Archive for September 7, 2006

Newcomer – Jan Bulis

September 7, 2006

Junior Team: Barrie Colts

Notable Teammates: Jeff Cowan (L.A. Kings), Matt Cooke (Vancouver)

Best CHL Season: 103 points in 64 games

NHL Draft: 1996, 42nd overall, 2nd round

Drafted By: Washington Capitals

Traded:2001 with Richard Zednik & 1st round pick to Montreal for Trevor Linden

Traded: 2006 signs 1 year deal with Vancouver

Best NHL Season: 40 points in 73 games

Jan Bulis was a fan favourite and fantastic player in Barrie where he was selected by the team 2nd overall in the junior draft.  He was also the first player in Colts history to score more than 100 points in a season.

But to make it to the big leagues, he’s had to play a more defensive game.  It reminds me of the path that Matt Cooke had to take to get to the NHL.  Except that Bulis doesn’t have the toughness that Cooke has (that’s the extent of Cooke compliments you’ll find on this site).

While Cooke had his chance on the top lines and failed to come through, that same opportunity is the exact reason Bulis signed with Vancouver.  That and the money was the same as he’d get anywhere else in the league.  Bulis had a well documented tumultuous relationship with Bob Gainey, the current GM and former coach of the Montreal Canadiens.  Bulis has been trying to fight his way out of the defensive role he’s been cast in since he started his NHL career.

This is his chance, the same as Carter got last year, to prove himself as a scorer in the NHL.  While hockey gurus vary tremendously on their forecasts of players each year, many seem to have become awestruck by Carter’s great season last year.  Forgetting of course that Carter struggled incessantly before signing with the Canucks and it was the Sedins that revived his career, not the other way around.

You can expect a similar story from Bulis this year, but only if he works hard enough to keep in Vigneaults good books.

The Chief Canuck