The 2nd year of transition has come and passed in Florida with success. After going for quick success, the Panthers started the rebuilding process in 1997 and 1998-99 looks like a success. After years of bust draft picks, traded away prospects, and terrible rookies (Washburn, for example), the Class of 1999 offers hope for the Panthers for many years to come.
The graduate class of 1999 includes the goal-scoring Mark Parrish, BIG Peter Worrell, the flashy Oleg Kvasha, and the most anonymous Czech Olympian: Jaroslav Spacek.
Here is a review of the 1999 graduates. They all performed well in certain areas, but also need a lot of work in other areas. 3 of the 4 had short AHL stints as their apprenticeship came to a completion. This is Part 1 of a 3-Part Panthers Prospects Review Series, the other 2 will come out early next month.
Mark Parrish – LW (73 games, 24g-13a-37pts 25pim).
A gifted natural goal-scorer, Mark Parrish wowed the Panthers brass with a scorching pre-season, and continued his hot streak into the regular season with a 2-goal effort against the Tampa Bay Lightning. His early season exploits also included a 4-goal game against the Blackhawks, and another 2-goal effort (Both goals in a 2-1 win) in Philadelphia.
With the Penguins out of the playoffs and straight into bankruptcy court, Pittsburgh fans are left wondering if there will be another season of NHL hockey in Pittsburgh. Will they be moved to another city, disbanded by the league, or will they come through this for the second time in team history. With a court date not scheduled until June 24th, the Penguins future may not be known until the draft is right upon us. But, if they do survive to play another season, look for some salary cutting to occur.
The draft will be the first offseason test for the Penguins, as they will not be doing much in the way of trades and signing until the bankruptcy situation is settled. As with any team, the Penguins will probably pick the best player available with their first few picks. The speculation always seems to be that they will go to Europe, most likely the Czech Republic, with their first pick. But, I wouldn’t count on that happening. At the 18th spot, there will likely be better talent than another Czech player. Three players who should be given a serious look by the Penguins are Barrett Heisten, Jeff Jillson, and Alexander Buturlin, all three should be available at the 18th pick and are solid picks. Jillson and Heisten are both aggressive and could privide some much needed toughness, Buturlin is creative and highly skilled. The Penguins could definitely use some depth atleft wing as well as some size on the blueline.
The last three years, the Sharks have aggressively traded on draft day to trade up for either a second pick in the first round, or an early first round pick. In 1996, the Sharks traded two second round picks to Chicago, obtaining the 21st selection in the first round, picking Marco Sturm. In 1997, the Sharks traded a second and third round pick to Carolina to pick defenseman Scott Hannan with the 23rd selection in the first round. In 1998, the Sharks traded down one spot, moving from the second to the third, and obtaining the first selection in the 2nd round, choosing Jonathan Cheechoo with the 29th overall selection in the draft.
So far, each of these trades has proven beneficial to the Sharks. Marco Sturm has proved to be one of the Sharks main players this year, proving his worth, although at the time, many San Jose fans feared another European draft, from the year before. In picking Scott Hannan, the Sharks chose a player on my top five list of underrated prospects. Swiping Hannan out from underneath teams like Colorado and Detroit very well may prove to be a great move for the Sharks. Last year, people really scratched their heads at the Sharks trading down one spot, passing up on David Legwand, and picking Brad Stuart. Now, it looks like that move may turn out best for the Sharks as well. In addition, they picked up the first pick in the second round to pick up a player who very well may turn out to be a good player in Jonathan Cheechoo, although he is a project.
Dallas has the misfortune of picking at #28 of the first round this year, but they may not stay there though. Much like last year the Stars could very well move down in the draft, but they might just move up this year.
This would be a rather interesting occurrence, as the competition between Detroit and Dallas for a top five pick could be rather delicious. As for who the Stars might be moving up to get, look no farther than Jamie Lundmark-C (Moosejaw, WHL). He has the intangibles Dallas covets, and also has the skills and speed that Dallas sorely needs at the center position. Although the price to move up that high to get Jamie would be rather costly, this move could still be a very real possibility.
Since the Stars still have the #28 pick, we can only speculate as to who they might select in that particular slot. A good place to begin this speculation is with a brief look at some of the tendencies associated with a Dallas draft.
Covet These Traits
Intangibles (includes work-ethic, desire, & leadership)
Defensive Responsibilty / Two-way Play
In recent years they have shown an increased interest in European bred talent. For example, in 1997 they selected five Europeans out of a total of nine overall picks. In 1998 they selected a total of three Europeans out of a total of six overall picks. Whether this is due to the signability/re-entry issue, or a realization of the Euros higher skill level, the Stars have noticeably increased their selection of overseas player. Read more»
Before the trade deadline in this past season, the Montreal Canadiens dealt two of their top veterans: captain Vincent Damphousse, who is one of the three Canadiens left from the 1993 Stanley Cup win, and assistant captain Mark Recchi, who led the team in goals three out of the four years that he was wearing the Red, White and Blue.
Both Recchi and Damphousse were dealt for the future; Recchi to Philly for Zubrus and a draft pick, Damphousse to San Jose for a second and fifth round draft pick. However, there was a stipulation. If the Sharks made the second round in the playoffs, with Damphousse averaging at least a point per game, Montreal would get the Sharks’ first round draft pick. Also, if San Jose re-signed Damphousse, Montreal would get the Sharks’ first round pick, rather than their second. It was rumoured the San Jose Sharks were vigorously attempting to re-sign Vince Damphousse. Last night Damphousse signed with the Sharks to a four year $18 million dollar contract.
It seemed as if Montreal was finally doing what was needed: rebuilding. Hold on there; Montreal rebuilding, isn’t that an oxymoron? Not only would the fans not accept it, but more importantly, the Molsons wouldn’t get that playoff revenue. Unfortunately for the prospects wasting away in Fredericton (soon to be Quebec City), the Habs officially ended their rebuilding process once they dealt their first round pick to the New York Islanders for veteran Trevor Linden.