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SI FOR KIDS
Boynton picked again in first round
Posted: Saturday June 26, 1999 05:31 PM
Analysis by Pierre McGuire, Sports Illustrated
BOSTON (CNN/SI) -- Nick Boynton is a physical, offensively talented player. It's the second time he's been drafted in the first round, and he wasn't able to come to terms with Washington. It will be interesting to see how the negotiations will go between Harry Sinden and Boynton's agent.
Philadelphia picks Maxime Ouellet, a very athletic goaltender out of the province of Quebec. He gives Philadelphia lots of young depth in goal.
Steve McCarty, who went to Chicago, is a really mature defenseman who is tremendous at establishing his presence in front of his own goal. A typical Blackhawk defensive defenseman with an offensive upside.
Luca Cereda, taken by Toronto, is a Swiss-born player with tremendous hockey instincts. He played in the Swiss Elite league as a young player and displayed savvy well beyond his years. Tremendous on faceoffs.
Colorado chose Mikhail Kuleshov, a very smart player with the puck. He plays left wing, but is a right-hand shot. He can play on the power play or shorthanded. He doesn't look to be a natural goal scorer, though.
Ottawa selected Martin Havlat. He's got great speed and dynamic offensive abilities with the puck. He can beat you with the skill of a surgeon or the brute force of a sledge hammer. He may not be as big as Marian Hossa, but has a lot of the same offensive characteristics.
Ari Ahonen went to New Jersey. He's a very athletic goaltender out of Finland and he's won at all levels. He reads the play as well as any goaltender in his age group. This is an athlete that is going to an organization that understands athletic goaltenders.
And last, but not least, the New York Islanders at No. 28. Kristian Kudroc is a hulking defenseman who knows how to establish a physical presence. Like most young players, he'll need some time to establish his stick and puck skills.
This was an action-packed first round with lots of players and draft picks changing hands. The New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders clearly made an impact, as did Vancouver by drafting the Sedin twins.
There should be more action to follow.
Sharks get physical with Jillson
San Jose got a big physical guy in Jeff Jillson, who is really finding his way through the hockey world. He's a player that will just cotinue to get better and better. He did a great job at the University of Michigan this season.
You have to really like what the Phoenix Coyotes did in getting a first-round pick and Travis Green and Scott Kelman from Seattle of the WHL for the rights to Oleg Tverdovsky. Remember, in Phoenix, with Jyrki Lumme, Tepop Numminen and the mobile defense they have, really there's no place for Tverdovsky right now. So that's a good move by both teams. Anaheim needed some insulation on their back end because Freddie Olausson is getting older.
David Tanabe (No. 16) is a very quick player out of the University of Wisconsin, picked by Carolina.
Barret Jackman (No. 17) is a very tough player, picked by St. Louis. He's very physical, a Western Hockey League guy who shows up every night. The scouts in St. Louis know this player particularly well. A good pick for the Blues, who just keep building their defense.
The Pittsburgh Penguins go to Russia once again for Konstantin Koltsov (No. 18). He's a very dynamic forward. You think about Kovalev, Morosov, etc., the Penguins have had a lot of success drafting and trading for Russian players. Another good move by Craig Patrick and Mark Kelly, their scout oversees.
Phoenix gets Kiril Safronov (No. 19). He's a very smart defenseman, very heady with the puck and doesn't make too many mistakes. A good pickup by Phoenix.
And Buffalo takes this kid Heisten out of the University of Maine, and is from Anchorage, Alaska. He's a big guy who skates well. The big thing with him, though, is how he develops with the facemask coming off. But he's a good player.
Beech, Rita, Lundmark already close
Kris Beech (No. 7) is an outstanding two-way player who could remind people of Bobby Smith. He's really that talented. Beech has great defensive instincts, is very good offensively and tremendously strong on the puck.
Tyler Pyatt (No. 8) is a great skater with a unique abilities to produce points. He's another good pick by the Islanders.
Jamie Lundmark, at No. 9, is a sandpaper-type of player. He plays with a whole lot of grit. He's a very solid two-way player and a guy the New York Ranger fans will really love.
Branislav Mezei, the player the Islanders took with the 10th pick overall is a big player, but he makes very questionable decisions defensively. He really needs to enhance that area of his game if he's going to improve to the point of playing at the NHL level.
Oleg Saprykin (No. 11), Calgary's pick, has great speed. He played for Seattle in the WHL and has an ability to score. He's a good player.
From what I understand about Denis Shvdki, Florida's pick at No. 12, he's an excellent skater and playmaker.
Edmonton's pick is a perfect one for the Oilers. Jani Rita has great offensive ability. He scores beautiful goals and is an excellent skater. This guy will really thrive on that ice surface in Edmonton. Good pick by Edmonton.
Some of these guys are closer than people think. Rita is closer than some people think. Ludmark is, too. And Beech, if he gets a little stronger, is very close. He's a tremendously smart player.
Burke smart, aggressive
You really have to like how proactive the Vancouver Canucks were, and clearly Atlanta getting Patrick Stefan is a no-brainer for them -- they must have some very confident doctor reports.
But the Vancouver Canucks getting the two Sedins is just like Brain Burke. The Vancouver GM likes to explode on to the scene and he clearly did Saturday, even though he paid a big price to get the two of them.
As far as the Tampa Bay Lightning goes, they were also very proactive. They get two bona fide NHL players in Nicklas Sundstrom and Dan Cloutier. The latter will really help them because they aren't strong in goal right now. Sundstrom will help them because he's a reliable two-way player.
The Rangers paid a heavy price as well, to get the rights to Pavel Brendl. He should explode into New York City and be a real positive impact player. But he's a really one-dimensional player right now. It's going to take a lot of time to teach him how to play defense.
Tim Connolly, whom the Islanders selected at No. 5, is a very good player out of Erie. He scored 36 goals in 38 games at one point this year. Connolly is a very good player.
And I really like what Nashville (No. 6) did. Brian Finley is an excellent goaltender. I've seen him play and I think that pick will really help them because after Mike Dunham, they're not overly strong in goal. I know Vukoun had a very good season this year but Finley is the guy for the future. So Nashville did an excellent job.
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