Winger Luke Fulghum agreed to a two-year deal with the AHL's St. John (Newfoundland) Maple Leafs.
Fulghum signed a two-year guaranteed one-way professional deal with St. John's. He will join the team for its final two regular-season games, and will make his professional debut on Friday, April 15 against Edmonton. Fulghum received a signing bonus, but terms of the contract were not disclosed. He tallied career highs in points (42), goals (23), assists (19) and power-play goals (11) this season. Fulghum became the 87th member of the Pioneer Century Club for 100-point scorers on March 11 and finished his career with 105 points on 53 goals and 52 assists in 161 games.
Fulghum's Denver coach was interviewed on Leafs TV.
The coach thought that Fulghum would play a game or two for St. John's in the next couple of games.
The coach described him as "a great skater, strong on his skates, has a good shot and good passing abilities"
The coach said that Fulghum had been his team's power forward. He went on to say that Fulghum isn't likely big enough to continue his role as a power forward in the pro leagues but he's a gritty player. The coach thought he'd start in the AHL on a third line but once they realized how good he was, he'd likely play top 6.
John Doherty (2nd Round, 57th Overall)
Weight: 213 lbs
Hometown: Malden, MA
The big, strapping defenseman is an excellent skater for his size. He is a skilled defenseman who shoots and passes the puck very well. Doherty must learn to use his size to more of an advantage, and needs to work on his defensive zone coverage if he is to enjoy success at higher levels. "He's turning himself into an NHL-caliber defenseman" Sean Tremblay, head coach of the Jr. Monarchs told Foster's Daily Democrat. "For a kid his size he has an incredible raw set of skills. The only thing he needs to work on is playing without the puck". Doherty will be playing for the University of New Hampshire in 2003/04. University of New Hampshire Head Coach is excited to get Doherty in the line-up. He described Doherty's skill-set on the Wildcats website, "He is an offensive defenseman who brings a rare set of tools for a young man with his size", said Umile. "His mobility, stick skills and his ability to get pucks to the net are his biggest assets". Doherty is a long-term project for the Maple Leafs. He has the potential to develop into the huge physical presence the Leafs desperately need along their blueline.
Martin Sagat (3rd Round, 91st Overall)
Weight: 191 lbs
Hometown: Handlova, Slovakia
The big winger had a solid year and earned some pro experience with Trencin's Extraliga club. He missed some games last year due to injury, and may have slipped down the draft rankings as a result. Sagat is a strong player who is not afraid to get involved physically. While not the most natural goal scorer around, he generates offense through hard work and determination. Selected to Slovakia's U18 Squad, where he drew the attention of NHL scouts as the top player on a weak Slovak team. He was selected by the Kootenay Ice (WHL) in the 2003 CHL Import Draft. Sagat will challenge for a full-time spot with Trencin's senior team next year, alongside fellow Leafs prospect Ivan Kolozvary. Could develop into a big power forward for the Maple Leafs down the road.
Konstantin Volkov (4th Round, 125th Overall)
Weight: 174 lbs
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Russia
Originally from St. Petersburg, Volkov joined Dynamo Moscow prior to the 2001-02 season. Had a breakout year on a junior level during the 2002-03 season, leading Dynamo 2 in scoring. Though often regarded a right wing, Volkov mostly plays center and seems to prefer that position. A Good skater with impressive lateral movement, has a great fake move he uses to get around skaters by moving his upper body in one direction and then suddenly changing stride in a different direction. Has an above average wrist shot and is a good playmaker that sees the ice very well. Not very aggressive or physical. The Leafs European Scout Tommie Bergmann was especially high on Volkov, comparing him to a young Igor Larionov, and considered him to be first round material.
Volkov is the most talented and youngest player the Maple Leafs acquired at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He must add weight and strength before he is ready to make the move overseas. Expect him to spend at least the next two seasons in the Russian league.
John Mitchell (5th Round, 158th Overall)
Weight: 182 lbs
Hometown: Oakville, ON
The shifty center improved a great deal in his second year in the OHL. He is a good skater and has good size. Mitchell needs to work on his consistency and aggressiveness. Plymouth coach Mike Vellucci sees a lot of upside in Mitchell, "I think that he has all the tools to play in the NHL. He is big and strong. He sees the ice well and can score. He has improved his defensive play. He needs to improve on his consistency and his leg strength." Mitchell will be expected to be a leader on Plymouth next year, as the team is losing many of their top scorers to graduation. Will most likely see first line duties next season with the Whalers. Mitchell will be the lone Maple Leafs prospects in the OHL next season. Has two years of junior eligibility remaining. Could provide the Leafs with some nice size down the middle in a few years.
Jeremy Williams (7th Round, 220th Overall)
Weight: 184 lbs
Hometown: Regina, Saskatchewan
A teammate of Maple Leafs prospect Ian White, Williams burst out offensively in 2003, leading the Broncos in scoring with 93 points. A gifted offensive player, Williams is an adept playmaker who can also finish. Drafted as a 19 year old, there are some concerns that Williams skating will hold him back at the professional levels. Brad McEwen, the Broncos head coach, had this to say about Williams, "Jeremy has very good offensive skills. He shoots the puck very well, sees the ice well, and competes hard in the scoring areas. He is a player with a lot of upside. To succeed at the next level, Jeremy must work on his conditioning a bit, and needs to show the same commitment to defense as he does to offence". Williams will look to build on his fine season last year in his final term with the Broncos.
Landolt is a big winger who likes to play physical. He is a hard worker who is an effective penalty killer at the junior level. He has some offensive upside. Missed most of his rookie season in the WHL due to injuries. Was traded to Calgary on January 8th 2003 in a multi-player deal. A lot will depend on how he finishes up his junior career next season.
Just from what I know and have heard about Kronwall, just strictly based on his abilities, I'm relatively certain he could play in the AHL without too much difficulty.
As it stands though, if he were brought over now, he'd have no chance whatsoever of cracking the top four in St. John's. He'd probably have to compete hard just for a top six role. And for a guy who's already 22/23 years old, I don't think that bodes too well for an NHL career anytime soon.
I do have some questions that hopefully you can answer though. How is Kronwall used by Djurgarden? Is he a top four defenceman? Is he a main penalty killer for them? Does he play against the other teams best players?
Kronwall aint a top-6 defenseman in Djurgården. Actually he was in and out in the lineup the first three quaters of the season. He was even lend out to another team to see quality ice-time. Much of this was due to Djurgårdens additions of Dan Boyle and Daniel Tjärnqvist.
However, in the end of the season and in the playoffs Kronwall stepped up his game. He played really well, and recieved a lot of ice-time, even on the power play. He also formed a young pair with Johnny Oduya, born 1981, so he didn't lend on a experienced defenseman. The finish of the seson gives promises to the future. Actually his brother, Niklas Kronwall, also broke thorugh in the playoffs a couple of years ago, and hopefully Staffan will show the same development, although he'll never be as good as his brother.
But to answer your questions. In the end of the season Kronwall was used in all situations and recieved a lot of icetime. If he can take the next step, he'll be a good AHL defenseman at least. If he'll ever play in the NHL? I don't know, but it's not impossible.