I am not sure if this belongs in the NHL forum, feel free to move it there if any mods of this board feel its necessary. Also, if I quote too much, by all means cut it down.
Anyway, I was just beginning to re-read Bruce Dowbiggen's 2003 book, Money Players. I was wondering if anybody else has read this book, because I just noticed a strange coincendence in it.
The mark of any good organization is finding gems in this late stage of the draft. By that criterion, the Rangers have not been a good organization lately. Sather Shrugs, leaving the next pick to Maloney, a former Rangers player, who calls the shots on player evaluation. After a stroke of the pen on his list, Maloney leans forward into the microphone on the Rangers' desk.
"The New York Rangers select Petr Prucha of Pardubice." Heads crane, ears perk for the sound of applause. The massive space falls silent. Prucha is not in the building. The odds are that he will never be in an NHL building, unless he buys a ticket.
Dowbiggen is right, it is certainly rare that 7th rounders make the big leagues, but what are the odds that they one he selects to highlight is quickly becoming a top flight NHLer?
Just thought I'd share, anybody had any similar experiences?
Zultek was drafted 15th overall by the LA Kings and has yet to play a single game in the NHL.
And he never will. I think he eventually wound up in the CIS. He never did sign with LA, re-entered the draft and was picked by Boston in the 1999 draft. He did manage to win a Memorial Cup with Ottawa in 1999. Scored the tournament-winning goal in OT.
For those who think success in hockey is predicated on speed and size, I give you Matt Zultek. I wasn't sold on him being a dominant power forward, but I thought he had the potential to be a Rob Niedermayer type: a large, mobile two-way forward who can provide some offence while playing against the opponent's top line.
But he never panned out. He missed the first half of the 1999-2000 season, returned to Ottawa to play as an over-ager, and looked lost. He never regained the form that he showed in his draft year or the 1999 Memorial Cup. It really shows how many weaknesses he had in his game, because he should have been able to be at least a fourth liner on speed and size alone.