Never let it be said that the Buffalo Sabres are predictable at the draft table, at least when it comes to making their 1st round picks.
Back in 1983, they chose high school goaltender Tom Barrasso with the 5th pick overall, which at the time was the highest a
goaltender had been chosen. In 1997, the Sabres called Finnish goaltender Mika Noronen’s name, a choice that was met with a
resounding chorus of “Who?”
Buffalo this year continued their tradition of risk-taking in the draft’s 1st round with the selection of Russian center Artem
Kriukov [6’3", 180lbs., Yaroslavl (RUS)]. There is certainly a lot to like about Artem- he is a well-rounded package of
offensive skills, as he possesses above-average speed, good size, sharp playmaking skills and a good shot. The major knock against
Kriukov has to do with his health, specifically his susceptibility to concussions. Artem suffered a major blow to the head early in the
99-00 season, causing him to miss a good portion of the schedule. The Sabres claim that this is the only concussion Kriukov has
suffered, and that they are comfortable with using the 15th pick overall to draft him. There are conflicting reports, however, that
indicate that this may not be Artem’s first concussion, so the Sabres could well be whistling past the graveyard with this pick. To
sum up, Kriukov will either be a major find for the Sabres scouting staff, or he will be a black mark on a drafting record that has
otherwise been good in recent seasons.
While the Sharks didn’t have a 1st round pick in this year’s draft for the first time, that didn’t stop them from staying aggressive as has been the trademark of Tim Burke and Dean Lombardi drafts. This was Lombardi’s 5th draft that he was in charge of, and this is the 4th year he has made a deal on draft day for a player he wants.
In 1996 the Sharks traded up to acquire Marco Sturm, in 1997 they traded up to pick Scott Hannan, in 1998 they traded down to pick Brad Stuart and got Jonathan Cheechoo in the process, and this year they traded their 2nd and 3rd round picks to acquire Tero Maatta. So far, all of the draft day deals the Sharks have made have paid off very well. If this is a sign of things to come, Maatta may some day turn into a very solid NHL player like the others have (or are prospected to become).
In the 2nd round, with the 41st pick, the Sharks chose defenseman, Tero Maatta from Finland. Playing last year for Jokerit of the junior league in Finland, he played 31 games, scoring 4 goals and 4 assists, with 53 penalty minutes. He also played major parts in the Under-18, Viking, and Five-Nation’s tournaments.
Maatta fits the mold of many Sharks draftees, as he is a player who has improved his stock a great deal in the last year. At the midseason report, he was ranked 30th by the CSB, and soared 17 spots to finish 13th in the final rankings. At 6’1″ and 205lbs, he has grown into his frame, and as the year progressed, began to use his body more. Read more»
With most of the hockey world expecting the Habs to choose a European with both of their first round picks, Rejean Houle again went with his infamous, “Rejean Logic.” The Habs were unable to pick up a European playing in Europe until the fourth round, passing on such players as Martin Samuelsson, Vaclav Nedorost, and Alexander Frolov. Here are the Habs first 4 picks of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Picks 5 through 11 will follow shortly.
Hainsey is a very good skater, and a confident puckhandler. He has all the tools necessary to become an NHL caliber defenseman; He’s poised. He has good hockey sense, and he anticipates plays very well. He has good size, but must improve his physical strength in order to compete with the big boys in the NHL. He was ranked 9th in North America by the CSS.
POS HT/WT DOB DRAFTED
Ron Hainsey (D) 6'3"/187 Lbs March 24/81 D-Mtl00 (1-13)
99-00 Stats GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SH
(U-Mass Lowell) 30 3 8 11 +1 - - -
(WJHC) 7 1 1 2 +1 - - -
#1 Strength- Some offensive skill
#1 Weakness- Physical strength
POS HT/WT DOB DRAFTED
Marcel Hossa (C) 6'1"/200 Lbs Oct 12/81 D-Mtl00 (1-16)
99-00 Stats GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SH Read more»
The United States Hockey League had 15 players selected in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft over the
weekend. More than any other Tier 2 Junior A league in North America. Proving once again that
the USHL is the premiere league for scholarships with over 100 this year and also a great league
to get noticed by NHL scouts. These players will try to follow former USHL players now NHL
players Gary Suter, Phil Housley, Greg & Ryan Johnson, Peter & Chris Ferraro, Trent Klatt and
Leading the USHL draft crop was David Hale a defenceman from Sioux City who was selected 22nd
overall by the New Jersey Devils. Hale will attend the University of North Dakota next year.
Other selections where
Team Round Pick Player Pos Team 2000-01 Team
Dallas 2nd 60 Dan Ellis G Omaha Nebraska-Omaha
Ottawa 4th 122 Derrick Byfuglien D Fargo North Dakota
St. Louis 4th 129 Troy Riddle F Des Moines Minnesota
Nashville 5th 154 Matt Koulska C Twin Cities Minnesota
Ottawa 5th 157 Grant Potulny C Lincoln Minnesota
Chicago 6th 177 Michael Ayers G Dubuque New Hampshire
Carolina 6th 181 Justin Forrest D US U-18
Florida 6th 190 John Olson LW Omaha North Dakota
Chicago 6th 193 Joey Martin D Omaha Minnesota Read more»
Day two saw the Flames still thinking BIG, three of their six picks on Sunday were a massive 6’2″, 6’3″, and 6’4″. “I had a plan. I wanted us to get bigger” says Mckenzie. And did they ever. Think back to the glory days in Calgary, size does matter. Mckenzie also stole another gem of a netminder in Levente Szuper of the Ottawa 67′s, taking Ottawa to the memorial cup in 99.
116th overall , Calgary selected Ottawa 67′s netminder Levente Szuper. This 5’11″ 20 year old has sensational speed, and is excellent on his feet. At 187 lbs Szuper has tremendous endurance, logging over 50 games last season. His 2.56 GAA gave him 3rd overall in the OHL , also boasting a .918 save percentage tying him for the league lead. With Szuper playing two full seasons with Ottawa we’ll most likely see him in Saint John playing for the baby Flames next season.
In the fifth round Calgary added to their list of WHL prospects choosing Wade Davis of the Calgary Hitmen, and Travis Moen of the Kelowna Rockets. Davis is a solid defensive defenseman recording 3g-15a and an impressive +32 rating last season for the Hitmen. Central Scouting ranked Davis 51st before saturdays draft. At only 18 this 6’4″ giant has some time to progress and develop into a major force on the blueline.
Travis Moen was selected 155th overall, Calgary’s fourth WHL prospect. Playing for the Kelowna Rockets last season Moen tallied 9g-6a in 66 games. At 6’2″ and 198lbs Moen loves the physical play. Look for Moen to continue developing with the Rockets squad next season.