Finding the NHL's Future - Espn (Parise gets the number 9 spot)

Unthinkable
10-07-2003, 08:14 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?id=1632492

Tuesday, October 7, 2003

By Scott Burnside
Special to ESPN.com

Every sport searches for The Next One, especially a sport that has been graced with The Great One and The Magnificent One.

In accepting the torch, a player must accept that it's not enough to simply be good, but that the sport demands more. It's in many ways a difficult role, one that transcends a player's standing in his own community, with his own team.

Each sport has had them. Each sport searches feverishly for another when those players move on.

The NBA still searches for someone to fill the void left by Michael Jordan's final exit. Likewise, the NFL hopes some of its young talent can become the next Dan Marino, John Elway, Joe Montana or Steve Young.
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THE FUTURE 15
1. Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets
The top pick in the 2002 draft, Nash made an almost instant impact on the ice as a rookie and seems comfortable handling the pressure of answering for his team. "He's going to be a bright young face in the game," predicts McGuire.
2. Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators
He's been granting interview requests since he was 14 years old, but Spezza hasn't lost his "aw shucks" appeal. He is patient and eager to accommodate. And oh yeah, he's going to be a terrific player.
3. Jay Bouwmeester, Florida Panthers
Bouwmeester has been granting interviews for almost as long as Spezza, and -- with all due respect to the third pick in 2002 -- he has likely mumbled pretty much the same thing in every one of them. In a market like Florida, Bouwmeester will have to accept that the demands placed on him will extend well beyond the ice.
4. Ales Hemsky, Edmonton Oilers
McGuire thinks the Czech forward will be "dynamite" in Edmonton, and he's right. The Czech forward was one of the team's most dynamic players down the stretch and quickly became a fan favorite. His development on and off the ice will be helped by playing in a small but exceptionally savvy media market.
5./6. Dany Heatley/Ilya Kovalchuk (left), Atlanta Thrashers
The twin towers of hockey in Atlanta have almost always been referred to in the same breath. With the serious accident that injured Heatley and killed Dan Snyder during training camp, Kovalchuk will need to accelerate his development as a leader. Heatley had made tremendous strides before the accident. Now Kovalchuk won't have his partner as a crutch to lean on.
7. Marian Gaborik, Minnesota Wild
Although holding out will take some of the sheen off any player, anywhere, Gaborik has quickly assumed star status in a hockey-mad market. Is as gifted as any young player in the league and in some ways represents the face of the small-market, high-achieving team.
8. Marian Hossa, Ottawa Senators
The Senators' top scorer has seen his personality develop along with his game. Watching the classy Alfredsson must have been a great learning tool, and if, as expected, the Senators make another deep run in the playoffs, Hossa will continue to be the center of attention in Canada's capital.
9. Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils
He may not be in the Devils' immediate plans, but the 17th pick overall in the 2003 draft has a great hockey background and is American to boot. "He's a good-looking kid who's a very polished speaker," says McGuire.
10. Rick DiPietro, New York Islanders
Having spent much of the last two years in the AHL may have done wonders for DiPietro's on-ice development, but he should also be better prepared to handle the daily rigors of playing in the New York market. As a U.S.-born player, he will be called on more and more, especially as the World Cup of Hockey and the 2006 Olympics approach.
11. Jordin Tootoo, Nashville Predators
Already the subject of several magazine profiles in Canada and the United States, including ESPN The Magazine, USA Today and Sports Illustrated, Tootoo is the first Inuit player to play in the NHL. His story is the stuff of movies, and yet the on-ice dynamo remains unpretentious and well-spoken. He will become the face of the Predators in short order.
12. Joe Thornton, Boston Bruins
No list of future stars would be complete without a mention of the man who may well be the game's next scoring champion. Even a minor brush with the law hasn't shaken the luster off Thornton's hockey halo. Big, rugged, he is hockey to many fans. More and more comfortable with the role, and he's only 24.
13. Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning
Dubbed the Michael Jordan of hockey by then-owner Art Williams, Lecavalier was fed too much responsibility too soon. Freed of the burden of the team captaincy, the 23-year-old center's game and personality have begun to flourish.
14. Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks
The Kazak goalie is confident in his skills and comfortable with his handle on the English language. By virtue of his position -- and the absence of any other true superstar on the team -- his success is closely tied to that of the team's in the standings and in the community.
15. Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
Down to earth and honest, when it looked like the Flames might not be able to sign him last year, many teams were interested because they saw him as a tremendous talent with the kind of personality they could build their team around.

NJDevils#4
10-08-2003, 06:38 AM
Parise over Lecavalier and Staal? Over Havlat and Zherdev? I don't know about that one...

Rick Middleton
10-08-2003, 06:44 AM
Proof again of how little ESPN knows hockey.

John Flyers Fan
10-08-2003, 07:07 AM
Parise over Lecavalier and Staal? Over Havlat and Zherdev? I don't know about that one...

If you read the whole article, it's not ranking the 15 best hockey players of the future. It also talks about being well-spoken and also having a personality ... more like the most marketable athlete, instead of the best.

Therefore Parise, an American speaks good english, ahead of some foriegners as well as french canadians that will be better hockey players.

Also the person that gave most of the names is Pierre MacGuire and his two favorite young players are Jordan Tootoo & Zach Parise ... and voila they both make the list.

Unthinkable
10-08-2003, 07:16 AM
In retrospect I should have included the sentence before his list for a better explanation:

"Here's a list of some who might be, some who could be and some who should be ..."

jiggs 10
10-08-2003, 10:13 PM
Parise behind Hemsky and Nash? WTF? He's already better than either of them! He'l also pass Bouwmeester the minute he's in the NHL. Some people don't seem to realize talent when they see it. There's more to hockey than hitting, and Parise has that figured out at 18! The kid could be on the New Jersey Devils' 2nd line right now, if he so chose. He's not that dumb! He's waiting to see what happens with the CBA talks, THEN he'll decide if he wants to sign with the Devils! He holds all the cards, he will EASILY be a 2nd line player in the NHL in 2 years. Poor Vanek, he'll NEVER again have the tiny edge he had on Parise by playing 6 more games last year to score 2 more points! Too bad Vanek is so lazy!

Bird Law
10-09-2003, 06:24 AM
Parise behind Hemsky and Nash? WTF? He's already better than either of them! He'l also pass Bouwmeester the minute he's in the NHL. Some people don't seem to realize talent when they see it. There's more to hockey than hitting, and Parise has that figured out at 18! The kid could be on the New Jersey Devils' 2nd line right now, if he so chose. He's not that dumb! He's waiting to see what happens with the CBA talks, THEN he'll decide if he wants to sign with the Devils! He holds all the cards, he will EASILY be a 2nd line player in the NHL in 2 years. Poor Vanek, he'll NEVER again have the tiny edge he had on Parise by playing 6 more games last year to score 2 more points! Too bad Vanek is so lazy!

You're insane.

Missionhockey
10-09-2003, 11:12 AM
Nope he's a North Dakota homer. For Vanek to be a voice in the NHL he actually has to CARE a little more on the ice.

John Flyers Fan
10-09-2003, 11:25 AM
Nope he's a North Dakota homer. For Vanek to be a voice in the NHL he actually has to CARE a little more on the ice.


Didn't look like he cared too much at the Frozen Four last year, scoring big goals all weekend leading his team to a title. :rolleyes:

Half his goals last year were in the 3rd period, something that tells me he is clutch and has heart.

Missionhockey
10-09-2003, 11:38 AM
Didn't look like he cared too much at the Frozen Four last year, scoring big goals all weekend leading his team to a title. :rolleyes:

Half his goals last year were in the 3rd period, something that tells me he is clutch and has heart.

Your right I haven't seen Vanek play too much. I'm basing my assumption on his reputation but it really ticks me off when guys like Vanek have a great opportunity to play an act like they just don't give a damn. The rest of us would KILL to be in the NHL and with all that talent (Daigle?)

Sykie
10-10-2003, 02:01 AM
You're insane.

Yep, that's what I was thinking too...