Although the fruits of this past weekend’s lottery will not be realized for several seasons, this draft was important to a new regime understandably anxious to continue the fine work previously done by Hedberg and Smith. Additionally, many players previously drafted (Hodson, Rourke, Gagnon, Warren, Ponikarovky and Travnicek) will graduate to the St John’s roster in the fall thus leaving several holes to fill at the lowest levels of the organizational depth chart.
Here is a thumbnail assessment of the newest Maple Leafs.
1. Brad Boyes (Erie Otters) - Offensively gifted pivot who fell to the Leafs at number 24 due to a perceived lack of size and/or dynamic skating ability. The Leafs have implemented a formal development program for their youngsters during the past couple of years and have already graduated several key players (Antropov, Kaberle and Farkas to name but a few) who were also once regarded as questionable prospects. Brad is a prime candidate to join this group in that he is highly intelligent and possesses elite hockey sense. Watch for him to become a dominant scorer and team leader at the junior level during the next two seasons and eventually to become the #2 center in Toronto (behind Antropov) by 2004.
President and General Manager in basically the same “small” spot as they
were the day before the first round began. Once again the Rangers
“management” decided against size and went with the smallish underweight,
undersized players that they have drafted in greater numbers over the bigger
more physical players needed to compete in the Eastern Conference of the
National Hockey League.
the Pavel Brendl spot from Tampa for Niklas Sundstrøm and Daniel Cloutier,
Glen Sather after being thwarted in his bid to acquire ex.Bolt and current
Islander (past-Oiler) Roman Hamrlik a smooth skating defensive project now
making his home on Long Island with the nemesis N.Y.Islanders in a deal that
sent prospects Josh Green and Eric Brewer to the cost conscious Oilers,
Sather packaged the Rangers 2nd rounder to Detroit for their 2nd rounder and
3rd rounder. With these picks, the Rangers selected:
CSS final ranking #33 … seventh in team scoring this season … played in