Keeper Watch: First Rounders in Action

01/06/2010
Stanley Cup Champions, Pittsburgh Penguins Take to the Ice For Training Camp

‘Keeper Watch’ will come out every Wednesday or Thursday, noting the changes in value for top prospects who are most likely available in your league. We will also focus on young players once considered top prospects. Similarly to our ‘Endorsed Pickups’ I will try not to focus too much on one position, which will leave some noteworthy players off the list.

This edition of Keeper Watch much like last week’s edition will take an extended look at some top prospects and their assent through the minors.  Most of those mentioned are either first round picks or highly regarded within their organizations.

C: Jiri Tlusty, Carolina Hurricanes – In his three games in Carolina before a recent demotion, the 21-year-old center scored a goal and an assist.  The talented Czech and former 13th overall pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2006 shows tons of promise, adding to what could be an impressive young core.  With injuries to Eric Cole and Chad LaRose there should be some minutes available while the Canes rebuild.  I expect Tlusty to get a longer look this time around.

Prognosis: Lots of potential should he get good minutes.  Monitor his position on the team, he should get an opportunity once some veterans are moved.

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Injury Updates 01/02/2010

01/02/2010
Carolina Hurricanes v Nashville Predators

This thread will be updated all day, so keep refreshing it as the day goes along. Just a quick note, if I omitted a source it is due to a previous report with no recent updates. Here are your injury updates for tonight:

Injuries Tonight

Carolina Hurricanes

  • Scott Walker and Sergei Samsonov out for today’s match. They will be replaced by Zach Boychuk and Jiri Tlusty.
  • Eric Cole, Joe Corvo and Chad LaRose remain out.

New York Rangers

  • Vaclav Prospal expected out another couple of weeks.

Vancouver Canucks

  • Kevin Bieksa, Pavol Demitra and Ryan Johnson out.

Dallas Stars

  • Everybody healthy!

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Matt Walker, Todd Fedoruk and Jeff Halpern still out.

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Lunch with Brian Burke

12/26/2009
NHL Board of Governors Meeting

Earlier this afternoon, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke discussed numerous topics on Leafs Lunch – Leafs Nation Edition with Dennis Bayak.  With the Leafs playing much better than their winless start, they may make some noise during the trade deadline or as Burke alluded to before it.

Personally I have always admired Burke’s honesty in discussing his teams.  He usually gives his fans a perspective on what he plans to do while playing his cards close to the chest.  The GM of the 2010 Team USA program also announced he will release the roster on Monday, December 28th.

Lets break down some of the topics discussed.

On the State of the Team

  • Thinks the playoffs are realistic and notes the team work ethic has been great to date.
  • Reemphasized not winning their first seven games really hurt their chances of climbing the standings.
  • Would like to see both goalies healthy and in rhythm.  Wants two weeks with both Jonas Gustavsson and Vesa Toskala healthy so he can assess the situation and rely on one of them down the stretch.
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Trade Rumors: Busy Day in Carolina

12/03/2009
Pittsburgh Penguins v Toronto Maple Leafs

TSN’s Bob MacKenzie reported a trade of former first rounders.  The last place Carolina Hurricanes moved their most recent first round selection, Phillipe Paradis, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jiri Tlusty.

The Hurricanes get an NHL ready player who can be inserted in their lineup immediately.  Similar to their deals last year for Jussi Jokinen and Eric Cole the team gets a player who has shown flashes of offensive ability but fallen out of favor with their teams.  Considering that Tlusty is only three years removed from his 13th overall selection giving up a young prospect like Paradis does not hurt as much.

Held scoreless in his two games with the Leafs, the 21-year-old put up 15 points in 18 games with their AHL affiliate.  In 66 games last year in the A, the Czech native averaged a point per game with the Marlies.  At his age, his production at the AHL level translates to the ability to hold a regular shift.  Partner that with familiarity with coach Paul Maurice and the youngster should make a seamless transition to the Canes

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