Panthers come to terms with Huselius and Hagman

by pbadmin

SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers Assistant General Manager Chuck Fletcher announced today that the club has agreed in principle with its top two European prospects, Swedish left wing Kristian Huselius and Finnish left wing Niklas Hagman. Both players led their teams in goals last season and have represented their countries in numerous world tournaments.

Huselius, the Panthers’ second choice (47th overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, led the entire Swedish League last season in goals (32), assists (35), points (67), power play goals (10), shorthanded goals (5), and game-winning goals (9) in 49 games. It marked the first time a player swept all six categories in Swedish League history and it is believed to be a first in any major European league. Playing for Vastra Frolunda, the 22-year-old (11/10/78) tied for the team lead in plus/minus (+15) and added a team-leading nine points (4-5-9) in five playoff games. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Huselius stands 6’ 1” and weighs 195 pounds. Huselius also participated in the World Championships in Germany this past year helping Sweden to a 3-2 bronze medal victory over the United States. He finished tied for seventh on his team in scoring with two goals and three assists in nine tournament games.

“Kristian is a gifted offensive player who adeptly combines excellent puck handling skills with tremendous speed,” stated Fletcher. “After an initial adjustment period to NHL-style hockey, we expect him to be a quality offensive player for our organization for years to come.”

Hagman, the Panthers’ thir Read more»

News and notes

by Brandon LeBourveau
Fredrik Sjostrom, drafted 11th Overall by the Coyotes in the 2001 Entry Draft, was drafted 39th Overall by the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL in last week’s CHL Import Draft. Sjostrom has signed a contract with the Hitmen and will skate for them in the WHL this upcoming season.

It is believed Coyotes 1st round pick in ’00, center Krys Kolanos, is close to signing a 3 year contract with the Coyotes. The deal should be completed before training camp. The Coyotes also came to terms with 6’4 Swiss defenseman Goran Bezina, an 8th round pick in 1999.

The Coyotes acquired 24 year old center Daymond Langkow from the Philadelphia Flyers in return for two future draft picks. Cliff Fletcher continues to change around this whole team.

Jeremy Roenick signed with the Philadelphia Flyers this week. The Coyotes should receive a 2nd round pick in the 2002 Draft as compensation for Roenick leaving the team via Free Agency.

Brand New Rankings for NYR Prospects

by Brandon LeBourveau

Evan, Edge and I took the time to make new rankings for the Rangers section here at Hockeysfuture. We each made our own Top 30 list, and then we combined the three together and came up with the final list, which was kind of the average of the three lists. Each player ranked by each of us got a certain number of points. A player ranked 1st on a list received 30 points, and a player ranked 30th received 1 point. I totaled up all the points and then ranked the players from most points to least, and that’s how I got these rankings. If you do not agree with any of the rankings, that’s fine. Since the list was put together in part by the three of us, there are some players on this list that we each feel should be higher or lower, but overall this is a solid list, and I’m sure people will disagree with it, however that is your opinion. Anyway, on to the rankings and I hope you enjoy them! (Note: the comments for the players were contributed to by the three of us)

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Luca Cereda will play in Russia

by Stephen J. Holodinsky

Death by a Thousand Cuts for Killer?

This must be getting frustrating for Ottawa 67’s Coach Brian Kilrea. For the second year in a row, his first line center going into training camp, a draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, looks like he won’t be playing in the OHL this year. Last year, a heart murmur detected in Luca Cereda wiped him out for the entire schedule after heart surgery. Up until that time, he was a serious pre-season candidate to be the OHL’s Player of the Year. Enter Vadim Sozinov. After a slow start to his initial campaign with the 67’s, he became an integral part of Kilrea’s attack and the coach had gone so far as to predict a breakout year from the second year junior. He may well have that breakout year, but it looks like it won’t be in Ottawa, rather in Novokuznetsk of the Russian Elite League. Make no mistake, if the Khazakh forward makes the big squad in Russia, he’ll be playing in a league that is just a step below the NHL and above anything he’d find in the OHL or on ‘The Rock’. But he also might end up playing for their junior team as well. In any case, with this decision, Brian Kilrea has got to be wondering how long he’s going to have Jaroslav Sklenar in the Black, White, and Red, who, you guessed it, was another Leaf pick that he chose in the import draft.

The Door Swings Open for Tellqvist

With the placing of Glenn Healy on waivers and the signing of Swedish goaltender Mikael Tellqvist to a 3 year deal it looks like one of the SEL’s most dominant players in the last two sea Read more»

Canadiens have improved

by Chris Boucher
Every NHL team’s main goal is to improve from season to season. This improvement usually comes through the maturing of young players, off-season trades, and a “fiscally responsible” dip into the free-agent waters. André Savard’s recent moves definitely fall into the above categories. The Canadiens have improved since last year. They have added 48 goals to the roster (Perreault-24, Dackell-13, Juneau-10, Quintal-1), without giving up a single player from last season’s squad.

The Habs have increased their depth; bringing in a trio of forwards who could possibly step in as the team’s number two line. In fact, these players would have been the Canadiens’ number one line for most of last season; given the team’s injury problems.

Yanic Perreault joins the team, and instantly becomes the top goal scorer on the roster (using last season’s numbers). He was the league’s top face-off man, with a winning percentage of 63%. This aspect of his game will immediately improve the Habs’ special teams; a part of the game where puck-control is tantamount to success.

His salary of under $3 Million per season allows Savard to keep the team’s salary structure in order. This is particularly important when it is considered that Saku Koivu and Brian Savage are restricted free-agents. If we accept the fact that Koivu should be the highest paid skater on the team, then signing a free-agent to more than $3 Million would send Koivu’s salary through the roof. Player’s salaries are affected as much by the team’s fiscal structure as they are by the league’s.

Per Read more»

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