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Based on WJC Performances...

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01-06-2004, 11:30 AM
  #1
habsfansam
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Based on WJC Performances...

Who would you want the Habs to pick in this summer's draft? Who are the intriguing prospects that possess skills (or size) that we need in our organisation (and what are those skills)? Who stood out as guys that you would be interested in seeing more of, or interested in seeing in a Habs uni?

I was stuck in the States, so i didn't get to see any of the games with the lone exception being the incredibly painful gold-medal game.

Does anyone know who our scouts were watching in the WJC? How did our prospects play... did they look good, or were they outclassed?

All commentary is welcome.

GO HABS!

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01-06-2004, 11:43 AM
  #2
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In the games I saw on TV: Montoya impressed me alot.

I also liked Tukkonen a big center for the Finns.

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01-06-2004, 11:50 AM
  #3
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I think he's already drafted by LA, but I kind of liked Czech forward Petr Kanko. He didn't have a lot of size but he had a lot of zing and if I recall, played somewhat dirty. hehe.

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01-06-2004, 11:54 AM
  #4
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Korneev - Russia was never televised, but he apparently played top pairing for a weak Russian D, and was captain of the squad I believe.

Korpikari - has good size, was never beat to the outside, and knows the fundamental parts of the game: tying up the man in front of the net, and pushing them to the perimeter. Good skater and outlet passer, but he struggled against Canada's bigger lines down low. But he has the frame, strength and hockey sense to improve.

Halak - from all reports, he was rock solid in the round robin, but then he struggled in the quarter finals against the Czechs and let in a soft goal.

Linhart - received PP and SH time for the Czechs, but was overwhelmingly unspectacular. That's not to say he was bad, but the tools he has just aren't all that intriguing. He hasn't progressed at all since I last saw him, which was in a series of games right after he was drafted. Good size, decent skating, good outlet pass, but no mean streak, no hitting, and was pushed around by the Canadian forwards. If he ever makes the NHL, expect a last pairing defenseman that can eat up some minutes and play some safe, unemotional hockey. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Let's put it this way: I was more impressed with Korpikari (8th rounder in 2003) than Linhart (2nd rounder in 2002).


In terms of intriguing prospects...

I was impressed with David Booth in the gold medal game. Big winger with good size, decent skating and was the most physical player among American forwards. He was the only player in the tournament to absolutely manhandle Crosby, and he took the body to a few Canadian defensemen and came out on top as well. He played fourth line for the US.

Sami Lepisto - smallish in stature, but plays big. Was Finland's #1 defenseman. Was ranked best defenseman of the tournament, I believe. Excellent transition game and very aggressive in his own zone.

Olesz - while he took a massive hit from Phaneuf and left the ice with a concussion, he still showed a heck of a lot of talent. Excellent puckhandling abilities, good size, speed, willingness to do some dirty work. Potentially a game breaker. Unless teams are deterred by his suffering a seemingly serious concussion, he'll be gone in the top 5 picks though. Played on the Czech's first line.

Most intriguing for me was Tukkonen. Big (6'2 200lbs), strong player, good speed, battles well along the boards, stickhandles well, can beat the opposition to the outside, willing to go to the net. Not a spectacular player or a gamebreaker, but fundamentally sound. He has the frame to grow up to around 210-215lbs, and the offensive capabilities to be a scoring line player. He's expected to go in the first half of the first round, so he may be an interesting option for the Habs.


Last edited by Mike8: 01-06-2004 at 12:00 PM.
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01-06-2004, 12:08 PM
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I really liked Stafford
big right handed center too

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01-06-2004, 12:08 PM
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Olesz. If Gms are foolish enough to let him slide past the top-5 because he had this big concussion thanks to the second coming of Scott Stevens, I'd like BG to trade up and try to acquire him.

The guy has everything. Think of him as a hard working Svitov. He's extremely strong on the puck, plays with an edge, has a marvelous shot (really that goal he scored against Canada that the referee did not see is a testament to it).

He is going to develop into one heck of a power-forward and I'm willing to say from what I saw and heard of the players in the top-15, probably the best one. Savard doesn't draft by needs, but this guy has some serious skills also on top of his strong physical play.

Adam Pineault would have been an other interesting choice, but I'm not sure he'll opt in, and his offensive upside as well as skating are question marks.

Barker could very well be the best Dman to be drafted since Pronger but let's forget about him shall we, I'll be shocked if he's still available after the 5th pick.

Tukonen and McGrath are probably more realistic choices that could end up falling as low as the Habs turn to speak. Some have compared Tukonen to Rutuu. While I don't agree from what I saw, he sure has the speed and physical play to at least start a comparison. I've read a while ago in an article he could have attitude issues, being a hard kid to coach. Don't know if there's any truth to it though.

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01-06-2004, 12:10 PM
  #7
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Let's say we finnish around the 15-16-17 spot.
That's my list :
1.Alexander Ovechkin
2.Evgeni Malkin
3.Rotislav Olesz
4.Cam Barker
5.Robbie Schremp
6.Wojtek Wolski
7.Lauri Tukonen
8.Wes O'neil
9.Ladislav Smid
10.Marek Schwarz
11.Evan McGrath
12.Drew Stafford
13.Enver Lisin
14.Al Montoya
15.Kirill Lyamin
16.Kyle Chipchura
17.Lukas Kaspar
18.Devan Dubnyk
19.Adam Pineault
20.Andrew Ladd
21.Petr Pohl
22.Alexandre Picard
23.Johan Fransson
24.Johannes Salomonsson
25.Bryan Bickell
26.Jeff Schutlz
27.Michal Sersen
28.Jakub Sindel
29.Mike Green
30.Julien Ellis

My realistic Choice is Evan McGrath if we trade up a little bit.

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01-06-2004, 12:20 PM
  #8
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oh yeah !
I forgot chipchura ! (if we stay with our pick .. i think we should draft one of : Stafford,Chipchura,Pineault
if we trade up : Olesz,Wolski,Malkin are good choice ..

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01-06-2004, 12:27 PM
  #9
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Well for the Habs, not WJC related, Wes O'Neil looks good, I really like Wolski but he should go high. Alex Picard from Lewiston is who I'm pulling for, if we land around 15th. David Laliberte from the Rocket is a hard working player who plays on the top line mostly, could be worth a look at in the 2nd round if he's around. I've also seen Stafford at ND and he looked impressive.


From the WJC's not too many really stuck out, I was hoping for a better tournament. Smid seemed ok. Schwarz was impressive.

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01-06-2004, 12:32 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8
Korpikari - has good size, was never beat to the outside, and knows the fundamental parts of the game: tying up the man in front of the net, and pushing them to the perimeter. Good skater and outlet passer, but he struggled against Canada's bigger lines down low. But he has the frame, strength and hockey sense to improve.

Linhart - received PP and SH time for the Czechs, but was overwhelmingly unspectacular. That's not to say he was bad, but the tools he has just aren't all that intriguing. He hasn't progressed at all since I last saw him, which was in a series of games right after he was drafted. Good size, decent skating, good outlet pass, but no mean streak, no hitting, and was pushed around by the Canadian forwards. If he ever makes the NHL, expect a last pairing defenseman that can eat up some minutes and play some safe, unemotional hockey. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Let's put it this way: I was more impressed with Korpikari (8th rounder in 2003) than Linhart (2nd rounder in 2002).

Korpikari played less than 3 games and one of those was against the Ukraine. If he struggled againest Canada's bigger lines... are the positive comments a result of his games against the Czechs and the Ukraine.

I thought Linhart played defensively responsible and was more steady than many of their defensemen including Vagner. Despite playing the silver medal team (Canada) twice and the bronze medal team (Finland) twice, Linhart came out of the tournament with a +2 rating.

I hope Korpikari makes it as much as the next guy... but I think the comparisons you make between the two are not valid.

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01-06-2004, 12:40 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barney Rubble
Korpikari played less than 3 games and one of those was against the Ukraine. If he struggled againest Canada's bigger lines... are the positive comments a result of his games against the Czechs and the Ukraine.

I thought Linhart played defensively responsible and was more steady than many of their defensemen including Vagner. Despite playing the silver medal team (Canada) twice and the bronze medal team (Finland) twice, Linhart came out of the tournament with a +2 rating.

I hope Korpikari makes it as much as the next guy... but I think the comparisons you make between the two are not valid.

Korpikari was injured in his 3rd game. I also think Linhart looked much better then Vagner and was one of their better defensemen, but he also may a few bad plays, I saw 3 goals scored related to his mistakes, in two games.

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01-06-2004, 01:05 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barney Rubble
Korpikari played less than 3 games and one of those was against the Ukraine. If he struggled againest Canada's bigger lines... are the positive comments a result of his games against the Czechs and the Ukraine.

I thought Linhart played defensively responsible and was more steady than many of their defensemen including Vagner. Despite playing the silver medal team (Canada) twice and the bronze medal team (Finland) twice, Linhart came out of the tournament with a +2 rating.

I hope Korpikari makes it as much as the next guy... but I think the comparisons you make between the two are not valid.
I didn't make any comparisons, nor did I say Linhart was irresponsible defensively. He was safe and unspectacular, but didn't show enough progression or enough tools to make me think he's going to be something noteworthy in the NHL some day, or even make the NHL.

My positive comments regarding Korpikari have to do with having seen both players prior to this tournament, seeing their respective progression, and the tools both bring to the rink. It's also possible for a player to have played a strong game in some ways, but flawed in others which is what I was stating with Korpikari.

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01-06-2004, 01:11 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8
I didn't make any comparisons.
"Let's put it this way: I was more impressed with Korpikari (8th rounder in 2003) than Linhart (2nd rounder in 2002)."

That's not a comparison?

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01-06-2004, 01:28 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barney Rubble
"Let's put it this way: I was more impressed with Korpikari (8th rounder in 2003) than Linhart (2nd rounder in 2002)."

That's not a comparison?
Well, okay. I thought you meant comparisons to NHL players. Regardless, I don't see how that comparison is 'invalid'.

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01-06-2004, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by HabzIsLife
I love what I hear about Wolsky if we could get him it would be very good

LW
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Wolsky

very nice but Enver Lisin I heard was good too, he's very fast, and works hard backchecks hard he also has a drive in the Offensive zone
:mad: it's Wolski not Wolsky. He's Polish not freakin Russian It would be great to get him but it's not going to happen. I'd go with Chipchura, Stafford or Pineault

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01-06-2004, 01:52 PM
  #16
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:mad: it's Wolski not Wolsky. He's Polish not freakin Russian It would be great to get him but it's not going to happen. I'd go with Chipchura, Stafford or Pineault

You never know. We could always trade up. I sort of see us in the Sens mold (at least when Savard was GM) and I loved their big trade to get Spezza/Charra, and think that was a truley great move for them. I'd like to see us pull off a blockbuster, but I trust in Bob! (just don't trade Kasty Bob )

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01-06-2004, 02:01 PM
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I really like David Bolland from the Knights. He could slide into the 20-25 range, but I doubt it. He's a 6'0 centre, 17-years-old, with 26 goals (14 assists) in the OHL in 37 games. For my money, he's been just as effective as Corey Perry.

Bolland kills penalties very well, in fact he has 3 SHG this year. He's playing on the Knights' second PP unit, even though he leads the team with 12 PP goals. He has a very good shot, stickhandles well, and while he's no Sundstrom when it comes to skating, he's fast and gets easily where he wants to go. He's able to shake a defender with a few quick steps, and his shiftiness is helpfull, too. A very clutch player, seems to score when it counts the most, too.

If we're in the 15-17 range, I have no problem taking an extra pick/player in trade and dropping into 24-27 so we can grab this guy. It's not addressing the need, but it would be more of a grabbing a lesser-known as we did with Higgins. Not to mention the added bonus of either a second round pick, or a servicable young player capable of replacing a Joe Juneau or an Andreas Dackell.

If not, Adam Pineaut, Kyle Chipchura and Wes O'Neill all seem like good choices. I watched Wojtcek Wolski play once on TV, he was good, but certainly not great. A top eight pick probably. Y'know what though? It's really too early in my mind. So much can change over the year ; players come out of nowhere, top-picks drop off, and deals are made.

I trust the men up front. Andre Savard and Trevor Timmins together effectively find work ethic, dedication, and talent in players.

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01-06-2004, 02:08 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal
and I loved their big trade to get Spezza/Charra, and think that was a truley great move for them. I'd like to see us pull off a blockbuster, but I trust in Bob! (just don't trade Kasty Bob )
Heh, we don't have a Yashin to unload and there's only one Milbury.

Dan, you've seen Kats play, is he really that good to make you say don't trade him?

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01-06-2004, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Marc the Habs Fan
Heh, we don't have a Yashin to unload and there's only one Milbury.

Dan, you've seen Kats play, is he really that good to make you say don't trade him?


true Marc, that's a good point, Mad Mike can only trade away so many young defensemen. (although I'll never understand how Bob Clarke got Tampa to trade their 1st when it was clear Pitaken had a ton of skill)

I wasn't saying we should go for 1st or 2nd overall per say, but a deal similiar to that. We do have some good assets, but it's all up to Gainey.

Yes I think Kasty is the real deal, and I was impressed with him. I'll have a better opinion when I watch him next week as I'll do another game article on him. The first article was very long to do (I went frame by frame every time he was on the ice, so I didn't miss a thing )

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01-06-2004, 02:18 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal

Yes I think Kasty is the real deal, and I was impressed with him. I'll have a better opinion when I watch him next week as I'll do another game article on him. The first article was very long to do (I went frame by frame every time he was on the ice, so I didn't miss a thing )


Thanks Dan. I know you hate comparing kids to NHLers but did he remind you of one ? or maybe a prospect?

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01-06-2004, 02:23 PM
  #21
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Originally Posted by jl.roberts
I really like David Bolland from the Knights. He could slide into the 20-25 range, but I doubt it. He's a 6'0 centre, 17-years-old, with 26 goals (14 assists) in the OHL in 37 games. For my money, he's been just as effective as Corey Perry.

Bolland kills penalties very well, in fact he has 3 SHG this year. He's playing on the Knights' second PP unit, even though he leads the team with 12 PP goals. He has a very good shot, stickhandles well, and while he's no Sundstrom when it comes to skating, he's fast and gets easily where he wants to go. He's able to shake a defender with a few quick steps, and his shiftiness is helpfull, too. A very clutch player, seems to score when it counts the most, too.

If we're in the 15-17 range, I have no problem taking an extra pick/player in trade and dropping into 24-27 so we can grab this guy. It's not addressing the need, but it would be more of a grabbing a lesser-known as we did with Higgins. Not to mention the added bonus of either a second round pick, or a servicable young player capable of replacing a Joe Juneau or an Andreas Dackell.

If not, Adam Pineaut, Kyle Chipchura and Wes O'Neill all seem like good choices. I watched Wojtcek Wolski play once on TV, he was good, but certainly not great. A top eight pick probably. Y'know what though? It's really too early in my mind. So much can change over the year ; players come out of nowhere, top-picks drop off, and deals are made.

I trust the men up front. Andre Savard and Trevor Timmins together effectively find work ethic, dedication, and talent in players.
Was just going to bring up Bolland. Saw a Knights game the other day, this kid was excellent. Best player on the ice, and thats with Perry getting 2 goals and an assist. He played every situation for the Knights and scored a beauty of a goal. He looked better than Shremp, who also looked good.

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01-06-2004, 02:51 PM
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I agree with Dan about Picard. I thought he was excellent in the junior challenge against the Russians a few weeks ago. Good size, great skating ability, and a willingness to get his nose dirty.

I think this draft, while not as good as last year's, will offer some very intriguing prospects in the first round.

Here are the players i don't think the Habs will get a shot at unless the team (and prospects) collapse:

1.Alexander Ovechkin
2.Evgeni Malkin
3.Rotislav Olesz
4.Cam Barker
5.Robbie Schremp
6.Wojtek Wolski
7.Lauri Tukonen
8.Wes O'neil
9.Al Montoya
10.Ladislav Smid
11.Evan McGrath
12.Kyle Chipchura

After that, I like Dubnyk, Picard, Bolland, Kaspar, Lisin and Bolland. If the Habs keep up their current standing, and we draft around 20th, I don't expect Picard to be around. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he goes in the top 15.

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01-07-2004, 05:16 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by montreal
Korpikari was injured in his 3rd game. I also think Linhart looked much better then Vagner and was one of their better defensemen, but he also may a few bad plays, I saw 3 goals scored related to his mistakes, in two games.
Linhart is a big softy. He didn't go near any boardwork at all, was tentative at all times and didn't move the puck with much confidence from what I saw. He floated and didn't move his feet, didn't do anything physical.... I don't like him at all. He's Patrice Brisebois without Patrice's "edge"...lol

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01-07-2004, 07:32 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc the Habs Fan
Thanks Dan. I know you hate comparing kids to NHLers but did he remind you of one ? or maybe a prospect?


Well there's no one that comes to mind, but next week I'll watch another game of his, so I'll take a close look. With just one game, and even two games, it hard to say, but instead I will say I was impressed by his size, for some reason I was thinking he would be on the small side, but against other Russians he loooked sort of big out there. Not huge by any means, and doesn't need to be. He has decent size, but it's his skating and speed which will get him many chances. He seems to be very dangerous on offense, as he can create offense with a wicked shot or good pass. He seemed to come alive when he got the puck, cause without it is his weak spot. When he was drafted I heard he was really bad in his own end, but I didn't see that. This kid will never will a selke, but he was somewhat sound positionally, and for the most part gave a solid effort when he had to (if the puck came to the point man, he would get to the pointman on his side in a hurry). But the biggest concern I have of him after watching one game, he did a ton of floating whenever the puck wasn't near him in his own end and in the netural zone. I'd like to see him signed and get some games in with Jarvis, to work with him. I'll see how game 2 goes, and if I'm lucky and he continues to get some games in with CSKA, I hope to get more of his games.

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01-07-2004, 07:33 AM
  #25
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Thanks Dan.

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