The names of recent Kootenay ICE
European members of their club read
somewhat like a whose who of able
scorers, deft puck-handlers and flashy
offensive moves, Stanislav Gron,
Jaroslav Svoboda, Zdenek Blatny and
most recently, Marek Svatos. Needless
to say, the Kootenay ICE’ first pick
(16th overall) in Wednesday’s CHL’s
Import Draft is going to have some very
big shoes to fill.
The pick, the result of
compensation from the Tri-Cities
Americans luring former ICE G.M. Bob
Tory to fill the same position in
Kennewick, was used to select Thomas
Plihal, a 6′ 1″, 180lb, seventeen-yr-old
left-winger from the Czech Republic.
Roy Stasiuk, Director of Player
Personnel for the ICE says that the club
has known about the lanky winger for
some time. “We’ve known about him for
two years,” said Stasiuk on the phone
from his Edmonton home. “He played
with the Czech under-17 team in
Timmins, Ontario (host of the ’99 World
Under-17 Tournament) two years ago,
playing against two of our young players
at the time, Dan Blackburn and Tyler
Stasiuk figures that the Czech Republic
native could come in and make an
impact with the ICE right away. “He’s
got pretty good size, he’s got excellent
stick skills and he’s a good skater, not in
the pure speed aspect but Plihall is very
strong on his skates with great balance
and someone who can handle the puck
very well coupled with a very good
shot,” said Stasiuk. The club’s head
scout also offered a glimpse of where
the lanky import would fit in a
somewhat revamped ICE line-up tha Read more»
The Boston Bruins spent the entire NHL Entry Draft adding skill, size, and toughness to their system, all 3 of which were absolutely necessary. They also added two little-known goaltenders who both appear to have some potential for the future.
The Draft Preview Article stated the Bruins needed to increase depth in goal, improve defensive prospects, and add wings to the organization. The Bruins met all those goals despite not meeting the goals with the best players available.
The Bruins used their 19th overall pick on defenseman Shaone Morrisonn. Many consider Morrisonn’s selection the first surprise pick of the draft. The CSB had Morrisonn ranked 41st among North American Skaters. Even Shaone thought he was a second round pick, “I was rated, 41st, I think, and I expected to go in the second round.”
The Bruins felt otherwise about the 6’ 3” 185 lbs. defenseman from Vancouver, BC and made him their top choice.
“He was high on our list, and made our top ten. We were waiting to see if he was still there, and fortunately he was,” said Bruins Director of Scouting, Scott Bradley.
The 18-year old reportedly made huge improvements as the Western Hockey League season reached its mid-point and Morrisonn, the Kamloops Blazers, and even the Bruins hope he can build on those improvements to become even better. Shaone climbed 17 spots from his mid-season ranking of 58 to his final ranking of 41 on the CSB list.
“It was a surprise that Morrisonn was taken so early in the draft, but I can see where Boston was coming fr Read more»
At the draft of 2001, Craig Button finally put his stamp on the team. He had been ridiculed for not making moves, and now that he did at this year’s draft, there is a lot more talk going on about player moves rather
than the draft picks themselves.
Going into the weekend, the team had a gaping hole at center, nearly
adequate goaltending, decent scoring on the wings, and an up-and-coming defensive corps. They had the eleventh overall pick, and then nothing until the 101st pick in the fourth round. All of this changed thanks to
Button…for better or for worse. Analysis of all the moves is required to create an informed opinion.
The first trade Calgary made was sending their eleventh overall pick to Phoenix in exchange for the 17th overall pick, and a second rounder. This was wise as the Flames needed picks in the second and third rounds where they were completely devoid of picks.
The Calgary Flames sent RW Val Bure, and F Jason Weimer to Florida for C Rob Neidermayer and a second round draft choice this year. Doubters claimed that although Bure caused problems in the dressing room and alienated himself from Flames fans, his goal scoring, albeit inconsistent, will be missed and wasn’t replaced on draft day. They also claim that Weimer was Calgary’s only true rugged forward, and he earned many points with Flames fans by sticking up for his smaller teammates when taking on some of the better enforcers in the league, like Georges Laraque of Edmonton, and Donald Br Read more»
By Panthers Editor Mark Fischel with commentary from Jes Golbez
Going into the draft, the Panthers had 4 of the top 50 picks, and it wasn’t an issue of if they were going to make a deal, but rather what kind of deal will they pull off? Needless to say, the Panthers didn’t disappoint the 8000 fans in attendance. Pulling one major deal to acquire Valeri Bure, and another in which they traded up to the first round, the Panthers ended up the draft with making 2 first-round selections and ensuring next season will be an easy one for the marketing department.
Going into this draft, areas of attention were as follows: Defense, Defense, and more Defense; Center of Attention,; Tending the Nets; and Speedy Defensive Forwards with Heart. It is a comforting that the Panthers scouting department on draft day fulfilled 75% of those needs, with some smart picks heavy on skilled players, tough players, a overage Euro-veteran, and a Elite level prospect.
Before the draft, all differing opinions had the Panthers trading up, trading down, trading the pick for defensive help, or having a fire sale of players to rid themselves of high priced players like Pavel Bure and Trevor Kidd. But the Panthers mainly stayed the course and got what they wanted. Tim Murray, the Panthers Director of Amateur Scouting, felt the day was a successful one “We actually got guys a full round later, 2 rounds later than we thought we were going to get them”