||11-23-2003 11:58 AM
As for the 2002 draft, it's still way too early to evaluate how we did. But it is looking good so far.
Higgins is the bright spot by far. His talent and hard work are sorely needed with the big club. I was very impressed with him in the ECAC, and he didn't look like a 1st year in Hamilton, he fit right in, and is counted on by Jarvis to be a major part of the Dogs. This is a good sign to me, it shows that Higgins was well coached at Yale, and is showing he can handle himself as a pro hockey player. One game I was at, he was shooting every chance he got. He scored the game winner, and had something like 8 or 9 shots on goal. I look forward to his days as a Hab.
The Linhart pick will always be a mystery, and many will be pissed at who we didn't pick, but don't count him out yet. Yes he got cut from his junior team, who happen to have one of the top defensive cores in the CHL, but I think it worked out better for him, as he's playing in the Mens Div 1, instead of playing against 17-20 year olds. I hope he can make the U-20 team, but at least he's getting some time playing with them recently. Who knows what he could do a few years from now. It's very hard to get info out of the Czech league, so I'll mostly likely never see him play over there, but maybe in a few years he will surprise.
I was surprised we traded up to get Lambert, I figured management must have seen something in him to make a trade, but when I started talking to Rocket season ticket holders, I started to wonder what they were thinking. He was know for being a one way, soft, not hard working type of center/LW. I guess it was his play at the U-18's that got him on the Habs radar, but I have to give them credit, cause last year I thought they made a big mistake, after seeing Lambert benched for his poor play. Having Vigneault around may have been what Lambert needed, cause he's playing well and is 2nd in the Q in scoring, which is great to hear. I still don't hold a lot of hope of him ever being a Hab, but I thought he was a wasted pick, but now I think he can do some good for the Dogs in a few years, and from there who knows.
Deveaux may take a few years to find his game, but I really want to see him signed to see what he can do in the AHL. He does have a bit of a mean streak, as he's been kicked out of 2 or 3 games already this year, while scoring big goals, and playing well in his own end. I was glad to see him drafted, as we needed to pickup some guys with size, but if he keeps progressing, who knows what he can do in the future.
Ferland I have been a big fan of since we drafted him. I thought he looked good in his few games for the Dogs this year, that i was at. He is good along the boards, and his skating doesn't hold him back. I think he will have a much bigger role with the Dogs next year, but if he keeps progressing, I can see him in the NHL one day. The one thing is that he needs to bulk up some. He seems a little light to play a physical game, but he has to be careful, if he bulks up too much, it will slow him down. I also liked how he drove to the net, he hasn't scored much, but you got to have guys like him on your team.
Korneev I have gotten to see play a few times this year (I have 3 of his games from this season) He's not playing much, but he's on a good team, and has a solid base of skills. I keep thinking his size is a problem, and most likely it will be, but so far he's handled himself well, and has even thrown some good hits. He skates well, and can make a good quick pass. Don't know what management will do with him, I'd like to see him brought over to see how he handles the smaller ice surface. He angles his man out, or uses a good stick check, much like Markov did when he first got here. Until he adds some size and muscle, he will have to use angles and stick checks, to cover his man, but he will have trouble moving his man out of the crease.