Ever since Martin Brodeur took the Devils to the Conference Finals in 93-94 against the Rangers, goaltending has never been a major problem in New Jersey. Brodeur has proven to be very durable and can easily play 70+ games every year. However, Brodeur’s contract is up at the end of this season, and he will command high dollar and deservedly so. But with so many goaltending prospects in the organization, how long and for how much will Lamoriello want to lock up Martin?
For the first time since Mike Dunham backed up Brodeur, it looks like the Devils are ready to let a youngster learn the ropes as Brodeur’s caddy. From 1993 to 2001, Chris Terreri, Corey Schwab, Mike Dunham and John Vanbiesbrouck all served time as Brodeur’s back-up. The team would like to have kept Dunham, but expansion killed any chances of the Devils being able to hold on to him. Dunham has gone on to become a very solid goaltender for the Nashville Predators and has a very bright future ahead. But lets forget the past and look ahead to next year and beyond.
The main candidate for the back-up spot next year is Jean-Francois Damphousse. Damphousse was the Devils first round pick, 24th overall in 1997 and may be the most NHL ready of any of the Devils netminding prospects. After a sub-par ’98-99 season with Albany, he rebounded in both ’99-00 and ’00-01 with very solid seasons. In ’00-01 he took over the starting job with the Rats and almost lead them to a playoff spot after the team went through a horrible first 2 months of the season. When the Devils drafted him, he was very thin and wiry. He Read more»
For more information please vitit http://www.russianprospects.com
Yegor Shastin is a technically sound forward, but who has not been gifted with great size. He is a scoring forward who has the sense for the net. He also has the irreplaceable hockey sense to think on the ice and make solid decision. According to a Russian hockey expert, Maxim Dostoyevsky “Shastin is a brilliant little player. Probably as smart as Larionov. But he’s an average skater (not very fast) and … small-sized after-all.” A significant downside of Yegor’s game is his skating ability. Though he has good straight away speeds, he is not as good in lateral skating and his game suffers due to that. This problem is not mortal for his career and he can refine his skating in the next few years. Yegor possesses a great work ethic and plays hard when he is on the ice. Yegor Shastin’s maturity and experience on the ice is very rare for a player of his age. At only 18 he already has 2 full seasons with Super League’s Avangard Omsk. The Super League is a strong league that is comparable to the AHL and Avangard is one of the strongest team’s the league, making his feat even that much more impressive.
Back In Russia:
One of the top prospects in hockey, Vaclav Nedorost talks with Peter Baptista about what it’s like to be part of such a world-class organization, his
experiences during the NHL playoffs this year and what he thinks of Pittsburgh Penguins center Mario Lemieux .
PB: What does it feel like to be part of such a world-class organization?
VN: Colorado is a great organization. They treat the players great. I was
in Denver for playoffs and really enjoyed the city and the people in the Avalanche organization.
PB: When did the Avalanche talk to you about a contract for this season?
VN: I signed my contract in April. I am very happy with my contract.
PB: Are you playing in North America this season?
VN: Yes. Right now I am training in Edmonton and staying with my agent. I
want to get stronger and get ready for Colorado’s training camp.
PB: Do you think you could make the Avalanche out of camp?
VN: I will try my best.
PB: What is your strongest asset?
VN: I think that a have very good hockey sense and I read the game very well. That is my strongest asset.
PB: What is your weakest asset?
VN: I continually like to improve all aspects of my game. That is my goal.
PB: Who do you think is the best player on the Avalanche roster? Read more»