Successful Players 6'4" and Over in NHL
now i duno if im just looking at the wrong players, but how many forwards over 6'4" are dominant in the NHL right now? with the exception of thornton, the majority of the best players of today i've briefly looked over range from 5'10" to 6'3" max. if this is so, why did the kings draft 2 first rounders (steckel and boyle) becuase of size? does this reallly give them any true advantage in the NHL? cause i dont really see THAT many players who are that great because of their size.
Well if players can be dominant at 6-3, why can't they at 6-4? What's the difference between 6-3 and 6-4?
Sundin. Yashin. Lecavalier. Primeau, while no longer a scorer, is a dominant defensive center. Handzus. Murray is only 6-3ish, so I guess he can't count. I'm sure there are more out there.
Size by itself doesn't make much difference. Speed by itself doesn't make much difference. Talent by itself doesn't make much difference. It's about maturing, learning, and being in the right place at the right time(whether that's on the right team, or in the right position on the ice in a given situation).
If Steckel or Boyle become NHL level players, only score 10 goals a year, but play great defense, that's ok. Every team needs players like that. Every team needs big players, and small players. Every team needs offensive, and defensive players. You need a mix.
Does every 1st round pick need to be a top scorer? Would you take the best defensive forward in the league in the 1st round? Late in the 1st round?
I'm not saying either player will be a great defensive player. I'm not even saying that either Steckel or Boyle will ever play in an NHL game. But the draft is a guessing game. You take a guy, and you see what happens. Datsyuk was a late round pick. That means every team, including the Wings, passed on him at least once because they thought someone else was better at the time.
Would some teams from the 2000 draft wish they had picked Frolov before the Kings did? From what we've seen so far, yes. Not every team, but a good number before #20 probably wish they had.
The Kings didn't pick them because of their size. They picked them because they were there. That's how the draft works. Maybe the Kings said they picked them for their size, I don't know. But every team says that. "Oh, we couldn't believe (player X) was there for us at #46(or 57, or 103, or 245). We were just thrilled. He's big, he's young, he's got tremendous talent. We feel very fortunate." That's what every team says. But every team, outside of the first couple picks in any draft, just end up taking whoever is left, wait to see how they develop, and then go from there.
I perfectly concour kingsfan. First round picks don't have to and often aren't scoring players. Defencemen and defencive forwards are also highly prized by all NHL teams and no doubt searched out in the first round. There are loads of skilled big men in the league, it just depends what you label skill as. If scoring is your only ruler then there are some majour talents but not as many as there are under 6'4. Then that is also the way it is in life. Loads more of us under that size then over it.
I would be truly thrilled if Steckel and Boyle as well as Karlson all made the team as regular players who used thier size and skills to check fear into our opponents. I think that we all make the mistake of thinking that 1st rounders have to be scoring threats and that they *have* to produce by the time they are 22 or they are write offs. It isn't so. If you see a very talented big player in the first round who has NHL level talent at his draft age but still is a ways off from making it, you draft him. The fact he has NHL level talent is what is important. IF he becomes a scoring forward then that is great. If he becomes a defencive forward then that too is great. You are gambling on them making the league and having an impact, of course players are drafted as scoring threats but not all are. That is my point.
Look around in sports and society. Kids are getting bigger with the same skill levels, speed and agility as smaller kids of just 10 years ago. To write off taller players simply for the fact that they are too big or will not be agile enough at that height is incredibly short sighted.
Zdeno Chara has been really successful in Ottawa
Not ever 1st round pick needs to be a top scorer but I wouldn't LOOK to draft the best defensive forward in the first round.
Here are some example that were though.
Boyd Devereaux Drafted by Edmonton in 1996 (1/6).
Manny Malhotra Drafted by NY Rangers in 1998 (1/7).
You can teach defense but you can't teach offense. And defense doesn't exactly translate from junior to the NHL level look at the above examples. These guys are more like Chartrand and lappy than Lehtinen
These guys are third and fourth line centers These guys make some bank as a result of being drafted in the first round.
HOWEVER if you drafted a young skilled player and the offense never lives up to the hype and he becomes the best defensive forward in the league it is a slightly different story. Its not something I would try to do on purpose though cause its not a good call.
However you do need a good mix of players.
to anwser the original question of this thread
If you were to chart the average size of the players league wide your chart would be a bell curve there are some 5'7" players and some (a) 6'9" players and your average group of players height would be probably around 6 or 6'2 and that this is your largest group of players. so your likely to get more of the better players in this large group but you'll still have some very good small players and some very good large players.
Steckel and Boyle supposly have skill to them and all other things being equal talent wise if you had a choice between a small player with good tools and a big player with good tools. You'd likely chose the bigger player. For all kinds of reason, like hopefully he will be stronger and more durable.
but don't forget along with those big guys we drafted Mike Cammalleri was drafted the same year Steckel was. And Jeff Tambellini was with Boyle. And there you have it right there Tambellini was drafted behind Boyle. Two players who are said to be skilled and the little guy gets taken last. So was Cammalleri Steckel 30th pick, Cam 49th
to anwser the original question of this thread
if you had a choice between a small player with good tools and a big player with good tools. You'd likely chose the bigger player. For all kinds of reason, like hopefully he will be stronger and more durable.
There always trying to figure out what's wrong with the game of hockey and how to improve the game etc. The first area I suggest lies at the heart of this very question....SIZE....
Hockey is a game of skill and speed. It's really two sports in one....the game of hockey itself combined with the art/sport of skating. In hockey mobility, quick feet, lateral movement is all important and for that reason better suited to the smaller quicker players. The average size of the NHL should be 6' 180 lbs. I'm not saying that you won't find larger players who will make great hockey players....but the sport is more exciting when speed and quickness is combined with great skill....and I'm not saying that players under 6' won't make the grade either. However, when you see players selected solely on their size....can't skate, shoot, or score but they're going to teach them how.....then the world is out of whack. The rink itself is a confined space larger unskilled players clog up that space and slow down the pace....while checking is a component of the game.....the object is to separate the player from the puck, not consciousness and so size itself shouldn't give a player the advantage though in this day and age it does. All of this combines to take away from the excitement of the sport of hockey and turns it into football on ice....not very excitiing. When it becomes the WWF on ice...then I'll tune out for good.
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