Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: drafting
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Holland was talking about a time, back at the 1999 NHL trading deadline, when he and his assistant, Jim Nill “blew out all those draft picks” in deals to acquire, among others, Wendel Clark and Chris Chelios in a bid to win another Stanley Cup. That didn’t work out.
That night, sitting in a sports bar near his house, seeing his picture on every TV screen, Holland said he turned to Nill and said from then on: “we’ve got to draft defencemen because eventually, when (Steve) Yzerman’s too old and (Brendan) Shanahan’s too old and (Sergei) Fedorov’s gone, how do you stay competitive? If you’re in the top five in goals-against in the league every year, you’ve going to be competitive. You have to be, even if you don’t score a lot. So if you look at our drafts the last six or seven years, all we draft are defencemen. We’ve got lots of kids that we think our close to playing.”
From Paul Hunter at the Toronto Star, Tomas Kaberle is “living proof the Leafs actually know how to choose talented players” in the draft:
On a team with a history of dubious draft selections, it is Kaberle who stands out as one of the best; a rare home run for a team that usually goes down swinging. And the good news for Toronto fans is Kaberle arrived under Fletcher’s watch in 1996.
Selected 204th that spring, Kaberle blossomed into a front-line NHL defenceman in Toronto and became a player who excelled to the point that this will be his third all-star appearance.
more… on Kaberle, Cliff Fletcher, and the Leafs’ uneven history with draft selections