Fantasy Hockey 2001-2002: Wingers

by Drew Bennett

1. Jaromir Jagr– (Capitals) Jagr, who is one of the top players in the world, was traded to Washington during the off-season. Jagr, who struggled last year, played terrible in the playoffs, only notching two goals. The NHL’s highest paid player will once again challenge for the scoring title.

2. Mark Recchi– (Flyers) Recchi, who suffered from a concussion in the early part of the season, had an excellent second half. Playing along with the Flyers explosive offence, Recchi should regain his ’99-00 form, when he registered 91 points.

3. Patrik Elias– (Devils) Elias, who is only 25, has found his niche playing on a line with Petr Sykora and Jason Arnott. Elias had a career year last year, will probably float around the 90-point range this season.

4. Pavel Bure– (Panthers) Bure, who will be playing on the same team as his brother for the first time in the NHL, had a great second half last season. Bure is a sure bet to score over 50 goals, but will only have around 35 assists.

5. Paul Kariya– (Ducks) Kariya will be with out line mate Temmu Selanne for the first time in many years. If Kariya can overcome foot problems, there is no reason why the 26-year old winger will not score more than 85 points.

6. Alexi Kovalev– (Penguins) Kovalev, who finally played to his potential last season, benefited a lot from the play of Mario Lemieux. Kovalev scored 37 of his 95 points on the power play last season, and he will take the role of the team’s top winger this season. A slight point drop-off is expe Read more»

Lukin leads Canada at U-18 World Cup

by Jeff Arnim

Kamloops Blazer forward Jarret Lukin scored two goals for Team Canada, including the game winner, en route to the squad’s 5-0 shutout over Slovakia in the first official game of the 2001 Six Nations Tournament in Kolin, Czech Republic. Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Chicoutimi, QMJHL), Maxime Talbot (Hull, QMJHL), and Ben Eager (Oshawa, OHL) also tallied for Canada on Monday.

Lukin, a 5-foot-9 and 170 pound native of Fort McMurray, Alberta, played his first full season in the Western Hockey League last year as a 16-year-old, posting 11 goals and 18 points in 61 games for Kamloops, along with 43 penalty minutes. He also appeared in all four Blazer playoff games.

Brandon Wheat Kings winger Lance Monych also added an assist on Lukin’s second goal, at 12:04 of the third period.

In addition to Lukin and Monych, four WHL players, all defensemen, are a part of the Canadian National Under-18 team. They include Tyler Boldt (Kamloops), Derek Meech (Red Deer), Andy Thompson (Kootenay), and Ian White (Swift Current).

The next action for the team is Tuesday against the host Czech Republic squad.

Player vitals: Jarret Lukin
Position: Center
Height: 5-9
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birthdate: 1/24/84
Hometown: Fort McMurray, AB

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Kobasew comes westward

by Jeff Arnim

At a press conference this morning, Kelowna Rockets President and General Manager, Bruce Hamilton, announced that list player Chuck Kobasew has elected to leave Boston College and become a member of the Western Hockey League.

The 14th overall selection in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames, Kobasew spent the entire 2000-01 hockey season with the BC Eagles, garnering honors as the Hockey East Rookie of the Year, as well as the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Prior to his collegiate experience he played for the BCHL’s Pentiction Panthers, amassing 54 goals and 106 points in his only full season in the league. Kobasew was named MVP of the BCHL’s Interior Division as well.

Player vitals
Position: Right wing
Height: 6-0
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthdate: 4/17/82
Hometown: Osoyoos, BC


Year     Team           League   GP   G   A  Pts  PIM
1998-99  Penticton      BCHL     30  14  14   28  n/a
1999-00  Penticton      BCHL     58  54  52  106  n/a
2000-01  Boston Coll.   H-East   43  27  22   49   38

The Top 15 Fantasy Breakthrough Players

by Curtis Allen

Everybody in the fantasy hockey world knows whom to draft in the early rounds: your Jaromir Jagrs, Pavel Bures and Paul Kariyas are guaranteed to go quickly. But what makes any fantasy team successful is scoring balance, and that means scoring some gems in the later rounds of your draft. So here are some players who are poised to take the next step, and round out your roster. Chances are they were on your team last year, but can be expected to increase their scoring totals this year and could prove to be keepers for years to come, making you look awfully good for nabbing them.

15. Patrick Stefan, LW, Atlanta

Has suffered under the burden of being the #1 pick on an expansion franchise, and has been plagued by concussions. But has slowly improved as he adjusts to the NHL game, and a late-season shift to wing saw him produce 11 points in the Thrashers last 15 games. Huge leap in scoring may be a year away, but could sneak up on a lot of people this year, and could prove to be a keeper. And just think what he could do once Dany Heatly and Ilya Kovalchuk develop.

2000/01 stats: 66GP, 10G21A=31PTS Projected 2001/02 stats: (23G29A=52PTS)

14. John Madden, LW, New Jersey

You’ve got to love the Devils’ depth. This guy scored 23 goals while playing mostly on their fourth line. Now that takes talent. One of the league’s most dangerous shorthanded threats, Madden will be called upon to help replace Mogilny’s 43 goals. A high scorer at Albany of the AHL, Madden is proving he can do it at the NHL level.

2000/01 stats: 80GP, 2 Read more»

Cereda vs Boyes: A Comparative Study

by Stephen J. Holodinsky

A popular debate amongst followers of the Leafs these days is which of Luca Cereda and Brad Boyes will be the better player down the road. Drafted in the first round by Toronto in the 1999 and 2000 drafts respectively, they were the second and third pivots selected first by the Buds in a row (with Nik Antropov going in 1998). So who is better? It’s still too early to tell, but a closer examination of both skaters is in order as the NHL gets ready for it’s various training camps.

Cereda since his draft year has had a myriad of problems, some personal, but the main one medical. With his heart murmur and surgery behind him now, this coming season looks to be the one in which he will leave his mark on the Leafs farm system. A slick distributor with the puck, the Swiss product is a rock on his skates who sees the game very well, both offensively and defensively. While there has been a knock on him that he is not a physical player, this columnist having seen him play doesn’t buy it. He will never be a Darcy Tucker type flying into the boards at high speed regardless of risk. That said, he uses his lower body strength very much to his advantage. Other players might have to get an elbow up here or there to gain leverage in the corners, but Cereda just plants himself and pivots where they aren’t. His skating doesn’t come into question as he is above average across the board. If there is something he could work on, it’s his finishing ability. Cereda will never been a 40 goal man, but he will no doubt be the setup man for one down the line. The best comparison when it comes to Read more»

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