The Pittsburgh Penguins signed 3 recent draft picks to contracts yesterday; 1998 2nd round pick Alexander Zevakhin, 1998 6th rounder Jan Fadrny, and 2000 9th round pick Roman Simicek.
Zevakhin, a 6-0 187 lb left winger, scored 1 goal in 15 games with CSKA this past season. His season was cut short by a seperated shoulder suffered during the World Jr Championships, where he scored 2 goals and 3 assists in the 5 games that he played for Russia. The deal was for 3 years, terms undisclosed.
Fadrny scored a team high 26 goals and 25 assists for Brandon (WHL) this past season. The 6-1 185 lb left wing scored 21 points in 45 games in his first season with Brandon. His deal will pay him 975,000 over the next 3 seasons should he make the NHL roster.
Simicek, 29, signed a 1 year deal worth 500,000 dollars. The Czech native played in the Finnish elite league last year with Hameenlinna, scoring 12 goals and 21 assists in 29 games and was recommended to the Pens by new head coach Ivan Hlinka. His season was cut short by a knee injury. He is expected to contend for a roster spot with the Pens this season, while Zevakhin and Fadrny are expected to start their professional careers in Wilkes-Barre Scranton of the AHL.
It’s time again for another Future Watch. This time we are featuring Maine recruit and Detroit Red Wings draft pick, Todd Jackson. Jackson has spent the past two seasons with the National Program in Ann Arbor. “In Ann Arbor I was forced everyday out of my comfort zone to get better on and off the ice. I feel I also have an advantage over those who haven’t had the weight training that we did in Ann Arbor,” Jackson said. Jackson is a playmaker with great speed and agility. Some of his weaknesses are his shot and strength. He will need to continue to work hard in the weight room to add some bulk to his 5-10 170lb frame. Currenty, Jackson is skating with Tim Connolly and Jd Forrest. Maine is the place for Jackson’s next level of competition. He felt Maine is great at developing NHL caliber players and he can contribute right away. Being selected in the NHL Draft was another thing Jackson was excited about. He was selected by the Detroit Red Wings 251st overall. Jackson should have an immediate impact at Maine and expect him to have a successful NCAA career.