The AJHL 2000 Draft Center

By Marc Ciampa

Players eligible for the 2000 Draft currently in the AJHL:

MATTHEW HUNTER Bonnyville 08-Feb-82 5'10" 160 F L 48 12 14 26 25

Just now coming into form. Was a large reason why Bonnyville surged to
make the playoffs in the last month of the season. Had several multiple
goal and multiple point games over the final few weeks of the year. Not
property of any WHL club and may have to go the Dany Heatly/Krys Kolanos
route. That is, continue on in the AJHL and hope you get noticed by the
scouts. (Heatly and Kolanos are rated 103 and 105 respectively in the
’99 draft).

ALTON JACKSON Bonnyville 05-Aug-82 6' 1" 192 D R 40 5 14 19 64

Property of Medicine Hat Tigers. Ninth round selection in the Bantam
Draft, but may turn out to be a steal. He put up a fair number of points
this year with the Pontiacs given his age and limited ice time. If he
can grow another couple inches I see him making an impact in the future.
Could be a late round steal in the 2000 Draft.

ADRIAN FOSTER Calgary C 15-Jan-82 6' 1" 200 C L 18 15 17 32 18

Property of the Saskatoon Blades. Did not play often for the Canucks but
put up huge numbers when he did. He’ll need to have a big season next
year – probably back in the AJHL – to get noticed by both the scouts and
either the Blades or college recruiters. If he does remain in Calgary,
he’ll get 100 points at least.

BEN KNOPP Calgary R 08-Apr-82 6' 2" 180 F R 55 37 45 82 161

Property of the Moose Jaw Warriors. Probably the only AJHLer who could
go in the first round in 2000. He has both the skill and desire to play.
He held his own on a very successful Calgary Royals team with many other
stars, such as Krys Kolanos and Ryan Bachmeier. He spent most of the
season on the top line with Kolanos and Scott Meyerhoff. Kolanos himself
is around 6’2″ and Meyerhoff is 6’0″ so Knopp didn’t get a chance to use
his size – which is a great advantage at his age – as often as he did
the year before with the Calgary Buffalos (Midget AAA). He finished the
year with 82 points (37 goals) in 55 games and showed aggressive
tendencies with his 161 penalty minutes. I project he’ll be putting up
numbers similar to this in Major Junior at around age 19. It will be
tough for him to adjust at first, however — especially if he’s on a
smaller, less talented line. The only question concerning Knopp is if
he’ll go the College route.

BRENNAN EVANS Camrose 06-Jan-82 6' 3" 190 D L 47 1 6 7 98

Property of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Camrose native. Big hulking
defenceman that uses his size effectively and, despite limited point
totals has an offensive upside. He started to get powerplay time near
the end of the season. Currently in the playoffs he’s been a big part of
Camrose’s early success. Got two assists in the first game.

RICHARD HAMULA Camrose 28-Jan-82 5'11" 185 L L 43 12 9 21 16

Property of the Kootenay Ice. Edmonton native, probably disappointed
that the Ice moved to Cranbrook. Very solid defensive forward who saw
limited ice time this year with the Kodiaks. Like many players his age,
he started to come around near the end of the season. It should be
interesting to see how he performs in the playoffs, where a player of
his type is more valued.

MATTHEW FORD The Pass 15-Aug-82 5' 9" 165 C R 43 2 5 7 14

Probably will wait another year before opting in to the draft as well.
Size is a big factor for him. Will probably go the College route if it
is an option.

WES RYPIEN The Pass 05-Nov-82 6' 0" 150 L L 53 1 3 4 266

Strictly a goon type who needs to bulk up this offseason to be more
effective. Will probably join the WHL at age 18 or 19 if he develops
better puck handling skills.

MIKE BATOVANJA Drayton V 21-Mar-82 5' 7" 175 F R 55 12 16 28 258

Size is a definite factor for him. Will hope to have a breakout season
next year and go the scholarship route. Very aggressive player that will
assume a bigger role in Drayton Valley next year. Another player who
will not opt in until he’s 19 in all likelihood.

CORY CAOUETTE Drayton V 22-Mar-82 5'11" 180 F L 56 3 6 9 70

Saw very little ice time this season. Could develop into a Steve
Dubinsky type of player. Will get a lot of playing time next season on
the checking line.

JARED CARLI Drayton V 17-Feb-82 6' 2" 198 D R 56 8 14 22 97

Property of the Calgary Hitmen. Perhaps the best defenceman in the AJHL
in his age group. Has shown a bit of offensive spark with 22 points in
56 games and has the size to jump into the WHL next season if called
upon. His only problem may be the depth on defence in Calgary – so much
so that highly regarded rearguard Rod Sarich has had to play forward
many nights.

JADE GALBRAITH Drayton V 03-Feb-82 5'11" 185 F R 59 18 27 45 105

Property of the Medicine Hat Tigers. With sufficient offseason training,
he could put up this year’s numbers in Medicine Hat next year. He got
better as the season wore on. If he does make the Tigers, I’d expect him
to be given a lot of ice time given the current state of the club.

DAVE McCULLOCH Fort Mac 04-Mar-82 6' 1" 180 D L 39 1 4 5 93

Property of the Saskatoon Blades. Very similar type player as Brennan
Evans. A little bit less size and even less offensive touch. It would
have benefited him to play all 62 games for the Oil Barons this year.
Will likely return to Fort McMurray next season.

DAN SZASZKIEWICS S Park 16-Dec-82 5' 8" 175 D L 56 2 4 6 86

Unless he can provide more offense, he won’t be progressing any further
than Tier II. Could be seen as a late bloomer, though a wise move would
be to move up to forward. There are not many defencemen under 5’10” in
the NHL anymore.

There are no goaltenders born in ’82 in the AJHL, however there are two
outstanding goaltending prospects in Brent Jaeger of Drayton Valley and
Dan Blackburn of Bow Valley that were born in ’83. Both are already the
starting goaltender on their respective squads. Jaeger is property of
Medicine Hat, and Blackburn is property of Kootenay.