Revisit the 2001 draft

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Jaysfanatic*, Mar 13, 2006.

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  1. Jaysfanatic*

    Jaysfanatic* Guest

    I was having a debate with someone that in 2001 Spezza was the clear cut #2 after Kovalchuk at #1, much like everyone knew Malkin would go after Ovechkin. I said that anyone at #2 would have taken Spezza, agree or disagree?
     
  2. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    agree. it was between those two.
     
  3. Jaysfanatic*

    Jaysfanatic* Guest

    The discussion was about Milbury though, so you never know if he'll draft who everyone else would, lol.
     
  4. The Mars Volchenkov

    The Mars Volchenkov Registered User

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    Spezza was #1 for a long time until Kovalchuk exploded onto the scene, so I'm pretty sure any team would have taken him 2nd overall.

    I remember hearing some people say they thought Chistov was the most talented player in the draft though.
     
  5. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    The Spezza hype machine started in 1998 when he impressed as a 15-year-old with the Brampton Battalion. At that time, he was viewed as a shoo-in to be No. 1 in 2001. But by the time June of 2000 rolled around, he had lost some of his luster. Two goalies - Pascal LeClaire and Dan Blackburn - were actually being mentioned as candidates to supplant Spezza as No. 1. Six months later, Kovalchuk was the consensus top pick.

    On Draft Day 2001, Kovalchuk was the consensus No. 1. Spezza was viewed as a virtual lock to go No. 2. Ironically, though, the few that didn't have Kovalchuk as No. 1 actually did have Chistov at No. 1. Nobody had Spezza as their No. 1. Weiss and Svitov were almost locks to round out the top 5.

    Honestly, this draft and 1997 will go down as two of the most disappointing ever. (1997 will be lauded as the draft that produced Thornton, Marleau, Jokinen, Luongo, Brewer, Morrow, Boynton, Samsonov, Hossa and Hannan, and that's just the first round, but there are many, many highly skilled players who disappointed or outright flopped).

    As for 2001: Kovalchuk and Spezza are well on their way to being elite for their roles. But Chistov disappointed after an impressive rookie year and went back to Russia. Weiss is going to become a solid NHL player, but won't be the player many thought he would be. (Consensus opinion was he could be an Yzerman, Sakic or Francis clone). Svitov looks to be a bust. There are a few exceptions, but most of the rest of the first round appears to be destined for one of three categories: didn't meet expectations (Kobasew, LeClaire, Koivu and Komisarek will fit that description), fringe NHLer, or outright bust. Blackburn seemed destined for stardom, but suffered a debilitating arm injury while training and retired last summer.

    Several strong picks from beyond the first round - Roy, Tyutin, Cammalleri, Jokinen, Svatos, Ziedlicky and Plekanec among them - will somewhat redeem this draft.
     
  6. LaLaLaprise

    LaLaLaprise lalalaprise -twitter

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    Good post, except I think youre being a bit hard on Leclaire.

    He is 23 right now and is a full time NHLer splitting with Denis and has a great save %.
     
  7. Douggy

    Douggy Registered User

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    I don't think its fair to call 2001 one of the most disapointing drafts ever.

    1) A lot of the solid prospects in this draft didn't see NHL icetime until this year: Colaiacovo, Perezhogin, Umberger, Leclaire, Emery, etc.

    2) Some STILL haven't seen a lot of the NHL, but still have potential: Woywitka, Budaj, Paetsch

    3) None of them played in the NHL as 21 yearolds, due to the lockout.

    4) Some have had injury problems so far: Blackburn, Ruutu, Colaiacovo, Grigorenko, Pilar

    5) And some of them are just flat out good players who don't deserve to be called disapointments: Kovalchuk, Spezza, Hamhuis, Hemsky, Ruutu,
     
  8. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    There were very high expectations for this draft. It was viewed as a strong draft. Nowhere did I call Kovalchuk, Spezza, Ruuttu et al disappointments. But as a whole, this draft class has left me wanting more. There was a ton of talent, but the number of first line NHLers/No. 1 defencemen/No. 1 goaltenders is going to be lower than projected.

    I don't see LeClaire ever stepping up and becoming the franchise goaltender that many expected him to be. He has top-flite skills and a good-sized frame, and he'll be an NHL puck-stopper for years to come, but he lacks the consistency and the mentality to be among the game's elite. I think we're looking at a Dan Cloutier type in terms of upside, and while that's not as bad as some would make it out to be (Cloutier's three straight 30-win seasons is impressive), it's still not going to meet the expectations people had for LeClaire in junior, when he was being labelled as a future Vezina candidate.

    Is this a bad draft? No. But the thing about bad drafts is that we usually go into those drafts expecting crap, and they deliver crap. 1989, 1996 and 1999 were expected to be crap. (The numbers don't look bad for the 1989 draft, but it was a draft saved by the USSR: first players passed over because they were from the USSR [Fedorov, Mogilny and Konstantinov; Bure was drafted in his first year of eligibility], and then because the USSR collapsed). But when you see a crop of kids who have the potential to be top-notch NHLers, and most don't deliver, mostly due to their own failures, then it is a disappointing draft.

    This should have been one of the top two or three draft classes of this decade. Instead, five years from now, I think it'll be held in the same regard as the 2002 draft. (2002 featured one of the best goaltender crops in years). 2001 will be viewed as an average/slightly above average draft, a disappointment considering how much talent there appeared to be.
     
  9. Pete Rock

    Pete Rock Registered User

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    That's painting a pretty sour picture of the '01 and although for the most part it's well deserved, there are still some who probably won't fit into those categories.

    IIRC all of Hamhuis, Morrisonn and Gleason were projected as 2nd pairing d-men while Hamhuis had the upside of filling in on the top pairing from time to time, something that certainly hasn't been disproven this year. I can't recall if Hemsky was seen as a first liner or not, but he may be coming out of his shell this year.

    But yes, this draft was not the prettiest ever, especially for Leafs fans who had Carlo Colaiacovo as the next saviour.
     
  10. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Hamhuis was considered by most to be a top-pairing defenceman, possible No. 1, in the making. He actually was ranked No. 2 in the Central Scouting Service's year-end rankings. He's well on his way to fulfilling his potential.

    Colaiacovo was hailed as a potential top-pairing defenceman. He's battled consistency, an experience not uncommon for a young defenceman. (He was the best player at the 2003 WJC in Halifax). Colaiacovo was compared to Wade Redden when he was drafted, and lauded for his defensive play while in junior. While he hasn't been able to transfer that defensive excellence to the pro level, at least not yet, he was impressive during a mid-season call-up for the Leafs, leaving hope that he may yet fulfill some form of top-pairing upside.

    Hemsky was billed as a potential first line forward. Put up monster numbers in the Q in his draft year. Until this year, he had struggled with consistency, excluding a brilliant final quarter of his rookie year. He has been exceptional this year, and 80-ish-point seasons should become the norm.

    Too bad we can't say the same about Fredrik Sjostrom and Chistov, two other highly-hyped, highly skilled European forwards.
     
  11. Jaysfanatic*

    Jaysfanatic* Guest


    Thanks for that dude, you went to the call of duty and beyond.
     
  12. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Honestly, that's nothing. The 2001 draft is a recent one. It's only five years ago. (I still have the 2001 THN Draft Preview). I could write 3,000 to 4,000 words about that draft.

    I always love looking back on the drafts of the past. Draft is something I'm passionate about. (I've been doing an independent draft ranking, usually for the top 20-40 players, since 1995). So talking about draft is easy.
     
  13. Artie

    Artie Registered User

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    Here is a copy of something that was posted by someone on these boards. Not sure who. But some of the names have really fallen off the map. I have put some in bold.

    I remeber Habs fans thinking they had STOLEN Milroy as an early 2nd rounder because he was ranked quite high.

    Someone already mentioned that Chistov was being touted as the MOST talented player in the draft, just a little on the small side and Svitov was going to be the next premier power forward.

    Imagine Jokinen was the downside for Mikko Koivu!!

    NORTH AMERICANS
    (1) Jason Spezza: UPSIDE: Jason Allison, Boston Bruins. I believe that Spezza will be a much better player than Allison but I feel that he is the closest player to Spezza. DOWNSIDE: Vincent Damphousse, San Jose Sharks.
    (2) Stephen Weiss: UPSIDE: Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings. DOWNSIDE: Andrew Cassels, Vancouver Canucks.
    (3) Dan Hamhuis: UPSIDE: Darryl Sydor, Dallas Stars. DOWNSIDE: Glen Wesley, Carolina Hurricanes.
    (4) R.J. Umberger: UPSIDE: Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina Hurricanes. DOWNSIDE: Erik Rasmussen, Buffalo Sabres.
    (5) Duncan Milroy: UPSIDE: Jeff Friesen, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. DOWNSIDE: Joe Murphy, Washington Capitals.
    (6) Jay Harrison: UPSIDE: Derian Hatcher, Dallas Stars. DOWNSIDE: Brendan Witt, Washington Capitals.
    (7) Mark Popovic: UPSIDE: Sylvain Cote, Washington Capitals. DOWNSIDE: Eric Weinrich, Montreal Canadiens.
    (8) Mike Komisarek: UPSIDE: Mike Rathje, San Jose Sharks. DOWNSIDE: Chris Therien, Philadelphia Flyers.
    (9) Tim Gleason: UPSIDE: Scott Niedermayer, New Jersey Devils. DOWNSIDE: Chris Phillips, Ottawa Senators.
    (10) Ales Hemsky: UPSIDE: Petr Sykora, New Jersey Devils. DOWNSIDE: Sergei Berezin, Toronto Maple Leafs.
    (11) Carlo Colaiacovo: UPSIDE: Steve Duchesne, Detroit Red Wings. DOWNSIDE: Aaron Miller, Los Angeles Kings.
    (12) Greg Watson: UPSIDE: Trevor Linden, Washington Capitals. DOWNSIDE: Denis Pederson, Vancouver Canucks.
    (13) Colby Armstrong: UPSIDE: Ryan Smyth, Edmonton Oilers. DOWNSIDE: Mike Leclerc, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
    (14) Jeff Woywitka: UPSIDE: Daniel McGillis, Philadelphia Flyers. DOWNSIDE: Rhett Warrener, Buffalo Sabres.
    (15) Darren McLachlan: UPSIDE: Chris Simon, Washington Capitals. DOWNSIDE: Turner Stevenson, New Jersey Devils.
    (16) Chuck Kobasew: UPSIDE: Chris Drury, Colorado Avalanche. DOWNSIDE: Cory Stillman, St. Louis Blues.
    (17) Matthew Spiller: UPSIDE: Jay McKee, Buffalo Sabres. DOWNSIDE: Denis Gauthier, Calgary Flames.


    EUROPEANS
    (1) Ilia Kovalchuk: UPSIDE: Jaromir Jagr, Pittsburgh Penguins DOWNSIDE: Owen Nolan, San Jose Sharks.
    (2) Alexander Svitov: UPSIDE: Keith Primeau, Philadelphia Flyers. DOWNSIDE: Chris Gratton, Buffalo Sabres.
    (3) Tuomo Ruutu: UPSIDE: Adam Deadmarsh, Los Angeles Kings. DOWNSIDE: Steve Konowalchuk, Washington Capitals.
    (4) Mikko Koivu: UPSIDE: Jozef Stumpel, Los Angeles Kings. DOWNSIDE: Olli Jokinen, Florida Panthers.
    (5) Stanislav Chistov: UPSIDE: Paul Kariya, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. DOWNSIDE: Cliff Ronning, Nashville Predators.
    (6) Fredrik Sjostrom: UPSIDE: Markus Naslund, Vancouver Canucks. DOWNSIDE: Niklas Sundstrom, San Jose Sharks.
    (7) Alexander Perejougin: UPSIDE: Vyacheslav Kozlov, Detroit Red Wings. DOWNSIDE: David Vyborny, Columbus Blue Jackets.
    (8) Jiri Novotny: UPSIDE: Vaclav Prospal, Florida Panthers. DOWNSIDE: Mats Lindgren, New York Islanders.
    (9) Alexander Polushin: UPSIDE: Dmitri Khristich, Washington Capitals. DOWNSIDE: Alexei Morozov, Pittsburgh Penguins.
    (10) Jens Karlsson: UPSIDE: Brian Savage, Montreal Canadiens. DOWNSIDE: Michal Grosek, Chicago Black Hawks.
    (11) Igor Knyazev: UPSIDE: Robert Svehla, Florida Panthers. DOWNSIDE: Igor Kravchuk, Calgary Flames.
    (12) Tuukka Mantyla: UPSIDE: Jason Woolley, Buffalo Sabres. DOWNSIDE: John Slaney, Pittsburgh Penguins.
    (13) Fedor Tyutin: UPSIDE: Anders Eriksson, Florida Panthers, DOWNSIDE: Richard Smehlik, Buffalo Sabres.
    (14) Timofei Shiskanov: UPSIDE: Jere Lehtinen, Dallas Stars. DOWNSIDE: Ville Peltonen, Nashville Predators.


    GOALTENDERS
    (1) Pascal Leclaire: UPSIDE: Marc Denis, Columbus Blue Jackets. DOWNSIDE: Stephane Fiset, Los Angeles Kings.
    (2) Dan Blackburn: UPSIDE: Curtis Joseph, Toronto Maple Leafs. DOWNSIDE: Jamie McLennan, Minnesota Wild.
    (3) Tomas Duba: UPSIDE: Tommy Salo, Edmonton Oilers. DOWNSIDE: Jani Hurme, Ottawa Senators.
    (4) Andrei Medvedev: UPSIDE: Roman Turek, St. Louis Blues. DOWNSIDE: Kirk McLean, New York Rangers.
     
  14. Stealth JD

    Stealth JD You're Sicilian huh?

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    funny how the downside of all those players are.....average NHL players. I figure, the downside would be complete BUST...... :dunno:
     
  15. El_Scoobo

    El_Scoobo Registered User

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    haha, that's exactly what I was thinking. I'm pretty sure that Darren Mclachlan's downside is...........Darren Mclachlan.
     
  16. 12# Peter Bondra

    12# Peter Bondra Registered User

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    (13) Fedor Tyutin: UPSIDE: Anders Eriksson, Florida Panthers, DOWNSIDE: Richard Smehlik, Buffalo Sabres

    Im sure NYR is happy he didnt fullfill his upside :D.
     
  17. Douggy

    Douggy Registered User

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    The hillarious part is some of the 'upside' players being worse than the 'downside'. :biglaugh:
     
  18. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    When those comparisons were made, Jokinen was really struggling with the Panthers. He finished with only 16 points that year, and followed that up with a sterling 29-point effort. Many were writing him off as a disappointment who would never fulfill his upside. Comparisons to Jokinen were not meant as a compliment. Now, of course, a comparison to Jokinen is high praise. He has already suprassed his career high for assists and points, and 85-plus point seasons will likely become the norm. With his size and skill, he'll become a prototype for the next 5-10 years.

    I was thinking the Habs made off like bandits when they drafted Milroy. He had an excellent season in Swift Current in 2000-01. There were doubts about his offensive instincts, and many felt he'd be best suited as a 15-goal third liner, but those thoughts were erased after a sensational 2002 WHL playoffs (was far and away the playoff MVP) and a Memorial Cup championship. (Scouts compared his wrist shot to Sakic's). But his play regressed the following year, and he has been struggling to regain his offensive touch over the last four seasons.
     
  19. Doomsday Device

    Doomsday Device Registered User

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    This is a bit nitpicky, but everything I read about that 1999 draft labelled it as very strong in terms of depth, especially with the European contingent. But despite its hype it's probably going to end up looking poorer than a draft like 2002, which was considered one of the worst ever but has had some surprising success.
     
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