2001 Rangers Draft Preview

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

With the Rangers holding the 10th overall pick, the needs are clear, first a banging, physical forward with size and skill. In order to show what the Rangers really need one has to analyze what they have as of draft day.

The prospect roster is stocked with goaltending with Johan Holmqvist, Vitali Yeremeyev, Johan Asplund and Jason Labarbera leading the list. This is an area that does not need any tinkering and any one of these can step in as back up to a “healthy” Mike Richter or whomever G.M. Sather crowns as No.1 in 2001-02.

DEFENSE: The defense has some solid prospects in Mike Mottau, Pat Aufiero, Filip Novak and recovering Tomas Kloucek but this area is not as deep as one would like either. As we wait for Wes Jarvis and Burke Henry to develop one knows that with each passing month they are not with the big club, chances are they will not make a steady contribution to the Rangers in the “show”.

Forward: The Rangers forward stock is thin at best. An active off season will have to me made via free agency and trade and not less important via the draft to fill the cabinets not only in NY but for their AHL affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut. The past year’s drafts of smallish players like Christian Dube (Switzerland) and Marc Savard (traded to Calgary) must shift to a higher gear, one that looks for bigger players that CAN contribute at the NHL level.

Penguins Covet Two Czechs At Draft

by Richard A. Plisco
on
The Pittsburgh Penguins draft time strategy has been announced by General Mannager Craig Patrick and as usual it remains cliche. Patrick has said that the team will select the best player available regardless of position or team needs. However, insiders have a different notion as to which direction Patrick may lean.

Seven of Pittsburgh’s last eleven first round selections have been Europeans. Four of that group have been Czech. That is why many believe that with a Czech head coach and definitive pattern for picking Euro bred talent, the Pens will be seeking one of the following prospects.

A glaring lack of offense from the blue line lead some to speculate that the Pens will be looking at mobile defenseman Lukas Krojicek. Lukas, a 6’1″ 180lbs. rear guard, hails from Prostajov in the Czech Republic. The 18 year old spent the 00-01 season with the OHL’s Peterborough Petes where he compiled 8 goals and 27 assists in 61 matches. He posted 27 points in 53 games for his junior club in 99-00.

If Lukas is unavailable at the time of Pittsburgh’s pick, look for them to chase Pardubice, Czech Republic native Ales Hemsky. The 5’11” 173lbs. right wing notched 36 goals for the QMJHL’s Hull Olympiques last season. He also managed 64 assists in his 68 appearances. Scouts have noted that the winger is not that tough, but he possesses lots of scoring prowess. Some go as far as saying that he exhibits several traits similar to his NHL idol, Jaromir Jagr.

Although Patrick holds true to form and claims that his staff have no clear cut Read more»

Will You See Brendl or Lundmark in the Igloo?

by Jonathan Litterine
on
Neither Pavel Brendl or Jamie Lundmark have ever played in a regular
season NHL game. Yet that might not matter. One of them might be the reason
Jaromir Jagr becomes a New York Ranger. Many sources sight the Rangers have
already offered Mike York and Tomas Kloucek for Jagr. Pens GM Craig Patrick
is said to be holding out for either Lundmark or Brendl to be added to the
deal. The decision then falls on Rangers GM Glen Sather.

With the recent signings of Barrett Heisten and Matt Kinch and the
possible addition of Layne Ulmer, the Rangers could mortgage either Brendl or
Lundmark. In my opinion I would hand away Lundmark first. The Rangers who
never score much , could use the instant offense Brendl is known for. Yet
with all those prospects just signed, a deep crop to begin with and the 10th
overall pick in the 2001 Entry Draft, this deal seems like a no brainer to
me.

Pens fans should be very happy if this deal goes through. Your getting a
great young two way player in York, a injured , yet solid 6’3 defenseman in
Kloucek and one of the best prospects in all of the NHL. All this for a guy
your team can’t sign anyway. Both teams are winners if this deal happens.
Keyword, IF this deal happens.

Kootenay’s move greeted with cautious optimism

by Jeff Bromley
on



Kootenay’s move greeted with cautious optimism
When the notion of the Kootenay ICE
moving to the WHL’s West Division
surfaced, there were two main concerns,
rivalries and cost. With the
announcement this past week that
Kootenay had been realigned by the
WHL to the new B.C. Division of the
Western Conference, the development
of an unbalanced schedule would ensure
that the ICE would maintain established
rivalries with Calgary, Red Deer,
Medicine Hat and Lethbridge.

Addressing the issue of cost with the
increased travel into the B.C. Interior
and the U.S. with its currency
discrepancy however, is something that
won’t be gauged until the end of the
2001-02 season.

In the eyes of ICE vice-president Jeff
Chynoweth, the move is something that
will benefit the league as a whole, even
if all the benefits don’t immediately fall
on the side of the Kootenay ICE. “It’s
always been the way we’ve operated,”
said Chynoweth of the hockey club. “I
think it’s going to be good for the
league. When you’re one member of
nineteen teams, the old cliche applies in
that you’re only as strong as your
weakest link and if this will strengthen
the whole chain then will all be better for
it.”

Chynoweth noted that maintaining the
already established rivalries of the ICE
was key to any move of the ICE to the
West. “For us, it’s always been the
rivalries,” remarked Chynoweth. “We
just can’t lose Calgary. If you look at
our four games here last year, they were
all sold-out. Their four games t Read more»

Chicago Pairs Up With Thrashers

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

AHL NEWS

The Chicago Wolves begin play in a new league and have a new NHL affiliation for next season.

They were one of six teams that moved to the American Hockey League from the International Hockey League, which officially folded. The Wolves confirmed they will be an affiliate of the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers.

At least three key players from the Wolves’ IHL days will remain. Right wing Rob Brown, defenseman Bob Nardella and left wing and captain Steve Maltais signed contracts for next season.

The Wolves will operate under new rules when the AHL begins its 67th season in October. The AHL allows a team to dress only seven players who have played more than 260 professional games.

“That’ll be a huge change,” said Brown, an 11-year NHL veteran who has played three seasons with the Wolves. “We’ll get a lot of young kids who are just starting out. They will energize us.”

Wolves chairman Don Levin long has been against a full affiliation with an NHL club, but the AHL requires it. Last season the Wolves had a partial affiliation with the New York Islanders but also took players on loan from six other NHL teams.

“I consider it a full affiliation when [the NHL club] unloads a truck and brings in all the players and coaches,” Levin said. “I’m still against that. But we still have our own general manager [Kevin Cheveldayoff] and our own coach [John Anderson].”

Don Waddell, the Thrashers’ general manager, said he and Cheveldayoff will work together to determine the Wolves’ roster.

“This cou Read more»

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