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July 01, 2002 - Image 13

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-07-01

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JULY 1, 2002 13

Getting the call
rysom grabbed by
SCalgar at No. 10 n

Mike Komisarek (left) has the Canadiens drooling over his physical style of play.
r Komisarek still committed
to playing for Wolverines

By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Editor
The Montreal Canadiens fired the
first shot in the battle for Michigan
defenseman Mike Komisarek. But they
might have to bring in the heavy
artillery to lure the All-American away
from Ann Arbor.
The Montreal Gazette, citing anony-
mous sources, reported during the NHL
Entry Draft last weekend that Komis-
arek would forego his final two years at
Michigan and sign with the Canadiens.
"(The Canadiens) know that Michael
wants to be back here" Michigan assis-
tant coach Billy Powers said. "They're
going to have to change his mind."
Powers, who spoke with Komisarek
this past Tuesday on the telephone, said
the Wolverines' top defenseman is
"committed to being here"
Powers said he suspects that it was "a
little bit of wishful thinking" from the
Canadiens and a way for them to begin
pressuring Komisarek.
Michigan's top goal-scorer and All-
American Mike Cammalleri will also
decide if he will forego his senior sea-
son to play for the Los Angeles Kings.
In an interview four weeks ago, Cam-
malleri said that his plans haven't
changed and that he is still a Wolverine.

Komisarek, the Canadiens' first-
round selection in last year's draft and
the seventh pick overall, and Powers
believes the defenseman would be
happy to stay at Michigan if "he was
left alone." Unfortunately for the
Wolverines, the junior is going to feel
constant pressure from Montreal.
"Hockey is king up there, and I think
they want to know what their first-
rounders are doing," Powers said. "I'd
be lying to you if I didn't think they
were talking about him this summer.
"It's a dilemma for the kid. That's the
team that drafted you, and obviously
your goal is to get an opportunity to
play at that level, and they're calling. If
he can stay strong, I don't think there'll
be any issues."
Powers said that money will not be
an issue for Komisarek because of the
NHL's rookie salary cap. Former
Wolverine defenseman Jeff Jillson, who
let afer his junior season in 2001, had
the chance to leave for San Jose after
his sophomore season but stayed
because he was going to receive the
rookie salary cap from the Sharks. This
year's cap is set at $1,185,000 and will
increase to $1,240,000 next year.
The Michigan coaches have warned
Komisarek that he could spend next
See KOMISAREK, Page 14

By Charles Paradis
Daily Sports Editor
Before last year, the Michigan
hockey team had just two players
drafted in the top 10 of the NHL
Entry Draft. But the Wolverines have
now produced two top-10 picks in as
many seasons. Last year, Michigan
defenseman Mike Komisarek was
taken seventh overall by the Montre-
al Canadiens, and last weekend,
sophomore forward Eric Nystrom
was the selected 10th overall by the
Calgary Flames.
The selection came as a surprise to
Nystrom, who joins a very exclusive
club of Michigan players drafted in
the top 10.
"It was unbelievable, I didn't real-
ly know where I was going to go,"
Nystrom said. "There have been a lot
of great players coming through the
ranks (at Michigan). And to be
amongst them feels great and kind of
unbelievable at the same time"
Nystrom, who led all Michigan
freshmen in scoring last season, had
18 goals and 12 assists in 39 games.
Before the draft, Nystrom wvas
ranked 13th among North American
players eligible for the draft by the
NHL Central Scouting Service. This
ranking did not include European
players, who annually comprise
some of the draft's highest picks.
Nystrom shocked some when he was
the seventh North American player
selected, and the second college
player taken.
"I was very surprised," said Michi-
gan sophomore Jason Ryznar, who
was drafted by the New Jersey Dev-
ils as the first pick of the third round
(64th overall). "I had a pretty good

idea that he was
going in the first
round, but I was
thinking 18, 19, 20. 1
had no idea he would go
so early."
One group that was not
shocked, was Nystrom's
coaches at Michigan.
"It didn't surprise us
one bit because when
you evaluate Eric Nys-
trom, it's really diffi-
cult to find holes in.
his game," Michigan
assistant coach
Billy Powers said.
"(He's) a kid that's
6-foot-2, tough
competitive, has
good hands and
can score goats
with good peo-
ple. That made
him a first-
rounder. I think
thought he'd
play in our
league as a
third or fourth liner. They didn't
think he had the offensive skills he
showed this season. He can play on
the top line with the top centerman
and be an impact player."
Aside from his physical upside,
Nystrom also brings a mental tough-
ness to the game that NHL scouts are
looking for. Nystrom's ability to step
up at crucial times has been a help to
the Wolverines.
"When the going got tough, he
made things happen," Powers said.
"Those are things that really stand out.
What does a kid do when the game's

Eric Nystrom
was drafted
10th overall in
the NHL Entry
Draft by the
on the line? Not only does he
show up, but he also shows
up as one of the best players
on the ice."
But even with his recent success at
the NHL Entry Draft, Nystrom knows
there are no certainties involved with
the draft. After what he calls his best
season of hockey, Nystrom will have to
continue to excel if he wants to
advance to the next level.
"There are no guarantees in any-
thing," Nystrom said. "The reason I
got here is the way I play."
The Nystrom family is no stranger to
the NHL Draft. Eric's father, Bobby
Nystrom, was an NHL great for the
New York Islanders and was recently
named one of the Top 20 Islanders All-
Time. Drafed 30 years before his son,
the elder Nystrom experienced a slight-
ly different draft ordeal than his son.
Instead of all the hoopla that surrounds
See DRAFT, Page 16

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