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04-09-2004, 12:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
I've been a Valabik fan for a while. To me, he's the second best defenseman, behind only Barker. I know that Thelen has his fans out there, but to me Valabik is a great choice. With any kind of luck, and a few more years to develop his game and more importantly his body, the kid could be a Chara clone (less offensive and even more physical).
Barring any type of trades to move up to get Barker, I would be estatic to emerge from the first round w/ Ladd & Valabik. With puck movers like Pock & Rachunek and an in-betweener like Tyutin, Liffiton & Valabik would give us the crease clearers that we have been searching for since Beuk left. That's a fairly balanced fivesome. Add someone like Baranka or Kondratiev as a 6th and you have a very nicely balanced 6 defensemen. Off course I don't know of any team in the league that has an entirely home-grown 3 pairings of defensemen and the above six would still require several years of development. But still...
Problem is, I don't think that Valabik will be around by the time that Toronto's pick rolls around. Actually, I don't think that he makes it out of the top 15. And much as I like him, you can't take him w/ the 6th pick. So, in all likelihood, for Valabik to be a Ranger, it would require for us to trade up to get him w/ our 2nd 1st rounder.
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