Lascek/Sagueneens Best in CHL

Stanislav Lascek's Chicoutimi Sagueneens [url=http://www.lhjmq.qc.ca/lang_en/index.php?page=232&id_nouvelle=897&PHPSESSID=079d33dfcd943d9da0b02bbf6aac3932]have been named the #1 ranked team in the CHL according to the Bank of Montreal sponsored CHL Top Ten which is selected by a panel of NHL scouts.[/url] Chicoutimi is led by QMJHL leading scorer and Lightning prospect Stanislav Lascek who has 22 goals and 72 points in 32 games. Beyond Lascek, the Sags have an impressive array of offensive weapons that include Buffalo first round pick Marek Zagrapan, highly skilled but diminutive David Desharnais and Lightning Traverse City camp invitee Maxime Boisclair. With such a powerful lineup, Chicoutimi is a bona fide Memorial Cup contender this season.

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Lascek

What are your guys' takes on Lascek's NHL potential? Is he for real, or does he have more of a competitive advantage in being a little older than many of the other players in the q (who aren't overage)?

WJC's Will Tell a Lot

Skill wise he's definitely NHL material. The question is whether his skating is good enough to where he can find space at even strength to use those skills. Jake Goertzen has referred to Lascek publicly as a "power play specialist" partly because of this IMO, that he gets more space on the power play and is thus free to create offensively with more space and time. He was held scoreless at TC partly, I believe, because the jump in speed and reciprocal loss of time and space to make plays was something he had some difficulty adjusting to. He should be elligible to play at the WJC's as he doesn't turn 20 until a couple of weeks after the tourney. To me, that will be a good indicator of where his game is. A good performance for the Slovaks will make me more of a believer. Age is not a huge issue here. He's only about 10-11 months as I recall older than Zagrapan, for instance. He's not in his overage junior season and will be a teenager still until mid January. The strength of the team around him might be. Chicoutimi has a lot of offensive talent and they've been playing together a long time now. Bare minimum he'll be an outstanding, exciting player for Springfield next season. But, I'm not ready to annoint him a future scoring line NHLer just yet. I want to see him do it at a level where the speed is greater and the checking a little tighter first.

And now Pete??????

And now Pete??????

Still Hard to Say

I'm leaning more towards saying he could be a scoring liner at the next level today than before the tournament, but he still hasn't closed the sale with me. He had a good game against the Russians, an uneven game against the Czechs and then got completely shut down against the Swedes. I don't think scoring a bunch of points against Latvia proves too much, doing more against the Czechs and Swedes would've. Now he's got another challenge ahead of him. Chicoutimi is in position to potentially win a Memorial Cup. He's the kingpen for the Sangueneens. QMJHL playoffs will be another chance to prove himself in a higher pressure/tighter checking environment.

Do you make a deal

Do you make a deal Lascek-Chris Bourque???? Bourque scored 5 goals against Norway and almost nothing after!!!! Slovakia score 19 goals and he had 9 pts ( almost 50%) who in the tournament produce more for his team??? The problem with Slovakia was the goalies (worst of the tournament). With his 9 pts it's the best total for a Slovak player in the history of the country from 1996!!! Lascek leaded the team in playoffs last 2 years.....i don't think we have the team to go in Memorial Cup now. If we go probably Lascek will be the biggest factor but if we don't go it will be just normal!!!

Re: Chicoutimi

Now that they've added Coloumbe, I think Chicoutimi has to be considered even more of a favorite to come out of the QMJHL. Would I deal Lascek for Chris Bourque? I'd seriously think about it because Bourque's skating is already about NHL caliber. In so far as "doing nothing the rest of the tournament" he did finish just 1 point behind Lascek in scoring and unlike Stan, he played in the medal round against good competition, not the relegation round. Like I said, I feel better now about Lascek than I did before the tournament but he still hasn't closed the sale.

The sale is never closed

The sale is never closed ...until the guy plays in NHL!!! I'm agree!!

Re: Lascek

If it makes you feel better, we're probably going to move him up about 6 spots in our Midterm Rankings.

Read this!!!

A bevy of future NHLers were on display at the World Junior Championship, won by a gritty and well-oiled Team Canada machine. However, the general consensus of our staff here at McKeen's is that this tournament did nothing to clarify the '06 draft picture and even left things in disarray - not to mention a few NHL braintrusts wondering about their draft picks. We rate some of the more memorable performances. THE VERY GOOD Justin Pogge (Tor), G, Canada He is composed, confident and just makes saves. Every time the camera was on him, you could see him smiling behind his mask. The kid loves to play and it shows. Superb lateral movement. Always square to the puck. As one staff member added, "big, quick, always focused, hard to beat." Ryan Parent (Nsh), D, Canada Hailed as a stable defensive force with strong leadership skills leading up to the '05 draft, Parent was everything as advertised. Outstanding skater, intelligent, made the smart plays, and was hardly ever out of position. Parent accomplished all of this against his best competition to date. Steve Downie (Phi), F, Canada One of the big keys to victory for Team Canada. Think a young Ken Linesman. A warrior who will do anything to win, and every championship team needs players willing to give total commitment to the coaching staff regardless of what is asked. Underrated puck skills, sharp face-off abilities, and one of the best defensive forwards of his age group to boot. Marc Staal (NYR), D, Canada You really couldn't have Ryan Parent on the 'Very Good' list without omnipresent partner Marc Staal, who the IIHF tabbed as the 'Top Defenseman' of the tournament. The Rangers first-rounder was spectacular in the gold-medal game and teamed magnificently with Parent as Canada's main shutdown unit. Luc Bourdon (Van), D, Canada As has been mentioned many times, offense wins games and defense wins championships. Bourdon provided both for Canada giving an offensive spark while not sacrificing his defensive responsibilities. A smooth skater who doesn't shy from physical contact - an impressive all-around package. Evgeny Malkin (Pit), F, Russia Already anointed by some as the best player outside the NHL, Malkin showcased a full package of skills highlighted by incredible skating and acceleration for a big man, as well as a great quick shot. He also sees the ice very well and can find the open man with slick passes. Penguins fans have every right to be very excited. Nikolai Kulemin (undrafted), F, Russia Though kept in check by Canada in the Final, Malkin's linemate back with Magnitogorsk emerged as this year's Sergei Shirokov. Tied for the team lead with 4 goals in just 4 games. Kulemin's progress alongside Malkin is quite an eye-opener as he is now significantly stronger on the puck and made a bunch of dangerous forays toward goal, displaying much-improved speed which now allows him to exploit his high-end hand skills. Teemu Laakso (Nsh), D, Finland Do the Preds have a knack for picking defensemen or what? Remember Laakso was considered a preliminary top 10 candidate for the '05 draft, but fell to the 78th spot due to the lockout and a bit of injury trouble. His emergence on the world stage must have Nashville's brass elated. He can skate, displays good hockey sense, and can put up some offense. Led all blueliners here with three goals. Lauri Tukonen (LA), F, Finland Questions were starting to arise about the mentality and maturity of Tukonen. Those concerns were dispelled somewhat in this tournament with a fine offensive performance. Some members of McKeen's staff feel he could improve on his overall focus at both ends, but also noted that defense can be taught - high-end skill cannot. T.J. Oshie (StL), F, USA In many eyes, the best player on the USA. Oshie plays an energy game that doesn't quit. He is a very good skater and a tireless worker. The St. Louis Blues draft pick creates plays, draws penalties and is good at both ends of the ice. Others mentioned... Cam Barker, Dustin Boyd, Kris Russell, Kyle Chipchura, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexei Emelin, Anton Khudobin, Vladimir Sobotka, Stanislav Lascek.

Nice Honorable Mention

Nice honorable mention.

A tournament is not a

A tournament is not a career but.......... for this tournament he played better than a lot of first round drafts pick!! This is all the article...you can put it in first page if you want!! A bevy of future NHLers were on display at the World Junior Championship, won by a gritty and well-oiled Team Canada machine. However, the general consensus of our staff here at McKeen's is that this tournament did nothing to clarify the '06 draft picture and even left things in disarray - not to mention a few NHL braintrusts wondering about their draft picks. We rate some of the more memorable performances. THE VERY GOOD Justin Pogge (Tor), G, Canada He is composed, confident and just makes saves. Every time the camera was on him, you could see him smiling behind his mask. The kid loves to play and it shows. Superb lateral movement. Always square to the puck. As one staff member added, "big, quick, always focused, hard to beat." Ryan Parent (Nsh), D, Canada Hailed as a stable defensive force with strong leadership skills leading up to the '05 draft, Parent was everything as advertised. Outstanding skater, intelligent, made the smart plays, and was hardly ever out of position. Parent accomplished all of this against his best competition to date. Steve Downie (Phi), F, Canada One of the big keys to victory for Team Canada. Think a young Ken Linesman. A warrior who will do anything to win, and every championship team needs players willing to give total commitment to the coaching staff regardless of what is asked. Underrated puck skills, sharp face-off abilities, and one of the best defensive forwards of his age group to boot. Marc Staal (NYR), D, Canada You really couldn't have Ryan Parent on the 'Very Good' list without omnipresent partner Marc Staal, who the IIHF tabbed as the 'Top Defenseman' of the tournament. The Rangers first-rounder was spectacular in the gold-medal game and teamed magnificently with Parent as Canada's main shutdown unit. Luc Bourdon (Van), D, Canada As has been mentioned many times, offense wins games and defense wins championships. Bourdon provided both for Canada giving an offensive spark while not sacrificing his defensive responsibilities. A smooth skater who doesn't shy from physical contact - an impressive all-around package. Evgeny Malkin (Pit), F, Russia Already anointed by some as the best player outside the NHL, Malkin showcased a full package of skills highlighted by incredible skating and acceleration for a big man, as well as a great quick shot. He also sees the ice very well and can find the open man with slick passes. Penguins fans have every right to be very excited. Nikolai Kulemin (undrafted), F, Russia Though kept in check by Canada in the Final, Malkin's linemate back with Magnitogorsk emerged as this year's Sergei Shirokov. Tied for the team lead with 4 goals in just 4 games. Kulemin's progress alongside Malkin is quite an eye-opener as he is now significantly stronger on the puck and made a bunch of dangerous forays toward goal, displaying much-improved speed which now allows him to exploit his high-end hand skills. Teemu Laakso (Nsh), D, Finland Do the Preds have a knack for picking defensemen or what? Remember Laakso was considered a preliminary top 10 candidate for the '05 draft, but fell to the 78th spot due to the lockout and a bit of injury trouble. His emergence on the world stage must have Nashville's brass elated. He can skate, displays good hockey sense, and can put up some offense. Led all blueliners here with three goals. Lauri Tukonen (LA), F, Finland Questions were starting to arise about the mentality and maturity of Tukonen. Those concerns were dispelled somewhat in this tournament with a fine offensive performance. Some members of McKeen's staff feel he could improve on his overall focus at both ends, but also noted that defense can be taught - high-end skill cannot. T.J. Oshie (StL), F, USA In many eyes, the best player on the USA. Oshie plays an energy game that doesn't quit. He is a very good skater and a tireless worker. The St. Louis Blues draft pick creates plays, draws penalties and is good at both ends of the ice. Others mentioned... Cam Barker, Dustin Boyd, Kris Russell, Kyle Chipchura, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexei Emelin, Anton Khudobin, Vladimir Sobotka, Stanislav Lascek. THE GOOD Erik Johnson (2006), D, USA Johnson would be in the top category except as one staff member noted, "way too error prone for my liking - he's not god's gift that some are hyping now. His outlet game is still suspect and he was directly responsible for some goals against, notably against the Russians. But, that said, there's no denying his raw upside is huge - not to mention that cannon shot." Jack Johnson (Car), D, USA Johnson and Johnson - sounds like an NHL marketer's dream. if you were formulating your backend based on the two Americans, you would be well set. Jack Johnson was mostly solid and at his nasty best, even overlooking the discipline problems (led the tournament with 45 penalty minutes) and a few indiscretions such as the cheap headshot on Steve Downie. Nikolai Lemtyugov (StL), D, Russia Tied for the team lead with four goals and outplayed a number of his higher-profile mates. Impressed especially in the gold-medal game as his determination made him one of the legitimate scoring threats to Canada. You can see that this kid has put in the time on the weights as he was a force on the puck, even sending Luc Bourdon crashing to the ice on a crunching shoulder-to-shoulder duel. Tuukka Rask (Tor), G, Finland Named the tournie's 'Top Goalie' by the IIHF. Likely the most athletic goalie on display here, Rask showed exceptional reaction abilities and came up with the big saves when his team needed them, however he also kicked out second, third and even fourth chances. If he can get coached to control his rebounds, the future looks very bright for the Toronto draftee. Nicklas Bergfors (NJ), F, Sweden A constant burr in the opponent's side, Bergfors was tough to handle down low as his strength and determination overmatched many a defenseman here. He worked a lot of neat give-and-go's with Nicklas Backstrom like the duo had been playing together for years. New Jersey should be most pleased to see that his AHL education is progressing rather nicely. Reto Berra (undrafted), G, Switzerland Following in the footsteps of David Aebischer, the Swiss-born Berra seems to be on track to getting his name called in the 2006 NHL Draft. A big goalie with strong reflexes, he kept his team in every game and excelled against top-tier competition, including a 4-3 loss to Canada, while his numbers were superb on a very ordinary Swiss team. Others mentioned... Blake Comeau, Kristopher Letang, Tom Pyatt, Dan Bertram, Chris Butler, Cory Schneider, Tom Fritsche, Lauri Korpikoski, Roman Polak, David Krejci, Boris Valabik, Johannes Salmonsson, Oscar Hedman, Mathias Joggi, Matthias Bieber. THE NOT SO GOOD Phil Kessel (2006), F, USA The top scorer in the tournament missed out on the awards and all-star selections and has some NHL circles pondering his suitability as a first-overall selection this June. We saw an individual trying to prove himself again and again as opposed to a player committed to bringing his team some hardware. His skill is undeniable, but his selfish performance in B.C. has allowed the pack to close the gap. Blake Wheeler (Phx), F, USA The big, rangy winger failed to utilize his strength or talents while playing on an energy line with Geoff Paukovich and Bobby Ryan. For a top-ten NHL pick, much more was expected and little delivered. Sergei Shirokov (undrafted), F, Russia OK, so where did that brash, razor-quick winger go from last year's tournament? Instead, we witness a sad effort from the crowd-taunting Russian that ended on the sourest of notes. Didn't pose a threat in the Final at all, except for his flair of diving and trying to draw penalties. The Canadians wouldn't go near him in the end as he would suddenly lose balance. Kirill Lyamin (Ott), D, Russia The only Russian with a minus-rating, Lyamin looked to be chasing the pack from the outset. Besides being shut out offensively, he also experienced mobility and positional breakdowns. All in all, this was not a good showing for the Ottawa draftee. Jonathan Toews (2006), F, Canada If this is the guy that is supposed to usurp the No. 1 ranking, Phil Kessel shouldn't be too worried. Toews was relatively ineffective in our staff's eyes - he didn't stand out and was surprisingly easy to push off the puck. Definitely didn't show the offensive skills which would almost be paramount for a top five pick. Ryan O'Marra (NYI), F, Canada See Jonathan Toews with an extra year of development. O'Marra is a top player who created precious little offensively. The coaching staff asked him to take a supporting defensive role, banging bodies and shutting down the opposition, which he did quite effectively. However, aside from dishing out some devastating bodychecks, you often wondered if he was on the ice at all. Andrew Cogliano (Edm), F, Canada Cogliano possesses a great package of speed, skills, and shooting, however it took a benching by head coach Brent Sutter to pull his head out of the weeds. There's still a ton of promise here, but if a smaller forward (5'10) has his heart questioned and at times plays a perimeter game, the star loses some of its' shine. Others mentioned... Jesse Joensuu, Mikko Lehtonen, Matt Niskanen, Mark Mitera, Peter Mueller, Jakub Kindl, Zdenek Bahensky, Ladislav Smid, Juraj Mikus, Vyacheslav Buravchikov, Enver Lisin. THE OUTRIGHT DISAPPOINTMENTS Rob Schremp (Edm), F, USA Played on the second power play and pretty much delivered an uninspired performance for one the more touted players in the tournament. Still seems to struggle creating offense five-on-five and relies heavily on his powerplay abilities for numbers. Only managed four points against teams not named Norway. Martin Hanzal (Phx), F, Czech No goals, two points, six games, and even benched at one point in the tournament. We saw nothing of the dynamic player that Phoenix took 17th overall in last year's draft. There was also much talk of the Czechs being a team in turmoil with Hanzal's name at the heart of the problem. Michael Frolik (2006), F, Czech With just one assist to show for the 2006 World Junior Championships, Frolik played mostly a perimeter game, often failing to engage any of his best skills. The Czechs finished a disappointing sixth spot, not a big shock when two of your more talented players underperform. Frolik will have to step up his intensity to solidify his draft position this summer. Benoit Pouliot (Min), F, Canada Another of the players that coach Brent Sutter called out during the tournament. Lacked intensity and sharpness from the opening whistle, and failed to display the superior puck skills and blistering top speed that are his supposed calling cards. Seemed to be avoiding physical confrontations. Guillaume Latendresse (Mtl), F, Canada Enigmatic player is going to tantalize and frustrate Montreal Canadiens fans, as he has the skill-set that scout's drool for, but also the erratic intensity that drives coaches mad. Another player benched for long stretches by Brent Sutter, Latendresse was a standout at the selection camp, however delivered a lacklustre, distracted performance - aside from a few hits sprinkled in here and there. Others mentioned... Bobby Ryan, Jack Skille, Nate Gerbe, Alexander Radulov, Alexander Edler.

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