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July 01, 2002 - Image 16

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

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16 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 1, 2002

DRAFT
Continued from Page 13
today's draft, the elder Nystrom just
received a call in a secluded hotel
room on draft day.
"When he got drafted it wasn't
like it is today, it was totally differ-
ent," Eric Nystrom said. "They just
gave you a phone call."
Nystrom was very fortunate grow-
ing up to have a father that was so.
knowledgeable about hockey. Many
have noted Nystrom's NHL connec-
tions, but he knows that the way he
reached the NHL was not by resting
on his father's laurels.
"You don't waste a top ten pick on
hope and bloodlines," Nystrom said.
"They know that I've been
coached well. They know that my
dad knows a lot more than lots of
other dads."
Nystrom was not the only Michi-
gan player selected in this year's

draft. Fellow forward Jason Ryznar
was also selected in the draft.
"It was a great relief first of all,"
Ryznar said. "All year long, every-
one is talking about the draft. And
when it finally comes around, and
you hear your name called, it is just
a great relief."
Ryznar tallied nine goals and
seven assists for the Wolverines last
year. One of his biggest games was
in the Cold War, where Ryznar,
playing in his first game as 4
Wolverine, tallied a goal and an
assist.
"I've been trying to improve over
the last few years," Ryznar said.
"You gotta just keep going all the
time. You can't really change your
mindset at all."
In the eighth round of the draft,
the Edmonton Oilers picked up
sophomore Dwight Helminen with
the 244th overall pick.
"I really didn't know a lot,"

Helminen said. "I kind of figured I'd
be drafted, I just didn't know when."
. Size may have hurt Helminen's
draft status, but with an improved
offensive output next season, his
stock could go up.
"Dwight being 5-foot-10, I think
those kids at that size, te get drafted
early, have to do exceptional things
early in the season," Powers said.
"He didn't show the offensive
dynamic. Those are the things the
NHL looks for in a player that size.
Dwight's an NHL skater, he needs to
step it up offensively. He's done it at
every level he's played at."
Nystrom, Ryznar and Helminen
join fellow sophomores David Moss,
Milan Gajic, Brandon Rogers and
Michael Woodford, who were drafted
last year, as players tabbed by NHL
teams. Of the eleven freshmen from
last year's class, NHL teams drafted
seven. In total, they have drafted
nine active Michigan players.

q

RYAN LEVENTHAL/Daily
Dwight Helminen was picked by the Edmonton Oilers in the eighth round (244th
overall). The sophomore tallied 10 goals and eight assists last season.

4

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