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1993 Draft Class: Potential Order, Maybe..

The 1993 draft class is one that could be said, belongs to defensemen. If you want defensive defensemen, you got it. If you want big defensemen, you got. If you want blood, you got it. But it is not only defensemen, there are some pretty good two way forwards. Throw in a couple of decent 1A, backup goalies and you have a great mediocre draft. But there are some gems in this rough draft. Here is a run down of some of the draft class.

#01. Christopher Pronger D Sudbury: At 6 foot 6 inch and 220 lbs, this large defenseman has a mean streak. He takes no s*it and is a punishing player. He has a booming shot from the point and is very good in his own zone. In 56 games this season in Sudbury, he has 6 goals and 16 assists. But he has 98 hits and has only taken 24 minutes in penalties. So he is tough, strong and mean. But he is not a dirty player, yet.

#02. Paul Kariya LW Maine: Let's go to the other end of the spectrum. Paul Kariya is just 5 foot 10 inches and 185 lbs. He is fast. He can pass the puck into a glass cup from across the rink. He can score. So far this season, he has 12 goals and 28 assists as a 17 year old. Not too shabby. Plus, he does not take many penalties. He would be a good pickup for a team looking for just that "little" spark.

#03. Saku Koivu C Wisconsin: A Finn? In the top 5? Another diminutive player. At 5 foot 10 inches, he can skate great. He is not very fast, but he is a great passer and can score. As a playmaker he could help any team that needs a good center. This 17 year old has 19 goals and 16 assists this season. He is a good faceoff man and will be an all star one day in the RHS.

#04. Jason Arnott C Oshawa: Now back to the big guys. At 6 foot 5 inches and 220 lbs, this big centerman is just what any team may need. He can score fairly well. He can pass and he is strong. However, he needs work on his skating. He is slow and some of that comes from being big. But skating can be taught. He should make the RHS one day and possibly become a star.

#05. Andrew Brunette LW London: At 6 foot 1 inch this left winger has yet to play a game for the Knights. However, his projection to be a star is high. He is a playmaking Left Winger and is very good at puck control. But he is ok at scoring, and is slow for RHS standards. But that can be taught. So if a team needs a set up man, Andrew may be your man.

#06. Jamie Langenbrunner RW Minnesota: At 6 foot 1, 205 ponds he is of good size. not too big, not too small. He is a good two way player. He can score, not too badly. He is defensive minded. He can control the puck. But he is slow. Well not Kariya speed. He has only played in 9 games this year, but he is a player that every team needs. Not flashy. Hard working and very disciplined.

#07. Vaclav Prospal LW/C Laval: Another foreigner in the top 10. This time it is a Czech. Vaclav Prospal could be the Czech's second greatest export. At 6 foot 2 inches and only 191 pounds, he is on the lighter side. He can score. He is not bad defensively. He can skate. But his weakness, he is not very strong. He can be knocked around. But given space or a protector, he can and will be a good player in the future.

#08. Eric Daze RW Gatineau: He is a big guy. I mean he is a big guy. He is 6 foot 6 inches. He is 235 pounds and he is only 17. He can score. He can control the puck. He can pass. He can skate, but not very fast. He is strong as an ox. But, his defensive play is lacking. Once this behemoth gets his play in his own zone down pat, watch out, the sky is the limit.

#09. Miroslav Satan LW Halifax: Possibly the third greatest export from the Czech Republic. This guy is 6 foot 3 inches and 191 pounds. So he is thin. But man can he score. He can pass. He can control the puck. He can stick handle in a phone booth. He can skate. But he is not strong at all and he has almost no intensity. But if you can get past that, he could be your man.

#10. Pavol Demitra C UMass: Here is another Czech player. This guy is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. So he has a little more girth than his Czech teammates. He can score. He can pass. He can control the puck well. He is not strong. He is vulnerable to injuries and he lacks intensity. But this guy has it.

Honerable mention:

Dacy Tucker, Tommy Salo, Brendan Morrison, Kimmo Timmonen, Tommy Salo, Mike Grier, Hal Gill, Todd Marchant and Alexander "the model" Daigle.


Devils at the Deadline

East Rutherford, New Jersey - The resurgent Devils made three acquisitions this week as the trade deadline approaches, acquiring gritty defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, a young goaltender in Tim Cheveldae, and pesky winger Esa Tikkanen. The Devils, who have bounced back since naming Roger Neilson head coach, are one point out of a playoff spot with 16 games remaining in the season. Recently, the team dealt veterans Al MacInnis and Andy Moog, who both didn't fit in with the team's long term plans.

"We acquired some assets for MacInnis and Moog, and dealt from a position of strength to address more pertinent needs up front, on the blueline, and in net," said a team source. 

Tikkanen is expected to suit up in a checking role on a line with Brian Skrudland and Mike Keane. Ulf Samuelsson has been partnered up on the second defense unit alongside Bruce Driver, and Tim Cheveldae is expected to backup workhorse goaltender and Calder Trophy candidate, Martin Brodeur.

"The players brought in at the deadline figure to help the team in the present and the future," said a team executive. The Devils are also negotiating long term contract extensions with all of their unrestricted free agents, which includes team captain Scott Stevens, centers Bobby Carpenter and Joel Otto, and newly acquired defenseman Ulf Samuelsson.

"Our current goal is to make the playoffs," said head coach Roger Neilson. "At the same time, the team has a long term vision in place."

Under Roger Neilson, the Devils have a record of 13-8-0 and have won six of their last 10 games. That stretch has pitted the Devils into playoff contention.

"The reason I came on board is because I see the Devils as a team that is building towards long term success. This team can compete now and for years to come," stated a confident Neilson.


Blues WRECKlamation Part Deux

Well the Blues direct flight to the bottom of the standings is not complete and the doors are open to let the passengers out. The Blues are now 9 points lower than the 25th place team, the Montreal Canadiens. Now watch the Blues lose the lottery. HA! But still, they currently have 3 picks in the top 10 and one near the end of the first round. They will have 10 picks in the first 2 rounds. So, this will be a good draft for the team. GM Oly has been studying and restudying and then studying again the prospects for this coming draft.

But at what cost is this going to have on the team. They traded away Larouche to Hartford. They then traded Ulf Samuelsson to Jersey for Rick Zombo and Washington's first round pick. Then they dealt Doug Smith to LA for a second and a third round pick. Now there are rumours that Karri Takko is on the move, but no one is saying a word. The rumour has him either going to Toronto (according to TSN, but then everyone is rumoured to be going to Toronto according to TSN), Pittsburgh, Montreal and Vegas. But these are rumours. The team is still looking to move McKegney. All they want is a pick for him. McKegney is a UFA at season's end. So he will not be resigning with the team. The WRECKlamation project is very much under way and the final product should be viewed in a few days. Oly is hedging his bets on UFA signings in the offseason, to make his team competitive once again. At least for a few seasons.

Lisa Bowes reporting.