Germans attending camps

By Oliver Janz

Following are news and facts for all german players who were drafted in this years NHL Entry Draft and the players who will attend the Rookie-, Development- or Evaluation Camps by NHL-Teams. The list is in alphabetical order:

Jan Benda (29, Edmonton Oilers/NHL)

After signing a high paid contract with AK Bars Kazan from Russia the Oilers offered him an one-way-contract to help their bluechip prospect Jani Rita to grow up in Edmonton. Benda has the potential to play in the third or fourth line in the NHL. He have to fight for a place in the camp, but the chance is high: Benda maked the NHL four years ago in the camp in Washington. To read the whole story about his moving to Edmonton click here.

Boris Blank (23, Eisbären Berlin/DEL), Rookie/Evaluation Camp, LA Kings

Blank was born in Kazakhstan and is a friend of Eduard Lewandowski. They played together for a long time. He’s a fast skater and more a sniper than a top passing forward. Called “Bum Bum Boris”, he also has a very good shot, but his defense work must be better. Blank played in the german minors for years with a spell in the DEL for 18 Games (Five Points) as he wear the jersey from the Moskitos Essenin the year 2000. Blank also played in the pre-games for the german national team before the world championships. He has no chance for making the NHL, the chance for signing a contract with a farmteam is even low. It’s just a training or development thing for him.

Sven Butenschön (25, Edmonton Oilers/NHL)

Signing a new one year contract with the Oilers gave him the chance to play his first full season in the NHL. He ended the last season as defender number six in Edmonton, scoring two points in seven games. Butenschön hope that he can play as number five or six in the new season. 40 Games during his NHL Career are not bad and he’s a good scoring farmteam defender, but it’s time for making the NHL. The time after the camp will give us more news. Otherwise, many german teams want to sign him for 2002-2003.

Christian Ehrhoff (19, Krefeld Pinguine/DEL), drafted by San Jose Sharks

Ehrhoff will definitely join the Sharks evaluation camp which will be held from September, 2nd till 10th. So, he can’t play in the first games for Krefeld in the new season. Is this a problem? Krefeld’s GM Karel Lang: “Christian talked with our coach Chris Valentine and Valentine told him that he can go to the camp.” The camp will give him the experience young prespects need. Back in Krefeld Ehrhoff will play alongside former Boston Bruin Phil von Stefenelli in the second or third line.

Robert Francz (23), property of Phoenix Coyotes

Drafted in 1997 as # 151, the left wing left Germany in 1996 to play in the OHL for the Peterborough Petes. Was a fan favourite there. But the breakthrough season is far away. He spent the last two seasons between the Springfield Falcons (AHL) and the Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL). While scoring 24 Points in 32 Games in the ECHL last season, the officials told the german media that Francz is a good player type and a player for the Coyotes future. But he must grow up as a player if if he don’t want to be a career minor leaguer. Francz attended the Coyotes’ Development Camp and will also attend the Coyotes’ Evaluation Camp. He have to fight for a place in the AHL-farmteam.

Marcel Goc (18, Schwenninger Wild Wings/DEL), drafted by San Jose Sharks

No Rookie Camp in San Jose, no Goc in North America. The german top prospect and 20th overall draft pick 2001 played for the german Under 20 national team. He can’t shine in the test games against suisse and suffered a knee injury. The team don’t want “to burn him out”, so they will give Goc many time to recover from the injury. He will make his first preseason game only with a hundert per cent fitness. One more week and Goc should be back on the ice and there’s no question that he can shine again. The question if Goc join the Sharks evaluation camp should be answered with no. Goc (Pätzold, too) is very young, he can’t really make the NHL this year and the officials don’t plan with him right now. The 18 year old forward should be there, but only if he’s full recovered from his injury. Goc is more needed in Germany and can better develop in his native country. He will play in the first line, hopefully reaching a one point per game average and making the next step in his development in the next season.

Sascha Goc (22, New Jersey Devils/NHL)

The older brother from draftee Marcel Goc is still one year under contract by the Devils and very hopefully to be the Devils’ 5th or 6th defenseman in the next season. The big guy with the blueliner potential will give more than hundert per cent at the Devs’ camp. Another farmteam season or the NHL? It seem to be that Goc share his time between the NHL and the AHL.

Jochen Hecht (24, Edmonton Oilers/NHL)

Leaving St. Louis, signing for hometeam Mannheim, signing for Edmonton. This is one sentence. But what’s in this sentence? Weeks, emotions, trouble, rumours and at the end a happy Hecht. He signed a new three year contract and will most likely play in the Oilers second line. It’s all said about him.

Olaf Kölzig (31, Washington Capitals/NHL)

With signing Kölzig to a new five year contract ($ 31 Mill.) the Capitals told their fans there’s no discussion about Kölzig. He’s the number one for the next years and can make many things possible. With Jagr alongside Bondra the Caps have a good offense, too. Olie the Goalie will be at the Caps’ Camp and can view the prospects who fight for a place.

Uwe Krupp (36, Detroit Red Wings/NHL), all Detroit Red Wings Camps

For a very long time in contract discussion after his eventual career ending injury. Uwe Krupp will now be available for the new season …? He said yes. Krupp has no more pain and will be back on the ice. That was a big suprise. But Krupp is no Ray Bourque who will play until he’s 40. But one or two more years are not impossible and if he can be the same as he won the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche he’s able to help the Red Wings in the next season.

Eduard Lewandowski (21, Eisbären Berlin/DEL), Rookie/Evaluation Camp LA Kings

Lewandowski was born in Krasnoturjinsk, Kazakhstan. But he had a german passport for some years and spent his time in Wilhelmshaven, Germany after leaving Kazakhstan. The team from his new hometown, the EC Wilhelmshaven played in the second league. Lewandowski played there for four years, scoring nearly one point per game. He signed a contract for the Eisbären Berlin for the new season to step in the highest League. The forward has a good scoring touch and love it if the come gets physical, he’s six foot two. Playing in two pre-games for the german national team before the world championships was his career highlight, the LA Kings camp will be the next. The reason why he join the camp is explained at the news on Nico Pyka.

Mirco Lüdemann (27, Kölner Haie/DEL), no NHL-Camp

Lüdemann received some invitations for NHL camps, but he don’t want to attend them. “I will only go to the NHL if i receive a one-way-contract, i don’t want to play in the minors.” Simple, he didn’t received a one-way-contract and is high paid at his current team Kölner Haie. The new captain of the DEL-Team is one of the best defenders in Germany and the best skater in the german league.

Robert Müller (21, Adler Mannheim/DEL), drafted by Washington Capitals

He will miss all Capitals camps this year for playing with his hometeam, the Adler Mannheim in the DEL. Müller’s contract run till summer 2003 and this seem to be the time for going to the Caps’ farmteam, the Portland Pirates. As the Goalie situation in Washington will change during the upcoming season Müller can go to Portland one year earlier. But, the situation is currently: Washington Capitals have Olaf Kölzig and Craig Billington, Portland have Corey Hirsch and Sebastian Charpentier, the ECHL will see Curtis Cruickshank and Rastislav Stana. (Also, please read the report about the goalie situation behind Kölzig and Billington) The Situation in Mannheim is nearly the same as last year, Müller have to fight for a place against Mike Rosati. But with the draft and one year more of experience his cards are a little bit better than last season.

Dimitri Pätzold (18, Kölner Haie/DEL), drafted by San Jose Sharks

Pätzold won’t join the evaluation camp at the beginning of september, his team needs him. He’s definitely the backup goalie (no relegating to their farmteam) in Köln and will possibly play in ten or twenty games next season. But, don’t underrate him, his first start in the pre-season was more than well. He earned a shot-out in the 3-0 win against the Frankfurt Lions. Also, other young players shined in this game: Christoph Ullmann (18) scored two goals and Benjamin Hinterstocker (21) one.

Danny Pyka (17, Eisbären Berlin Juniors/DNL – German Jr. League), Rookie/Evaluation Camp LA Kings

Danny is the brother of Nico Pyka and was born in 1984. Why joining the Camp? Because of his brother and the Kings scouts will watch him to have an eye on him for the future. He’s the best defender in the Eisbären Junior Team and also a member of the Under 18 national team. Pyka, draft eligible for 2002, has a similar playing style to his brother and will see the camp as a highlight in his young hockey career. Will spent the next season as the Eisbären Juniors top defender in the junior league. It’s nor official, but Danny Pyka maybe has the chance for playing a game in the DEL during the upcoming season. And why notalongside his older brother Nico?

Nico Pyka (24, Eisbären Berlin/DEL), Rookie/Evaluation Camp LA Kings

Pyka will attend the evaluation camp of the Los Angeles Kings. The 24 year old defender played one game at the world championships in Germany this year. He recorded five assists and 142 Penalty Minutes in 51 games for the Eisbären Berlin in the DEL last season. He’s a hard checking defender who has no fear. Is this enough for joining the LA Kings camp? No, you must play for a team which is owned by the Anschutz Group (Eisbären Berlin, München Barons, Servette Geneve etc.). Philipp F. Anschutz is the governeur of the LA Kings and that thing give you the opportunity to reach some experience. The ‘Anschutz officials’ decided to give Pyka the chance at the camp, together with three other young germans.

Nico Pyka, born in Berlin, played is whole live for the Eisbären. Only interrupted in 97-98 (Winkler Flyers, MJHL, 56 Points in 83 Games) and 98-99 as he played one game for ECHL-team Mobile Mysticks and 66 Regular Season Games (44 Points) for the Memphis RiverKings in the CHL. Pyka played in the All-Star-Game and was named into the CHL-All-Star-Team 1999. Pyka said it’s a big chance for him to be at the camp and it’s not impossible that the Kings will sign him for their farmteam.

Stefan Schauer (18, SC Riessersee/2nd League), drafted by Ottawa Senators

Camp News: Only one month ago: Schauer was a member of the team who skate at the Senators Rookie Camp for ten days. The 18 year old defender was one of the better players in the power- and fast skating tests, the coaches told him he worked good at the camp. Back in Germany, he suffered an injury. Schauer will start the training in two weeks áfter undergoing a surgery and if no bad things happen he’s available for the season opener. But he’s definitely not available for the Senators’ evaluation camp. So, what about his development in the new season? Schauer is still under contract by SC Riessersee in the 2.Bundesliga, the second league in Germany. He will most likely play the new season alongside former DEL- and national defender Frank Hohenadl in the second line. The team own only seven defenders, three guys are 29 years old, one defender is 21 years old and the other three defender are 18 year old prospects (including Schauer).

After scoring four points in his first pro season Schauer will score a minimum of ten points and garner some special team ice time. But only if the team don’t sign a new defender if a defender get injured. Just some more words to his team, the SC Riessersee. The officials from Ottawa would like to see Schauer in a DEL-Team, in the highest league. But Schauer thinks it’s better for his developing to play in the second line in the second league as sitting on the bench in the first league. The Augsburger Panther from the DEL offered him a two-way-contract, which allow him to play for Riessersee and for Augsburg in some games, too. ‘No’, answered Schauer, that’s to much for him, he’s currently in his last school year and with the two-way-contract he have to play three games a week.

Christoph Schubert (19, München Barons/DEL), drafted by Ottawa Senators

Schubert was at the Senators Rookie Camp together with Schauer. Both have the same impressions from his first spell in canada, but not everything is the same. Schubert has the opportunity to join the Senators evaluation camp in Semptember. The Barons officials are happy and worry. That’s a good chance for their biggest talent, but Schubert will miss the last pre-season games and the first games in the new season. But, if the NHL is calling … Schubert will be very worry and sad if the Barons don’t allow him to join the camp as the Sens’ want to see him. The future from Schubert in München is in the second or third line with a new linemate. His former partner Chris Luongo left the team and his new partner should be Kent Fearns. Schubert can also join the Senators farmteam, but he told us that he don’t want to play in the minors and think the german league is the better place for him next season.

Dennis Seidenberg (20, Adler Mannheim/DEL), drafted by Philadelphia Flyers

Seidenberg was at the Flyers Rookie Camp for the first week. 20 prospects skated in front of the eyes of the coaches, Seidenberg was only the second european after a forward from Scotland, Great Britain. Getting up at six o’clock, power-training, running, skating – hard days, but a good experience. The officials and Seidenberg are still talking about beeing in north america for the Flyers evaluation camp. The german don’t want to miss the preseason at his team Adler Mannheim.

But one thing is sure: Dennis Seidenberg is under contract till summer 2003 and will play for Mannheim in the upcoming season. As the team is the current champion and own many good players all players will gain their ice time. Coach Bill Stewart will play with four defense lines and it seems to be that Seidenberg play together with Brad Bergen, his partner from the last season. Also, the new season bring in his brother. Yannic Seidenberg, a 17 year old forward and a good prospect for the NHL Entry Draft 2002 hope that he can reach some ice time to play together with his brother.

Marco Sturm (22, San Jose Sharks/NHL)

Sturm had been seen in Germany last week. He trained together with the DEL-Team München Barons – same procedure as every year. Sturm grow up to more than a talented center. He’s an allrounding forward with leadership quality for the future. Will be in the Sharks third line, hopefully for crushing the second line. His special team ice time will be the same and Sturm will also stay in San Jose till the other germans like Pätzold, Ehrhoff or Marcel Goc arrive.


Dimitri Pätzold join the San Jose Sharks Goalie Camp in Minnesota which will be held in the next week on August, 27th. The Sharks Team-Camp starts one week later and Pätzold will be back in Germany at September, 11th. That make him unavailable for the next test games and the first two games of the new season with his homteam Kölner Haie. But a good chance for the 18 year old high talented Goalie. That’s not the only chance for a young talent in this announcement. Michel Hirt, 17 year old netminder from the farmteam will replace Pätzold for this time.