Canadiens have improved

by Chris Boucher
on
Every NHL team’s main goal is to improve from season to season. This improvement usually comes through the maturing of young players, off-season trades, and a “fiscally responsible” dip into the free-agent waters. André Savard’s recent moves definitely fall into the above categories. The Canadiens have improved since last year. They have added 48 goals to the roster (Perreault-24, Dackell-13, Juneau-10, Quintal-1), without giving up a single player from last season’s squad.

The Habs have increased their depth; bringing in a trio of forwards who could possibly step in as the team’s number two line. In fact, these players would have been the Canadiens’ number one line for most of last season; given the team’s injury problems.

Yanic Perreault joins the team, and instantly becomes the top goal scorer on the roster (using last season’s numbers). He was the league’s top face-off man, with a winning percentage of 63%. This aspect of his game will immediately improve the Habs’ special teams; a part of the game where puck-control is tantamount to success.

His salary of under $3 Million per season allows Savard to keep the team’s salary structure in order. This is particularly important when it is considered that Saku Koivu and Brian Savage are restricted free-agents. If we accept the fact that Koivu should be the highest paid skater on the team, then signing a free-agent to more than $3 Million would send Koivu’s salary through the roof. Player’s salaries are affected as much by the team’s fiscal structure as they are by the league’s.

Per Read more»

Timofei Shishkanov: Potential Super Star Without a Guide

by Eugene Belashchenko
on

Nashville Predators 2nd pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft (33rd Overall).

Talent Analysis:

Timofei Shishkanov’s 6’1 and 203lb frame is definitely more then sufficient for the rigors of the NHL. He is a very talented player. Timofei is an excellent skater, able to blow by his opponents with great moves and fast speed. He also possesses a solid shot, though he rarely uses it and does not really have a trademark shot that he is known for. Timofei Shishkanov is also a very good puck handler, able to work it in both zones of the ice.  

According to a Finnish observer from the U18 2001 World Junior Championships, Timofei had a comprable skill set to that of Kovalchuk, but “the difference between Kovalchuk and Shishkanov is the hunger, Kovalchuk wants all the time desperately [to] score goals, but Shishkanov sometimes floats around.” The observer added further that Kovalchuk shot the puck a lot more then Shishkanov, while Shishkanov seemed “meaner, more unpredictable and stronger then Kovalchuk”. The main area where Shishkanov loses to players of Kovlachuk’s class is in his hockey sense. He still has not developed that knack for making split second decisions on the ice that players of Kovalchuk’s caliber possess.  

Read more»

Norwegian`s Lorentzen and Thoresen Taken in Import Draft

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

The first to go was Peter Lorentzen by the Tri City Americans with the 13th overall pick. Lorentzen played for Norwegian Elite Team Stjernen-Fredrikstad the last season and looks to make a splash in the Canadian Junior System following such Norwegians as Anders Myrvold(Laval) and Bård Sorlie(Plymouth) among others. Lorentzen a left wing is NHL Draft Eligible in 2002.

The other Norwegian taken was center Patrick Thoresen of Storhamar by Moncton with the 30th pick overall. Thoresen is also looking to make a big splash in the CHL and will be NHL Draft Eligible in 2002.

Norway making a big splash in the Canadian Juniors. Keep an eye on these kids as they may prove to be the next generation NHLers.

Canadiens Draft Review

by Charles Pace
on

Here are the Montreal Canadiens’ eight draft picks in the 2001 year entry draft. This is the first draft under Andre Savard.

#7 – Mike Komisarek, 6’4″ 225 lbs.

There seems to be two Mike Komisareks out there, at least offensively. On the top pairing at Michigan with San Jose Sharks draft pick Jeff Jillson, he had 11 points in 26 games against conference rivals, not too bad for a freshman, it was against non-conference rivals that he tended to struggle scoring only 5 points. He has a commitment to finish school, it shows he isn’t just in it for the bucks, but for the game too. He is as good physically, and defensively as all the reports say, and he skates like the wind. The concern is his offence, he needs more presence in the offensive zone, but he has three years to work on his offence, and since the rest of his game is already NHL ready, he will make the team eventually.

#25 – Aleksandr Perezhogin, 5’11” 185 lbs.

Not many people have seen Perezhogin play since he wasn’t at the WJC, and like most people am basing my opinion on him solely on what scouts have had to say. He is an excellent skater, and has good vision and puck handling. But there seems to be a consensus that he needs to capitalize more on his offensive chances and show that he is capable of playing a more NHL-like physical game, since he is only 5-11, 185 lbs this could be a concern. He had a solid if not spectacular season with Avangard Omsk’s 3rd division team in 1999-00 with 23 points in 22 games, but his real attention grabber for scouts was at WJU18’s this ye Read more»

Canucks Prospects Final Analysis

by Kirk Pedersen
on

Well, as you know, the Free-Agent frenzy has begun. Teams go to the marketplace looking for the next quick fix. Players who have great seasons are rewarded with big, fat contracts, by their own team, or by a suitor who is willing to pony up the dough.

Players who are largely considered to be average contributors to their respective teams, such as a Martin Lapointe, recieve a free-agent windfall. I hardly think one above-average season (scoring-wise) denotes that someone has a huge contract waiting for them in that off-season, but I’m just taking up dead air. My philosophy has become that of: If someone is dumb enough to pay that much, then the player should take it.

Oh well, enough with my free-agency rant. I must be just frustrated because Burke has yet to do anything. I’ve learned to set my sights low with Burke, because when I do that, he always ends up surprising me, and most of the time, it’s a good surprise.

Just getting back to Scott’s point about Steve Heinze, I think that Steve would be a wonderful addition to the Canucks, and he’d qualify as our biggest signee since Andrew Cassels, which was undoubtedly an excellent move by Burke and his cronies, but it seems unlikely, as the big American dollar signs will most likely lure Heinze ’57’ to the States, but, all’s fair in love and war.

Enough with my chatter, on to the important stuff, the prospects!

Let’s start right at the top, shall we?

1. Allen, Bryan Read more»

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