Following a disappointing playoffs perfromance, Sens fans are left with the
NHL Draft to try to compenste for a great season but awful playoffs.
The Sens needs are glaring: a top goalie, a second line center, another
sniper, a PP QB. With those needs, however, will play no part on who the
Sens will draft. The Sens, as always, select the best player available,
every draft, no matter the team need. The question is, at slot 26, who will
be the best available. This is a very difficult draft to figure
out. With all the Europeans, and goalies, and 1997 re-entries, its hard to
calculate who will be available at the 26th spot, 39th spot, and the 54th
spot. Some of the possible Sens selections are:
Maxime Ouellet – the Sens aren’t completely sold on Mathieu Chouinard as a
#1 goaltender due to his inconsistence this year. Ouellet would provide as
insurance in case as Chouinard doesn’t have what it takes. Ouellet may also
be better than Chouinard. With Damian Rhodes likely headed to Atlanta in
the expansion draft, goaltending is a definite hole the Sens want to fill.
In all likelyhood, Ouellet will be selected before the Sens first rounder,
leaving the Sens to select….
Evgeny Konstantinov - Nikolai Khabibulin clone. Some scouts say the Russian
goalie is better than Ouellet, and some scouts say Ouellet will be better Read more»
The Toronto Maple Leafs are one “playoff step” away from their first Stanley Cup appearance since the 1966-67 season. This fact is not lost on any Leafs’ fan anywhere. A blip by an upstart 1977-78 squad sent the Leafs to the conference finals against a very strong Montreal Canadiens squad. The Canadiens had the far superior team then and sent Toronto to an exit, one round before the Stanley Cup finals.
A veteran and somewhat overachieving team went to the Western Conference finals in 1992-93 and 1993-94 riding the coat-tails of Gilmour, Clark, Potvin, etc. But those teams were built with few young players and the team aged quickly.
The 1998-99 version has surely been a surprise, a very pleasant surprise indeed. This version has been built around some key veteran players, but the core of this team belies youth, talent and speed. Many of the Toronto Maple Leafs, circa 1999, have their best years ahead of them.
A successful regular season and an immensely exciting first two rounds of the playoffs have brought some adversity as it will for most playoffs combatants. A scoring slump, injuries to several key players and you’d think, boy are they done. Not so, as the Leafs’ improving depth reaches to the minors and the junior ranks to find their capable replacements.
The Canadiens promoted 3 of their top 4 junior prospects immediately following each player’s elimination from post-season play. The 3 players promoted to Fredericton were Mike Ribeiro, Eric Chouinard and Jason Ward. Ward has had the most success since his promotion, proving himself to be a solid bet to eventually play on one of the Habs’ top 2 lines. Chouinard has also had success, the bulk of which has been in the offensive zone. Ribeiro, on the other hand has struggled, size and strength being the likely reasons.
Russian defenseman Andrei Markov(the Habs 6th round selection, 162nd overall in the 98 draft) played very well in the recent World Championships in Norway. He had 1 goal and 4 assists in 6 games, and finished a solid +3.
POS HT/WT AGE DRAFTED
(c) 5’10′/167 Lbs. 19 D-Mtl98 (2-45)
GP G A PTS +- PIM PPG SHG
99 PLAYOFF (AHL) 3 0 1 1 -5 0 0 0
99 PLAYOFF (QMJHL) 11 5 11 16 -3 12 3 0
98-99 SEASON 69 67 100 167 +52 137 24 8
#1 Strength- Vision and creativity.
#1 Weakness- Size. Read more»
The 1999 NHL Entry Draft is projected as one of the deepest drafts in years. And for Neil Smith, it represents the most important draft in his tenure as general manager of the New York Rangers.
That’s because it could be his last.
With the Rangers having missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year, the pressure is on Smith to end that streak next season. And next season starts on June 26 at the Fleet Center in Boston. The Rangers will be picking 11th overall in this year’s draft, and it is up to Smith, Director of Scouting Martin Madden, and the rest of the Ranger scouting staff to select a cornerstone player for an organization that has very few of them.
Needs: The Rangers pool of young players and prospects is one of the shallowest in the NHL, so they have many holes to fill. But their most glaring need is at the wing position, specifically, wingers of the high-scoring variety. The Rangers haven’t had a pure sniper since the days of Mike Gartner. And their best prospect on the wings, Stefan Cherneski, is still recovering from a shattered kneecap. New York needs a scorer in their system, and they need it badly.
Another position of need is defense. The Rangers have a few nice prospects in Burke Henry, Kim Johnsson, and Mike Mottau, but they don’t have a franchise-type defenseman in the system. Brian Leetch is not going to be around forever.
The Canucks are drafting 3rd overall. Brian Burke and his scouting staff have an opportunity to salvage a lot with one draft pick.
The guy picked by the Canucks will be expected to be either a 1st line star winger or a 1st line star center, as soon as possible. A tough task, no doubt, but the 5 top guys definitely have the ability to overcome it.
The needs are many, the chances to fill those needs are few.
-a top 2 center w