Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Acquisition of Jason Arnott doesn't take Devils out of Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes

Acquisition of Jason Arnott doesn't take Devils out of Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes
Richard Chere The Star Ledger June 19, 2010

Jason Arnott brings size, strength, a powerful shot and experience to the Devils.

The veteran center also brings a $4.5 million salary.

But Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said Arnott’s salary doesn’t take the Devils out of the running to possibly sign both defenseman Paul Martin and winger Ilya Kovalchuk. Both can become unrestricted free agents July 1.

“No. You have to do other things to make room,” the GM said. “We didn’t win. We’re going to have to make some changes. There are going to be some changes that might surprise some people.

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Draft Rewind: Tim Erixon

Flames 2009 Draft Rewind
Kristi Hennessy June 21, 2010

Although Tim Erixon was actually born in Port Chester, New York, he began playing hockey in Sweden at the age of five. His father Jan moved his family back to Sweden after he retired from the New York Rangers.

His professional hockey career began with Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Elite League (SEL) at the age of 17. In his first full season with Skelleftea, Erixon recorded seven points in 45 games by the end of the 2008-09 season.

The 6’2”, 190-pound defender represented Sweden at the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championships and the 2009 World Junior Championships where he brought home a silver medal. He made a third Team Sweden appearance at the 2010 World Junior Championships held in Saskatchewan, Canada. He posted a goal and two assists in five games and took home a bronze medal.

Erixon was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the first round (23rd overall) and was ranked as the 5th ranked European skater according to NHL Central Scouting. The Flames consider him a well-rounded player; not expected to be an offensive minded defenseman, but a player with a good vision on the ice.

Erixon attended the 2009 development camp last summer but knew all along that he would return to his team in Sweden for at least one more season. Last season, he recorded 13 assists in 45 games with Skellefea (SEL) and added one goal in 12 playoff games.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kovalchuk and Volchenkov, 1 and 3 respectively in Yahoo! Sports Top 50 Free agents

The NHL's top 50 unrestricted free agents
Sam McCraig Yahoo! Sports June 16, 2010

NHL free agency begins on July 1, the date when most of the league’s general managers leave sanity behind and spend ownership’s money faster than you can say “salary cap.”

Here’s a look at the top 50 players who are eligible for unrestricted free agency:

1. Ilya Kovalchuk, LW, NJ – Goals, speed and superstar street cred. Kovalchuk is easily the most talented player on the open market...

3. Anton Volchenkov, D, Ott – A shot-blocking, bodychecking, stay-at-home stud...few defensemen are more proficient in their own zone than Volchenkov.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Province's UFA of the Day -- Ilya Kovalchuk

Mike Halford The Province June 15, 2010

From now until June 30, we'll be taking a daily look at this year's unrestricted free agency class. Today's UFA of the Day? Ilya Kovalchuk.

Age: 27

NHL seasons: 8

2009-10 team/salary: Atlanta Thrashers/New Jersey Devils, $6.4 million

Why teams might want him: If there's a (goalscoring) problem yo, he'll solve it.

Point blank, Kovalchuk is a consistently elite sniper. He's posted six straight 40-goal seasons (and two 50-plus goal campaigns) which, in terms of goalscoring prowess, puts him in some pretty rarefied air. Since the lockout, only Alexander Ovechkin has scored more goals -- that puts Kovy ahead of snipe shows like Dany Heatley, Sidney Crosby, Marian Gaborik, Jarome Iginla and Marian Hossa, to name a few.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

St. Louis Blues Sign 2009 1st-round pick David Rundblad

Posted by Nathan Fournier, The World of Junior Hockey

Press Release June 11, 2010

St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced Thursday the club has signed defenseman David Rundblad (RUHND-blahd), who was the Blues first selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

“By signing David and adding him to the fold, we continue to keep our blueline depth strong,” said Davidson. “We have been impressed with the progress he’s made since we drafted him last year and are looking forward to watching his development towards the NHL.”

Rundblad, 19, has spent the past three seasons with Skelleftea HC of the Swedish Elite League (SEL).

In 2009-10, the Lycksele, Sweden native played in 47 games for Skelleftea posting 13 points on a goal and 12 assists to go along with 14 penalty minutes. In total, the 6’2”, 189-pound defenseman has made 98 appearances for the Swedish side accumulating 23 points including a goal, 22 assists and 24 penalty minutes.

In addition, Rundblad represented Sweden in both the 2009 and 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships, helping the team capture the Silver Medal in 2009 and Bronze in 2010. At the 2009 Championship, he posted a goal and an assist to go along with a plus-3 rating in six games while in 2010 he increased production to a goal, four assists and a plus-9 mark in six appearances.