The Kings enter the 2001 draft knowing that this may be among the most important drafts in their history.
After making an impressive run and starting to get their system in order, the Kings will have five picks in the first three rounds of the draft. The learning curve is over- the Kings cannot afford to miss with thier top picks. With the slower development of some of their previous picks, look for the Kings to take some solidly built players who can handle both sides of the ice.
The needs would be skilled forward, a defenseman- ideally one with offensive skill, and another goalie for the system. Here are some of the potential players that will be available when the Kings make their first selection.
Chuck Kobasew- RW- Boston College- This is my pick. Their is some concern whether he will be there when the Kings pick, but he is a solid forward. He is built well- 6’1, 195 pounds, and he is part of a championship team as a freshman. He went the month of January with a point in every game. The Kings got a good look at what skilled college players can do- Chris Drury for one. This is the guy I would like to see become a King.
Ales Hemsky- LW- Hull- Very skilled forward with a solid offensive game. Fairly well built, although a little light at 6’1, 180 pounds. Finished the regular season with 36 goals and 64 assists. Will likely be available, but a smallish wing seems to go against what the Kings are looking for.
Colby Armstrong- RW- Red Deer- Big right winger with alot of potential. His name keeps com Read more»
From the hockey point of view, Martin Podlesak wasn’t born very lucky. He saw the light
of the world on September, 26th, 1982, just a day after fellow prospect Frank Lukes, who
played for the Toronto St.Mike’s Majors of the OHL this year. He missed the 2000 NHL Entry
Draft eligibility only by 11 days.
He could shine among the Czech 1982 born forwards, as
only three were selected in 2000. That concerns the players playing in Europe. Vaclav
Nedorost was of course the huge star, but Podlesak’s great size and potential could have earned
him a second round spot at the 2000 draft. But this simply didn’t happen.
The crop of the
late-born 1982’s and 1983’s Czech forwards seems to be stronger than the previous year, but
people are talking mostly of Jiri Novotny and Ales Hemsky as potentional stars. Podlesak
seems to be hidden a bit, even this is almost impossible when you would meet him. Martin could
become the tallest Czech forward to ever play in the NHL.
Originally born in Melnik, Czech Republic, Podlesak started playing hockey at the early age
of five. The coaches usually let the tall guys play defense, but Martin wasn’t such a high
tower when he was playing for the first grades. He had exceptional puck skills, which every
coach would love and so he wasn’t forced to call the blue line home. His tough workouts
allowed him to gain the power and Podlesak was able to play with guys older than him. He had
to work on his shooting a bit, but his power helped him to make his shots hard and quite
accurate. He was a strong guy who was almost Read more»
Although Slovak Extra League (Extraliga) has finished more than one
month ago, I would like to mention several facts about the league and
Slovak champion is HKM Zvolen when defeated Dukla Trencin 3 : 1 in
Stats of selected players:
P.Rybar Regular season 55 GP 3320 min. 2.00 GAA .927 SAV
Playoffs 4 GP 248 min. 3.00 GAA .878 SAV
Name GP G A Pts +/- PIM
J.Plch Regular season 53 35 44 79 +59 38
Playoffs 10 5 5 10 +4 4
R.Sechny R.s. 53 24 46 70 +27 64
P. 10 9 10 19 +14 10
P.Fabus R.s. 52 31 22 53 +13 94
P. 14 4 6 10 +4 60
T.Surovy R.s. 53 22 28 50 +3 30
P. 6 2 1 3 +2 4
R.Pukalovic R.s. 51 15 35 50 +45 20
P. 10 3 3 6 +2 6
Z.Ciger R.s. 53 17 32 49 +17 22
P. 8 6 3 9 +4 16
L.Sabol R.s. 48 24 20 44 -2 18
P. 3 1 1 2 +1 0
M.Kulha R.s. 47 23 12 35 -4 58
P. 8 3 4 7 +2 4
T.Nadasdi R.s. Read more»
Looking closer at the current junior team of HC Sparta Praha we can spot some real talent there. Among those players born in 1983, Daniel Volrab is the top player. He is in the 56th position among European players (according to the CSB latest ranking). In the mid season ranking he occupied 16th place. But there are several reasons for this drop. The first thing is that the 16th place was rather over estimated because going by his performance- and let’s face it that is what matters!- he should be somewhere between 30th and 40th position. The second thing is that due to his sickness (he had mononucleosis) he missed out 4 months from this season which cost him strength as well as valuable time which he could have spent improving his skills. The third thing is that the CSB ranking was highly dependant on the results and performances in the under 18 World Championship in which Daniel didn’t play as well as had been expected.
And his story? He discovered the beauty of ice hockey at the tender age of 5. His older brother was playing hockey in Decin so Daniel went on to do the same thing. In the 7th grade he changed teams so he moved from Decin in the hockey town of Litvinov which is a 60km distance from his home. His decision to play for Litvinov was mainly that it was good team and it was nearest to his hometown, of Decin. There he finished primary school and that was the end of his “formal education”.
After winning the title with Litvinov in the 9th grade he made another move. In Litvinov he found limited playing time and felt the need for a chan Read more»
What a difference a year makes. While the 2000 crop of
draft-eligibles had a few good players at the high-end, it did
not match what the 2001 crop has to offer, and the depth this
year is also impressive. From Guelph to the west, Oshawa to the
east, and scenic bread-and-breakfast country along the shores of
Georgian Bay in beautiful Owen Sound, it was a pleasure to watch
this year’s prospects. Expect to see 16-18 OHLers drafted in the
first three rounds of the NHL draft, and some interesting
long-shots in the later rounds.
We’ll start off by having a bit of fun as the make-up of this
year’s group has some things in common with the players taken at
the top of the 1998 Draft. Of course, this isn’t the exact order
in which I would rank the prospects, but it is interesting to
look at the similarities. Included are the numbers that the
players put up in their respective draft-eligible seasons:
1. Vincent Lecavalier – 58GP 44G 71A 115 PTS 117 PIM
Both players have good size and a high skill-level with skating
1. Jason Spezza ——- 56GP 43G 73A 116 PTS 43 PIM
ability, especially with Spezza, being the main concern.
2. David Legwand – 59GP 54G 51A 105 PTS 56PIM Read more»