Wednesday, June 30, 2010
*-> The Calgary Flames have placed Nigal Dawes on waivers today, he is expected to attract some interest from around the league.
*-> The New Jersey Devils have placed both Jay Pandolfo and Andrew Peters on waivers. Peters has attracted interest from the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Rangers. The Rangers have expressed interest in the tough guy this past season.
*-> Tom Priessing was also placed on waivers by his club the Colorado Avalanche as well.
*-> Rod BrindAmour has officially announced his retirement today. The Carolina Hurricanes are expected to buy the rest of his contract out. I'm not too sure the logistics behind it but as far as I know he counts towards the cap as he's plus 35. A sad end to a great career.
*-> Tomas Kaberle has told a Czech newspaper he expects a trade for sure this time around. Kaberle is sitting at home waiting for a deal its been reported. Many sources have now said they believe its only 2 teams left in the mix for the puck moving blueliner. Its believed to the Los Angeles Kings and the St. Louis Blues.
*-> The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without defenseman Mike Van Ryn for the entire 2010-2011 season. Van Ryn is still recovering from knee surgury and has told the Leafs management he will not be able to play. He is expected to try and resume his career next season. Tough break for Van Ryn, I personally thought he had already hung em up.
*-> David Clarkson has signed a 3 year deal with the New Jersey Devils. Clarkson will make 8M$ total and roughly 2.66M$ over the next 3 years.
*-> The Nashville Predators are close to signing Jonas Andersson who was recently released Dynamo Moscow of the KHL. Andersson does have some NHL experience as he was drafted by the Predators in 1999 33rd overall. He only played 5 games in the NHL but played over 150 in the AHL.
*-> Evgeni Nabokov has told the Philadelphia Flyers he may sign with them but plans to see what the market is like first on July 1st. Doesn't look good for the Flyers as both Turco and Nabokov now have turned them down. The Flyers may end over paying for a free agent goalie just to make sure they get one at this rate. They still have a chance with Nabokov but he most likely will go where the most money is at.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
- Shawn Weller
- Bobby Bolt
- Jean-Phillip Levasseur - In Contract Talks
Atlanta Thrashers- Chad Denny
- Rylan Kaip
- Scott Lehman
- Matt Siddal
Boston Bruins- Dan Paille
- Kevin Regan
- Marek Zagrapan - Playing In KHL
- Phillip Gogulla - Playing In DEL
- Matt Generous
- Michael Kostka
- Brad Cole
- Alexandre Picard - In Contract Talks
- Brett Carson
- Adam Hobson - Playing In SEL
Colorado Avalanche- Cody Burki
- Wes O'Neill
- Derek Peltier
Columbus Blue Jackets- Greg Moore
- David Liffiton
- Dan Lacosta
- Kevin Lalande
- Andrei Plekhanov
- Jordan Smotherman
Dallas Stars- Tyler Shelast
Detroit Red Wings
- Johan Ryno
- Evan McGrath
Edmonton Oilers- Ryan Potulny
- Slava Trukhno - KHL Talks
- M.A Pouliot
- Jeff Paukovich
- Josef Hrabal
- Bryan Lerg
Florida Panthers- Nick Tarnasky - Talking Contract
- Dan Collins
- Andrew Sweetland
- Kamil Kreps - Playing In SML
- Luke Beaverson
- Peter Aston
Minnesota Wild- Jamie Fraser
- Morten Madsen - Playing In SEL
Montreal Canadiens- Greg Stewart
- Michael Busto
Nashville Predators- Denis Grebeshkov
- Dustin Boyd
- Petr Olvecky
New York Islanders- Bobby Hughes
- Sean Bergenheim
- Sean Bentovoglio
- Jeff Tambellini
New York Rangers- Enver Lisin
- Erik Cristiansen
- Ilkka Heikkinen - Playing In KHL
Ottawa Senators- Tomas Kudelka - Playing In KHL
San Jose Sharks- Daniel Rahimi
- Matt Jones
- Michael Vernace
Tampa Bay Lightning- Radek Smolenak
- Chris Lawrence
- Lauri Tukonen
Toronto Maple Leafs- John Mitchell - Talking Contract Still
- Phil Okreskovic
- Matt Jones
Vancouver Canucks- Matt Pope
- Michael Funk
Remember folks this is just a rough list of unqaulified RFA's, there may be more out there that I missed or a few guys who may have signed deals already. A lot of unknowns still out there so if you've got any missing names comment and I'll add them to the list.
Theres not a whole lot out there for UFA's however. Sean Bergenheim, Jeff Tambellini, Denis Grebeshkov, Dan Paille and Nick Tarnasky are the highlights. Enver Lisen may have potential if he doesn't defect to the KHL.
*-> Yan Stastny of the Vancouver Canucks has bolted overseas to the KHL. He signed a 1 year deal with CSKA Moscow today.
*-> Andreas Thuresson of the Nashville Predators has resigned with the club. The deal is reportedly worth 600K$ for 1 year and is a two way deal.
*-> The Calgary Flames are extremely close to resigning defenseman Ian White to a long term deal. The Flames are expected to announce the signing before Thursday. They qaulified White yesterday along with Henrik Karlsson, Mathew Keetley, Gord Baldwin, Matt Pelech, Kris Chucko, JD Watt and Brett Sutter. I'll have more on the RFA situation later tonight.
*-> The Anaheim Ducks have waived Nathan Oystric and he's expected to clear.
*-> The Lightning have waived Todd Fedoruk but he's expected to remain with the team in the AHL and do spot duty.
*-> The New York Rangers to no surprise have waived Donald Brashear, Aaron Voros and Patrick Rissmiller. Are are expected to clear and report to Hartford of the AHL. Donald Brashear however is expected to be boughtout. There is a wacky rumor out Detroit that the Red Wings would be interested in Brashear but I highly highly doubt it. just because Holland and the Wings want an enforcer doesn't mean any enforcer. The Wings want one who can take a regular shift not an aging goon from the prelockout era.
*-> All of the players from yesterday have cleared waivers.
*-> Buffalo could also be after Paul Martin July 1st after it appears atleast one of their two UFA defenseman will test the waters. Both Henrik Tallinder and Tony Lydman appear to be ready to goto the wire with the Sabres. Tallinder appears to be the closer of the two but still hasn't ruled out July 1st. Lydman has told the buffalo media he'd like to remain in Buffalo as well but other reports indicate otherwise.
*-> The Montreal Canadiens have indeed signed Benoit Poulliot to a deal. The deal appears to be worth 1.37$ million for just one season. Another weird deal for the Habs and their passion for signing players to only one year deals when they are already in uniform then shelling out long term deals to any free agent out there come July 1st.
*-> Reports are saying former Dallas Star Marty Turco turned down a verbal offer from the Philadelphia Flyers for a 3 year deal worth 6 million per season. Several other sources are saying that the offer never happened and Turco was never on the Flyers radar. It would makes sense except I'm pretty sure that would be tampering if Turco was in talks with another team without permission before July 1st but the Dallas did make it official at seasons end Turco would not be retained. Just strange they wouldn't attempt to pry a draft pick from the Bullies.
*-> The Atlanta Thrashers appear to be headed to search for replacements via free agency as most of their UFA's do not plan to resign in the ATL. Maxim Afinogenov is getting set to test the market after turning down several offers from the club while Colby Armstrong is being let walk. Pavel Kubina is willing to resign but once again he's looking for the biggest pay cheque it's being reported. Hes seeking 5+ million while the Thrashers have asked him to take a home team discount. It doesn't appear to be close. Speaking of close several news agencys have reporteded its almost a done deal with Johan Hedberg. Several other sites have also reported the Swede is looking fior a change and has told the Thrashers organization he will go elsewhere this summer.
*-> The Pittsburgh Penguins marriage with Sergei Gonchar appears to be over but gonchar is being kept on the back burners while the Pens attempt to get Dan Hamhuis under contract. Hamhuis is pretty keen on hitting the market this summer though so it doesn't look good for Pittsburghs defense-front. Gonch may be pulled back into the fold after todays Hamhuis/ Ray Shero meetings.
*-> The Nashville Predators have not qaulified the rights to Denis Grebeshkov or Dustin Boyd so the two appear set to hit the market this summer. Stupid move by the Preds as they probably could have gotten something for the Russian defenseman.
*-> The Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has told the media he has several trades on the go before July 1st and not one involves Marc Savard. It looks like the Leafs could be out of the Marc Savard sweepstakes as of today unless something changes. The mostly trades Burke speaks of is a Mikhail Grabovsky deal and or the much anticipated Tomas Kaberle deal. Los Angeles and Columbus appear to be the leaders for Kaberle while Grabovsky is anybodys guess. Some are saying Nashville for the Belarussian.
*-> TSN has finally announced that the Dallas Stars will not resign Mike Modano. This has already been out there for more than a month but I'm sure it'll spark some more interest now a major media source has made it official. Modano has previously told the media that he plans to listen to offers July 1st and will decide his future after he gauges the level of interest in him. He's looking for a 1 year deal where he can have a consistent role.
*-> Yesterday the Montreal Canadiens resigned the young surprise Tom Pyatt to a 1 year deal worth 500K. Pyatt was a key fixture last season on the 3rd and 4th line for the Habs.
*-> The Ottawa Senators have most likely begun the buyout process with Jonathan Cheechoo yesterday as he hit the waiver wire. He isn't expected to be claimed but most likely boughtout of his final year with the Sens. This should end the Sheldon Souray for Jonathan Cheechoo rumors unless this was a requirement the Edmonton Oilers requested so he doesn't count towards the cap. Highly doubtful though.
*-> The Calgary Flames have placed winger Ales Kotalik on waivers yesterday as well. He might attract some interest but he currently owns a no trade clause so it's doubtful. There are rumors he's set to return to Europe if there isn't any interest in North America.
*-> The Phoenix Coyotes waived rugged defenseman Jim Vandermeer and struggling center Petteri Nokelainen. Both are expected to report to San Antonio of the AHL.
*-> The Florida Panthers have waived defenseman Ville Koistinen also. There has been some mild interest I've heard mainly the Buffalo Sabres.
*-> Only one trade to mention, the Colorado Avalanche traded their 4th round pick next season to the Phoenix Coyotes for forward Daniel Winnik.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
*-> There are some reports Marc Savard has also stated he'd be ok with a deal to Montreal some news sources are reporting. The Bruins never confirmed Montreal at all so for now that's just a rumor.
*-> The Toronto Maple Leafs have slowed down their attempted trade of Tomas Kaberle and have told teams that they will resume any talks Monday afternoon if anyone has any other offers. Reports have the Philadelphia Flyers back in the mix again. The Jeff Carter for Tomas Kaberle rumors wont go away. It seams highly unlikely but with the new information that the Flyers are now speaking to Evgeny Nabokov it means the Broadstreet Bullies need to dump cap badly and Carter seams like the best option. I've also heard several teams have told the Leafs they'd like to wait to see how situations with their free agents goes first before making any offers. This could imply to the New Jersey Devils with Martin and now the Pittsburgh Penguins and gonchar/Dan Hamhuis. The Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi has admitted to looking at adding a number 1 to 2 defenseman but they do not have that coveted center the Leafs are after. Finally it looks like Brian Burkes asking price has turned from a 1st rounder to a first line prospect or center who can help now.
*-> The Flyers have permission to speak to Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks. The deal is reportedly if the Flyers are able to sign Nabokov the Sharks would recieve only a 7th round pick next season. Nabokov's agent Don Meehan has said they plan to speak to the Flyers management early this week and it's a good possibility he could sign. good news for Flyers fans. Seams a bit low to me but hey better than walking away with nothing I guess.
*-> The Pittsburgh Penguins talks with Sergei Gonchar have now completely stalled and it looks like he'll hit the open market. The financial numbers have been met by the Pens but Gonchar refuses to budge on the length which is believed to be 3 years. The Penguins may shop his rights early this week if things go well with Dan Hamhuis. The Penguin's talks with Dan Hamhuis were brief but are expected to continue as Hamhuis is reportedly open to staying in Pittsburgh but would not give any more of an indication if he'd sign a deal before July 1st. Many are saying he'd still like to test the water of free agency.
*-> Something is still up with Benoit Poulliot and the Montreal Canadiens. They appear to be deep in contract talks but neither side will comment. He is expected to sign a deal but a trade could also be coming. Many are saying that montreal is trying to clear cap to try and sign Alexander Frolov for their top line this summer.
More tonight including a complete run-down of all the draft day trades and a complete analysis on the Canadian teams drafting.
Friday, June 25, 2010
*-> The Dallas Stars have told the Dallas media that tonight their leaning more towards picking a defenseman.
*-> Florida has stated today they have a defenseman in mind and will not trade their pick unless a major deal can be worked out for the number 3 pick. They have a few suitors but nothing worth passing up their player of choice. Its also rumored that the player in their cross hairs is Erik Gudbransen.
*-> Florida is also in talks with the Blackhawks in regards to Kris Versteeg its being reported. Florida is willing to part with almost any roster player but the Hawks are talking picks.
*-> The Columbus Blue Jackets are thinking they'll stay with their 1st round pick instead of making a deal. They are looking at Kaberle but would rather get a center before a defenseman its reported.
*-> The Nashville Predators have told defenseman Denis Grebeshkov they will not qualify him at all. The Preds plan to shop his rights today as they've decided he no longer fits into their future plans. Several teams have inquired about Grebeshkov but no major offers yet. He's expecting a raise and some are saying he could look to the KHL for a payday.
*-> I'm hearing the rumors of Sheldon Souray being swapped for Jonathon Cheechoo could be a real deal. Bryan Murray reportedly inquired mid season about Souray but when he went down to injury all interest vanished. It makes sense this kind of swap, it rid the Oilers of a major distraction and disgruntled player in Souray. Ottawa would rather have a useful cap hit helping out their defense. Ottawas not the only team in on Souray though as the Buffalo Sabres have been rumored and the Washington Capitals have been linked throughout the season. A rumor keeps resurfacing with the Oilers trading a touted prospect and Sheldon Souray for the enigmatic Alexander Semin. The New Jersey Devils are rumored to be interested but need the Oilers to place him on reentry waivers.
*-> The Detroit Red Wings have signed undrafted and free agent Russian Evgeny Ryasensky to a 2 way deal. Terms were disclosed but he's expected to see mostly AHL time next season. Ryasensky played last season for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of the KHL.
I wanna hear from you Sens fans if you think the Sens should trade Jason Spezza or not and what your ideal you guys would want back in return. Post your ideas on the forum for discussion.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
ISS – 39
CS – 15 NA
HN – 20
+ Top End Talent + Major League Shot
- Selfish - Bad Additude
- Poor Work Ethic
John McFarland is an intriging prospect as he once was highly touted and expected to go in the top 5 but now he continues to slip down the rankings and could possibly be a 2nd round pick now. The reason for the slip is because of some of his character flaws such as his lack of commitment to his team and his lack of effort most nights. Many believe this lack of effort is due to him not wanting to be in Sudbury with the Wolves and would be a different story if he were on a contender. Theres no doubt McFarland has incredible talent but only he decides when he wants to use it. He’s got an incredible release to go with his NHL calibre shot and he knows how to use his frame in traffic. He also has good hockey IQ but he struggles to find or use his teamates. The Boston Bruins have 2 top half first round draft picks so their able to take a gamble on the enigmatic McFarland. With some good coaching, tough love and maturing they might be able to steal a gem.
#16. Ottawa Senators - Jeff Skinner – RW/C – Kitchener Rangers – OHL
ISS – 9
CS – 34 NA
HN – 25
+ Hard Worker + Natural Finisher
+ Great Shot + 3 Steps Ahead
- No Second Gear - Poor Skater
Jeff Skinner has often been compared to Dany Heatley as they have the same pure goal scoring talent. The Ottawa Senators would love to add a goal scoring replacement to help boost their woeful offense and complement Jason Spezza. Skinner could easily be that guy. Many scouts are saying he’s the most underrated player in the draft and could/should be a top 10 guy. He has great vision and can see plays before the puck even gets to him. He loves to get to open space and tee off. A 50 goal scorer in the OHL. The only knocks on his game is that he also can be compared to Dany Heatley’s speed and skating abilitys. His skating is still rough around the edges but his strength and hockey IQ compensate as he still finds time and space to score.
#17. Colorado Avalanche - Derek Forbot – D – US Development Program
ISS – 10
CS - 9 NA
HN – 11
+ Big Time Size + Great skater
+ Very Mobile
- Not Physical - Hard to Project
Derek Forbot is a monster of a kid at 6’5” and 200 lbs. His size has scouts drooling is an understatment. For a big defenseman however he is a great skater and also an underated puck mover. His mobility is a surprise to many scouts and his offensive abilities are still quite raw. His defensive abilities on the other hand are above average. His main downside is that he doesn’t have a physical side to him. For a 6’5” frame he is fairly soft. He still has a lot to learn and the bright side is he’s eager to listen. Some good coaching will drastically help. Another downside to Forbot is he’s hard to project. He could just be another middle of the pack big bodied defenseman or a monster of a gem in this draft. The Avalanche will continue to add to their defensive core as the next wave is set to begin a changing of the guards on Colorado’s backend. Colorado could have a defensive cornerstone for the future or just a large depth clog, hopefully not the latter.
#18. Nashville Predators - Teemu Pulkkinen – LW/RW – Jokerit – SM LIIGA
ISS – 48
CS – 17 INT
HN – 50
+ Pure Goal Scorer + Laser Shot
+ Dominating Grown Men
- Poor Skating - Doesn’t Do The Dirty Work
It’s a known fact that Teemu Pulkkinen can score, he’s been doing that all season long amongst men. He managed to put up 41 points in 17 games played. Did I mentioned he scored 20 goals? He has a laser of a shot which he can release in a split second to the back of the net. He’s been compared to Teemu Selanne with a lot less foot speed. He’s not a great skater and is not one to battle for space or time but goals seam to come easy anyway. His shoot first ask questions later tendencies make it hard for him to play with fellow goal scrorers and to make best use of his abilities it would be wise to pair him with a playmaking first center. The Nashville Predators are desperate for offense and Pulkkinen could be that sniper they were waiting for.
#19. Los Angeles Kings - Emerson Etem – RW – Medicine Hat – WHL
ISS – 18
CS – 8 NA
HN – 17
+ Speed to Burn + Californian Native
+ Creates Own Chances
- Flys Solo - Defensive Play Liability
Everybody loves a draft day feel good story and this has the potential to be one. Emerson Etem is a Long Beach native and the Kings would love to have their first ever 1st round Californian on their roster. The Kings and Wayne Gretzky are the sole reasons why hockey exists in LA and by drafting Emerson Etem the cycle continues. Feel good story aside Emerson Etem has incredible game breaking speed and is probably the fastest skater in the draft so that alone is tempting to a team needing help for the future on the wing. Etems speed also creates most of his own chances for him. He managed to score 37 goals as a rookie in a dry low scoring WHL so there is potential for more. The only thing that should be troubling about this prospect is the fact he is awful away from the puck. He doesn’t have the same drive to regain possession. He also needs to learn to use his linemates more, something that could increase hims numbers drastically.
#20. Pittsburgh Penguins - Ludvig Rensfeldt – LW – Brynas Jr. – SWE-JR
ISS – 27
CS – 5 INT
HN – 32
+ Size and Skill Combo + Great Skater
- Not Exciting to Watch - Inconsistent
Rensfedlt has a great combination of skill and size. At 6’3” he has the size to become a great goal scoring power forward. He fits the bill as he’s not overly flashy or exciting to watch but none the less he gets the job done when it matters. Many scouts are saying his consistency is a major issue, as one night he can dominate but the next night you can’t tell if he’s actually playing or not. He should take the next step and join the SEL next season to continue his development and only then will scouts see his true talent levels. He’s a bit of a risk but his size and talent make it hard for scouts to pass incase he could be the next big thing. The Pittsburgh Penguins need a gritty crease crashing forward to replace Ruslan Fedotenko and Bill Guerin when his time is up. Pittsburgh needs to restock their cupboards starting with the left side it only makes sense to try and grab a potential 1st line powerhouse forward.
#21. Detroit Red Wings - Patrik Nemeth – D AIK Jr – SWE JR
ISS – 37
CS – 11 INT
HN – NR
+ Devestating Hitter + Shut Down Or Offense
- Relatively Unknown - Inconsistent
The Detroit Red Wings are known for their draft day steals and drafting abilities. This year the trend will continue as they will look to replace longtime Star and future Hall Of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom on the blueline. Patrik Nemeth could very well be that guy. Nemeth is extremely unrated and at #21 could be a steal of the first round. He is a very well rounded defensman and it’s very hard to pick out what he does best. Many scouts are saying his physical play and shut down abilities could be the factor and especially the factor that means most to Detroit. He still can find the back of the net but isn’t a flashy player. He struggled to find his game last season and shot on to the radar this season as he worked on his consistency so his stock still is low allowing him to slip late in the first round.
#22. Phoenix Coyotes - Quinton Howden – C/LW – Moose Jaw – WHL
ISS – 16
CS – 19 NA
HN – 23
+ Two-Way + Shut Down Specialist
+ Offensive Upside
- Checking Line Typecast - Weak Shot
Quinton Howden is one of the most complete players in the 2010 Entry Draft. He is a solid two-way player who has some offensive upside. Many scouts still believe he is destined to be a future third line NHLer but many also believe he still has a lot of room to develop. His offensive upside really showed during Moose Jaw’s playoff run where he managed to impress everyone with 20 points in only 10 games. Not bad for a checking line player. Ether way the Phoenix Coyotes would be happy at being able to draft a checking line shut down specialist with an offensive flair as their special teams and roleplayers need replenishing badly. With a little luck Howden could pan out to be a top line player than can be used in all situations.
#23. Buffalo Sabres - Jonathan Merrill - D – US Development Program
ISS – 11
CS – 21 NA
HN – 31
+ Nerves Of Steel + Well Rounded
+ Great With The Puck
- Immature - Off Ice Troubles
- Not Overly Physical
Jonathan Merrill is yet another big pucking moving blueliner from the United States. His frame has yet to comepletely fill out but yet he is a man amongst boys. He’s terrific with the puck in almost every situation and doesn’t have that panic factor many of his other towering blueliners have. He isn’t overly physical but he uses enough force to get the job done. He is an all round situation player and some scouts have even said they wouldn’t be surprised if he surpased many of his peers in the future. There is possible additude issues however as he was suspended for violating team rules but it was recently aired that is was over several girls complaining of sexual harassment from Merrill and another player. Merrill has said it was just “fooling around” and “hazing” the girls. That being said the Sabre might want to take a risk with Merrill as they could use some more defensive help and Merrill would fit in perfectly alongside Tyler Myers as a calming presence.
#24. Atlanta Thrashers - Kirill Kabanov – RW – Moncton – QMJHL
ISS – 45
CS – 31 NA
HN – 38
+ Elite Offensive Star + Crafty
+ No “Russian Factor” + Great Skater
- Selfish - Possible attitude Problems
- Defensively Unaware
No player in this year draft has as much contraversy and mystic around him than Kirill Kabanov. Kabanov at one point last season was ahead of the draft and still is thought to be one of the most talented players avaliable. A combination of bad luck and the Russian Federation has seen his stock free fall. Kabanov has game breaking talent and an offensive skill set that leave many teams wondering if all the troubles even matter. Kabanov is rumored to have attitude problems because of an incident at the Under 18’s but I believe it is due to snubbing the KHL and joining the CHL. He also suffered from a wrist injury most of the season that had to be corrected despite many saying he was exhiled from Moncton. He is fluent in English and insists North America is where he wishes to remain. An incredibly potent source of offense and can mesmorize fans and even the oppositition. The thrashers once apon a time had a smiliar player named Ilya Kovalchuk they need to replace.
#25. Vancouver Canucks - Mark Pysyk – D – Edmonton - WHL
ISS – 17
CS – 7 NA
HN – 16
+ Amazing Skating + Good Instincts With The Puck
+ Good First Pass
- Not Physical - Average Size
The Vancouver Canucks will be looking to add some more defensive help next Friday as they head to the draft. The Canucks have an aging blueline and look to retool as many of their backend is set to retire or exit their prime in the next few years. Mark Pysyk could be a good option for the Canucks as he’s a steady reliable defenseman who can really skate. Due to his skating he has great mobility and can dish the puck well. Though other than his skating nothing really stands out about Pysyk, he really doesn’t do anything bad. Above average which isn’t a bad thing when it comes down to it. His main issue many have said is his lack of physical play and his unwillingness to compete when it gets rough. He’s got only average size but still should be able to use a bit of muscle. He has learned to use his speed over physical play so that more than makes up for it. He also still has offensive potential and could be the ideal powerplay reargaurd.
#26. Washington Capitals - Evgeny Kuznetsov – C – Chelyabinsk – KHL
ISS – 19
CS – 3 INT
HN – 18
+ Highend Offensive Talent +Laser Wrist Shot
- Low Effort Levels - Poor Defensive Play
- “Russian Factor” - Incosistent
The “Kuz” as Kuznetsov is fondly nicknamed is from the stereotypical Russian forward mold. He’s very talented in the offensive zone but is usually no where to be found in the defensive zone giving many scouts the impression he just doesn’t care about anything other than scoring goals. A great offensize talent whose abilities are often overshadowed by his inconsistency. He bombed during the World Juniors but massacred the Under 18 Six Nations and was by far the best player on the ice in every game of the tournament. He has been compared to a poor mans Alexander Ovechkin and his laser of a wrist sho has drawn comparasons to fellow Russian Ilya Kovalchuk. The “Russian Factor” could hold many teams back from drafting him but the Washington Capitals have an inside track on the enigmatic forward. Their secret weapon is a fellow Russian and icon Alexander Ovechkin who should be able to get Kuznetsov to commit. A young offensive squad shouldn’t hurt ether.
#27. Montreal Canadiens - Brock Nelson – C- Warroad – US HIGH
ISS – 26
CS – 25 NA
HN – 29
+ Size Value + All Round Talent
- Plays Against Kids - Hard To Read
Brock Nelson is exactly what the Canadiens have been dreaming of since they became an undersized team. The Canadiens know the main reason they lost to the Flyers was because of size and going into the draft GM Pierre Gauthier knows it. Nelson is the perfect combo of size and skill up the middle, something the Habs covet. Nelson has a good all round game and brings a lot to the table when the games get rough. He has dominated the US High School scene for Warroad but many are saying Nelson is untested against real competition. The High School system is a far weaker system than the CHL and Nelson has only ever played High School hockey. That being said many scouts still believe that Brock Nelson could be a steal in the late 20’s. He has the raw talent to be a force but he just needs to be pushed up to play at the next level. Next season he’ll get that in North Dakota.
#28. San Jose Sharks - Beau Bennett – LW – Penticton – Junior A
ISS – 34
CS – 32 NA
HN – 35
+ Can Playmake And Or Score + Powerplay Specialist
- Has Effort Issues - Doesn’t Buy In Easily
- Lower League
Beau Bennett is yet another Calfornian kid set to go in the first two rounds. The San Jose Sharks could jump on the chance to bring a home state into their system. It’s not very often you find a Californian prospect whose first round worthy and fits your teams needs. The Sharks would love to add a quick forward who can score and pass to their lineup. Beau is a powerplay machine scoring over 50% of his goals while on the man advantage. He is equally as good with the puck as he is giving the puck to a fellow teamate. Bennett has soft hands and is dangerous around the net but struggles to play into a system. Another trait that have some scouts worrying is his lack of competitiveness. Big games don’t seam to get his drive up any higher and some nights he just doesn’t show up. It could just be because he dominated Junior A and is ready for a bigger challenge. It’s rumored he’ll be heading to the CHL this spring.
#29. Anaheim Ducks (PHI) - Dylan Mcilrath – D – Moose Jaw – WHL
ISS – 31
CS – 17 NA
HN – 26
+ Great Shot + Mean
+ Tough As Nails + Best Scrapper In The Draft
- Not Very Offensive - Slow but Steady
- No Breakout Pass
Dylan Mcilrath is one of my favorite players in this years draft. He’s an absolute monster just check out his youtube collection of fights. His teamates have nicknamed him “the Undertaker” for his ability to not only lay his victims out but to bury them in a scrap. He plays in a tough Western league and was voted the toughest player, that tells you everything about him. He has great size has already filled out. His mean steak is another one of his strong points and at times has been compare to Chris Pronger. He isn’t useless defensively ether he has the ability to shut down his opponents. He isn’t great with the puck but isn’t a liability ether. He does have a bullet of a slapshot from the point but rarely gets to use it. The Anaheim Ducks will look to add some mustard on the backend to help out Lucas Sbisa and the rest of the blueline prospects. Anaheim loves a shut down in your face player and has been missing that presence ever since Pronger left. An easy choice for a replacement.
#30. Chicago Blackhawks - Calvin Pickard – G – Seattle – WHL
ISS – 2 Goalie
CS – 1 NA Goalie
HN – 27
+ Cuts Of Angles Nicely + Doesn’t Get Rattled
+ The More Shots The Better
- Doesn’t Impress - Stand up Style
Calvin Pickard is getting set to follow in his older brother Chet’s footsteps. Chet was drafted was taken 18th overall 2 years ago by the Nashville Predators and Calvin is set to possibly be taken in the late first round as well. Clavin can challenge well and has great technique cutting off the shooters angles. He is a stand up goalie with great reflexs and knows how to read a play well. He played on a weak team which enabled him to see a lot of action and many scouts have said he’s benifitted from it. He’s good under pressure and doesn’t get himself down. He’s a solid choice in net but doesn’t stand out which has many scouts doubting. After Calvin Pickard the decent goalies thin out quickly so the Chicago Blackhawks will jump on the chance to get Pickard. The Hawks need to start adding back into the pipeline as the disgruntled Corey Crawford will be looking to move up or move on very shortly which works because Pickard still could use a lot more development time to build on his already good base.
*-> Woltek Wolski has resigned in Phoenix today. The Coyotes and the Polish forward have come to terms and Wolski has signed a 2 year deal worth R
7.6M$ overall. Great resigning for the Yotes. I've always been a huge fan of Woltek Wolski.
*-> The Boston Bruins have resigned youngster Johnny Boychuk to a 2 year deal worth 3.7.$ overall or 1.85$M per season.
*-> While on the topic of the Boston Bruins, the Bruins are indeed shopping goaltender Tim Thomas. The Boston management have told Thomas's agent Bill Zito that he can start calling teams and trying to gain interest for his client. This should be no surprise since the rumors have been out there since last season after being uprooted by Rask. Thomas's heavy freshly signed contract will be a stumbling block but some teams still have interest. The Tampa Bay Lightning have been consistently linked from the end of last season to Thomas. The San Jose Sharks are in need of a new starter as well. There have been recent reports of Washington also in the mix. Philly could be a new destination as well but I'm sure Chierelli would love to move Thomas out West. Iuf there's no takers out there they may have to pull and inter conference deal.
*-> Christoph Schubert has received no offer from the Thrashers yet but has received an offer from Adler Manheim of the DEL but its highly doubtful he'll leave North America till testing the waters July 1st.
*-> Rumors have Marty Reasoner back on the move after being recently acquired by the Chicago Blackhawks from the Atlanta Thrashers last night. Reasoner was mainly acquired as a cap relief and the Hawks are looking for a late pick for him.
*-> While on Chicago, I'm still hearing that the Blackhawks still have a few guys up for sale. Andrew Ladd is most likely the next to go with the Vancouver Canucks desperate to acquire him. Meanwhile ether Kris Versteeg or Patrick Sharp could be had for the right price. Sharp is still being linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs while the Oilers and the Blue Jackets would both love to have Versteeg on their roster. Cristobal Huet is also on the block but his price tag is scaring away almost every interested buyer. The Hawks may have to settle for a costly buyout if they want the roster space. Last thing on Chicago goaltending prospect Corey Crawford who has been meddling away in the AHL could be had for a high pick or quality prospect as he's started to voice his frustrations with being stuck in the minors.
*-> The Chicago Blackhawks made a minor deal today by trading center Colin Fraser to the Edmonton Oilers for a 6th round draft pick. Another space making move by the Hawks.
*-> The Atlanta Thrashers have also made a move today, Michael Vernace and Brett Sterling have been traded to the San Jose Sharks. I'm being told the return is a late pick but nothings official yet.
That's it for now more soon.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
*-> The San Jose Sharks have told Evgeni Nabokov that they will go separate ways come July 1st. The long time Shark will no longer be needed in San Jose as the Sharks are expected to go after one of the many available goalies this summer. Nabokov has been linked to Philly and Tampa Bay with the Flyers being the more realistic choice. The Sharks will take the team in a different direction. Interesting news, I've always like Nabokov and to be honest this years crop of goalies isn't exactly exciting. Lots of names but who really is better than Nabokov?
*-> Defenseman and New Jersey Devil has signed a deal to play in the KHL today. He signed a 1 year 1 million dollar deal with Avangard Omsk.
*-> Another KHL defection today as well. Washington Capital Chris Bourque has signed a 1 year deal with HK Atlant. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.
*-> The Pittsburgh Penguins are actively shopping Sergei Gonchar rights now that it looks like they will not be able to come to a deal with the Russian puck mover. Several reports still are saying there is a chance they'll resign him still but are taking measures incase they lose him. The San Jose Sharks are interested in the aging blue liner and I also hear Washington but both teams would like confirmation they can sign him before pulling the trigger.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
*-> Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks is starting to get worried he's told the media last week as he and the Ducks management have not spoken in quite some time and reportedly are no where near a deal. This is leading many to believe that the Ducks may part with the goal scoring forward to obtain a top pairing defenseman to replace the retired Scott Niedermayer. The Toronto Maple Leaf's are desperate for some scoring and Ryan could be a good fit. Kaberle is also a perfect fit for the Ducks and should ease the pain of losing Niedermayer. The only downside is Kaberle is a free agent next season and has a no trade clause that will kick in. meanwhile GM Brian Burke has only a few offers on the table for Kaberle but nothing worth jumping on. Both teams have situations going on and it might be a good fit for both the Ducks and the Leafs.
*-> Mike Modano has stated yesterday he is going to wait till July 1st and free agency to see if theres any interest before making his big decesion. He also hinted on the Dallas Stars heading in another direction and he may not be with the squad. Modano's getting on in years and unless he's ready for a 3rd or 4th line role it might be worth his time to hangem up.
*-> The Minnesota Wild have resigned Brad Staubitz to a 2 year contract worth 575K per season. It is believed it is a two way contract. Staubitz was acquired Monday from the San Jose Sharks.
*-> Scott Niedermayer is expected to announce his retirement this afternoon it's been reported. The 4 time Stanley Cup winner will end a brilliant career which has seen him win something at almost every level including 2 gold medals. He is expected to be a shoe in for the Hockey Hall Of Fame. Sad news simply because I think he's still got it and can play atleast one more year. Could we see another flip flop going into the season? I highly doubt it this time should be for real.
*-> The Montreal Canadiens have resigned Mathieu Darche to a one year deal worth 550K. Darche was a loyal soldier last year in the Canadiens organization and provided good depth on the 4th line.
*-> The Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings are rumored to be talking deal. The Flyers are highly interested in young goaltender Jonathan Bernier it's said and the Kings are looking hard at taking Jeff Carter and a package of prospects off the Flyers hands. I've seen multiple sources reporting this one but it's still unclear why the Kings would just bail on Bernier. Quick is decent but Bernier has a way higher ceiling and could haunt the Kings in the future.
There is expected to be fallout from this trade and could mean ether Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci or Marc Savard are on their way out. Stay tuned.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
*-> Tomas Vokoun has been reportedly taken off the market. Dale Tallon has reportedly told the goalie he won't be traded unless he gets a steal of an offer or Vokoun asks out. Nothing official yet but its expected he'll play out this season for the Florida Panthers till Jacob Markstrom is ready to take the reigns. On the flip side of things the Philly Flyers are also rumored to be offering up Jeff Carter for Vokoun. I can see both ways being plausible especially if Florida wishes to start fresh but it all depends on Markstrom.
*-> While on the subject of the Flyers and Jeff Carter it's expected that ether Carter, Daniel Briere or Simon Gagne will be dealt before July 1st. I've heard whispers of interest in Minnesota for Jeff Carter. Minnesota has been reportedly looking to ythe trade route for a player of Carters fitting. I've also heard rumors involving Jeff Carter to Nashville. The Preds dealing Arnott yesterday is reportedly a cap dump to make room for another deal and I've heard a follow up deal could be next in line for Nashville for Carter. It could be possible but the Preds would have been smart to have included Dan Hamhuis in the package instead of dealing him before hand unless they really covet Parent. However it could just be an insurance defenseman due to Hamhuis departure.
*-> The next connection links the Predators dump yesterday to ......sorry Sens fans but it is a rumor and I must report it no matter how illogical it may seam. The Ottawa Senators are reportedly in the process of a deal that should fall in the upcoming days and it is being reported by ESPN that it is Jason Spezza to the Preds. I have seen multiple sources saying the Sens have something in the works for before the draft Friday but you all know my feelings on the Sens actually trading Spezza so I won't expand on my thoughts on this one except in theory it makes sense for Nashville but not the Sens at all unless they get an offer too good to pass up.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
It looks like the Preds are doing some late spring cleaning or preparing cap space for something big. Great deal for the Preds and it also helps the Devils but should end all talk of resigning Ilya Kovalchuk. Keep your eyes on this one.
*-> The Tampa Bay Lightning have made it known they plan to keep their pick at number 6 this Friday night. Despite the rumors of a possible deal Stevie Y plans to keep his 1st rounder. Many are believing that Yzerman is looking at goalies this coming draft. Its hard to say but other than Campbell and even then I dunno about the Bolts taking yet another goalie to clog their system.
*-> The Minnesota Wild are shopping the number 9th pick at this Fridays draft. The Wild are rumored to be after a top line player in return particularly a scoring winger. Some people are also saying they are looking for a 2nd line center for behind Mikko Koivu.
More in a bit, it appears my Draft Preview Part 2 is still pending from last night. Ill repost if it doesn't appear this evening. Come on guys use the forum ad let me know how you feel about the recent trades! I'm especially interested in what everyone has to say about the Halak deal, I know we have some Montreal fans out there dying to voice themselves!
*-> Yesterday Kyle Chipchura was signed by Anaheim to a 1 year deal worth 650k. This will be his make of break NHL season to prove he belongs.
*-> The Los Angeles Kings have signed Swedish free agent Johan Fransson to a contract. Fransson who played last season for Lulea is rumored to be signed to a 2 year deal worth 850k but terms are still murky.
*-> Finally some aftermath news from the Halak deal. Its been reported that Minnesota had a deal on the table with St. Louis involving Josh Harding and Ian Schultz. The Blues were reportedly waiting on the Habs to finish shopping Halak before oking Minnys offer. Another rumor had Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas heading to St. Louis as well. I've also heard whispers that San Jose was also in on Halak as well but couldn't hammer a deal out.
-It is believed that the Flyers have spoken to Hamhuis's camp and it is a good possibility he will sign as long as the terms are met.
Friday, June 18, 2010
*-> The Ottawa Senators have finally come to terms with Roman Wick of Kloten in the Swiss league. The terms were unannounced but it's rumored to be a 2 year deal.
*-> The Columbus Blue Jackets look to be looking at adding depth via free agency instead of going the trade route. The team has just about 10 mil for next season. So another Jason Spezza rumor shot down. The Jackets are still rumored to be shopping there 1st rounder however.
*-> The Pittsburgh Penguins and Sergei Gonchar are reportedly very close to a contract extension although talks have been stalled over the amount of years requested by Gonchar. The Russian defenseman is reportedly seeking a 3 year deal but the Penguins would only agree on a 1 year deal. The Penguins have concern over locking themselves into a long term deal as Gonchars age is a major factor. Gonchar has also said he'd take a hometown discount. The two party's are expected to get a deal done but the deadline is looming and the Pens may be forced to give up on Gonchar and turn their interests to a cheaper younger solution.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
*-> Steve Yzerman the new Tampa Bay Lightning GM said today that Martin St. Louis isn't going anywhere and expects St. Louis to play an important part of the Bolts future. St. Louis has said in the past before he doesn't plan on going anywhere and enjoys playing in Tampa. Kiss Bruce Garrioch's rumor goodbye based on this combined with the fact that Carey Price stays by default now that Halak is gone.
*-> Speaking of Montreal, the Canadians are rumored to be interested in Martin Biron for next season. Biron is expected to attract interest this summer as he's set to hit the free agent market. Montreal is now without a back-up goalie unless Cedrick Desgardens is makes a major impact in training camp this spring. Biron could be a good fit and is a good teamate to push Price and provide insurance for the Habs. I've also heard the Kings and the Thrashers interested as well.
*-> The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed big Todd Bertuzzi to a 2 year deal. The big winger will remain in Detroit for the next 2 years at 3.8$ mil a season. A bit expensive in my books but he did have a great playoff run with 10 points in 11 games.
*-> The Detroit Red wings have also announced they have signed the older brother of Valtteri Filppula, Ilari. Ilari Filppula played last season for TPS Turku of the Sm-Liiga and put up decent numbers as the leagues 9th placed scorer. It is reported it's a 2 year 2 way deal. Terms were unannounced however.
*-> The Nashville Predators have signed fan favorite and former Montreal Canadian Francois Bouillon. The deal is worth 1.2$ mil in the first season and in the second 1.5$ mil for a total of two years.
*-> The Montreal Canadians officially bought out the contract of tough guy Georges Laroque yesterday. Laroque who never quite fit in with the Habs struggled to get himself in the lineup and also struggled to get healthy with an ailing back problem. The buyout is worth only 500K$ over 2 years. The tough guy apparently still plans on playing next season and has remained in shape. Rumors out of finland have him headed over seas to play in the SM-Liiga. Finland is the toughest league overseas but I still don't see him having the speed to succeed.
*-> The Tampa Bay Lightning have qualified 10 of their Restricted Free Agents as the free agency window looms. Steve Downie, Blair Jones, Martins Karsums, Mike Lundin, Vladimir Mihalik, Teddy Purcell, Paul Ranger, Juraj Simek, Paul Szczechura, and Nate Thompson. Only Chris Lawrence, Radek Smolenak and Lauri Tukonen did not receive offers and will hit the market July 1st.
*-> Finally the New Jersey Devils are set to announce later today that John Maclean will take over the bench for Jacques Lemaire next season. Not really a shocker as the Devils have been grooming Maclean for a while now down in Lowell.
more news later plus some good rumors
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
blem with this one however. The Canadians do not gain anything ether out of this as they already have a tiny framed squad. Why would they add another small winger to the equation? I feel this one has no grounds at all. Another mystery out of the Sun.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
*-> The Toronto Maple Leafs have lots of interest in Chicago center Patrick Sharp as he looks to be on the chopping block as the Hawks look to dump cap for next season. Brian Burke is looking for a center to play with Phil Kessel. Several other teams have interest in Sharp but are waiting to see how the Patrick Marleau, Tomas Plekanec situations play out. It rumored the Leafs are looking to land that center they covet by trade ala Tomas Kaberle but the Hawks have no interest in taking on another defenseman or cap. Not too sure what the Leafs would have to offer the Blackhawks in return especially since they need as many of their prospects they can keep. Brian Burke also told the media he would not at all be in the running for Ilya Kovalchuk.
Monday, June 14, 2010
*-> The St. Louis Blues have signed Russian defenseman Nikita Nikitin to a deal today. The terms of the deal were undisclosed as club policy. Nikitin is a 2004 draft pick, 135 overall by the Blues and played last season for Jagr's Avangard OMSK.
*-> Former NHL forward and LA King Byron Ritchie has left Dynamo Minsk of the KHL and has signed a 1 year deal with Modo of the Swedish Elite League.
*-> Lots of talk surrounding Peter Forsberg today after an interview with the Swedish superstar has made it to North America. In this interview the former Avalanche star told Swedish reporters that he did receive an offer from the Philadelphia Flyers heading into the post season. He claimed that he wasn't ready yet for the NHL at the time although playing with many of his former friends from his last tenure with the team was tempting. He went on to say he didn't think his foot was NHL ready and didn't even know if he'd play hockey again but he'll take it day by day and won't rule out a return to the NHL. Folks this is one that will keep coming up over and over. Forsberg is a shadow of his former self and all we have to do is look to this years Olympics to see that. He is no longer the elite forward he once was, still a talent but no longer can anyone argue about him being the Worlds Best. It's highly unlikely he'll return to the NHL unless it's another playoff run. His ankle barely held up in 23 games in the Swedish Elite League so imagine full NHL season. As much as I'd like to see him return I don't believe it's going to happen unless he's 110% and that doesn't seam likely at the moment as every interview he's had in the last year he contemplated his playing career.
*-> Speaking of the Flyers, GM Paul Holmgren has told the media today that the club and Michael Leighton will most likely part ways this summer. Holmgren stated that Leighton would not be re-upped by the club and they planned to go in a different direction next season in net. Many are saying the Flyers plan to take a run at Evgeni Nabokov or Marty Turco this summer. The connection between the Montreal Canadians and the Flyers still exist on the topic of Carey Price but Montreal seams to be looking out of conference for a deal so he doesn't come back to burn them.
To everyone that's battling it out on the comment field great comments and debates. I just want to thank everyone for keeping it up. For everyone whose a loyal reader and keeps quiet, don't be afraid to post. Whats every one's opinions on restarting the forum and getting discussion going on there? any ideas?
Friday, June 11, 2010
*-> Another rumor going around today about Jason Spezza. The Ottawa Senator is rumored to be attracting interest out of Columbus. The Blue Jackets are tempted to dangle their 1st round pick this year. The Sens would love a high draft pick but I feel they won't pull the trigger on that one unless they can get a player who can help them offensively now.
*-> Jim Slater was resigned to a 1 year deal by the Atlanta Thrashers this week terms of the deal are undisclosed but rumored to be around the 850k mark.
*-> Scotty Upshall was resigned to a one year deal by the Phoenix Coyotes yesterday. The deal is also undisclosed but expected to be above the 1.7 mark.
*-> The Buffalo Sabres have reportedly stopped contract talks with prospect Zack Kassian after his assault charges have surfaced. Kassian punched a man in the face at a Windsor bar this month. Sabres GM Darcy Regier has said although the deal is off for now they will not give up on Kassian and hopes to guide him through his problems to ensure he's on the right path. All I can say is atleast he didn't rob a cabby..
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
2010 Ice Scoopz Mock Entry Draft
#1. Edmonton Oilers - Taylor Hall – LW - Windsor - OHL
ISS - 1
CS - 2 NA
HN - 1
+ Natural Goal Scorer + Hype Value
+ Big Game Player + Speed To Burn
+ Great Hockey Sense + Elusive With The Puck
- Plays On An Elite Team - Not Physical
I can’t imagine anyone in this draft passing up Taylor Hall, the hype has been tremendous since he was drafted in 2nd overall in the 2007 OHL selection draft. The Edmonton Oilers need to rekindle some excitement back into their rapidly fading franchise and a sure fire goal scorer should bring fans back into the seats. Hall has been often compared to former NHL sniper Pavel Bure due to his elite speed and ability to find the back of the net. He just has that knack for scoring and it’s almost as he can score at will. He has awesome vision and can be extremely slippery with the puck. His stickhandling and his speed make him a deadly threat every time he steps on the ice. It’s hard to find a flaw in his game because of his offensive abilities but some are saying numbers could be inflated due to his dynasty of a team the Windsor Spitfires. He also shies away from the rough stuff but who cares when he lights the lamp each and every time he touches the puck.
#2. Boston Bruins - Tyler Seguin – C – Plymouth – OHL
ISS – 2
CS – 1 NA
HN – 2
+ 2 Way Player + Makes Players Better
+ Mr. Consistency + Plays All Situations
+ Awesome Vision
- Struggles In Big Games -Struggles In The Circle
If Taylor Hall is the #1 pick in this Entry Draft then Tyler Seguin is #1B as Seguin has been battling Hall for the number one spot all season long. Ether player could go first but Hall’s performance over Seguin in the playoffs I believe cements his #1 spot. That being said whoever gets Seguin isn’t getting a lesser player in fact they might even be getting more. Tyler has incredible vision and is solid at both ends of the rink. He is extremely competent in his own end while he also knows where to be in the other end of the rink as well. His linemates benefit from his on ice presence and his incredible vision. He can do it all and do it in any given situation. The Boston Bruins easily replace Phil Kessel and upgrade at the same time with Tyler Seguin.
#3. Florida Panthers - Erik Gudbranson – D – Kingston – OHL
ISS – 7
CS – 4 NA
HN – 5
+ Mean Streak + Very Physical
+ Leadership Skills + Patient With And Without The Puck
- Slow - Not Very Offensive
While many believe that Cam Fowler is the hands down number 3 but I believe the Florida Panthers will go with toughness and grit over yet another offensive defenseman. His mean streak adds another element to his game. Erik Gudbranson’s physical play and his ability to calm things down from the backend would fit well alongside fellow Panther future star Dmitry Kulikov. The Panthers are looking to overhaul their organization and starting from the backend only makes sense. Gudbranson is the perfect cornerstone of a defense and adds that character and passion a team needs; can you saw future captain.
#4. Columbus Blue Jackets - Cam Fowler – D – Windsor – OHL
ISS – 5
CS – 5 NA
HN – 3
+ No Turnovers + Good Skater
+ Offensively Gifted
- Hard To Read Abilities - No Shot
- Very Soft
Mr. Cam Fowler is at the top of all defensemen in this draft in many organizations eyes. To me he loses a little value because he’s soft and doesn’t really have that great of a shot from the point for an offensive defenseman. He also is very hard to read as he plays on such a powerhouse of a team. Is it really him or does he have a lot of help? Looked great in the World Juniors. He still is extremely dangerous when he has the puck. Fowler has the ability to move the puck really well of just to do it himself without causing turnovers. His defensive play is pretty decent as well. A great pick fit for Columbus as they’ve struggled to find that elite defenseman to help them break out and scare opponents.
#5. New York Islanders - Nino Niederreiter – LW – Portland - WHL
ISS – 6
CS – 12 NA
HN – 8
+ Tremendous Heart + Clutch
+ Great Shot + Crafty
- Not Overly Physical For A Power Forward
Nino Niederreiter put himself on the map this World Juniors with his incredible dedication and his willingness to carry the Swiss team on his back. He was extremely timely and clutch when his team needed him. Great shooter, can score from almost anywhere on the ice. Nino is also a great shoot out specialist and that’s often overlooked but is crucial in the new NHL. The Islanders need some help for John Tavares and Nino Niderreiter would be a great addition to add alongside him. The Isles had a steal in Calvin De Haun last year and Travis Harmonic is on the way up so no need to focus on the backend as a goal scoring left winger would help out greatly.
#6. Tampa Bay Lightning - Alexander Burmistrov – C – Barrie – OHL
ISS – 14
CS - 11 NA
HN – 6
+ Tricky Hands + Good Vision
+ 2 Way + Faceoff Specialist
- Very Small - Not Physical At All
- “Russian Factor?
Alexander Burmistrov is a player I’ve managed to watch over and over this season and he has impressed me. He works hard every shift and doesn’t take too many shifts off. He has great vision and is quite possibly the best stick handler in this draft. He has a bag full of dekes than many NHLer’s wouldn’t be able to pull off. He also is a great faceoff guy who can play in every situation making him even more deadly. The only downside is that Burmistrov is extremely small at 157 lbs causing him to shy away from the dirty work and anything physical. I don’t believe there is the “Russian Factor” here as he played in the O but I’m sure some teams will still be cautious in the KHL era. The Tampa Bay Lightning will go with the best player available and Burmistrov has the least flags and will fill a future void at center once Vincent Lecavalier moves on.
#7. Carolina Hurricanes - Brett Connolly – RW – Prince George – WHL
ISS – 13
CS – 3 NA
HN – 4
+ Threat Every Shift + Pure Sniper
+ Hockey IQ
- Injury Prone - Liable In His Own End
Brett Connolly had a rough year this season but still hasn’t seen his stock drop that much. It really shows how much goal scoring means to NHL clubs. Connolly fits that mold to a tee, an offensive threat that can score at will when he has the puck. He dominated offensively as a rookie in a defense first minded league. On the other hand Connolly follows the old saying what you see is what you get. Strictly offense. Connolly suffered multiple hip flexor injuries this season and missed all but 16 games this season leading many teams’ medical scouts doubting his fitness and ability to resist injury. The Carolina Hurricanes won’t mind as they are in the middle of a rebuild and could use any offense possible. The Canes have had great success with Western League kids of late.
#8. Atlanta Thrashers - Brandon Gormley – D – Moncton - QMJHL
ISS – 3
CS – 6 NA
HN – 7
+ All Round + Great Mobility
+ Solid Defensively
- Not Physical
Many view Brandon Gormley as the safest pick out of this years crop of defenseman because Gormley is steady and reliable in both ends and is above average in all categories except a few. His main strength relies on his skating and his mobility. He can easily join the rush or stay at home and defend. While he doesn’t excel at one particular skill he remains all round defenseman and everything he does is well above average. The main criticism of his game is that he’s not very physical and doesn’t stand out in the crowd. The Atlanta Thrashers need a stable presence on the backend that can play at both ends of the rink. The Thrashers have one extreme or the other on the point and Gormley would solidify this young and growing team. Think Los Angeles in a few more seasons if they continue to progress.
#9. Minnesota Wild - Ryan Johansen – C – Portland - WHL
ISS – 8
CS – 10 NA
HN – 12
+ Hockey Smarts + Eager To Please
+ Room Left To Develop + All Situations
- Needs To Get Stronger - Soft
- Plays On A Strong Line
There are not many prospects in this draft with the ceiling potential that Ryan Johansen has, as he’s extremely underdeveloped. After an average Junior A season he came on the to CHL scene and catapulted himself into the high first round. Johansen did play with good linemates in Brad Ross and Nino Niederreiter so there will always be that question mark. That aside he is a talented centerman who plays a smart offensive game and has an underrated defensive side. He is a bit soft and needs to put on a bit of weight but more than makes up for it in his willingness and ability to play any role. Minnesota really needs that offensive catalyst and a future center to line up behind Mikko Koivu. He’s a great fit in the Minnesota system. Best case scenario the Wild get a number one center, worst case scenario they get a smart 3rd line center with an offensive touch. Win-win.
#10. New York Rangers - Vladimir Tarasenko- RW – Novosibirsk – KHL
ISS – 4
CS – 2 INT
HN – 14
+ Lightning Quick + Good Vision
+ Good Hands
- Defensive Zone Coverage - “Russian Factor”
Vladimir Tarasenko could be the overall most skilled player in this draft. He also has speed to burn and can hit that extra gear on command. Not an overly big player but is in good physical condition and doesn’t mind the rough stuff unlike most European offensive talents. Should go a lot higher but the new era with the “Russian Factor” scare should drop his stock quite a bit. The New York Rangers have had good luck bringing European players over and have several connections inside the KHL. Could be a gamble but could also be a huge pay day if they can convince him to play in North America.
#11. Dallas Stars - Mikael Granlund – C/W – HIFK – SM LIIGA
ISS – 17
CS – 1 INT
HN – 10
+ NHL Ready + Elite Playmaker
+ Shifty With Puck + Powerplay Specialist
- Small - Not Physical
- Slow Footed
Finland is in need of an elite prospect to help replace many of their aging stars such as Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu. Theres no better prospect than Finnish sensation Mikael Granlund. He and his linemate Teemu Pulkkinen have drawn many comparassons to Selanne and Koivu. Just like Saku, Granlund is undersized for a center but makes up for it with talent and passion for the game. Sound familiar? Granlund is probably the best playmaker or atleast in the top 2 of this draft. He can single handedly control a game. Playing in the SM Liiga has helped his development playing with grown men. The Dallas Stars would love to add some offense and have lots of experience with Finnish players. The fact that he is almost NHL ready helps the Stars decesion greatly.
#12. Anaheim Ducks - Nick Bjugstad – C – Blaine – US High
ISS – 12
CS – 14 NA
HN – 17
+ Big And Physical + Lethal Shot
+ Pass First Player
- Playing In Weak League - Incosistent
- Needs Defensive Polish
It’s always hard to gauge a player playing in the US High School system because you never know how their game is going to translate when move up to the next level. Nick Bjudstad is the perfect example. He on most nights dominates but on others he’s a no show so it’s hard to predict what will happen when the competition gets harder. Bjugstad has all of the tools to suceed but the question is can he at the next level. He’s a big bodied center with great physical strength and has a very lethal shot. He can be the difference maker on most nights but needs to work on his consistency. The Anaheim Ducks are looking for their next big center and with two picks in the first round the Ducks can take a risk on Bjugstad and hope he develops into a big time center.
#13. Phoenix Coyotes (CAL) - Austin Watson –RW – Moose Jaw – WHL
ISS – 18
CS – 8 NA
HN – 15
+ Future Captain + Willing To Play Any Role
+ Gritty + Great Hockey IQ
- No Shot - Not Strong Enough Yet
The Phoenix Coyotes have a long list of topend talent coming out of the system but still are struggling to find themselves blue chip scoring wingers and character players. Austin Watson may be able to kill both needs with one stone so to speak. Watson is a coachs dream as he does whatever is asked of him and can play any role needed of him as well. While playing with the Windor Spitfires he struggled to get top 6 minutes so he was forced into a 4th line role but when traded to Peterborough he was asked to fill a number 1 role and caught fire. He’s tough and isn’t afraid to do the dirtywork that’s need to score. He can play in all situations and has hockey smarts most players would kill for. He knows when and where to be a all times. His only downside is that he has an extremely weak shot for an offensive force and also struggles when playing againsts big teams.
#14. St. Louis Blues - Jack Campbell – G – US U18 – NTDP
ISS – 1
CS – 2 NA G
HN – 13
+ Mentally Mature + Physical Specimin
+ Nerves Of Steal
- Big Ego - Character Issues?
Many Canadians remember and loath Jack Campbell for his dominating performance at the World Juniors but the fact of the matter is Campbell is a solid goalie who doesn’t buckle under pressure, after all he came off the bench cold and manage to win a gold medal. He’s got nerves of steal and is mature beyond his years. Many scouts compare him to Carey Price mentally. He has the ability to steal games and is a good team first guy. Jack Campbell is also in top physical shape and his fitness levels are through the roof. Some have questioned his character after bailing on the University of Michigan for a powerhouse Windsor squad but that should only help his development. The St. Louis Blues would love to get their hands on a franchise goalie to continue their progress and keep moving forward.
#15. Boston Bruins - John McFarland –LW/C– Sudbury – OHL
ISS – 39
CS – 15 NA
HN – 20
+ Top End Talent + Major League Shot
- Selfish - Bad Additude
- Poor Work Ethic John McFarland is an intriging prospect as he once was highly touted and expected to go in the top 5 but now he continues to slip down the rankings and could possibly be a 2nd round pick now. The reason for the slip is because of some of his character flaws such as his lack of commitment to his team and his lack of effort most nights. Many believe this lack of effort is due to him not wanting to be in Sudbury with the Wolves and would be a different story if he were on a contender. Theres no doubt McFarland has incredible talent but only he decides when he wants to use it. He’s got an incredible release to go with his NHL calibre shot and he knows how to use his frame in traffic. He also has good hockey IQ but he struggles to find or use his teamates. The Boston Bruins have 2 top half first round draft picks so their able to take a gamble on the enigmatic McFarland. With some good coaching, tough love and maturing they might be able to steal a gem.
*-> Philip Gogulla of the Buffalo Sabres has taken off back to Germany. Gogulla has signed a deal today with Kolner Haie of the DEL. Gogulla played last season with the Portland Pirates of the AHL.
*-> The KHL continues to bid on the services of Ilya Kovalchuk with another big time offer. St. Petersburg has offered the Russian sniper a 3 year deal worth 14 MIL$ per season. It's doubtful that Kovalchuk will leave the NHL but that kind of money can easily change minds.
*-> The Detroit Red Wings are close to resigning big Todd Bertuzzi to a 2 year deal. Its rumored to be worth 2$ MIL per season but the Wings and Burt are both still working out the final details.
*-> Former NHL All Star Dominik Hasek has signed a deal landing him in the KHL. Hasek who is 45 years old continues to dominate and recently won his hometown club Pardubice HC a Czech league title. This season Hasek will lace up for Spartek Moscow after he signed the 1 year deal.
*-> Nikolai Kulemin and the Leafs Brian Burke are both miles apart in terms of a contract renewal. Kulemin is asking for atleast 3 million per season something that Burke is unwilling to pay at the moment. Burka has admitted to have not spoken to the Russian forward for over 2 weeks leading to the idea that a deal might be coming shortly. Kulemin has also received offers from the KHL but wishes to remain in the NHL. If the Leafs cant come to terms and keep his rights it is expected though he'll bolt back overseas.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
*-> While on the subject of Ottawa I've recently been told Anton Volchenkov will not be resigning 100% by a source inside the Ottawa Senators. Its rumored Volchenkov has already sold his Ottawa home and has had the team move his stuff for him. Volchi and Ottawa GM Bryan Murray have stopped talking and Murray refuses to pay his price which the player and his agent stand by. Volchenkov is being actively persued by the Washington organization as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins its been said. While this is not the first we've heard of him 100% not resigning it helps confirm the rumors but as I always say anythings possible.
*-> The Colorado Avalanche have resigned Peter Budaj to a one year deal. This voids the rumors of him heading to the KHL. Although it is still being said by the Russian media he was/is still in contact with several teams. Obviously the NHL is his number one choice. The deal is rumored to be worth 850K.
*-> Its being reported that the Detroit Red Wings have re-signed crease crasher Tomas Holmstrom to 2 year deal worth 3 Million per season. I've heard several reports on this one but the salary varies, everything from 2.5 to 3.5 so we'll have to play it by ear. Not a done deal yeat but it's most likely a go.
*-> Kamil Kreps of the Florida Panthers has reportedly signed a deal with Karpat of the Finnish SM Liiga. Kreps had mostly a down season in Florida but the Cats were reportedly still high on his abilities.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Any prospects that are not resigned by June 1st can reenter the draft as long as they are 20 and under.. If they are somehow older then that can just be signed by any team as a free agent. A 1st round draft pick that isn't signed will also follow the same rules except his team will gain a 2nd round compensation pick in a later draft if he is signed by another team. This counts towards Europeans now as well as long as there is a transfer agreement between leagues. If there is no agreement in place before but one becomes in place after the players are still allowed to be placed on a reserve list til they're 22 years old. The Russians for instance are allowed to be placed on an NHL teams reserve list as the KHL has no NHL transfer agreement. The NCAA does not count as long as the player was drafted out of the NCAA not if they move to the NCAA and it also has it's own deadline of August 15th.
*-> Eric O'Dell who is an Ottawa native and a solid guy has been signed by his club the Atlanta Thrashers to an entry level deal. Eric O'Dell is coming off 163 points in 159 games with the Sudbury Wolves and was drafted in the 2nd round by the Anaheim Ducks before being traded to Atlanta for Eric Christensen. The Atlanta Thrashers have also signed prospect Jeremy Morin a 2nd round draft pick and Kitchener Ranger forward to an entry level deal as well.
*-> The Edmonton Oilers have signed 2009 1st round draft pick (10th overall) Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson to a 3 year entry level deal. Great signing for the Oilers, he blew me away at the World Juniors in Ottawa.
*-> Defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski has signed a 2 year deal with SKA St. Petersburg. Last season Vishnevski played with Yaroslav Lokomotiv.
*-> Dominik Hasek is back is the news again, the never aging goaltender is rumored to be interested in the playing in the KHL next season. Hasek reportedly has had offers from sveral Czech teams but may go where the moneys at. Spartak Moscow is reported to be highly interested in the future Hall of Famer.
For those who are are interested these are the following players who did not get signed as far as we know at the moment. Remember the deals may trickle in till tomorrow evening as they get released. It's pretty close I believe though the only thing I didn't bother with is who is a free agent. As far as I know all of the listed players are entering the draft not free agency. Note that David Carle is not going to be entering the draft in reality as he retired with a serious heart condition but he is in "theory". Goaltender Alexander Pechurski also will not be eligible as he took off the the KHL and technically counts as he's defected.
ReEntering The Draft
Buffalo -> Jordon Southorn - D - QMJHL - 104th
Carolina -> Samuel Morneau - LW - OMJHL - 195th
Chicago -> Teigan Zahn - D - WHL - 132nd
Colorado -> Peter Delmas - G - QMJHL - 61st
Colorado -> Kelsey Tessier - C - QMJHL - 110th
Dallas -> Matt Tassone - C - WHL - 176th
Detroit -> Stephen Johnston - C - OHL - 181st
Los Angeles -> Geordie Wudrick - LW - WHL - 88th
Montreal -> Jason Missiaen - G - OHL - 116th
Montreal -> Nicklas Torp - D - SEL - 163rd
New Jersey -> Matt Delahey - D - WHL - 112th
New York Islanders -> Jared Spurgeon - D - WHL - 156th
New York Rangers -> Chris Doyle - C -QMJHL - 141st
New York Rangers -> Mitch Gaulton - D - OHL - 171st
Philly -> Jacob DeSerres - G - WHL - 84th
Phoenix -> Tim Billingsley - D - OHL - 189th
Pittsburgh -> Nathan Moon - C - OHL - 120th
Pittsburgh -> Alexander Pechurski - G - KHL/WHL - 150th**** Defected (Not Eligible)
San Jose -> Samuel Groulx - G - QMJHL - 92nd
San Jose -> Julien Demers - D - OHL - 146th
St. Louis -> James Livingston - RW - OHL - 70th
Tampa Bay -> Kyle DeCoste - RW - OHL - 147th
Tampa Bay -> Matias Sointu - LW - OHL/SML - 182nd
Tampa Bay -> David Carle - D - N/A - 203rd ****Retired Due to Heart Condition
Vancouver -> Morgan Clark - G - WHL - 191st
Washington -> Eric Mestery D - WHL - 57th
Washington -> Joel Broda - C - WHL - 144th
Out of the list of possible re-picked players I personally say that Joel Broda and Jared Spurgeon are the only ones who will most likely get a good look at. Broda has decent numbers in the WHL and could possibly play a depth role. Spurgeon also has pretty good numbers for a defenseman but his health and being prone to injuries is a concern. Nathan Moon is another maybe as he has pretty much been a point per game player. He finished this season with 69 in 65.