touted as the next stars in the NHL are Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and
Robeto Luongo. But there are a select few (51 to be exact) who have already
been drafted into the NHL but failed to come to terms with there respective
teams, so they will be re-entering the 1997 NHL draft. These players have
not been signed for numerous reasons such as money (which is the most
common), the player in the view of his draftee team did not feel the player
deserved a contract or the player may have felt he would have a better shot
at making the NHL with a different organization. Here is a list of the more
prominent players who will be attending the NHL draft in Pittsburgh Saturday.
Brad Larsen: A two time World Junior gold medalist with Team Canada. Larsen was
the team captain in 1997. An honest player who gives it his all
every shift and every game. A projected 3rd line winger, with
tones of leadership. A player every team needs come playoffs.
John Tripp: This guy hits like a Mack truck. Was a scoring force for the OHL
champion Oshawa Generals durin there playoff drive, but don’t
expect too many goals at the NHL level from yet another Kingston
born hockey player (Doug Gilmour & Kirk Muller). Another 3rd
line winger, who loves to hit and hit to hurt. If Tripp
gained some confidence from the OHL playoffs then just maybe he
could be a second line winger who could pop in 20 goals.
Kevin Bolibruck: The captain of the Peterborough Petes is a big defensemen
with decent mobility. No word on why Chicago didn’t re-sign
him. A few years from now he may pop up in the NHL as a 6th
defensemen. A decent two star prospect, probably a 5th or
6th round pick.
Shane Willis: Willis lit up the lamp 56 times this year for the WHL champion
Lethbridge Hurricanes. Willis was also a member of Team Canada
at the 1997 World Junior Hockey Championships. A pure goal
scorer with a real nose for the net. Fiancial descrepancy
was the reason this sniper didn’t score a contract with Tampa Bay.
Todd Norman: Norman led the Guelph Storm in goals (47), assits (58) and points
(105). Pretty impressive numbers for a guy you would think the
Canucks would want to sign seeing he is a offensive minded centre.
Norman could be a steal if he hangs around until the 7th round or
not until after the 2nd round. Brad Larsen and John Tripp should be the
first two picks, ironically both were property of the Colorado Avalanche.