On the first day of the 2001 NHL entry draft, the Philadelphia Flyers made a pair of trades, affecting both their first and second round selections.
The Flyers traded their first round pick (#23 overall) to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for three draft picks (#27 overall, #225 overall, and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2nd round pick in 2002). The move caused some raised eyebrows, as the Flyers had at their disposal several of the most prominent defensemen in the draft. By moving down to #27, the Flyers were hoping that one of three defensemen they were eyeing (probably Tim Gleason , Lukas Krajicek and Jeff Woywitka ) would still be there when the 27th pick came up. Gleason and Krajicek were taken with the next two picks, but Woywitka was still there at #27.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Flyers dealt their second round pick (#56 overall) to Florida, in exhange for the rights to unsigned veteran Czech center Jiri Dopita. Dopita, who will turn 33 in December, has long been considered one of the biggest stars in European hockey and is a long-time fixture on the Czech national team.
Over the last nine years, Dopita has rebuffed numerous offers to come to the NHL. His rights were previously been held by Boston and the New York Islanders before they were dealt to Florida, and numerous other teams have inquired about his availability over the years. Until now, the answer was always no.
Why the change now? For one, he is close friends with his former Vsetin teammate Roman Cechmanek, another veteran Czech star who fin Read more»
On Day One of the 2001 Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins managed to stear clear of Europe and selected three Canadians and one American youngster.
The Pens selected Colby Armstrong in round 1, 21 overall. (Many speculated that they would target Czech’s Hemsky or Krajicek, who went 13 and 24 respectively in round one) Armstrong, a native of Lloydminster, Saskatoon played for Red Deer of the WHL in 2000/01. He is 6’1″ 180lbs. and plays the right wing.
Round 2 saw the focus shift to defense. Noah Welch was picked 54 overall. The 6’3″ 212lbs. defender hails from Brighton, Mass. and played for St. Sebastians high school last season.
Round three selections included defenseman Drew Fata, the 86 pick, from Sault St. Marie, Ontario. Fata, at 6’1″ 211lbs. skated for Tor.St. Michaels in the OHL. Picked 96 overall in round three was blue-liner Alexander Rouleau from Mont-Laurier, Quebec. Roleau, at 6’0 180lbs. suited up for Val D’or of the QMJHL this past campaign.
The Penguins confined their first four selections (of nine this year) to North Americans. They made no moves to secure a higher first round slot with a trade and in fact, Jaromir Jagr was allowed to begin his vacation in the Czech Republic. This leads many to believe that the Jagr trade will not materialize this weekend.
The Pens put an early emphasis on restocking their stable of defenseman, leading to speculation that several current prospects may see big league action sooner than later. RW Armstrong is expected to bring a little grit to the forward position.