This time Keith Ballard is the featured prospect. Ballard is a silky smooth defenseman out of Baudette, Minnesota. Ballard had an impressive year leading all defenseman on the Under 18 team in scoring with 33 points in USHL action. He had a 12-21-33 line with 119 penalty minutes.
have a high pick in the first round, does it really matter? The Blues have notoriously had bad luck when it comes to
their first selection, whether it is in first round or not. In the past thirteen years there have been forgettable names
such as Stephane Roy, Maxim Bets, Steve Staios, Craig Johnson, defenseman Jason Marshall with the 9th pick in
’89, and Keith Osborne. Not exactly a great track record. However, history has shown that the Blues have a knack
for finding that elusive needle in the haystack when it comes to late round picks. Rookie playoff sensation Jochen
Hecht was taken 49th overall in ’95. Michael Grier, now in Edmonton, was the 219th pick in 1993. Bret Hedican was
chosen 198th in ’88, and Guy Hebert was taken with the 159th pick in ’87. And let’s not forget top prospect Ladislav
Nagy was chosen 177th in the 1997 Draft. So Ted Hampson, Director of Amateur Scouting, has pulled a few rabbits
out of his hat. If only Hampson could pull off some of his magic in the first round, now that would be a trick.
Tomas Kurka has great speed and scoring potential, which puts him at the top of the list. Having seen the Blues draft Read more»
I’m back again with another installment of Future Watch, featuring the top prospects in the USA. Today Travis Weber is the featured prospect. Weber is a native of Hibbing, Minnesota who spent last season playing for the Under 17 and 18 teams in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Weber is a hybrid goalie, who basically does anything to stop the puck which is the goaltenders job. He also likes to play the puck and control the play as much as possible. Having started out the year for the Under 17 team, Weber was playing solid between the pipes and was moved up to the Under 18 squad. Weber also made the trip to Switzerland for the Under 18 World Championships and he played extremely well in 2 and a half games and had the best goals against average in the tournament as well as finishing second in save percentage. With the coaching change in Ann Arbor, he feels as most of the players do, they liked the old coaches but will be happy to start out with a clean slate. The top colleges on his list include Minnesota, Harvard, North Dakota, and Notre Dame. He will be making an unofficial visit to the Minnesota Campus soon. Over the summer Weber plans on working out on his strength training program and probably won’t play too much hockey.
IHL ROOKIE PROFILE
Dmitri started his junior career with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey