Saturday, June 21, 2003

Here's some info on Pick #64 - Jim Howard. Wow, he's hardly a year older than me and he's been drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. Not bad. 50. (over all ranking) Jim Howard Born: March 26, 1984, Ogdensburg, N.Y. 2002-03: University of Maine Pos: G | Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 218 | Catches: L Central Scouting: No. 2 North American goalie Jim Howard caused a few eyebrows to rise in praise of his work for most of the season. But his play tailed off at the end of the year and in the playoffs. Don't read into the disappointing finish too much. It's hard for a rookie netminder to carry his team as far as Howard carried Maine. "I look at so many college goalies who are 20 or 21, and he was every bit as good as them," said one scout. "He was a rookie and he had a great year despite what happened at the end." Howard's fundamentals are sound. He plays the shooter square and has great focus on the puck. He has fast feet and scouts didn't detect any problem with his glove hand. Howard had an 8-1-0 record at Maine prior to the WJC and was the hottest goalie in U.S. college. He finished the season 14-6-0 with a respectable .916 save percentage. The feeling among scouts is Howard has the potential to be a top goalie in the NHL. "He is a guy who rises to the occasion," said one scout. "He is a goalie who can get hot and win games." YEAR TEAM LEA. W-L-T SV% GAA '01-02 USA U18 16-8-1 .933 1.89 USA WU18 5-1-0 .958 1.17 '02-03 Maine HE 14-6-0 .916 2.45 USA WJC 0-1-0 .800 6.05 The Hockey News says: No. 1 goaltender It's hard for me to get excited about a newly drafted goalie because of the developement they usually have to go through but maybe this guy is different. He'll probably have to beat out Stefan Liv for the top Wings' goalie prospect though. He's called the No. 2 North American goalie which puts him behind Marc-Andre Fleury, the No. 1 pick of the draft today. Fleury was drafted by the Pens, who got that pick from the Panthers in a trade, and is yet another product of the Quebec School of Goaltending (which means he's probably going to be very good and not another flop).


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