yielded at least 3 rearguards that may make the NHL with in 4 years. Before the draft, I thought the Flyers had average defensive talent, but now they have seem to have above-average talent system-wide.

In the system, Philadelphia has plenty of big defensive blue liners. At the draft, they added more rearguards that can skate and handle the puck. Bruno St. Jacques will be probably the first one of the prospects to make the Flyers. A lot of that, however, depends on what the Flyers get in return for Eric Lindros. Flyer fans can rest assured that defense will soon not be a problem any longer. While most of the regulars on the Flyers blueline are getting up there in age, the kids in the system should be ready to step up and play well by the time the current veterans are gone.
Read more»

Tampa Bay Lightning Update

by Megan Sexton
on

Tough-Guy &
All-Star Traded in for Experienced Face-Off Man

Rookies
Kyle Freadrich and Nils Ekman seem to have lost their place in the
organization, as they were traded to the New York Rangers on June 30th
for experienced centerman Tim Taylor. 

Ekman
seemed to be caught in a numbers game, but appeared to have proved his worth in
his 43 games with the Lightning throughout the 2000-01 season.  A two-time IHL All-Star, Ekman tallied 9
goals and 11 assist while with Tampa and another 22 goals and 14 assists in 33
games with the Detroit Vipers (IHL).

Freadrich
only appeared in 13 games with the big club and suffered through an
injury-plagued season while in Detroit. 
His notorious battle with Chicago heavyweight Ryan VandenBussche game
him a name late in the 1999-00 season, but he failed to keep the intimidation
factor going.  He squared off when given
the opportunity, but never put on much of a show.  With the acquisition of Matthew Barnaby and Gordie Dwyer still in
the ranks, Freadrich was quickly ousted from the tough-guy r Read more»

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