Jason Spezza has been talked about in hockey circles for years. Ever since he was 15 years old this kid was tabbed as a future superstar. He has incredible vision and a touch with the puck. He is smooth, great touch with the puck to go with great vision and great hockey sense. He sees the ice exceptionally well and has great size to go with the package. The “Special One” as he has been tabbed, has had a much maligned hockey career since he came on the scene with the Brampton Battalion. He then moved on to the Missisauga IceDogs and possibly hindered his development with ignorant coaches and managers. Don Cherry loved this kid but didn’t make him a better player. Thus, Spezza asked for a trade, got it and with it, much criticism. He led the Windsor Spitfires to the playoffs with a 2 point a game pace almost winning the scoring title playing less games than the winner, Kyle Wellwood. Spezza played pretty well for Canada in the World Juniors, but he didn’t dominate even though he had already been through one tournament. With such a long career in the spotlight tabbed as Canada’s developmental savior, came much criticism. People started to question his work ethic and desire to succeed, as well as his skating. He is 6’3 and over 200 pounds. He is a big man and can skate. His upside is being a “one” the category consisting of only Gretzky, Lemieux and Lindros. And the downside of being a Jason Allison (90+ points a season).
All held true to form for the first 18 picks of the 2001 NHL Entry
up where people didn’t think they would. Then the 19th pick brought the
big surprise. The Boston Bruins selected Kamloops Blazers right wing
Morrison. Most if not all experts had Morrison as a second round
not later. Yet the Bruins made him there pick in the high teens.
Sharks took German center Marcel Goc. Maybe not a reach, yet still
then quite a few people had him ranked.
out of there hat. They selected goalie Jason Bacashihua. They selected
Bascashihua even though goalies like Tomas Duba and Andrei Medvedev were
still available. I’m not sure which is odder, the Stars selecting
with the 26th selection or Bascashihua being taken before those other
round. They took Saskatoon winger Adrian Foster. Foster played just 5
for Saskatoon of the WHL this past season.
Munro to the Kings. Again, probably a bit high, espically considering
other netminders still left.
late first rounder was taken with pick 35 by the Ducks. Popovic fell
then any other player on draft day.
Re-Entry’s Mike Zigomanis and Kyle
Prospect Capsules — 2001 Entry Draft
1: Jason Bacashihua, G, Chicago [NAHL] (26th overall)
Many Stars fans expressed disappointment after Dallas picked a goaltender first, when the need for skilled offensive players
seemed so pressing. Even more disappointing for fans, Bacshihua was not held in high esteem by most draft experts prior to
the draft. Bacshihua was generally regarded as the 15th or so best goaltender in the draft, though other sources ranked him
higher. The Hockey News scouting report called Bacsasihuha a “good cominbation of balance, speed, and good post-to-post
movement”. Red line reports had him ranked as high as 3rd among goaltenders, and their scouting report reads: “He can be
streaky and inconsistent, and has trouble getting up for games of lesser importance, but is always at the top of his game
when when the stakes are highest.”
Regardless, the Stars had him in the top 15 on their draft board from the very beginning, and they believe “Cash” (Jason’s
nickname) is a sleeper pick. Cash was a much sought-after recruit for NCAA power Michigan last year, but — because of grade
problems — he was forced to continue playing with the Chicago Freeze of the North American Hockey League where last year he
was 24-14-0, with a 3.23 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.
Jeff Dessner the defenseman with the big shot was dealt on Sunday to Atlanta for their 8th round selection no.230 overall and Sather took LEONID ZHVACHIN of PODOLSK JR. in Russia. The 6-0 185 pounder who shoots left and plays defense will remain in Russia unless he is gobbled up in this weeks Canadian Junior League Draft.
Dessner developed a fan following long before ever wearing a Rangers jersey with his big shot and work ethic. Dessner 6-2 195er out of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin finished his collegiate career with 7 goals and 19 points in 38 games. Dessner will compete for a spot with Atlanta in the coming season.
In another trade to note, the Rangers dealt their 7th round pick in 2002 to the Calgary Flames for their 7th round pick in this year’s draft, in which they select Pontus Petterstrom 226th overall.
For more news and notes and my NHL 2001 Entry Draft Review and Analysis stay tuned….