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February 11, 1994

February 11, 1994

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. In each issue, you'll find news, features and opinions about the NHL and leagues across North America and the world.

IN THIS ISSUE

Sykora youngest player in IHL history

Petr Sykora was set become the youngest player in International league history and the first to come with a 30-day guarantee. The 17-year-old Czech center is scheduled to play 15 regular-season games and one exhibition for the Cleveland Lumberjacks. “I want to play for Cleveland to prove that I can compete as a professional at this level,” Sykora said. His debut was set for Feb. 1. Radek Bonk of the Las Vegas Thunder, now 18, previously held the distinction of being the IHL’s youngest-ever player. Bonk is eligible for the 1994 NHL entry draft. Sykora, 51 days younger, isn’t eligible until 1995. Sykora is expected to return to Plzen of the Czech Elite League in time for a March 5 game. He will stay for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. Sykora had 12 goals…

IN THIS ISSUE

CLASSIFIED

IN THIS ISSUE

Sensational rookie Smolinski toiling in anonymity

The NHL’s rookie crop of 1993-94 isn’t as star-studded as last season’s edition, which included Teemu Selanne, Joe Juneau, Eric Lindros and Felix Potvin. When names are tossed around as Calder Trophy candidates among this season’s thinner first-year group-Alexei Yashin, Alexandre Daigle, Jason Arnott, Jesse Belanger-Bryan Smolinski’s name is often omitted. Is Smolinski offended? Not at all. In fact, though the Boston Bruins’ center entered February with top-five or top-10 totals in most major offensive categories, Smolinski almost agreed he should be overlooked. “I’m not satisfied,” Smolinksi said Jan. 29, after scoring his 16th goal and third winner of the season in a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders. “There’s still a long way to go.” There really wasn’t much room for advancement on Boston’s scoring list, though. Through 49 games, Smolinski was behind…

IN THIS ISSUE

Top prospect Forsberg will go from frying pan to fire

It turns out Peter Forsberg isn’t the perfect prospect after all. But he’s pretty dam close. In a Hockey News poll of 10 chief scouts and directors of player personnel to name the world’s Top 50 NHL-affiliated prospects, Forsberg was No. 1 on nine ballots. He was second on the other. Whether Forsberg ever lives up to advance billing remains to be seen, but one thing is sure: the pressure is on Forsberg to make an impact on the struggling Quebec Nordiques the moment he steps on the ice in March. Forsberg has been touted as the best player outside the NHL for the last two years and the Nordiques signed him to a four-year $6.5 million contract before the season with the express purpose of airlifting Forsberg into La Vielle Capitale for a…