Entering the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, the Nashville Predators were in need of organizational depth, and certainly had enough draft picks to make a significant improvement in that area. The Predators owned 15 selections in the draft, which was by far the most for any NHL team. There were rumors that Nashville might use its sixth overall pick to trade into the top four and select one of the Sedin twins, and general manager Dave Poile revealed yesterday that he discussed the issue with Vancouver GM Brian Burke the night before the draft. However, Burke was reluctant to discuss anything in depth and that was a clear indication to Poile that the Canucks had another deal in the works.
Once the pre-draft trades emerged on Saturday, it appeared that Nashville would be content to stick with its selection. As the pick approached, however, another team contacted the Predators with a trade offer. According to Poile, the deal included “a pretty significant player” and involved the Predators trading the sixth overall pick. Poile turned down the offer and instead used the pick to select Brian Finley, the top rated goaltender in the draft.
The 1999 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone and the Washington Capitals did a very good job resupplying their prospects ranks. The Capitals had 5 of the top 37 picks in the draft, and all five of those were added to the new ranking.
I decided to include several players who finished the season with Washington, because none are guaranteed a roster spot next season. Those players are: Alexei Tezikov, Nolan Baumgartner, Matt Herr, Beniot Gratton and Patrick Bolieau.
Team Strength Team Weaknesses
- Strong goaltending depth – Little raw skill
- Lots of solid two-way defensemen – Little pure scoring depth
- Plenty of size and toughness – Lack of a pure #1
defensemen or goalie – Good speed
June 21, 1999
Washington has acquired the rights to center Jeff Nelson from the Nashville Predators in exchange for future considerations. The club also announced it has signed Nelson to a two-year NHL contract. Nelson spent last season with Nashville and Milwaukee (IHL)
June 1, 1999
Washington was unable to work out a contract with 1997 draft pick Nick Boynton, he re-enter the 1999 draft and Boston picked him at #21 overall.
Jean-Luc Thieren (G) was not offered a contract, he also re-enters the draft, but goes unselected.
May 27, 1999
Curtis Cruickshank (G) is signed to a three year contract. Washington picks up the option year on Trevor Halverson’s (LW) contract.
May 19,1999 Read more»
The Washington Capitals didn’t waste much time replenishing their rather depleted prospect pool. With five of the top thirty-seven picks on Saturday, Washington was virtually guaranteed to come away with a strong group of players. The Capitals did not disappoint.
Once the calm had hit the Fleet Center, following the wild opening to the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Washington just sat back and waited to see who the Islanders and Nashville would take. I’m pretty sure that, Capitals, General Manager, George McPhee was thrilled to see the player who many felt was the fifth best player (outside the universal elite four) still on the board.
Kris Beach must have been an easy choice for Washington. Though Kris is a bit on the thin side weighting only 178 pounds, but at 6-foot-2 he has room to grow. I’m sure the Capitals will find a way of beefing up this Western Hockey League star.
Beech is described as an explosive skater with a quick first step and a fluid stride. He is very agile and pivots either way equally well making it hard for opponents to hit him in open-ice. His play making skills are considered top end and his puckhandling may have been the best in the draft. Although he is on the thin side, Kris has shown a willingness to play along the wall and he gets into scoring position well. Though his offensive game is impressive, Beech is also a willing back- checker. He understands that the defensive end is important and he does what has to be done to stop an opponent.
Ranked as one of the lowest Prospect teams in the NHL by most experts the Rangers went into the 1999 NHL draft in Boston with the hopes of turning things around. Well I guess a 180 is about as big of a turn around as you can expect. Neil Smith took a gamble on moving up in the draft which should have been expected since he told all the NY papers he wasn’t interested in moving up. The first deal was a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning which gave Neil Smith the 4th overall pick in the draft and guaranteed him the chance to draft one of the tier one prospects in the draft no matter what. When the Atlanta Thrasher decided Stefan was their man and the Vancouver Canucks pulled off a coop by nabbing the Sedin twins the Rangers realized for the second straight year a top gun fell into their lap. Pavel Brendl, the offensive catalyst of the WHL Calgary Hitmen was theirs. Without a second thought the Rangers made their move and got what they have not had since Mike Gartner, a pure scoring sniper.
The Rangers weren’t done though. Shaking the pot a bit they traded Marc Savard and the 11th pick to Calgary for the 9th pick. The Rangers eyed Jamie Lundmark… the Rangers prize prospect all year long. Scouts saw him and they were screaming Jeremy Roenick…and he quickly became the guy the Rangers wanted. When the Isles claimed Taylor Pyatt 8th the groundwork was laid for the claiming of the kid who “turned the entire Moose Jaw Program around” as Martin Madden, director of pro scouting for the Rangers, called Lundmark in an interview before the draft.
If you tuned in to the first round of this year’s entry draft on television, you wouldn’t even think Montreal had a franchise in the NHL. Without a first round pick (traded to the Islanders for Trevor Linden) the Habs were all but invisible during this year’s draft coverage.
The Habs concentrated on drafting skilled forwards and big defenseman, while throwing two goaltenders into the mix. The loss of a first round pick was partially made up for by 2 picks in the second round, 2 picks in the fourth round, 3 picks in the fifth round and one pick in each of the final 4 rounds. The following is a list of the Habs’ draft picks in the order in which they were picked.
POS HT/WT DOB DRAFTED
Alexander Buturlin (rw) 6’0″/182 Lbs. Sep.3/81 D-Mtl99 (2-39)
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SH
98-99 Stats 16 1 0 1 – 6 – –
#1 Strength- Speed and Skill
#1 Weakness- Size.
Buturlin has tremendous skill and can play at any forward position. This versatility is one of his many up-sides. He is aggressive even though his lack of size is a concern. He was ranked 4th among Europeans by the CSB.
POS HT/WT DOB DRAFTED
Matt Carkner (d) 6’4″/215 Lbs. Nov.3/80 D-Mtl99 (2-58)
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SH
98-99 Stats 60 2 16 18 +15 173 – -