The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim have the fifth overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Past top 5 picks have included: Paul Kariya (4), Oleg Tverdovsky (2), Chad Kilger (4), and Vitaly Vishnevski (5). With three of the four playing well with the NHL club, the 2001 draft brings a lot of optimism.
Short of free agency, the Anaheim club needs help at defense, right wing, and at center. If Ilja Bryzgalov (Russia) comes to Cincinnati (not likely) the Cincy Ducks will be solid in goal. With this lack of depth in the system it appears that the top player available will be chosen not just with the 5th pick but also throughout the draft. This has always been Pierre Gauthier’s strategy in the past.
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim will select the best player available at #5, which will most likely be Chistov or Weiss.
The Ducks have two early/mid picks in the second round (35 and 41). Gauthier has mentioned that he would like to trade one of them and/or other lower picks to get some established players with grit and/or leadership characteristics.
In addition to the Ducks first (5) and second (5,11) round picks the Ducks also have three fourth round picks (5, 8, 19), one 5th (5), one 6th (5), one 7th (28), one 8th (5) and one 9th round pick (5).
The Boston Bruins should be entering this year’s draft with the following goals in mind:
In the ever-active mind of Lightning General Manager Rick Dudley, there is a certain make-up a player must posses if he is to join one of the up-and-coming teams of the NHL. Knowing the history of the Lightning, one could assume that would be “knew how to skate,” and left it there. Seeing how 1996 first rounder Mario Larocque turned out, even that wasn’t always followed.
That was then, this is now. Dudley is looking for a few key ingredients in prospects to set them apart from the others. Primarily, he wants size, he wants speed and he wants skill. Secondarily, he would prefer a nasty streak and a well-rounded, defensive game already in place. In other words, the prospect must be able to find their own zone without the use of a map or asking a linesman for directions.
Normally when drafting in the top end of the first round, the plan of attack is common sense; take the best player available and if he doesn’t work out or you’re loaded at that position – deal accordingly. As more attention is made to prospects’ strength and development, especially in Europe (Dudley has made known his admiration for the developmental programs overseas, specifically Russia. This evidenced by 5/10 picks last year from Russia, 2 North American.), the more prospects are becoming closer to NHL readiness. Because of that, the more “need” creeps into the equation. Such is the case for Tampa, considering their shallow forward lines and strong draft position.
The Lightning need help filling holes up front and Dudley thinks this draft can help. In other Read more»