Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
As the trading deadline approaches, fans prepare for the familiar scene.
The also-rans ship out their veterans. In return, they may take youngsters with potential, but only when they can’t get first-round draft picks. Those first-rounders are widely believed to be the most valuable currency in the National Hockey League.
Listen to the average fan and he knows the answer: “You’ve got to build through the draft,” he will say. “You need to start with good young kids and you only get them with high draft picks.”
Nice theory. Totally wrong.
From Jim Matheson at Canwest News via the National Post,
Jared Staal, a six-foot-three right-winger from Thunder Bay., Ont., is projected as a second-round pick in this April’s draft. That might be because it’s a very deep draft pool this year and because Staal’s skating needs some work.
“He certainly has skill, but there’s a lot of pressure on Jared following his three brothers. This is a big week for Jared,” said Kevin Prendergast, the Edmonton Oilers’ vice-president of hockey operations.
Staal is keeping the Top Prospects game in perspective.
“I’ve got to realize it’s just one game,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll make or break things for me ... I’m just trying to show I deserve to be here.”
more… on the next Staal heading towards the NHL
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
“There are a lot of Next Ones,” said David Andrews, chief executive of the American Hockey League, the N.H.L.’s top minor league. “And that’s not to say John Tavares isn’t. But there are 200 first- and second-round draft picks in the A.H.L., and none of them thought they were going to play in the American Hockey League.”
For now, Tavares deals with his fame by staying in a protective circle formed by his team, his coach and his family. His father, Joe, and mother, Barbara, and his two younger sisters make the drive from their hometown, Oakville, for most of Oshawa’s games.
From Brad Holland at NHL.com,
NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary rankings for the 2008 Entry Draft are out and, as expected, Sarnia Sting forward Steven Stamkos heads the list of Ontario Hockey League prospects. Belarussian forward Mikhail Stefanovich of the Quebec Remparts heads the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League list, while power forward Kyle Beach is ranked as the Western Hockey League’s top skater.
Each of the three, Stamkos especially, is expected to be a huge part of whichever team is lucky enough to nab him at this summer’s Entry Draft in Ottawa. But while the top player from each league is a forward, the 2008 Entry Draft will likely be remembered as the year of the blue-chip defensemen.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
This was the 11th year that Centre ICE and Traverse City have hosted the event and the second year that seven other NHL teams competed here. There may be an event like this coming to you in the future. There were at least two teams here to study the rink operation as well as scout the roughly 160 players who, for the most part, were drafted in the past three years. Each team was limited to using only four professional hockey players, mostly those in the AHL and ECHL.
Teams that once turned down Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland’s invitations, call repeatedly to ask to be admitted.
“You snooze, you lose, I tell them, but we’re looking at expanding and including more teams, nothing definite yet,” Holland said. “It’s a good place to see how your young talent is progressing and how they shape up against their own age group.
from the Macomb Daily,
In the collective bargaining agreement that ended the NHL lockout in 2005, teams’ rights to European-drafted players were severely curtailed. Before the current agreement, NHL teams could draft Europeans and keep their rights on the shelf forever whether or not the player ever signed a contract. Now, Europeans can remain in a system for only two years without a contract.
Non-college North American players were always in that situation and remain so. College or college-bound players may now be claimed by NHL teams for four or five years after being drafted (they may play a year of Tier II junior before entering college) without being signed.
“In the old CBA, a North American you had to sign after two years and a European you could hold onto forever,” said Detroit assistant general manager Jim Nill. “You get into the later rounds, when there was a North American and a European kid that were about the same, you’d go with the European because he could develop. Some kids are ready at 20, some are ready at 25. Europeans have lost that time.”
Brad Holland of NHL.com is in Traverse City keeping any eye on some of the top NHL prospects.
I wonder if he has an eye for hockey talent?
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Tavares’s agent, Bryan Deasley, says he has spoken with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and Players’ Association associate counsels Ian Penny and Stu Grimson about the possible creation of an exceptional player clause that would allow certain players to be drafted a year early.
Deasley said he has sent a memo to each party about the merits of a clause. He says he’s not asking for a blanket change in the draft age.
“We are not looking for anything other than an exceptional status consideration from the league,” he said. “Every once in a while a player comes along that compels us to look at things more clearly and differently — outside the box.”
London’s Brian MacDonald, a former Colorado Avalanche assistant GM, said the Siskinds Sports Management (SSM) team will forge ahead despite the NHL declaring that the 16-year-old Oshawa Generals scoring star must wait until 2009 to be selected by a big league team.
“It’s not (a setback that the NHL stands by the rule) and it’s only the beginning of the process,” MacDonald said yesterday at the Western Fair Sports Centre where Tavares and a host of other clients are skating in an SSM-led summer camp this week. “We still have an interest in pursuing this issue.”
Post Updated June 21, 2007 - *sticky* at top through the Draft
*regular live updates will continue below this post
The draft is set of June 22-23 in Columbus as this year’s crop of talent hits the stage.
Below are links to check out for everything from video to draft guides, with tons of in-depth analysis of this year’s prospects. There’s a lot of great media out there, and more will be added to this post as it becomes available. Take some time to check it out.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com