Boston College is a school that is full of hockey history and tradition, one of those traditions has been a winning hockey program. So it should come as no surprise to find out the man responsible for upholding said legacy is one who once played for the Eagles himself, Jerry York Since returning to his alma mater, York has lead the team to back to back Frozen Fours and with his recruiting haul this year, widely conceded to be the best in college, there is no doubt even more pressure, justified or not, on him to come home with the NCAA Championship. Recently Hockey’s Future had the opportunity to talk with Coach York about last season, this season, and all things Boston Hockey.
Hockey’s Future: While it’s obvious that it would have been nice to win the NCAA Frozen Four, how do you rate the season just passed? What were some of the things you had set out to accomplish with your team at the beginning of the year and did you get those things accomplished?
Jerry York: I think it was an excellent year from our perspective because our goal was to be among the elite of college hockey. I think traditions are built upon post-season play. We understand how difficult it is to win a national championship, but we also understand how hard it is to just get to the Frozen Four.
HF: Your team is a perennial threat in Hockey East. How would you compare this past season with the two before it?
Never let it be said that the Buffalo Sabres are predictable at the draft table, at least when it comes to making their 1st round picks.
Back in 1983, they chose high school goaltender Tom Barrasso with the 5th pick overall, which at the time was the highest a
goaltender had been chosen. In 1997, the Sabres called Finnish goaltender Mika Noronen’s name, a choice that was met with a
resounding chorus of “Who?”
Buffalo this year continued their tradition of risk-taking in the draft’s 1st round with the selection of Russian center Artem
Kriukov [6’3", 180lbs., Yaroslavl (RUS)]. There is certainly a lot to like about Artem- he is a well-rounded package of
offensive skills, as he possesses above-average speed, good size, sharp playmaking skills and a good shot. The major knock against
Kriukov has to do with his health, specifically his susceptibility to concussions. Artem suffered a major blow to the head early in the
99-00 season, causing him to miss a good portion of the schedule. The Sabres claim that this is the only concussion Kriukov has
suffered, and that they are comfortable with using the 15th pick overall to draft him. There are conflicting reports, however, that
indicate that this may not be Artem’s first concussion, so the Sabres could well be whistling past the graveyard with this pick. To
sum up, Kriukov will either be a major find for the Sabres scouting staff, or he will be a black mark on a drafting record that has
otherwise been good in recent seasons.
While the Sharks didn’t have a 1st round pick in this year’s draft for the first time, that didn’t stop them from staying aggressive as has been the trademark of Tim Burke and Dean Lombardi drafts. This was Lombardi’s 5th draft that he was in charge of, and this is the 4th year he has made a deal on draft day for a player he wants.
In 1996 the Sharks traded up to acquire Marco Sturm, in 1997 they traded up to pick Scott Hannan, in 1998 they traded down to pick Brad Stuart and got Jonathan Cheechoo in the process, and this year they traded their 2nd and 3rd round picks to acquire Tero Maatta. So far, all of the draft day deals the Sharks have made have paid off very well. If this is a sign of things to come, Maatta may some day turn into a very solid NHL player like the others have (or are prospected to become).
In the 2nd round, with the 41st pick, the Sharks chose defenseman, Tero Maatta from Finland. Playing last year for Jokerit of the junior league in Finland, he played 31 games, scoring 4 goals and 4 assists, with 53 penalty minutes. He also played major parts in the Under-18, Viking, and Five-Nation’s tournaments.
Maatta fits the mold of many Sharks draftees, as he is a player who has improved his stock a great deal in the last year. At the midseason report, he was ranked 30th by the CSB, and soared 17 spots to finish 13th in the final rankings. At 6’1″ and 205lbs, he has grown into his frame, and as the year progressed, began to use his body more. Read more»