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Years of Work May Pay Off This Year for San Jose

A big reason for the success of the San Jose Sharks this season and in recent years has been due to the team’s ability to build within via the draft.

Currently the team has 13 players on the roster that came via the draft:

1994 – Evgeny Nabokov
1997 – Patrick Marleau
1998 – Jonathan Cheechoo
1999 – Doug Murray
2001 – Marcel Goc, Christian Ehrhoff, Ryan Clowe, Tomas Pilhal
2003 – Milan Michalek, Joe Pavelski
2004 – Torrey Mitchell
2005 – Devin Setogutchi, Marc Eduoard Vlasic

Obviously some of their 1st round selections have pulled their weight. Marleau and Setogutchi are two-thirds of arguably the best line in hockey. Michalek anchors the team’s 2nd unit. But they’ve really succeeded in other rounds finding gems like Vlasic, Clowe, Pavelski, Cheechoo, Nabokov, who are key core players. The first round, especially the high picks bring the foundation, the other rounds form the team. Having success in both regards gives a team a great chance to be as successful as the Sharks are today (6 regulation losses in 45 games).

A Sad Ommission

Everyone knows I love the Hall of Fame debates. Do you remember a few years ago, when Dick Duff got in, and while statistically he wasn’t of that caliber, the old guys all said “if you ever saw him play, you’d know why he got in”? Well, this is another case. His numbers don’t tell you the whole story. Though, they do tell a good part of it.

Bruins A Strong Model To Follow

The turnaround by the Boston Bruins into one of the league’s elite has come as a mild surprise. But truth be told, the team has used all means to build a quality squad to compete and they should serve as a model that teams should follow.

The key for the B’s has been the draft. 9 regulars have come via the draft and have been key contributors to the team’s rise.

1995 – PJ Axelsson
2003 – Mark Stuart, Patrice Bergeron
2004 David Krejci, Matt Hunwick
2005 – Matt Lashoff, Vladimir Sobotka
2006 – Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic

Rangers to dump contracts and may be interested in Guerin

Larry Brooks of the New York Post is reporting that the Rangers should have interest in Bill Guerin and that the Rangers are carrying too much extra in terms of contracts which is leaving them with little to no wiggle room to make moves.

Western Conference Fantasy All-Stars:

Written by Joe Cutroni, Rotoexperts.com Staff Writer

January 23, 2009

Joe Cutroni provides an inside look at the Western Conference Fantasy All-Stars who have made a big impact at the halfway point of the season.

Western Conference Fantasy All-Stars:

Forwards:

Pavel Datsyuk (C, DET) – At the Break: 19 goals, 37 assists, plus-21, 21 PPPs, 137 SOG, 14 PIMs – Was there any doubt that Datsyuk would post the kind of numbers he has so far this season? One of the most consistent scorers over the last five seasons, Datsyuk is on par to match last year’s career-high 31 goals, 97 points, and plus-41.

Patrick Marleau (C, SJ) – At the Break: 25 goals, 26 assists, plus-21, 11 PPPs, 161 SOG, 10 PIMs – Marleau has quieted the critics this year, rebounding from a miserable 2007-08 campaign with one that should see him record his best season ever. Rival owners probably can’t believe you managed to snag Marleau so late in the draft.