Bruins 2000 draft evaluation

By Janine Pilkington

The Boston Bruins had 12 picks in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and used the first two on Swedes. Eight of the picks were used in Europe, and while there was an even selection of forwards and defensemen, no goalies were selected. Talent-wise, the draft produced a nice mix of promising young talent as well as some older European players they hoped to bring over sooner rather than later. Of the 12 picks, seven have seen time in the NHL for a total of 252 NHL games and an average of 21 NHL games per pick. None have found a regular spot on the Boston roster yet, but four remain prospects for the team.

Lars Jonsson, D – 1st round, 7th overall, (Leksands Jr, Sweden Jr)
Status: NHL prospect
NHL games played: 0
DOB: 1-2-1982 HT: 6’1 WT: 198

Twenty-three-year-old Jonsson hasn’t turned out as the Bruins had hoped, but he still has some good potential. He attended Bruins camp in 2002, and though he fared well, the young defenseman returned to Swedish Elite League team Leksands. Jonsson’s time in Leksands brought mixed results. His point totals were low early on, but he also saw limited time on the ice. Though he still hasn’t produced an impressive high-scoring season, he has appeared in more games the past couple years and appears to be finding his rhythm. In the 2003-04 season, Jonsson had a 50-game 12-point total with Leksands and a 50-game 11-point total for Timra, where he played the 2004-05 season. He must continue to improve defensive play in his own zone and to develop his strength if he hopes to find success in the NHL, but Jonsson is a quick, agile skater, with excellent puck control. He’s shown enough promise in Sweden for Boston to keep a close watch on him, and don’t be surprised if the B’s try to bring him back for another shot in the next couple seasons.

Martin Samuelsson, LW – 1st round, 27th overall, (MoDo Jr, Sweden Jr)
Status: NHL prospect
NHL games played: 14
DOB: 1-25-1982 HT: 6’2 WT: 200

The Bruins brought Swedish forward Martin Samuelsson straight to Boston in 2002, anticipating that he’d adjust to the smaller rink size quickly and have a good chance at making the club. After a successful camp, Samuelsson showed promise, and started the season in Boston. He was sent down to Providence after just eight NHL games, but seemed to find his stride in the AHL with 39 points in 64 games. The 2003-04 season he saw a short, unproductive stretch in Boston, and trouble with injuries that carried through into a 59-game, 10-point campaign in Providence.

Samuelsson is an exceptional skater who has demonstrated great speed and the ability to make plays. Injuries have hampered his progress a little, and he’s had a tough time putting up the kind of numbers many expected of him, but Samuelsson appears to have brought himself back a bit from last year’s tough season. The 2004-05 regular season in Providence he improved his point total to 17 in 64 games, and has also bulked up to 200 lbs. At 23 years of age, Samuelsson continues to be a factor in the game, and perhaps the extra season in Providence will be just the preparation he needs to find a place in Boston.

Andy Hilbert, LW – 2nd round, 37th overall, (University of Michigan, CCHA)
Status: NHL prospect
NHL games played: 38
DOB 2-6-1981 HT: 5’11 WT: 198

Hilbert played two years with the University of Michigan before he was signed by Boston. He played a handful of games in 2001-02 before being sent down to Providence for development. Hilbert seemed to thrive in Providence, scoring 53 points in 72 games the 2001-02 season, followed by 70 points in 64 games in 2002-03. He was called up to Boston for the remainder of 2002-03 (14 games), and the beginning of 2003-04, but was unable to make much of an impact. A groin injury kept him out, and he spent the remainder of the 2003-04 season in Providence with limited play. The 2004-05 season Hilbert came back with a bang, and more importantly, healthy. He scored 79 points in 79 games for Providence, helping land the team in the playoffs, and by far the best effort in his professional career.

Hilbert had some problems with consistency early on, and injury slowed his progress, but he appears to have put that all behind him. He’s a strong skater, a good two-way player and has the ability to put points on the board. He played on the AHL All-Star team in 2004-05, broke franchise records for goals, assists, points and power play goals, and was named assistant captain. There’s nothing that indicates he’s not ready for an NHL spot.

Ivan Huml, LW – 2nd round, 59th overall (Langley Hornets, BCHL)
Status: NHL prospect
NHL games played: 49
DOB: 9-6-1981 HT: 6’2 WT: 200

Since he played his first pro season in 2000-01, Huml has bounced between Boston and Providence. His most productive season came during 2001-02 in Providence, where he had 47 points in 76 games, and was called up to Boston for one game at the end. In 2002-03, Huml was sent back down to Providence for 25 points in 30 games, and was called back up to Boston for the remainder of the season for a 41 games, scoring 17 points. The 2003-04 season saw began with a short, unproductive stretch in Boston, then a moderately successful 62-game, 31-point season in Providence. Huml received a qualifying offer from Boston prior to the 2004-05 season but returned to his native Czech Republic to play for HC Kladno during the lockout.

Huml has good size and excellent scoring potential. He’s demonstrated the ability to play on either side of center, and possesses above average skating and puck handling skills. Unfortunately, aside from some brief success in the Providence club, he really hasn’t reached the height of that potential. Huml still struggles with consistency and needs to make better use his 6’2 200 lb size.

Tuukka Makela, D – 3rd round, 66th overall (HIFK Helsinki Jr, Finland Jr.)
Status: NHL bust
NHL games played: 0
DOB: 5-3-1982 HT: 6’3 WT: 202

After a brief stint with the QMJHL’s Montreal Rocket during the 2000-01 season that was cut short by injury, Makela returned to Finland, where, aside from a brief appearance in the Bruins 2003 camp, he has remained ever since. He’s spent the majority of time playing for HPK Hameenlinna with only moderate success. Makela’s is a powerful hitter with a great deal of physical strength, and the ability to hold off players in his own end. Unfortunately his skating ability and speed have been an issue which has detracted from his game and lowered his potential. He has been transferred to Lukko Rauma in SM Liga of Finland for the 2005-06 season.

Sergei Zinovjev, C – 3rd round, 73rd overall (Magnitogorsk, Russia)
Status: NHL bust
NHL games played: 10
DOB: 03/04/1980 Ht: 5’10 Wt: 172

At 25 years of age, Zinovjev has passed his prime as a prospect. There’s no doubt that he’s a skilled player, but is small, 5’10, 175 lbs. He still manages to play a very physical game and is a superb skater, with a natural sense that allows him to control and put the puck with amazing accuracy. In the Russian league with AK Bars Kazan, he had a productive 2004-05 season, finishing with 38 points in 54 games. Zinovjev had a couple brief opportunities with the Bruins in 2003-04, where he played ten games, but rather than be assigned to Providence again, he opted to return to Russia. The Bruins could still decide to bring him over, as he has shown much improvement while playing in the Russian League. The only question is whether or not he’d be able to continue that success in North America.

Brett Nowak, C – 4th round, 103rd overall (Harvard University, ECAC)
Status: NHL bust
NHL Games played: 0
DOB: 5-20-1981 HT: 6’3 WT:195

The former Harvard center finished his college career in 2002-03 with an admirable 41 points in 33 games. It’s no surprise Nowak attracted Bruins scouts with his sturdy 6’3 frame and ability to score goals. He consistently ranked high in goal scoring and assists, and led the Crimson with 31 points during his junior year. After leaving Harvard, Nowak went straight to Providence, where he dropped off considerably in scoring.

In 55 games in 2003-04, he scored just 13 points. He began the 2004-05 season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, where he played 13 games before being sent to the ECHL. He was traded twice during the course of the season, for a total of 45 points in 55 games. He’s had problem with injury in the past, which may have contributed to some of his problems, but the reality is that Nowak just didn’t develop in the way the Bruins had hoped.

Jarno Kultanen, D – 6th round, 174th overall (HIFK Helsinki, Finland)
Status: NHL bust
NHL games played: 102
DOB: 1-8-1973 HT: 6’2 WT: 205lbs

Kultanen was 27 years old when the Bruins drafted him in 2000. The 6’2 205 lb defenseman had the ability to put up some decent numbers while in his native Finland. Unfortunately, that didn’t really translate to the NHL. He played for Boston for two seasons, contributing 10 points in 62 games during 2000-01, and three points in 38 games during 2001-02. Kultanen did have problems with injury, missing most of the 2001-02 season with a knee injury.

Between 2001 and 2002, and couldn’t recover well enough within the NHL to make an impact, so he was sent to Providence the following season. The 2002-03 season in Providence produced the best numbers for him with 34 points in 59 games, however Kultanen was unable to make it back to Boston. He has shown moderate success while playing for HIFK for the 2003-04 and 2004-05 season. Kultanen has been transferred to Mora IK in the Swedish league for the 2005-06 season.

Chris Berti, LW – 7th round, 204th overall (Sarnia, OHL)
Status: NHL bust
NHL games played: 0
DOB: 10-6-1981 HT: 6’5 WT: 230

Berti’s greatest asset was always his size. At 6’5, he had the potential to inflict some damage. Berti had success in the OHL, with a very physical, competitive style of play. His final season for the Erie Otters of the OHL produced his most impressive statistics by far. In 61 games he recorded 37 points and 172 penalty minutes. Berti bulked up successfully, but had shoulder problems which have limited him. He joined the University of Western Ontario Mustangs during the 2002-03 season and he has played there since.

Zdenek Kutlak, D – 8th round, 237th overall (Ceske Budejovice, Czech League)
Status: NHL bust
NHL games played: 16
DOB: 2-13-1980 HT: 6’3 WT: 221

Kutlak was one of those defensive players that possessed all-around skills, plenty of promise, and was just never able to make it work in the NHL. His most successful time in North America came with Providence in 2003-04 with 19 points in 47 games. His exposure to Boston was minimal, but the Bruins still saw potential in the defenseman. He was given a qualifying offer in 2004, but chose to return to the Czech league instead. Kutlak has been transferred back to HC Ceske Budejovice in the Czech league for 2005-06.

Pavel Kolarik, D – 9th round, 268 overall (Slavia Praha HC, Czech league)
Status: NHL bust
NHL games played: 23
DOB: 10/24/1972 HT: 6’2 WT: 205lbs

Kolarik was taken as an over-aged defender who have the experience to compete for a roster spot right away. Though he did little in the way of offense, Kolarik was a solid defender that was expected to add some needed depth to the team. He played in both Providence and Boston during the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons, but was unable to earn a permanent spot on the roster. Kolarik went back to his native Czech Republic for the 2002-03 season and has remained there since.

Andreas Lindstrom, LW – 9th round, 279th overall, (Lulea HF, Sweden-Jr)
Status: NHL bust
NHL games played: 0
DOB: 9-1-1982 HT: 6’6 Wt: 216 lbs

Lindstrom is a giant of a player that hasn’t done enough to make an impact. He’s playing at a tier III level in Sweden, and seems comfortable there. Still owned by the B’s, it doesn’t appear likely that Lindstrom will play at the elite level in Europe, let alone the NHL.

Copyright 2005 Hockey’s Future. Do not duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.