Spring is in the air, so that means that the 98-99 regular season has ended for most of the Buffalo Sabres prospects. This has been a great season to be covering the Sabre prospects, as there have been several outstanding performances by a number of the Sabre hopefuls. Indeed, the Sabres may well have more quality prospects than those of the other 26 (soon to be 27) NHL teams.
One prospect has moved on since my last update, as Alexei Tezikov was traded to Washington at the NHL trading deadline. While the Capitals will be receiving a quality prospect, this was a move the Sabres could afford to make. Buffalo has great depth amongst their prospects at the defensive position, so it made sense for the Sabres hockey department to deal from strength to try to shore up the teams’ offensive weakness (albeit on a temporary basis). In addition to receiving Joe Juneau from the Capitals, the Sabres also received the Caps ’99 3rd Round pick, which adds to their growing collection of ’99 draft picks (currently at 11 picks, with a possible 12th pick on the way from San Jose).
Another season is in the books for the Islanders, and despite having the worst record in team history since their expansion year there is hope for the Islanders. The Islanders have alot of young talented players (also adding Lindgren, Isbister, and Krog to the lineup) as well as a top five pick in the upcoming draft. Several Islander prospects had good rookie seasons and have graduated from the ranks of prospects.
During the last few months of the season Zdeno Chara emerged as one of the team’s best players. He was logging well over 20 minutes a game, saw time on special teams, and was a dominant physical force. Zdeno has made tremendous progress this year and has established that he will be a top 4 defenseman for many years.
Fellow rookie rearguard Eric Brewer also had a solid first season. He experienced some growing pains, typical of young defenseman, but was able to learn from and make up for his mistakes. His high talent level is very apparent in his play and he has shown great character and work ethic. Eric should continue to blossom in the next few seasons the same way in which Kenny Jonsson did. Brewer seems destined to be one of the top defenseman in the league.
Mike Watt also completed a solid rookie season. He played every postion and was placd in many different roles throuhgout the year. He has good size, is a shifty passer and has a surprisingly quick shot. Watt too, should continue to progress and become a reliable forward for the Islanders.
The team is well on its way toward rebuilding itself to the top shelf at the NHL level, and although maybe not quite there yet, management is committed to a youth-oriented built largely through the draft. The Leafs’ prospects are certainly not near the top, but a steady rise has already begun.
1) Nikolai Antropov: C 6-5, 191 Moscow Dynamo: Has slowly, but surely raised his skill-level and has taken some good steps toward the NHL. Montreal writer, Jack Todd , saw Nikolai play 4 games this season and came away impressed with his readiness. He uses his size, strength and hockey instincts to his benefit and has progressed with his skating as well. He scored 4 goals, 3 assists in that 4 game stint. The Moscow Dynamo program is perfect for him at this point as their system teaches and emphasizes skating, passing and skillwork. Todd feels that Antropov is closer to being ready than fellow Moscow Dynamo prospect, Maxim Afinogenov, who has been drafted by the Buffalo Sabres. He is still growing into his body, as many 19 year olds will need to do. He represented Kazakhstan in the World Juniors championship and led his team in scoring with 3 goals, 5 assists for 8 pts. in 6 games. Nikolai has stated that he needs another year in Russia to develop his game. Estimated time of arrival in Toronto: Late in the 2000-2001 season.
In this article, we cover the progress of some of the rookies and freshmen on the Sharks roster as we enter the playoffs. Last year, the Sharks had perhaps the best trio of rookies, in Patrick Marleau, Marco Sturm, and Andrei Zyuzin. This year, the Sharks have had another group of rookies, who may not have been as touted as the above mentioned three, but have done fine jobs as well. Alex Korolyuk and Andy Sutton are the two main factors. Scott Hannan and Shawn Heins each played in five games for the Sharks, but due to limited games played, will not be included.
PART 1 PROFILE OF MARC LAMOTHE
Player: Marc Lamothe
Birthdate: Febuary 27, 1974
Hometown: Orleans, Ontario
Born in New Liskeard, Ontario
Weight: 210 lbs
SEASON TEAM LGE GP W L T SO AVG SV%
1994-95 Fredricton AHL 9 2 5 0 0 4.48 .873
1994-95 Wheeling ECHL 13 9 2 1 0 3.10 .892
1995-96 Fredricton AHL 23 5 9 3 1 3.76 .894
1996-97 Indianapolis IHL 38 20 14 4 1 2.64 .918
1997-98 Indianapolis IHL 31 18 10 2 3 2.44 .920
1998-99 Indianapolis IHL 32 9 16 9 1 3.78 .881
Marc was Montreals 6th choice (92nd overall) in the 1992 NHL entry draft. Marc is entering his 5th season as a professional and was signed by the Chicago Black Hawks as a free agent on August 1996. He is entering his 3rd season with the Indianapolis Ice. Spent most of the 1997-98 season with a groin injury. Likes to challenge the shooters. Lets the shooters see very little net. Very quick glove hand, and reflexes. Very few rebounds given, quick to get back in position when down. Handles puck well. Though he has a few groin injuries that caused him to miss a few games. Has not let the injuries hamper his style of play, always comes out and gives 100% everynite. With the way Marc plays it won’t be long before he is in a Chicago uniform. Read more»