2000 NHL Draft Outlook – Top 21 OHL Prospects

by Bob Chery
on
Unlike last year when I offered up my thoughts on the 1999 NHL
Draft for this web-site, I
decided this year to focus strictly on the OHL crop.

As I meandered my way through the OHL rinks for approximately 40
games this year and watched about the same number of games on
television, the greatest impression I was left with was how stellar the crop
for the 2001 NHL Draft appears to be. The likes of Jason Spezza, Stephen
Weiss, and Mark Popovic will headline the high end. Derek Roy promises to
fuel the size versus skill debate even further. And a host of others
players too long to list here will provide the depth. Next season promises to be
very interesting and exciting.

For now of course, the task at hand is to evaluate the
draft-eligibles for the upcoming 2000 NHL Draft. Beyond the Top Six that appear to be
sure-fire 1st rounders, I have no doubts that the opinions will vary
considerably with the remaining players. With this crop of players, the old adage
of trying to project what type of player they will become five years from now
rings especially true.

What follows is my rankings for the Top 21 OHL Skaters. I have
provided their position, team, height and weight. I have also broken down
their stats into two halves, up to the New Year, and after the New Year,
plus the season’s final totals. I have also provided their playoff Read more»

IHL News

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

Khabibulin Suspended

Long Beach goalie Nikolai Khabibulin was suspended by the IHL Thursday April 27, for spearing a fan after a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves.
The fan was standing along the rail on the side of the tunnel area as the teams headed for their dressing rooms. Officers interviewed Khabibulin
in the Long Beach coach’s office and said he admitted striking the fan with his stick. Khabibulin told police he saw something in the fan’s hand
and was defending himself. Gary Como an IHL official who saw the whole incident, told police he did not see any object thrown in Khabibulin’s
direction from the fan.The fan sustained a minor injury to his right inner thigh and refused medical treatment.

IHL PLAYOFF RECAPS FOR SUNDAY APRIL 30, 2000

Grand Rapids Griffins   4
Cleveland Lumberjacks 3 (overtime)

Grand Rapids leads series 2 games to 1 game.

IHL PLAYOFF RECAPS FROM SATURDAY APRIL 29, 2000

Utah Grizzlies          0
Houston Aeros 1

Houston leads series 2 games to 1 game

Lane Lambert scored 2:10 into overtime and Frederic Chabot turned away 25 shots to register his second straight shutout as the Houston Aeros
edged the Utah Grizzlies, 1-0, to take a two games to one lead in their playoff series. Lambert was assisted by Mark Lamb and Dave Hymovitz on Read more»

Q&A with Chris Thorburn

by Brad Coccimiglio
on
Rookie centre Chris Thorburn of the North Bay Centennials just completed his first season in the OHL. I had the opportunity to sit down with him and ask him a few questions.

Hockey’s Future: What are your thoughts on your rookie season?

Chris Thorburn: “It was a pretty good experience. The guys that I was with showed me the ropes. They took care of me. As a rookie going in I thought there would be a lot of hazing, a lot of peer pressure but I was proven wrong. On the ice I wasn’t too happy with my points overall but I thought I did have a good season progressively. At the beginning of the season I didn’t get too much ice time but throughout the season when the injuries came around I started to get a little more so, overall, I enjoyed my first year.”

HF: What are your thoughts on how the Centennials season finished up?

Thorburn: “Team wise, I think we did better than we expected, especially in the playoffs. We took Barrie to 6 (games). I was very pleased with the outcome and I’m hoping next year we can make a run with 15 returnees, possibly 18.”

HF: What do you think about the Centennials future in the next couple of seasons?

Thorburn: “Like I said, next year we’ve got 15 returnees for sure, possibly 18 depending on what our o/a’s (overagers) decide to do, but next year we’re supposed to make a run in the playoffs, so hopefully we can achieve that and maybe even go to a Memorial Cup in the next few years.”

Read more»

Habs’ class of 1999 year end review

by Chris Boucher
on


POS HT/WT DOB DRAFTED
Marc-Andre Thinel (F) 5'11"/170Lbs. March 24/80 D-Mtl99(5/145)

GP G A PTS +- PIM PPG SHG
1999-00 Victoriaville 71 59 73 132 +2 55 19 2

#1 Strength

- Offensive prowess

#1 Weakness-Strength

Thinel averaged 1.86 points per game for the season. Up from last years mark of 1.58 points per game. Marc-Andre showed more consistency this year, although he continues to fall into periodic scoring slumps. His plus/minus is very low for someone who contributes so much offensively. This stat demonstrates Thinel’s need to focus on the defensive side of his game. Something he hasn’t been able to do as Victoriaville’s “go to guy” offensively.

Thinel was named the QMJHL’s offensive player of the week on 2 different occasions this season. He scored 5 points in a game 5 different times, and he registered 4 points in a game 8 times. Marc-Andre also had and amazing 18 game point scoring streak which lasted January 30th through March 11th. Nobody in the Canadiens’ organization doubts Thinel’s offensive abilities. What is questioned is his ability to play both ends of the ice surface, as well as his size and strength. Only time will tell with Thinel.

NHL Projection

-Anywhere from second line player to career AHLer.

Current Stock Status- On the rise.



Read more»

Behind the Bench with….. Brian Kilrea

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on
Brian Kilrea, affectionately called ‘Killer’ by some, is the Head Coach and GM of the OHL’s Ottawa 67′s. Kilrea, has just finished his 25th season behind the bench with the club, and in the high pressure world of junior hockey, that qualifies him for Gordie Howe status in terms of longevity. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Coach Kilrea following his team’s demise in a tough six game series vs the Belleville Bulls.

Hockey’s Future: Outside of the fact that you failed to defend your Memorial Cup how was the Ottawa 67′s year?

Brian Kilrea: We had a good team but we’re a bit snakebit in the playoffs with injuries. Belleville, at that time, were the better team.

HF: Did any players take a big step forward?

BK: Biggest step forward would have to have been our goaltender, Levente Szuper. His overall game jumped to a new level and became a difference-maker for us

HF: Try to define the following players on your team by matching them up with the NHLer their style is closest to:

Dan Tessier – Peter Zezel. Great on face-offs.

Joe Talbot – Keith Acton. Pesky, in your face type player.

Jonathon Zion – Phil Housely. Smooth handling the puck.

Lance Galbraith – Wendel Clark. A battler, never say die attitude.

Miguel Delisle – Has the release to be a Mike Bossy type-sniper

Read more»