1998 Prospects

By pbadmin

Following is an early-season look at the Top 50 players available for the
1998 NHL Draft. The draft is scheduled for Saturday, June 27, 1998 at
Buffalo’s Marine Midland Arena.

1. Vincent Lecavalier-C-Rimouski-6-3/177–With a blend of speed, quickness,
great puck skills and excellent on-ice vision, Lecavalier is a dynamic
offensive force. While earlier comparisons to Mario Lemieux may be
unwarranted, Lecavalier could be a superstar. He needs to get stronger,
improve his playa way from the puck and raise his intensity level.

2. Manny Malhotra-C-Guelph-6-2/205–A strong two-way pivot who knows how to
create offense. Malhotra is strong on his skates and a fine playmaker who is
willing to battle along the boards. He is also a team leader who thrives
under pressure.

3. Brad Stuart-D-Regina-6-1/200–A solid, steady blueliner, Stuart is a
prototypical defenseman. He has good size and strength, moves the puck out
of danger effectively, and is a smart one-on-one defender. He also has an
excellent shot and recovery speed.

4. Rico Fata-C-London-5-11/200–One of the most talented players in the
draft, Fata remains a bit of a mystery. With all his talent, why hasn’t he
put it all together yet? The physical tools are there, but it’s the
intangibles that has teams concerned. His status as a high-end pick could be
in danger.

5. Bryan Allen-D-Oshawa-6-3/200–Composure, confidence and hockey smarts have
helped Allen emerge as a can’t-miss prospect. Allen’s future lies ahead as a
stay-at-home defenseman, but he can still help out on offense. He still
tends to get caught out of position at times.

6. David Legwand-C-Plymouth-6-2/175–A pure finesse forward with blazing
speed, Legwand has game-breaking talent. He’s made a smooth adjustment to
the OHL, utilizing his skating ability, great passing touch and accurate
shot. He’s trying to toughen up and make a commitment to the defensive game.

7. Patrick Desrochers-G-Sarnia-6-3/200–A big, stand-up goalie who likes to
challenge shooters and play the angles. He is fundamentally sound, quick on
his feet and he can handle the puck behind the net. However he gets caught
overanticipating and leaning the wrong way.

8. Scott Gomez-C-Tri-City-5-11/175–Opting to go the major junior route
instead of the collegiate ranks, Gomez is a shifty center with terrific
acceleration and a fine passing touch. He is a bit undersized, but he rarely
takes a big hit. He is especially dangerous when given time to set up in the
offensive zone.

9. Mikko Jokela-D-Finland-6-1-207–The top rated European on most teams
scouting lists, Jokela is an all-around defenseman with fine puck skills and
a knowledge of how to play defense. He’s a smart player who doesn’t panic,
and he has a great shot from the point, while playing on Europe’s large ice
surfaces has helped him become a fine skater.

10.Robyn Regehr-D-Kamloops-6-3/215–Regehr possesses impressive size and
strength and decent puck skills. He is a solid defender and a good team
player, who only needs more experience and maturity.

11.Stephen Peat-D-Red Deer-6-3/195

12.Mike Van Ryn-D-U. of Michigan-6-2/185

13.Mathieu Biron-D-Shawinigan-6-6/216

14.Alex Tanguay-C-Halifax-6-0/175

15.Norm Milley-RW-Sudbury-6-0/190

16.Justin Papineau-C-Belleville-5-11/170

17.Mark Bell-LW-Ottawa-6-3/175

18.Jonathan Girard-D-Laval-5-11/183

19.Dmitri Kalinin-D-Russia-6-0/180

20.Michael Henrich-RW-Barrie-6-3/195

21.Kevin Holdridge-D-Plymouth-6-3/200

22.Jonathan Cheechoo-RW-Belleville-6-0/190

23.Jake McCracken-G-S.S. Marie-5-11-160

24.Jeff Jillson-D-Plymouth-6-2/205

25.Eric Laplante-LW-Halifax-6-0/190

26.Francois Beauchemin-D-Laval-6-0/180

27.Jeff Nielsen-C-Calgary-6-1-175

28.Philippe Sauve-G-Rimouski-6-0/175

29.Milan Kraft-C-Czech-6-3/185

30.Kip Brennan-D-Windsor-6-2/195

31.Mathieu Chouinard-G-Shawinigan-6-3/185

32.Geoff Koch-LW-U. of Michigan-6-1/180

33.Michael Rupp-LW-Windsor-6-5/215

34.Bobby Allen-D-Boston College-6-1/200

35.Ryan Van Buskirk-D-Sarnia-6-1/185

36.Maxim Kraev-RW-Russia-6-0/180

37.Brent Gauvreau-C-Oshawa-6-2/210

38.Garrett Prosofsky-C-Saskatoon-5-11/180

39.Nick Robinson-D-S.S. Marie-6-2/180

40.Shawn Horcoff-C-Michigan State-6-0/185

41.Brett Dececco-RW-Seattle-5-11/175

42.John Erskine-D-London-6-4/190

43.Abe Herbst-D-Sarnia-6-1/185

44.Josef Vasicek-C-Czech-6-4/180

45.Alex Ryazantseev-D-Russia-6-0/185

46.Jiri Fischer-D-Hull-6-5/190

47.Zoltan Batovsky-LW-Drummondville-6-0/180

48.Jason LaBarbara-G-Portland-6-1/200

49.Eric Chouinard-LW-Quebec-6-2/190

50.Petr Svoboda-D-Czech-6-1/170

Additional prospects worth noting:


Brett Allan-Swift Curent

Blair Betts-Prince George

David Cameron-Prince Albert

Johnathan Gagnon-Val d’or

Jaroslav Krtistek-Czech

Toby Peterson-Colorado

David Svee-Sweden

Mattias Trattnig-Maine

Jason Williams-Peterborough

Right Wing:

Scott Page-Sudbury

Simon Gagne-Quebec

Maxim Potapov-Sherbrooke

Daniel Rafner-Sweden

Left Wing:

Ramzi Abid-Chicoutimi

Alexandre Couture-Victoriaville

Evgeny Lazarev-Russia

Calle Steen-Sweden

Curtis Valentine-Bowling Green

Tomek Valtonen-Finland


Christian Backman-Sweden

Joey Bartley-Guelph

Jason Beckett-Seattle

Joe Dipenta-Boston U.

Paul Elliot-Lethbridge

Jonan Forgren-Sweden

Herman Hultgren-Sweden

Pasi Kuusisto-Finland


Frederic Brindamour-Sherbrooke

Jomar Cruz-Brandon

Jonathan Pelletier-Drummondville

Jake McCracken