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Old 06-25-2006, 03:10 PM   #4751
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Originally Posted by Hercules Rockefeller
I saw at the Avs site they've got him as the 8th best NA skater, but that list is accurate as of 4-20. I really hope Adrian didn't go off of a 2 month old list when he wrote the article.
I printed out a copy of the NHL Draft media guide and it says on the 1st page that the info in there is current as of 4-20, so I imagine that's where Dater got it from.

Still, that doesn't excuse him from not being able to interpret the rankings properly. Especially when I know he owns a computer and is capable of doing a few minutes worth of research.
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Old 06-25-2006, 03:38 PM   #4752
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Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange
I printed out a copy of the NHL Draft media guide and it says on the 1st page that the info in there is current as of 4-20, so I imagine that's where Dater got it from.

Still, that doesn't excuse him from not being able to interpret the rankings properly. Especially when I know he owns a computer and is capable of doing a few minutes worth of research.
Yeah...I found the same stuff yesterday after they drafted Stewart. He simply was ranked as the 8th best skater in North America. Not the 8th best player in the draft. I don't remember what site I found all of that on, but they had rankings in all sorts of areas.

After reading the information I did not come away with the impression that Stewart was ranked as the 8th best player. It was pretty clear.

Then again I'm not sure how many casual fans pay attention to such things. For the ignorant Avs fans...Dater's piece will get them excited.

I don't care where he was ranked anyway...I just like that the Avs looked to have gotten themselves a legit power forward. We'll see how he develops.

I also read up on your boy Nigel Clockwork. That looks like a no brainer of a pick.

How long does the team that drafts a player have to get them under contract?
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Old 06-25-2006, 05:30 PM   #4753
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How long does the team that drafts a player have to get them under contract?
It's two years for European players & players in Canadian Juniors. NCAA player's rights are retained so long as the player has college eligibility and remains in school.

So the Avs have two years to sign Chris Stewart, while they could wait four years for Nigel Williams until he graduates from Wisconsin.
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Old 06-25-2006, 05:46 PM   #4754
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In your estimation, how many players from this year's draft are capable of playing right away?
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Old 06-25-2006, 06:00 PM   #4755
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Not many. Backstrom is regarded as the most NHL ready prospect and the Caps appear to want him to come over this year. On sheer ability, Kessel is good enough to play this season, but I think he could use another year in college to work on the finer points of his game.
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Old 06-25-2006, 06:09 PM   #4756
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Nigel Williams article from about a week ago.


Commitment
North Aurora hockey player about to see his dream come true



donnell collins / staff photographer
Nigel Williams of North Aurora is expected to be drafted high in the NHL 2006 Entry Draft on Saturday. Williams won a gold medal while playing for USA Hockey's U-18 team in Sweden last April.
Nigel Williams has played hockey for as long as he can remember.

But up until last year, the 18-year-old defenseman from North Aurora was just focusing on having fun. He had never given much thought to the idea of actually doing it for a living.

That's going to change Saturday in Vancouver, British Columbia, when Williams should hear his named called early in the National Hockey League's 2006 Entry Draft.

Williams, who plays for the USA Hockey's U-18 team and was a member of its 2006 World Championship squad, was ranked in April by the league's Central Scouting Service as the 13th-best North American skater. Other publications have him listed even higher.

"It never really crossed my mind until last year when I got on Team USA and people started seeing me," he said. "It's a big change. You go from someone who people thought was an average player to someone who is on the top."

His play for Team USA was what got him the exposure, but that was just the result of a lifetime of work that started at age 3. From traveling almost every weekend to long separations from family, Williams grew up in an environment that definitely wasn't the norm.

"We had to travel everywhere just to find ice and play," Williams said. "There was a lot of driving, and there were a lot of late nights. But I had a lot of fun doing it."



An early start


Williams started his hockey career playing in local house leagues, then joined the successful Team Illinois program while in grade school. When he was ready to enter high school, he decided to attend Shattuck-St. Mary's, a prep school in Fairbault, Minn., that has a deep hockey history.
Fairbault is about a 400-mile, 6-hour drive from home. Williams admitted it was tough heading that far from home as a high school freshman.

"It was a big jump," he said. "You're away from your parents, and you are up there for a while, by yourself. It was different, but all the guys there were hockey players, so it was a lot of fun."

After two years in Minnesota, Williams came back home to play for Team Illinois, where in 60 games he had 14 goals and 18 assists. Williams was starting to draw some attention from Division I colleges and settled on the University of Wisconsin, where he planned to attend in the fall of 2007, giving him another year after high school to hone his skills before entering the college ranks.

Then things changed in a big way. In the spring of 2005, he was invited to Slovakia to try out for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. The NTDP is made up of two teams — U-17 and U-18 — that help groom players for future hockey careers, which can include participation on the national team.

He got off to a good start. In his first tournament, he led the tournament in scoring and was named the top defenseman.

"Nigel to me doesn't get nervous in big games," said his father, Tim. "Most kids would be nervous. For a player to be a newcomer and under the highest pressure, he handled it well."

Williams was accepted to the team, which meant another move — this time to Ann Arbor, Mich. Players in the NTDP attend class at local high schools for half of the day, then spend the rest of the day at the rink. The team travels around the country and plays more than 50 games against mostly college competition while also playing internationally, including the Five Nations Tournament in Russia and the IIHF World Championships in Sweden.

It was a grueling schedule, but also an introduction into life in the world of high-level hockey.

"With the USA program, at times it might have felt like a job, because they were pushing you that hard," he said. "If you weren't performing, then you were in trouble. Some of the guys (we played against) were better than us, but you realize where you need to get to."

What made it all worthwhile was the team's play in the World Championships.

The team went 6-0 and capped the tournament with a 3-1 win over Finland in the title game to give the U-18 squad back-to-back world titles for the first time in NTDP history.

"When I got to USA, it was all about the world tournament and trying to repeat," he said. "There were some intense workouts, with everything building up to it. When it came down to the championship game and we won it, everything was worth it."



Dream come true


Williams admits he has had several ups and downs in his career, but the constant through all of it has been the support of his family. His sister, Frankie, plays women's hockey at the University of Vermont, and his father has been his support since the beginning.
Tim, who owns and operates F.A.N. Construction Material Services in Montgomery, was fortunate to be able to set his own hours so he could make time for his son's hockey commitments: three practices per week, tournaments every weekend, and two trips to Detroit each month.

It hasn't been easy. Tim jokes that he could have "bought a Ferrari and a couple of Lamborghinis" with what he has spent on hockey, and looking back he still marvels at how he was able to balance his life to keep their dream alive.

"I told him to do his job on the ice," Tim Williams said. "I told him, 'You give me 100 percent on the ice, and I'll give you 110 off the ice.'"

"My family has made an unbelievable commitment," Nigel Williams said. "My sister's been nothing but awesome to me, and both of my parents (Tim and Pam, now divorced) have worked hard to get us to where we are."

The elder Williams had hoped all of it might lead to a hockey scholarship — which it did.

What he didn't envision was that his son would grow to 6-foot-5 and weigh 230 pounds with advanced offensive skills for a defenseman, someone who could go end-to-end and have an on-ice disposition such that he was named the "meanest player on the ice" at the recent NHL Scouting Combine.

"It's a dream that you never could have dreamt, because it was way too high of a dream," Tim Williams said. "All I ever dreamed about was getting to college and hopefully play for a Division I school. I got way more than I ever asked for. From the age of 3 up, it's been a long road."

While competitive and hard-hitting on the ice, the younger Williams is the opposite off of it. He is polite and well-spoken, wants to be nice to everyone, and likes to laugh and clown around.

Tim Williams recalls seeing his son's maturity at the world championship title game when Nigel was pulled from the game after one shift and didn't play the rest of the night. Instead of sulking, he checked his disappointment and cheered his team onto victory. In team photos, Nigel is seen with a beaming smile, the gold medal hanging around his neck.

Like any recent high school graduate, Williams — who transferred back to Oswego at the end of the school year in time for graduation — is closing one chapter to his life and opening another, and the draft will have a lot to say as to what he plans on doing next. Though he has met with several teams, he won't know until his name is called which team plans on drafting him.

After the draft, that team will hold his negotiating rights throughout his college career, and he'd like to play college hockey until he's ready to go pro. Because of his rapid development, he has already been working out with the Wisconsin program, and should he decide to stay in college, he will play for the Badgers this season instead of waiting one more year.

But a seven-figure bonus to turn professional may be there as well. That's something the Williams family will have to mill over through the next couple of months.

Beyond hockey, Nigel Williams has never let himself get bogged down by the complexities of life, and he doesn't plan on changing.

"Everybody has their goals in life, and I'd just like to be able to be in the NHL and just play," he said. "I'd be playing against the best guys in the world. I would have put in my time and finally gotten there."

06/18/06

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/b...HLDRAFT_S1.asp
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Old 06-25-2006, 06:28 PM   #4757
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Michael Neuwirth looks like he's about 12.
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:57 PM   #4758
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Nigel Williams (51st overall)
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:09 PM   #4759
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Nigel looks a bit crazy, which I like in a 6-5, 230 pound defenseman.

As far as Dater saying Stewart could have been a top ten pick, who cares? He was the 8th best North American skater in April and only 4 Euros were picked in front of him yesterday. I don't care where the ISS ranked Stewart, anyway; we've needed a big, strong forward like him for years now (now he's just got the small task of panning out).

I'm happy to see we're starting to collect prospects again. The forwards picked in the last two drafts look good and I like the Nigel Williams selection, though we still need some more prospects on the blueline.
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:30 PM   #4760
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They definately need to add to the blueline, but I didn't mind using the first round pick on Stewart. What really bode well for the Avs was how the defensemen really fell. Williams was projected to be a mid to late first round pick, even the center Burti who they took late in the second was projected to go late first in some mocks. I really like this draft for the Avs. I love the Montgomery and Sauer picks. Sauer was a guy that was projected to be a first rounder 18 months ago. When Montoya left Michigan to sign with the Rangers, Sauer joined the Wolverines a year before his expected arrival as a 17 year old. His numbers weren't great, but this is a potential steal if he rebounds to his USHL form. Montgomery could turn into a Liles type pick.

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Old 06-25-2006, 09:55 PM   #4761
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I won't mind them not going heavy on the blue line so long as that's their focus when free agency starts. The cupboard is now stocked with quality forward prospects (Wolski, Stastny, Stoa, Stewart, Hensick), but the defense is still not where I'd prefer it to be.

With the likes of Jovo, McCabe (contrary to reports, his deal is not done and may not get done), Redden, McKee, Kubina and others all be out there to be had, there's no excuse not to get one of them with the Tanguay savings. Add one quality UFA D-man to the core of Blake (re-signed), Skrastins(re-signed), Liles, Leopold & Vaananen and I'll be a happy guy. Even happier if the guy who I left off is bought out.
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:01 PM   #4762
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange
Skrastins(re-signed), Liles, Leopold & Vaananen and I'll be a happy guy. Even happier if the guy who I left off is bought out.


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Old 06-25-2006, 10:03 PM   #4763
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First a Kenyon jersey on my birthday and now this?

I retract my nomination of you for the OM Hall Of Fame.

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Old 06-25-2006, 10:23 PM   #4764
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange
Backstrom is regarded as the most NHL ready prospect and the Caps appear to want him to come over this year.
Let him stay so he doesn't use up a year towards UFA status. Besides the Caps will already be breaking in at least one rookie next year on their top 2 lines (Fleischmann) and probably another in Fehr for a decent part of the season. They don't need to add Backstrom to that mix.
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:46 PM   #4765
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Good lord, the NY Post is reporting that the Oilers talked to the Panthers about a trade for Chris Pronger at the draft. The Oilers asked for Jay Bouwmeester, Nathan Horton & the 10th overall pick in the draft, to which the Panthers naturally said no f'n way.

Grab a Snickers, Pronger. If that's what Lowe is asking for, you won't be going anywhere for a while.
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:57 PM   #4766
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Leopold didn't see yesterday's trade coming

By RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

Goalie a popular pick
Flames land left-winger to help fill the net
Sutter makes a big splash at draft




VANCOUVER -- Caught off guard? That's an understatement.

Jordan Leopold's plans yesterday were to go to a wedding.

Instead, he received word the Calgary Flames had dealt him to the Colorado Avalanche for Alex Tanguay.

"I was really surprised," said Leopold, whose name had surfaced the last while as trade bait for the Flames to answer their need for scoring. "I wasn't expecting anything to happen.

"The last time I'd heard my name (being mentioned as a trade possibility) was at the deadline but then nothing happened. I didn't hear anything lately so wasn't expecting anything."

Leopold came into the league an offensive defenceman and developed his defensive skills to the point he averaged more than 22 minutes a game under the Flames defence-first system.

However, he slumped last season offensively, netting only two goals and 18 assists and took heat from GM/head coach Darryl Sutter.

"To me, it was more Darryl being frustrated for me," Leopold said. "I had three goals called back and that would have put me at five and that would have been an pretty good season."

Sutter said the trade wasn't an indictment of Leopold's development.

"To get a top player, you've got to get up a good, young player and we gave up a good, young player," Sutter said. "That's how I explained it to Leo.

"It's not that you want to trade a player like that but to get to where we wanted to go, it's obvious what we had to give up."

Though excited about a restart of his career in Denver, Leopold said it was difficult leaving the only NHL city he'd known.

"My family had become accustomed to being there and settled in, to it's tough to leave," he said, before adding: "I am surprised I went to another team in the division."

Though that's not a normal practice in the NHL, Sutter wasn't fazed: "Hey, no brains, no fear."

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL...52480-sun.html
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Old 06-25-2006, 11:44 PM   #4767
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Quote:
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Nigel looks a bit crazy, which I like in a 6-5, 230 pound defenseman.
I believe that in an article Clockwork posted earlier...Nigel was named the meanest player on the ice...in some tourney or another.

You have to like meaness come bad intentions in a blueliner. Adam Foote was chalk full of it, and Rob Blake certainly is in his own way.

I liked the Tanger trade, and I liked what the Avs did yesterday in the draft. Now it's up to them to spend some dough, and make a decent team a pretty good one.

(Edit: What's the over/under on Tay-o-door missing time next season with...chlamydia...herpes...or the crabs?")

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Old 06-26-2006, 09:35 AM   #4768
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WC Draft Grades

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...des/index.html

EC

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...des/index.html
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Old 06-26-2006, 09:39 AM   #4769
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overall i think my pens got some good prospects.

thanks for the links herc.
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Old 06-26-2006, 12:09 PM   #4770
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Habs resign Huet to a two year deal worth 5.75 million; a 2.875 cap hit for each year---TSN.ca
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:11 PM   #4771
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Tyler Arnason let go by Ottawa without a qualifying offer.
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:28 PM   #4772
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Habs resign Huet to a two year deal worth 5.75 million; a 2.875 cap hit for each year---TSN.ca
he'll be traded to the Avs in a year or so...he'll have his jersey retired in 2 years. book it.
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:36 PM   #4773
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he'll be traded to the Avs in a year or so...he'll have his jersey retired in 2 years. book it.
Or he'll sign with Detroit in two years for $8 million per season and then be relegated to backup duty when Hasek comes out of retirement again.
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:53 PM   #4774
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Or he'll sign with Detroit in two years for $8 million per season and then be relegated to backup duty when Hasek comes out of retirement again.
The winner, by way of technical knockout, Clockwork Orange!
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Old 06-26-2006, 03:17 PM   #4775
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The winner, by way of technical knockout, Clockwork Orange!
touche...

as long as ass-lick brings another cup to Detroit, i'm ok with that...
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