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03-26-2004, 02:21 AM
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Why do you say forget about Ladd as a PF Edge? Most of the stuff I've read on him seems to be describing your basic, North-South, down-low forward with decent wheels, good size, and good defensive awareness.
oh no no no, i didnt mean it like that. I mean that even if he wasn't a power forward {which is naturally attractive seeing as we really dont have one} he would still be a great prospect anyway. Meaning that even if we were stocked with power forwards i still think he is the third or fourth best player in the draft.

I know Ladd isn't Jessiman huge or Lindros nasty, but I figured him for a sound, Owen Nolan type (with less of a mean streak but better defense) or a slower Bill Guerin. If that's wrong, let me know . . . basically my position remains the same though. The Rangers are desperate for a few big kids with Top Six potential. Right now it's Jessiman and a bunch of smurfs.
He reminds me of a nastier Ryan Smyth. I guess a cross somewhere between Smyth and Graves. He goes right to the net and won't give up....EVER. He is smart defensivly {smarter than Smyth at the same stage} but he isn't necessarily a Tkachuk, smash em type.

I'd say picture a guy who can get dirty and maybe drops the glove a few times a year. If he is paired with a playmaking center and another wingman who can shoot {jessiman maybe} than he could show even more than he did this year even.

He's not the guy who carries your team, he's the guy who makes the guy who carries your team even better.

Wow, Valabik sure does sound fun . . . does he fight? I'm not a big fan of the fist-i-cuffs, but a kid that size and with that style of game would probably need to be able to drop the gloves on occasion in the NHL. (A la Chara). Also, is Valabik a righty or a lefty shot? Seems like every Ranger prospect is a lefty . . . a small detail, but frustrating.
Valabik is a left handed shot and he's just nasty allaround. Think a bigger Kloucek, so yes he does fight. In fact he needs to learn to cool it a little actually.

I mean the kid is about as raw as they come but has made tremendous strides this season.

his ranking is based on what he could be and not necessarily what he is right now.

If he puts all the pieces together, he might be one of the toughest, nastiest, meanest, feared defenseman in hockey. But a team is going to need to be patient with him. Scary thought remains that the kid could still be growing!

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